Getting to Know Your Lifting Capacity Requirements


When it comes to heavy lifting on job sites, rarely is there a one-size-fits-all approach to renting a crane. Terrain, job site conditions, load weight, obstructions, duration on the site, and many other factors need to be considered when selecting the best crane for the job. A critical starting point is understanding the weight of the load(s) and how the weight is distributed (center of gravity).

Understanding crane lifting capacity limitations can prevent misuse that could lead to incidents, causing downtime on the project site. To maintain a safe working environment and keep your projects going, you need to be able to evaluate a crane’s lifting capacity to use the crane properly. 

The manufacturer determines the lifting capacity of a crane. It is presented in the form of a load chart representing a range of configurations and capacities. Unlike an elevator with a fixed limit, a crane is often designed to for use in a variety of ways based on a maxim and minimum lifting capacity. A crane’s lifting capacity is dependent on the crane’s configuration, structural limitations, distance to the load to be lifted, the height of the lift, ground conditions, and ambient weather conditions, etc.

When renting a crane these tips will help you determine the lift capacity requirements for your job.

Identify Your Project

The job dictates the lifting capacity requirements. When it comes to cranes, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Sometimes your job site conditions will permit the use of one specific type of crane for all of your lifting needs. Other times, your project may require different types of cranes to complete the same job. This is most common when working on variable terrain. Tower crane rentals are best in metropolitan areas with tall obstacles and little room for movement at the surface, while crawlers, rough terrains, and all-terrain cranes are more appropriate for difficult, uneven ground and open areas.

There are five key pieces of information that your crane rental company will want you to identify about your project before recommending a crane:

  1. What is the weight of the object you are lifting?
  2. What will the ground conditions be like when the crane is needed for the lift?
  3. How high and far back (if lifting onto a roof) does the crane need to raise the object?
  4. What is the radius required for the lift?
  5. What are the physical obstacles present where the lift is taking place?

‌Understanding the five items above will assist you in determining the correct crane and configuration to complete your project. Thankfully, you can plan your project with professionals like Maxim Crane. They offer project management and engineering services to guide you from the drawing board to executing the work in the field.

Engage Professionals

Job sites, lifting plans, and logistics can be complex when planning a lift. Engineering staff and crane experts need to work together to achieve efficiency and ensure the crane you rent is the crane you need. Companies with years of lifting expertise like Maxim Crane specialize in turnkey lifting services and crane rental and usually have the best advice available to guide you through crane operations—giving you peace of mind.

‌Our experts will help examine your project and the materials you want to move. They will then recommend the specific type of crane to use with the proper lifting capacity for the job. For example, crawler cranes are known for their superior stability and mobility.


Understand Your Crane's Lifting Capacity

Load charts can easily be explained and used, but they should not be used alone. It’s still a good idea to understand how a crane’s load chart works, even if you have an expert team helping you. Understanding the manufacturer’s operating requirements for the crane is another matter where experts like Maxim come in.  

Perhaps the best way to estimate the required lifting radius is to picture a right-sided triangle. The triangle’s base represents the level ground — the distance from the crane’s outrigger base to the load. The boom arm of the crane forms the triangle’s hypotenuse, while the vertical height is the distance of the boom’s “tip” from the ground. 

These three parameters — the vertical distance, the horizontal distance, and the diagonal boom arm — form the crane’s geometry, which is needed to determine the crane’s chart capacity. The more precise the measurements of these three components are, the more accurate the calculated loading capacity will be. Themanufacturer typically provides “range” diagrams in their product guides for a particular crane. Often you can use this range diagram to estimate the boom length needed to lift over obstructions.

‌A crane’s lifting capacity is specific to the length of the boom chosen and the radius the crane will lift the load, so professionals often look these values up in a capacity table for accuracy. Load charts are unique to each crane, so you may have multiple charts when using more than one crane. Additionally, a single crane may have dozens or thousands of load charts based on the available configurations.

It's Time to Get Your Crane Working

Now that you know how important it is to understand a crane’s capacity, you must engage the right professionals and find the most suitable crane. That’s where Maxim Crane comes in. As the only nationwide turnkey lift service provider, Maxim has a network of over 3,500 crane operators available to take on any project.

‌Maxim offers complete services, equipped with one of the largest and most modern fleets of mobile cranes in the world (over 3,000 cranes). Maxim’s fleet includes  crawler cranes that can lift to 2,535 tons, tower cranes exceeding 1,000 feet in height, and portable carry decks with excellent mobility. 

‌When we create lift plans, Maxim simulates positioning and lifting models using computer-drawn models before doing actual fieldwork. This process makes sure to eliminate common mishaps that occur during construction projects. You can submit a rental inquiry or ask about Maxim’s engineering services today. 


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