Types of Mobile Cranes and Their Operations - Alwaha Corporation

+971 52 50 97844   +971-6-5355011  

Types of Mobile Cranes and Their Operations

Mobile cranes are invaluable and versatile machines utilized across diverse industries, including construction, shipping, and logistics. Their pivotal role in lifting and transporting heavy loads makes them indispensable for ensuring efficient operations and successful project completion. One of their key advantages lies in their mobility, facilitating easy transportation to various job sites.

In this blog, we will explore the different types of mobile cranes commonly used today and delve into their specific operations.

Hydraulic Truck Crane

A hydraulic truck crane is a type of mobile crane known for its versatility, ease of operation, and high lifting capacities. With a telescopic boom mounted on a truck chassis, these cranes can efficiently transport heavy loads to various job sites, making them a valuable asset in the construction, shipping, and logistics industries. In this section, we will delve deeper into the key features, components, and operational aspects of hydraulic truck cranes.

Key Features and Components:

  • Telescopic Boom: The telescopic boom is the primary lifting arm of a hydraulic truck crane. It consists of multiple sections that can extend and retract hydraulically. The number of sections varies depending on the crane’s size and lifting capacity. When fully extended, the boom allows the crane to reach impressive heights, making it suitable for a wide range of construction and lifting tasks.
  • Truck Chassis: The crane’s truck chassis serves as the mobile base, providing stability and mobility. It is equipped with a powerful engine that drives the crane and allows it to move easily between job sites. The truck chassis also features a cabin for the crane operator, from where they control all crane functions and ensure safe operations.
  • Counterweights: To maintain stability while lifting heavy loads, hydraulic truck cranes are equipped with counterweights. These weights are strategically positioned on the crane’s structure to offset the weight of the load being lifted, preventing tipping or overloading.

Operational Aspects:

  • Setup and Configuration: One of the significant advantages of hydraulic truck cranes is their quick setup time. Upon reaching the job site, the crane operator extends the outriggers to stabilize the crane, ensuring safe lifting. The telescopic boom is then extended to the required length for the lifting task at hand.
  • Lifting Capacity: Hydraulic truck cranes are known for their remarkable lifting capacities. They can handle a wide range of loads, from construction materials and machinery to shipping containers and heavy equipment. The lifting capacity of a hydraulic truck crane depends on factors such as boom length, boom configuration, and counterweight used.
  • Mobility: The ability to move between job sites efficiently sets hydraulic truck cranes apart. They can travel on public roads like any other truck, eliminating the need for additional transportation. This mobility makes them ideal for projects that require frequent relocation or those with multiple lifting locations.

All-Terrain Crane

All-terrain cranes are a blend of mobile truck cranes and rough-terrain cranes, designed to operate efficiently on both roads and off-road terrains. They have multiple axles with steering capabilities, enhancing their maneuverability. These cranes can handle heavy loads while maintaining stability on uneven surfaces.

Key Features and Components:

  • Multiple Axles: All-terrain cranes are equipped with multiple axles, typically featuring all-wheel or crab steering. The multi-axle configuration enhances the crane’s maneuverability, allowing it to negotiate tight corners and navigate challenging terrains with ease.
  • Hydraulic Suspension: To ensure a smooth ride on both paved roads and rough terrains, all-terrain cranes are equipped with hydraulic suspension systems. This feature helps absorb shocks and vibrations, ensuring better load stability during transportation.
  • Telescopic Boom: Similar to hydraulic truck cranes, all-terrain cranes feature a telescopic boom that can extend and retract to reach various heights. The boom is usually equipped with different boom sections, enabling it to adapt to different lifting requirements.

Operational Aspects:

  • On-Road Travel: All-terrain cranes can travel on regular roads, making them highly versatile for projects that involve moving the crane between different job sites. They are equipped with powerful engines capable of achieving highway speeds, ensuring swift transportation.
  • Off-Road Mobility: The ability to venture off-road is what sets all-terrain cranes apart from traditional hydraulic truck cranes. These cranes can access construction sites in remote and challenging terrains, including gravel, mud, and rough landscapes.
  • Heavy Lifting Capacity: All-terrain cranes are known for their substantial lifting capacities. Their ability to handle heavy loads makes them ideal for a wide range of construction projects, including infrastructure development, building erection, and industrial applications.

Rough Terrain Crane

Rough terrain cranes are specifically built to operate on rough and uneven surfaces. They have a compact design, making them ideal for construction sites with limited space. These cranes are equipped with large, rugged tires and outriggers for enhanced stability.

