Types of Cranes Used in Construction


28 April, 2020

There are various types of cranes used in construction and for different purposes. Cranes can be used in construction and others in rescue processes to lift or lower objects and move them horizontally. Either way, all cranes are equipped with pulleys and cables that are useful when it comes to moving objects around.

They are usually temporary structures that are either mounted on a custom-built vehicle or fixed to the ground. They are controlled remotely or by a professional operator who moves in a cab along with the crane. Like with all other items in construction, the crane operator has the responsibility to ensure the safety of the construction site, the working crane, and the rigging crew. Today at elebia we will talk about types of cranes used in construction.

12 Popular Types of Cranes used in Construction

Different types of cranes come with varying capabilities and features that determine their use. The features include the lifting capacity, lifting range, lift angle, the working radius, mobility, weight & dimensions, setup time, and night working capabilities. These features will determine the kind of crane needed for the construction industry for hire or purchase. With these features in mind, you can quickly identify the types of construction cranes needed.

Here are the 12 most popular types of lifting cranes used in construction today:

  1. Mobile Cranes
  2. Vehicle Mounted Cranes
  3. Rough Terrain Cranes
  4. All Terrain Cranes
  5. Crawler Cranes
  6. Railroad Cranes
  7. Aerial Cranes
  8. Tower Cranes
  9. Telescopic Cranes
  10. Overhead Cranes
  11. Loader Cranes
  12. Floating Cranes

1. Mobile Cranes

Mobile cranes are the most standard and versatile crane used in construction today. They are the most basic of all cranes and consists of a steel truss or telescopic boom mounted on a mobile platform, which could be a rail, wheeled, or even on a cat track. The boom is hinged at the bottom and can be either raised or lowered by cables or hydraulic cylinders.

There are plenty of lifting operations where the use of a tower crane would not be practical. Activities like indoor lifts or statue lifting cannot be engineered using static tower cranes. The best solution is, therefore, to use the mobile crane. These crane types are faster to set up and flexible and able to access areas where the static crane can’t reach. These cranes also do not need a lot of space and are cost-efficient since they are cheaper than the other major types of cranes. Let’s have a look at the different types of mobile cranes.

2. Vehicle Mounted Cranes

These types of cranes used in construction usually have one engine used for both the crane and undercarriage. They are mounted on rubber tires trucks, which offer excellent mobility. There are outriggers used in stabilizing the truck by expanding it vertically or horizontally and level the crane when it is hoisting a load of materials.

The capacity of these cranes rarely exceeds 50-ton capacity. The main advantage of the vehicle-mounted cranes is that they can travel on the highways without the help of a unique vehicle, making them easy to use and less expensive. These cranes also can be rotated 180 degrees, though some can rotate to 360 degrees. The ones that rotate 360 degrees are more expensive.

3. Rough Terrain Cranes

A rough terrain crane is a crane mounted on an undercarriage with four rubber tires designed for off-road operations where a typical vehicle mounted crane is not suitable. The outriggers extend vertically and horizontally to level and stabilize the crane when hoisting.

These cranes have single-engine machines where the same engine used for powering the undercarriage is the same one used for powering the crane. They are ideal for construction sites that have uneven, dirt, and rocky terrain. The mobility and ability of the crane to travel around the site make it an effect support crane for lighter hoists on highway, construction, and infrastructure projects.

4. All Terrain Cranes

It is also a mobile that can move at the same speed on paved roads as well as in rough terrains. Therefore it can be used in both applications. It has more wheels than a typical vehicle, and they balance the vehicle without overturning in rough terrains.

5. Crawler Cranes

Crawler cranes have the crane mounted on a caterpillar track giving them supreme mobility and strength to handle hefty loads. They are mobile and also require little setup because they are robust and do not need outriggers. A crawler track also makes work on unprepared job sites easy.

In places where the ground is soft, the broad base of a crawler crane helps to distribute weight through a wider area, hence preventing the crawler crane from sinking amidst a lift. The major drawback of this machine is that it is expensive and difficult to move from one site to another. However, this type of crane can still be moved with the help of trucks, therefore, reducing the cost of transportation.

6. Railroad Cranes

Railroad cranes are useful for the construction of railway lines and repairing and maintenance of railroads. These have flanged wheels at its bottom which can be moved in rail track only.

7. Aerial Cranes

These are also called sky cranes. They look like a helicopter and are useful when the target is difficult to reach by land or to lift large loads to high rise buildings.

8. Tower Cranes

A tower crane is a modern make of the balance crane most commonly used on urban construction sites. When this crane is fixed to the ground during the construction period, it offers the best combination of lifting capacity and height. These cranes are attached using a substantial concrete base and anchored by large bolts which can be removed easily after construction. They are used mostly in the construction of tall, multi-story buildings. It is important to note that when the tower crane constructs past a certain height, it would be essential to have it connected to the construction building to help prevent the crane from swaying or tipping.

