A crane is one of the essential pieces of equipment for building construction. It makes work easier by lifting construction materials when erecting multistorey buildings. As such, a contractor with a crane on site is likely to cut on labour costs and also save time during construction. Since cranes are expensive, you should consider hiring rather than buying when you need the crane for short-term use. Below are some tips to guide you when considering crane hire.
Type of project
The type of project will determine what kind of crane you will hire. For instance, a tower crane is best suited for constructing tall buildings consisting of tens or hundreds of floors. For smaller projects, you may opt to hire a telescopic crane or a truck-mounted crane. If you are not sure which kind of crane will serve you best, consult with your site engineers.
Visit a few companies offering crane hire services and inquire if the crane you want is available. Compare the pricing of the various companies and evaluate the condition of the cranes. Also, ask for a recent inspection report to ensure that the crane is safe to use. Once you identify a suitable company, do some background research on the company's reputation. Avoid companies with a bad reputation among contractors.
Terms of hire
The company must have favourable terms of crane hire. Some considerations you must make include the following:
- Availability: The crane must be available for the whole period that you need it.
- Payments: When should payments be made? What methods of payment does the company accept? What happens when you are late with payments?
- Crane maintenance: Who will bear the crane's repair and maintenance costs when the crane is in your hands?
- Who will transport the crane to and from the site?
- Is the crane insured?
Site preparation and permits
Before bringing the crane on site, prepare the area that you intend to mount the crane. Cranes should be mounted on rigid ground; otherwise, they could sink when carrying heavy loads. Also, if there are permits or licences required when the crane is in operation, ensure that you get them.
In Australia, workplaces that use cranes must have an emergency plan. The plan includes emergency procedures such as rescue and evacuation. There should be signs indicating emergency contacts. Besides, workers on site should have adequate training on rescue procedures and basic first aid skills.
When hiring a crane, consider the type of project, the terms of hire, site preparation and permits. Also, you should have an emergency plan when operating the crane.