Those cranes you must have seen somewhere are:

  • Heavy-duty pieces of hydraulic equipment which are used to do the job of lifting and hoisting.
  • Different to smaller cranes, that rely on electric or diesel-powered engines, hydraulic cranes use an internal hydraulic system that allows for a crane to raise much heavier loads.
  • This fluid-filled hydraulic arrangement allows for the crane to move heavy objects such as shipping containers and tractor trailers, which are well beyond the size and scope of any other types of lifting devices.

In all hydraulic cranes there is

  • An enclosed operator’s cab on top a steel base. Some of these cranes may be set on wheels or rollers, while others are stationary.
  • From this cab, an operator controls a large arm (AKA a boom). Hydraulic crane hire services in Huddersfield use a telescoping boom, which allows for the operator to attach objects from long distances.
  • Cables and hooks fastened to the boom can be fixed to an array of objects for hoisting or lifting.


  • The crane’s engine gives power to a hydraulic pump, via pressure to a fluid in the hydraulic system.
  • Because oil cannot be compressed, the oil transfers this energy to other parts of the crane and the redirecting of this force is then used to raise an object.
  • Hydraulic systems help to increase power and performance.


  • A hydraulic crane is ranked based upon its total lifting capacity, which is a combination of both its construction plus the power of the hydraulic system.
  • For example, a 10-ton crane, is able to lift up to 10 tons (9,070 kg).
  • All hydraulic cranes must be carefully chosen based on the requirements of the project it will be working on.
  • If a crane is used to try and lift a load that’s too heavy for it to manage, it will simply cause it to fail and maybe even fall.

The Places Where You Will Most Likely see them

  • Those on tracks or wheels are commonly best suited for construction sites
  • Many shipyards and warehouses rely more upon stationary cranes.
  • Smaller hydraulic cranes can be seen across the board and are even found on board ships or the backs of tow trucks.

Safety Matters

  • Because of the large size and power of hydraulic cranes, all operators have to take vigorous safety training to maintain a lower risk of accidents.
  • Any crane that experiences operational failures may then put operators or anyone nearby at risk from falling objects.
  • A fallen crane can also seriously damage buildings nearby, if it has a tumble.
  • Any cranes that are not professionally set up are potential future hazards.
  • While not everyone will need safety training, inexperienced individuals or companies should undergo training to help minimise liability and maximise safety.

And really, that’s about all there is to know about the humble crane. They’re certainly amazing workhorses and will be with us labouring away for a long time!

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