Key Features and Components:

  • Sturdy Design: Rough terrain cranes are built with heavy-duty frames and components to withstand the rigors of off-road operation. The sturdy construction ensures the crane’s stability and structural integrity while lifting heavy loads.
  • Large, Rugged Tires: One of the defining features of rough terrain cranes is their large, wide tires with deep treads. These specialized tires provide excellent traction and stability on unpaved, uneven surfaces.
  • Outriggers: Like other mobile cranes, rough terrain cranes are equipped with extendable outriggers. These outriggers are deployed to create a wider support base, enhancing the crane’s stability during lifting operations.

Operational Aspects:

  • Off-Road Performance: Rough terrain cranes are specifically engineered to excel in off-road environments. They can handle rough surfaces, gravel, mud, and uneven terrains with ease, making them suitable for construction projects in remote and challenging locations.
  • Versatility: These cranes are adaptable to various tasks in industrial settings, construction sites, and maintenance projects. They are often used in oil refineries, power plants, and infrastructure development, where the terrain may be unpredictable.
  • Limited On-Road Mobility: While rough terrain cranes are primarily designed for off-road performance, they are equipped with limited on-road capabilities. This allows them to travel short distances on public roads, making them more versatile than crawler cranes.

Crawler Crane

Crawler cranes are massive machines equipped with caterpillar tracks instead of wheels. These tracks allow them to move smoothly across soft and rough terrains without sinking or losing traction. Crawler cranes have high lifting capacities and excellent stability.

Key Features and Components:

  • Crawler Tracks: Crawler cranes are equipped with a set of robust tracks or crawlers that enable them to move across various terrains with ease. The tracks distribute the crane’s weight over a larger area, reducing ground pressure and preventing sinking on soft surfaces.
  • Heavy Counterweights: To maintain stability while lifting heavy loads, crawler cranes are fitted with substantial counterweights. These weights are strategically positioned on the crane’s structure to counterbalance the load’s weight, ensuring safe lifting operations.
  • Boom Configuration: Crawler cranes can have different boom configurations, including lattice booms and telescopic booms. Lattice booms consist of lattice-like structures and are preferred for their exceptional lifting capacities, while telescopic booms offer versatility and ease of operation.

Operational Aspects:

  • Heavy-Duty Lifting: Crawler cranes are known for their colossal lifting capacities, capable of hoisting hundreds of tons. They are commonly used for tasks requiring extreme lifting power, such as erecting skyscrapers, assembling bridges, and handling heavy machinery.
  • Stability: The crawler tracks provide excellent stability, allowing the crane to operate on inclines and challenging terrains without compromising safety. This stability is particularly crucial when lifting and placing heavy loads at great heights.
  • Site Mobility: Crawler cranes are designed to move slowly but steadily across the job site, making them suitable for large-scale construction projects that span extensive areas.

Telescopic Boom Crane

Telescopic boom cranes, or mobile telescopic cranes, are versatile machines with a telescoping boom that can extend or retract to reach varying heights. These cranes come in different sizes, with some models capable of reaching extraordinary heights.

Key Features and Components:

  • Telescopic Boom: The telescopic boom is the primary feature of these cranes, comprising multiple boom sections that can be extended or retracted. The boom’s telescoping ability allows for variable boom lengths, offering versatility in reaching different heights and distances.
  • Hydraulic System: Telescopic boom cranes are powered by hydraulic systems that control the extension and retraction of the boom sections. This hydraulic mechanism provides smooth and precise control over the crane’s movements.
  • Operator Cabin: The operator cabin of a telescopic boom crane is strategically positioned for optimal visibility. From this vantage point, the operator can control the crane’s functions, ensuring accurate and safe lifting operations.

Operational Aspects:

  • Precision Lifting: Telescopic boom cranes are renowned for their precision in lifting and placing loads. The ability to extend or retract the boom sections with hydraulic precision allows operators to make fine adjustments during lifting operations.
  • Compact and Mobile: Telescopic boom cranes are designed to be compact and easily transported between job sites. They are mounted on truck chassis, providing mobility without the need for disassembly.
  • Urban Applications: The versatility and compact size of telescopic boom cranes make them well-suited for urban construction projects. They can navigate through congested city streets and fit into tight spaces, making them valuable assets in urban development.


Mobile cranes are crucial tools for modern industries, enabling the efficient lifting and movement of heavy loads. Each type of mobile crane serves specific purposes, making them essential for various projects, from small-scale construction to large infrastructure development.

As technology advances, we can expect further improvements in mobile crane designs, leading to even safer and more efficient operations in the future. Understanding the capabilities and applications of different types of mobile cranes is vital for industries seeking to optimize their operations and ensure project success.