The best thing about tower cranes is that they surpass the lifting and loading capacity of all other kinds of cranes. Their height capacity too cannot be matched the other cranes. Tower cranes are incredibly stable and can endure tough tasks. The downside is that they are costly and need a lot of effort and time to move from one point to another. The maintenance costs for repairs and depreciation are also high. Despite being costly, industrial constructors can still achieve their goals with these machines by hiring to avoid high expenses.

TC - Types of Cranes Used in Construction

9. Telescopic Crane

These cranes comprise large booms fitted with tubes from the inside. A telescopic crane increases its height using the tubes by a hydraulic mechanism. This crane is mostly useful in transporting goods from one point to another. However, the telescopic crane is best at transferring objects to higher positions. This is because the crane can adjust its height. These cranes are also in rescue operations.

10. Overhead Crane

An overhead crane is also referred to as a suspended crane. They are commonly used in factories, with some being able to lift extremely heavy loads. Bigger overhead cranes are also called goliath cranes and can be used in shipyards and in large outdoor manufacturing plants. This type of crane has its hoist set on a trolley that moves in one direction along a beam or two. The beams move at angles to the direction of the trolley along raised or ground level tracks which are often mounted along the sides of an assembly area.

11. Loader Crane

Also known as a folding boom crane, a loader crane is a hydraulically powered articulated arm fitted to a trailer used to load equipment onto a trailer. The numerous sections can be folded into a small space when the crane isn’t in use and the crane is easy to fold hence can be easily transported. The capacity of these cranes has increased dramatically over the years. Presently there are 200-ton capacity loader folding boom cranes on the market today.

12. Floating Crane

Floating cranes are also called crane ship, crane vessel, or floating crane. They are are used for bridge or port construction, and also to load and unload ships. They have a capacity of up to 9000 tons.

Our Lifting and Crane Hooks: Must-Have Products in the Construction Industry

Regardless of the type of crane you decide to purchase or hire, you will need the lifting and crane hooks to get any work done. Elebia, in this regard, offers two types of hooks: the lifting hooks for cranes and the automatic crane hooks. Both these types of hooks are evo automatic, meaning they hook and release the load remotely, therefore, increasing safety and productivity.

However, the automatic crane hook is an upgrade from the lifting hooks for cranes. It comes in evo2 automatic range, is lighter, smaller hence more convenient.

Lifting Hooks for Cranes, Safe and Efficient Solution

The evo automatic hooks are the future of all types of cranes in construction, no argument about that. The lifting hook for cranes as a type of these is therefore no different. With its amazing features listed below; it is merely a great option to consider when buying a crane.

Patented Safety Hooks

As mentioned earlier, the lifting hooks for cranes are evo automatic, and therefore, hooks and releases load remotely without the operator necessarily being close to it. The evo automatic range comes with the patented safety hook equipped with a magnet on the lower section.

The magnetic field created by this magnet attracts the rigging equipment or load when close to it, orients it, and centres it. From there, the operator just pushes the close button on the remote control causing the hook to close on the load and lift it. Due to this technology, Elebia has achieved what most companies are struggling to make; safety when it comes to lifting hooks for cranes.

Fail-Safe Design

The patented safety hook is, however, not the only way that elebia achieves the safety of lifting hooks for cranes. A fail-safe design incorporated into the hooks prevents the dropping of loads while on the suspended cranes. It does this by merely employing the rules of gravity. The fail-safe design ensures that the motor’s torque is not powerful enough to release the load while it’s suspended in the air. Besides, a security torque limit is also included in the hooks to limit the load lifted hence preventing overload.

High Capacity Battery

The lifting hooks for cranes have a high capacity battery that can be fully charged in 3 hours and allow up to 5000 cycles or 250 hours in a standby mode that increases their efficiency.

Remote Control

The remote-controlled operations of the lifting hooks for cranes are another thing that might make anyone purchasing construction cranes to consider them. They ensure both safety and efficiency since the operator does not need to be near the construction site to control the loading and unloading.

Elebia Crane Hooks. Smart and Compact with Automatic Latch

Elebia crane hook has everything the lifting hooks for cranes has except; it is much better. It uses the same evo automated technology to lift and release the load, but it is much smaller, compact, efficient, and smarter.

Smart and Compact

The elebia crane hook uses a magnetic field attached to its automatic latch to lift weights from 2.5 to 5.11 lbs. It also contains a weighing scale that automatically weighs all the loads that it raises to prevent overloading.

Small, Light and Tough

The small size and the lighter weight, but a robust structure that can lift heavy weights, increase the elebia crane’s ability to purchase when looking for a construction crane.

Fail-Safe Design

Incorporation of the fail-safe design prevents the suspended loads from dropping to the ground hence maximizing safety.

Automatic Latch

The automatic latch of the elebia crane hooks retracts automatically when the crane hook opens, ensuring maximum safety.


Elebia crane hooks contain a high-capacity battery with a 3 hour charge and one week’s power to increase its efficiency.

Now that you know all the advantages of our elebia’s hook, don’t hesitate and check out all our products.

Contact Us

Elebia Autohooks S.L.U.

Plaça Pere Llauger Prim, Naus 10-11

Polígon Industrial Can Misser

08360 Canet de Mar

(Barcelona) Spain

(+34) 93 543 4706