Guide to New and Used Cranes - Types of Crane Lifting Equipment


The types and classes of crane lifting equipment are as varied and diverse as the construction trade itself. Each is designed to fit a specific need or a combination of several.  

There are a wide variety of different types, but mobile cranes fit into one of seven categories. While there are characteristics in each class that overlap, the differences between each category of crane lifting equipment are primarily based on size, maneuverability, reach and power output. 

Crane Lifting Equipment Types

Industrial CranesIndustrial_Cranes_BW.jpg

These well-balanced, diminutive cranes excel in tight spaces and over rough terrain. Industrial cranes often have both four wheel drive and four wheel steering and are rarely more than 8' wide nor 8' tall at the top of the cab. True to its name, this crane is often put to work on industrial job sites, such as refineries and plants, as they have the ability to operate in areas where accessibility can be a concern. 


Rough Terrain CranesRough_Terrain_BW.jpg

Having robust wheels in relation to the status of the crane's body, rough terrain cranes are designed to maneuver over uneven, rocky and saturated ground.

Rough terrain cranes generally have all wheel drive and steering. With four to six outriggers capable of doubling the width of the crane's base width, rough terrain cranes are similar to industrial cranes, but have boom reaches of between 60 and 200 feet.

Hydraulic Crawler CranesHydraulic_Crawler_Cranes_BW.jpg

Hydraulic crawler cranes come with tracks rather than wheels to traverse wetter and more uneven ground.

The boom on a crawler crane is telescoping for maximum reach. Its hydraulically extendable tracks eliminate the need for outriggers. Once tracks are retracted, the crane can easily be transported by truck from job site to job site. 


All Terrain CranesAll_Terrain_Cranes_BWr.jpg

With six large tires all terrain cranes are capable of tackling soft uneven ground in the same fashion as a rough terrain crane. Built to drive on the road, the main strength of the all terrain crane is that it can easily move across multiple job sites saving money on transport costs and increasing convenience.

All terrain cranes typically have higher boom reach than other cranes. In addition, an all terrain crane has one of the highest lifting capacities of all crane lifting equipment types. 

Hydraulic Truck CranesHydraulic_Truck_Cranes_BW.jpg

Though not as handy over rough terrain as some other types of cranes, hydraulic truck cranes have a telescoping boom, far-reaching outriggers and the engine capacity to lift tremendous sums of weight.  They also possess the ability to go on the road, allowing for quick travel from one job site to another. 

With eight tires and two cabs -- one for driving and the other for operating the boom and cable -- hydraulic truck cranes have significant reach and lifting power in relation to most crane categories and classes. 

Boom_Trucks_BW.jpgBoom Truck Cranes

With 10 ten highway tires -- four mounted on the front and six on the back -- boom truck cranes do not require transport from one job to another, they escort themselves.  

With lifting capacities of between 10 and 80 tons, boom truck cranes have the largest lifting-capacity-to-over-the-road-speed ratio of all cranes. The crane portion can also be matched with the chassis of choice. 

Lattice Boom Crawler CranesLattice_Boom_Crawler_Cranes__BW.jpg

The most powerful maneuverable crane available, lattice boom crawler cranes are equipped with a jib and a mast that work in conjunction and are connected by cables. The jib and the mast of a lattice boom crawler crane are stabilized with two counterweights and which allow it to lift upwards of 170 tons at a time. In addition, the booms are highly configurable for a variety of different lifting situations. 


Lifting Equipment Providers

In need of some heavy lifting equipment?  Scott-Macon Equipment's operations include the sale, rental, and servicing of a wide variety of lifting equipment including rough terrain hydraulic cranes, all-terrain cranes, boom trucks, truck cranes, crawler cranes and industrial carrydeck cranes, specialized hydraulic crawler cranes, material handlers, and aerial lifts. Contact us to learn more! 

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