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Types of Crane Trucks
From a general standpoint, most of us understand the primary differences between the types of cranes that help contractors accomplish complicated construction projects. Understanding the key differences between these different types of cranes can save time and money, especially when acquired through a reputable company. This guide will break down a majority of the different types of cranes.

Boom Truck Cranes

This type of crane is a large truck that has a hydraulic boom crane attached. These cranes are most often on a commercial truck chassis and are much cheaper than custom-chassis cranes.

Boom trucks typically consist of a rotating, fixed, or telescopic boom, operating machinery, as well as one or more operator’s stations mounted on a frame attached to a commercial truck chassis. Their primary function is to lift, lower, and swing loads at various radii, requiring the use of outriggers/stabilizers.

Boom Trucks have a wide range of applications, and as such, they can vary in ton rating, boom length, and more.

We have all kinds of new and used Boom Trucks available for purchase or rent. 

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Material Handling Cranes

These cranes are, quite obviously, built to handle materials. They make it easy to transport, position, and store materials as needed. 

Materials handling cranes have a flat bed and a mounted crane that are purpose-built for loading and unloading items for transport. They have relatively low ton ratings in terms of lift capacity, but are invaluable because of their ability to easily lift and position materials for transport or storage. 

Click below to browse through our Materials Handling Cranes for purchase or rent, or to get a free quote.

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Knuckle Boom Cranes

These cranes are very similar to Boom Cranes, but have more hydraulic ability than Boom Trucks. Also known as Articulating Cranes, they’re more flexible and allow for bigger payloads than their Boom Truck counterparts.

Instead of a large telescopic crane or boom, these trucks have cranes that “knuckle” in that they bend at multiple joints. This allows for more space on the crane for materials hauling. For many jobs, the same truck that carries the crane can haul all your materials and offload them at the job site, saving you time and money.

See what Knuckle Boom Cranes are currently for sale or for rent at CraneWorks.

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All-Terrain Cranes

As the name indicates, these cranes are suitable for both off-road jobs and on-road transport. All-terrain cranes offer a wide variety of lifting capacities, ranging from 45 tons to 1,320 tons.

Often considered the Hummers or Range Rovers of the crane industry, these cranes are perfect for reaching isolated job sites with no remote access. Move quickly to job sites without worrying about the climate or road conditions.

Get more information about All-Terrain Cranes for rent or for purchase.

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Telescopic Truck Cranes

This type of crane is similar to a Boom Truck, but Telescopic Truck Cranes can extend the crane further. Powered by a hydraulic system in the crane, it extends and retracts to increase or decrease the overall length of the boom.

Often used for short-term construction projects, telescopic truck cranes combine the convenience of a boom truck with the extended lifting capabilities of a telescopic crane.

See what Telescopic Truck Cranes are available for rent or purchase from our website.

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Rough Terrain Cranes

These cranes are commonly used in road and bridge construction, petrochemical applications, power distribution, and other situations where maximum power and off-road prowess are required. Rough Terrain Cranes have excellent ground clearance, oversized tires, and three-mode steering, which makes positioning these cranes a breeze in even the most rugged terrain.

If you need a Rough Terrain Crane for your organization, get a free quote from our team today.

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Crawler Cranes

These self-propelled and massively capable cranes are highly versatile. They can lift massive quantities and require less time to setup, which means that once they arrive on-site, they’re ready to get to work. They are very heavy and are on crawler tracks, and as a result move very slowly.

Get a free quote from our team on a Crawler Crane for your lifting needs.

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Mechanics Truck Cranes

These vehicles are designed to increase productivity and efficiency through their unique customizability. The compartment configurations can be outfitted with air compressors, generators, welders, and fluid delivery and recovery systems, and much more.  They can even lift materials up to 6 tons.

The trucks are built on a variety of high-quality truck chassis, from light-duty manufacturers such as Ford and Ram to medium- and heavy-duty manufacturers like Kenworth.

Talk to our team for a free quote on a Crane-body Mechanics Truck.

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Aerial Lift Cranes

These cranes have a small platform that lifts people. Aerial Lift Cranes, sign cranes, man lifts, and lighting cranes give construction workers access to rooftops, billboards, and other vertically inaccessible areas.

All of our Aerial Lift Cranes are mounted on trucks from manufacturers like Manitex, Terex, Genie, Elliott, Socage, Bronto Skylift, and Versalift. Get a free quote so we can help you find the crane that you need.

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Other Lifting Equipment

While not specifically classified as cranes, lifting equipment like forklifts, hooklifts, and telehandlers have lifting capabilities and should be included in this guide.

Forklifts are small trucks with a pronged “fork” that can lift pallets of materials over short distances. Often seen in warehouses, these vehicles are great for efficiently moving less than 1 or 2 tons of product to storage or transport. Get a free quote on forklifts for your business by clicking here.

Telehandlers are forklifts with telescopic booms. This makes them more similar to a crane than a forklift, and are widely used in agricultural and construction settings.

These vehicles are used to move loads to and from places unreachable by a wheeled loader or backhoe loader. For example, telehandlers can reach directly into high-sided trailers or hoppers, while wheeled or backhoe loaders would require a loading ramp or conveyor. See what telehandlers are available for rent or purchase from CraneWorks.

Hooklifts are trucks that have a hydraulic hooklift that allows the chassis of a truck to change out beds, dumpster bodies, and more. Learn what hooklifts are available from CraneWorks.

How CraneWorks Can Help

CraneWorks is North America's premier provider of quality lifting solutions. We work with the top brands in the industry, our locations have parts and service stations to minimize your downtime, and our locations have regional expertise that can move you in the right direction.

High-Quality Lifting Solutions

Our products are representative of the industry’s leading crane, truck, and equipment manufacturers, and our brand is synonymous with building the very best truck and lifting equipment solutions.

Parts and Service

Premium equipment is only one of our core competencies; our service and parts groups provide timely and cost effective support, ensuring minimal downtime.

Regional Knowledge and Expertise

Each CraneWorks location provides regional expertise, with in-depth knowledge of the local marketplace and client needs. Our shops provide both new and used equipment, manufacturer-backed and trained service, extensive parts inventories for all makes, and a modern rental fleet.

Whatever your immediate or long-term needs are, CraneWorks is your one-vendor solution. We serve a variety of industries, including the energy sector, municipal and infrastructure construction, residential construction, foundations, precast, material handling, commercial lighting and signage, governmental, and utilities.

Final Thoughts

While this is by no means a guide to all of the different types of cranes available, it should be a good guide to help you understand what type of crane you need for your project.

If you’re still unsure about what type of crane you need, contact our team for support. We can guide you to the right crane for your project’s technical and budgetary requirements. Contact us today to find the high-quality lifting solution that you need.
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