Should I hire a mobile crane or tower crane?

Struggling to choose between a mobile crane and tower crane?

Both have their benefits, but the perfect one for you will differ depending on your project requirements.

In this blog, we assess the differences between mobile and tower cranes, allowing you to make an informed decision as to which is best for the task at hand. And explore how a mobile tower crane – which combines the benefits of both – could be the better option.

Mobile cranes vs tower cranes

Tower cranes are typically used to construct high-rise buildings, such as skyscrapers. Something that makes them stand out is their vertical tower and outstretched projecting arm, otherwise known as a jib. Mobile tower crane hire services offer businesses versatile lifting solutions for construction projects, combining mobility with high lifting capacity. They provide skilled operators and logistical support to ensure efficient and safe operations.

Mobile cranes, on the other hand, are self-propelled vehicles that are attached to a cable-controlled or hydraulic-powered telescopic boom. Often, they have stabilisers that extend from the side – giving them a larger surface area.

While both types are ideal for lifting and transporting large, cumbersome loads, they offer a number of differences.

  • Strength

If you need a tall, sturdy crane for your upcoming project, you can’t go wrong with a tower crane. 

Tower cranes surpass the lifting capacity of any other type of crane – making light work of the hardest tasks.

Having said that, the strength of a mobile crane is not to be underestimated. 

Although they have a smaller, more compact footprint, they also have heavy-duty axles, outriggers and other high-strength components that enable them to lift heavy materials to required heights, both safely and efficiently.

  • Flexibility 

Mobile cranes are incredibly flexible. They can be used to access narrow streets in the bustling city and navigate construction sites which have limited space available. 

Most mobile models are roadworthy, too – meaning they can be moved from A to B with ease and transport goods between sites, saving you money by not needing multiple hires.

Unlike mobile cranes, tower cranes are fixed to the ground. This means that, once they’re set up, they can’t be moved elsewhere.

However, the great thing about tower cranes is that their loading and lifting capacity is far greater than that of any other crane – offering suitability for an array of projects.

  • Set up

One of the biggest differences between mobile and tower cranes is the time it takes to set them up.

For example, a mobile crane will usually take a few hours to assemble on site, allowing you to get your project up and running straight away. It’s the perfect choice if time is of the essence.

A tower crane is less portable so will take considerably longer to set up. If you need the strength and reliability of a tower crane for your project, make sure you plan ahead to allow ample time for the machinery to be transported to your site and erected.

  • Cost

The price you’ll pay for mobile or tower crane hire can vary depending on how long you need the crane and your chosen crane provider.

In most cases, hiring a mobile crane will be the most cost-efficient option as it requires less time to set up and doesn’t require multiple operators.

If you’re undertaking a short-term project with a small team, mobile crane hire may be better suited to both your project and budget needs. Whereas, if you have to move large goods between varying heights, a tower crane will be well worth the expense.

Why not hire a mobile tower crane?

If you can’t decide whether to hire a mobile or tower crane, consider a mobile tower crane from BJW Cranes.

These combine the mobility of a telescopic crane and a conventional static tower, giving you the best of both worlds.Mobile tower cranes are suitable for projects in the city centre, particularly where streets are narrow and access is restricted. They facilitate rapid set up, allowing you to lift and move goods safely, without delay. And they could be the best option for your specific requirements.