How to Spec the Right Crane Body

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Reading Cranemaster and Master Mechanic Crane Bodies

October 20, 2019

If your company is in an industry such as telecommunications, utilities or oil and gas, there’s a good chance you’ll need trucks outfitted with cranes to increase efficiency and productivity while in the field. Cranes enable you to perform various installation, repair and maintenance tasks at height.

However, selecting the ideal crane body for your applications can be a daunting challenge. If you make the wrong choice, you could end up spending lots of money on equipment that doesn’t meet your unique performance requirements — and prevents your team from completing projects on time.

How to Choose a Crane Body: Key Factors to Consider

There are several factors to evaluate when selecting a crane body for your service trucks:

  • Capacity: The crane must meet your capacity needs, measured in “foot-pounds.” To calculate your foot-pound requirements, multiply the weight of the heaviest item you need the crane to lift by your maximum reach needs. For example, if you must elevate objects weighing 1,000 pounds and need a maximum reach of 10 feet, you’ll need a crane with a rating of at least 10,000 foot-pounds.
  • Objects: What items do you need the crane to lift (tree branches, pipes, cinder blocks, etc.)?
  • Attachments: Do you need to include a bucket for lifting your workers, or maybe a fork to raise pallets?
  • Mounting: You can have the crane mounted on either the front or rear of the vehicle. The former option provides more stability, while the latter enables increased capacity.
  • Chassis: What is the size of the truck and the type of truck chassis on which you’ll be mounting the crane?

Crane Body Options

There’s also a variety of crane body options available:

  • Electric: Electrically powered cranes offer an economical solution for cost-conscious business operations. They work well for light-duty lifting jobs of 6,500 pounds or less, or when you only use the crane on an occasional basis. An additional electric crane benefit is that you can operate it while the truck is not running, which saves fuel and cuts down on vehicle wear and tear.
  • Hydraulic: A hydraulically powered crane provides extra lift capacity, along with increased performance in short-duty cycles. They’re also the most popular crane body option, as they deliver a large enough lift and reach range for most applications. One critical hydraulic crane consideration is ensuring the compatibility between the crane and vehicle size.
  • Articulating: Articulating cranes offer the superior lift capacity required for heavy-duty applications. They operate lower to the ground, which makes them the better choice at job sites where overhead obstructions are an issue. Because of their dexterity, articulating cranes typically work best when you must maneuver loads through narrow passages.

Reading Truck Body Can Develop the Right Service Crane Truck Specs for Your Company

You can trust the seasoned professionals at Reading Truck Body to help you explore your crane body options and select the best one for your projects. Contact a distributor near you to learn more about how to choose a crane body that meets your requirements.

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