truck mounted crane doing a heavy lifting job

The Different Types of Truck-Mounted Cranes Used for Heavy Lifting

Truck-mounted cranes have revolutionized heavy lifting in various industries, providing an efficient and versatile solution for handling loads. Whether it’s construction, oil and gas, or utilities, these powerful machines offer enhanced mobility and flexibility. In this article, we will explore the different types of truck-mounted cranes commonly used and their applications in various industries. So, let’s dive in and discover the world of truck-mounted cranes!

Truck-mounted cranes are specialized machines that are mounted on trucks or trailers, combining the mobility of a vehicle with the lifting capabilities of a crane. These cranes are designed to handle a wide range of lifting tasks, from construction materials to heavy machinery. They offer a convenient and cost-effective solution for transporting and lifting loads in diverse work environments.


What is a Truck-Mounted Crane?

A truck-mounted crane consists of a hydraulic-powered telescopic or articulated boom mounted on a truck chassis. The boom can be extended or retracted to reach various heights and distances, allowing operators to lift and place heavy loads with precision. These cranes are equipped with outriggers to provide stability during lifting operations, ensuring safety and preventing tipping.


Benefits of Using Truck-Mounted Cranes


Versatility and Mobility

One of the key advantages of truck-mounted cranes is their versatility and mobility. Unlike fixed cranes, truck-mounted cranes can be easily transported to different job sites, reducing the need for additional equipment and saving time. They can navigate through narrow spaces and access areas that may be challenging for larger cranes.

Efficiency and Time Savings

Truck-mounted cranes enable quick setup and dismantling, leading to significant time savings. Operators can swiftly position the crane, extend the boom, and commence lifting operations without extensive preparations. This efficiency is particularly valuable in time-sensitive projects where deadlines must be met.



Truck-mounted cranes offer a cost-effective solution for lifting tasks. Since they are mounted on trucks, there is no need for separate transportation, reducing logistics costs. Additionally, their mobility eliminates the requirement for renting multiple cranes or relying on fixed crane installations, resulting in substantial cost savings for businesses.


Types of Truck-Mounted Cranes

There are several types of truck-mounted cranes, each with its unique features and advantages. Let’s explore the most common ones:


Telescopic Boom Cranes

Telescopic boom cranes, also known as hydraulic cranes, are versatile and widely used in various industries. These cranes feature a telescopic boom that can extend and retract using hydraulic cylinders. They offer excellent reach and lifting capacities, making them suitable for tasks requiring long horizontal outreach or high elevation.

Knuckle Boom Cranes

Knuckle boom cranes, also called articulated cranes or loader cranes, are characterized by their articulated booms. These cranes consist of multiple folding sections, allowing for increased manoeuvrability and precise load placement. Knuckle boom cranes are commonly used in applications where flexibility and reach are crucial, such as loading and unloading goods.


Stiff Boom Cranes

Stiff boom cranes, also known as straight boom cranes, feature a fixed-length boom that cannot be extended or retracted. These cranes offer exceptional lifting capacities and stability, making them ideal for heavy lifting tasks. They are often used in construction sites for tasks that require significant lifting power, such as erecting steel structures.


Articulating Cranes

Articulating cranes, sometimes referred to as knuckle-jib cranes, combine the features of telescopic and knuckle boom cranes. These cranes feature a combination of telescoping and articulating booms, offering enhanced versatility and reach. Articulating cranes are suitable for tasks that require both height and manoeuvrability, such as utility maintenance or tree trimming.


Applications and Industries

Truck-mounted cranes find applications in various industries where heavy lifting is required. Some of the common industries utilizing these cranes include:



In the construction industry, truck-mounted cranes are used for lifting and placing construction materials, such as steel beams, precast concrete panels, and roofing materials. Their mobility and versatility make them valuable assets on construction sites, enhancing productivity and reducing manual labour.

Oil and Gas

Truck-mounted cranes play a vital role in the oil and gas industry, where they are utilized for tasks like equipment installation, maintenance, and pipeline construction. These cranes enable efficient handling of heavy equipment, such as drilling rigs, compressors, and storage tanks, in challenging environments.


Tree Services

The tree services industry relies heavily on truck-mounted cranes for efficient and safe tree maintenance and removal operations. These cranes enable arborists and tree care professionals to reach high branches and safely remove large limbs or entire trees. With their versatile booms and precise control systems, truck-mounted cranes allow arborists to carefully manoeuvre heavy loads and lower them to the ground without causing damage to surrounding structures or landscapes. Whether it’s trimming branches, pruning trees, or removing hazardous trees, truck-mounted cranes play a vital role in ensuring the safety and beauty of our urban and natural environments.



