Choosing the Right Crane

Lift and Reach

How heavy is the largest item to be lifted?

How much reach is required?

Note: Reach X Capacity = Foot Pounds
For example, lifting 2,000 lbs at 10' requires at least 2000 X 10 = 20,000 foot pounds lift moment rating

Lifting Needs

What are you lifting?

  • Pallets
  • Pipes
  • Fallen trees
  • Concrete blocks Dead Spot

Is a winch required?

Frequent vertical lifting or lowering?

Lifting a long distance, such as over the side of a bridge or down a hole?

Are special lifting devices needed?
 • Bucket
 • Tine grab
 • Pallet fork
 • Rotator

Dead Spot

Most cranes have a limited arc of rotation. The center area between the stops is called the dead point.

Mounting Position



Front mounts are the most common and have the greatest stability.
The standard configuration folds, unfolds to the passenger side, but this can be changed.
The dead point is in the forward direction, because the crane is not operated in that area.mounting-position-rear


Rear mounted cranes are permitted to lift over the body, back, or sides of the truck. It is often possible to position the crane closer to the load, giving the advantage of more capacity. The vehicle may be less stable with the crane installed behind the body. The dead point is normally to the back or one side, to allow full motion over the truck body. How heavy is the largest item to be lifted?

Radio Remote Control

Using radio controls, the operator has increased visibility and safety. Lifting jobs can be done with less people. Cranes with radio controls also have manual levers for emergency use.


What size truck is the crane going on? What model of chassis is planned or is the chassis already purchased? What type of body will it have? Will it have other hydraulic devices such as tools or a hook lift? What is the total payload that the chassis must carry?