QMC Cranes Blog

Is Your Crane Lifting Capacity Overrated?

We recommend 10 foot radius ratings

How much can you lift? Boasting about your lifting capacity is pretty standard fare for most crane manufacturers. The ability to lift, transport, and set heavy items is the key selling point for the typical industrial buyer. You want a crane that can handle the weight of your projects day in and day out.

Whether you work in oil and gas, precast concrete, electric utilities, or the construction industry, the true lifting capacity of a crane can be confusing. Be sure to do your research before you make a purchase based purely on advertised numbers.

Take boom truck cranes, for example. Most are rated at the absolute maximum lifting capacity of the crane. This approach can be deceiving. A quick glance at a crane’s load chart will show it is actually only able to meet the stated capacity when the boom is fully retracted and the lifting is done as close as possible to the crane’s center of rotation. That means it is only 4 feet to 6 feet away in many cases. Keep in mind a standard boom truck is mounted on a truck with a 96 inch wide deck. So almost any crane centered on the truck would need to lift 4 feet to 5 feet just to avoid hitting the truck bed.

In reality, most boom truck cranes are used at distances of at least 10 feet and only increase from there. What’s the benefit of stating a crane can lift 25 tons at 4 feet when the crane cannot even pick up 25 tons off the side of the truck? If the item you’re lifting is large, the rating is to the center of gravity of the item. For example, a 6 foot by 6 foot box would be 3 feet from the edge to the center of the box. To set that box off the side of an average boom truck, you would need at the very least 7 feet.

At QMC Cranes we provide lift capacity ratings at a minimum of a 10 foot radius. A rating should be a guide for selecting the correct crane, not a number designed for boasting. So the next time you’re shopping for a boom truck, check and see if it’s overrated.

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