Truck-mounted cranes are widely employed by utility companies for tasks related to infrastructure maintenance, such as pole sets, transformer installation, and cable lifting. Their manoeuvrability and compact size make them suitable for navigating urban areas and reaching confined spaces.


Transportation and Logistics

Truck-mounted cranes are used in the transportation and logistics industry for loading and unloading cargo from trucks and containers. They facilitate efficient handling of heavy loads, reducing the manual effort required and ensuring quick turnaround times in logistics operations.


Factors to Consider when Choosing a Truck-Mounted Crane

When selecting a truck-mounted crane for a specific task, several factors should be taken into consideration:


Load Capacity

The maximum load capacity of a truck-mounted crane is a critical factor. It determines the weight that can be safely lifted and placed. It is essential to assess the lifting requirements of the intended tasks and choose a crane that can handle the anticipated loads.


Reach and Height

The reach and height capabilities of the crane are crucial, as they determine the crane’s ability to access and lift loads at different distances and elevations. Evaluating the required reach and height ensures that the crane can perform the intended tasks effectively.


Stability and Outrigger Systems

The stability of a truck-mounted crane is essential for safe lifting operations. Consider the outrigger systems and their capabilities to provide adequate stability and prevent tipping during lifting. Evaluate the ground conditions and choose a crane with appropriate outriggers for the specific work environment.


Operational Controls

User-friendly and intuitive operational controls enhance the efficiency and safety of crane operations. Ensure that the crane’s control system is well-designed and enables precise control over the boom and load movements. Features like proportional controls and remote operation can further improve the operator’s experience and productivity.


Safety Considerations

When working with truck-mounted cranes, safety should always be a top priority. Here are some important safety considerations:


Training and Certification

Operators should receive proper training and certification to operate truck-mounted cranes safely. Training programs cover essential topics such as crane operation, load handling, safety procedures, and maintenance. Certification ensures that operators possess the necessary skills and knowledge to handle the equipment correctly.


Maintenance and Inspections

Regular maintenance and inspections are crucial for keeping truck-mounted cranes in optimal working condition. Maintenance activities include lubrication, hydraulic system checks, and structural inspections. Regular inspections help identify potential issues and ensure that all safety mechanisms are functioning correctly.


Site Conditions and Risk Assessment

Before commencing any lifting operation, a thorough risk assessment should be conducted. This assessment considers factors such as ground conditions, weather conditions, overhead obstructions, and nearby utilities. Identifying potential hazards and implementing appropriate control measures minimize the risk of accidents.



Truck-mounted cranes have transformed the way heavy lifting is accomplished in various industries. Their versatility, mobility, and lifting capabilities make them invaluable assets for the construction, oil and gas, utilities, and logistics sectors. By understanding the different types of truck-mounted cranes and their applications, as well as considering crucial factors like load capacity, reach, stability, and safety, businesses can make informed decisions when selecting the appropriate crane for their lifting needs.



What is the maximum load capacity of a truck-mounted crane?

The maximum load capacity of a truck-mounted crane varies depending on the model and configuration. It can range from a few tons to several dozen tons, allowing for the lifting of heavy loads.


Can truck-mounted cranes be used in confined spaces?

Yes, truck-mounted cranes can be used in confined spaces. Their compact size and manoeuvrability enable them to navigate through tight spaces, making them suitable for tasks in urban areas or limited access locations.


Are truck-mounted cranes suitable for rough terrains?

Truck-mounted cranes can be equipped with features like all-terrain capabilities and stabilizing systems, which make them suitable for rough terrains. However, it is crucial to select a crane that is specifically designed for the intended terrain conditions.


What kind of training is required to operate a truck-mounted crane?

Operators of truck-mounted cranes should undergo proper training provided by certified training organizations. The training covers crane operation, load handling techniques, safety procedures, and maintenance requirements.


How often should a truck-mounted crane be inspected?

Truck-mounted cranes should undergo regular inspections as per the manufacturer’s guidelines and industry standards. The frequency of inspections depends on factors such as crane usage, operating conditions, and regulatory requirements. Typically, inspections are conducted annually or after a specified number of operating hours.

Comments for this post are closed.