mobile cranes

Static vs Mobile Cranes

When it comes to construction projects that involve lifting and moving heavy loads, having the correct type of crane is crucial. Two popular options are mobile and static cranes, each offering unique advantages and disadvantages. Mobile cranes are versatile and can be moved from one job site to another, making them ideal for projects with constantly changing work areas. On the other hand, static (or fixed) cranes offer greater lifting capacity and are suited for long-term projects involving heavier loads. In this blog post, we’ll look at the differences between mobile and static cranes, exploring their features and applications to help you choose the right type of crane for your next project.

Types of Cranes

In construction and material handling, cranes are essential tools that help lift heavy loads and materials from one place to another. Different types of cranes are available, each with unique features and capabilities. Let’s discuss the two major categories of cranes – mobile cranes and static (fixed) cranes.

Fixed Cranes

Fixed or static cranes, also known as tower cranes, are designed to remain in one location throughout the duration of the building project. Tower cranes are used for building tall structures, such as high-rise buildings and skyscrapers. They are typically mounted on large concrete bases, anchored to the ground, and can reach heights of over 1,000 feet.

Tower cranes have a long, cantilevered boom that extends upward and can be adjusted to reach various heights. The booms can often be installed in sections to provide greater flexibility and reach. They also feature a trolley system that allows materials and equipment to be moved vertically and horizontally along the length of the boom.

There are several types of tower cranes, including hammerhead cranes, self-erecting tower cranes, and overhead cranes.

One of the significant advantages of fixed cranes is their lifting capacity. They can handle heavier loads than mobile cranes and are ideal for long-term projects that require a large amount of material to be lifted. Fixed cranes are also more stable than mobile cranes and can be used in tight spaces or narrow passages.

However, one of the downsides of fixed cranes is that they require considerable time and effort to set up and take down. They also need a large, level area for their base and are unsuitable for rough terrains. Additionally, the cost of renting or purchasing a fixed crane is generally more expensive than a mobile crane.

Static cranes are ideal for construction projects that require heavy lifting and long-term operation. They have a high lifting capacity and are more stable than mobile cranes, but they require considerable time and effort to set up and take down.

Types Of Fixed Cranes

Here are some examples of types of fixed cranes and when they would be used:

1. Tower cranes – These are commonly used on tall building construction sites for lifting heavy loads to great heights. They require a substantial foundation and can be assembled in sections to reach greater heights. They have a high lifting capacity, making them ideal for long-term projects.

2. Bridge cranes – These are used in manufacturing plants and workshops for moving heavy equipment and materials along a fixed path. They are fixed to an overhead beam and can be operated manually or with remote control.

3. Overhead cranes – These are used in large warehouses or factories for heavy-duty lifting and moving materials. They are fixed to the ceiling and can move along a horizontal beam, making them versatile.

4. Deck cranes – These are often used in shipping ports for loading and unloading cargo from ships. They are fixed to the ship’s deck and can rotate 360 degrees and move in all directions.

Overall, fixed cranes are ideal for projects that require heavy lifting over a long period and in a steady location where their setup time can be justified.

Mobile Cranes:

Mobile cranes are generally used for construction projects, where the crane needs to move around a job site. These cranes are mounted on trucks or crawlers, which makes them easy to transport from one location to another. They also have telescopic booms that can be extended to reach tall buildings or other similar structures that need to be built.

These cranes are designed to lift heavy materials; some can carry up to several tons of weight.

Types Of Mobile Cranes

Several types of mobile cranes are available for use in construction and industrial settings. Each type is designed to meet specific lifting requirements and provide optimal mobility for different types of job sites. Here are some examples of mobile cranes and when they would be used:

1. Truck-Mounted Cranes – With lifting capacities ranging from a few tons to several hundred tons, truck-mounted cranes are ideal for long-term projects and can lift heavy loads. They are often used in large-scale infrastructure projects such as bridges, highways, and dams.

2. Rough-Terrain Cranes – These cranes are designed for use in challenging job sites and can easily navigate rough terrains. They are often used in the construction of buildings in mountainous or hilly areas, as well as in oil drilling sites and mining operations.

3. All-Terrain Cranes – As the name suggests, all-terrain cranes are designed to operate in various terrains, including rough, muddy, and uneven surfaces. They are often used to transport and install wind turbines and in large-scale industrial projects.

4. Telescopic Cranes – These cranes feature a telescoping boom that can be extended or retracted to adjust the crane’s reach. They are often used in the construction of tall buildings and bridges and in industrial settings to move and position heavy machinery.

5. Crawler Cranes – These cranes are mounted on a set of tracks and can move across rough and uneven terrain. They are often used in large-scale industrial projects such as shipbuilding and in the construction of high-rise buildings.

Several types of mobile cranes are available to meet different lifting requirements and job site constraints. By understanding the different types of cranes and their applications, construction, and industrial professionals can choose the most appropriate crane to ensure optimal performance and safety during lifting operations.


In conclusion, the type of crane best suited for a particular job depends on various factors such as the lifting capacity required, the space available, the weight of the load, and the terrain at the job site. Each crane type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and it is essential to choose the right kind of crane for the job to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the project.

Mobile cranes are generally more versatile and can be used in a wider range of applications than static cranes. They can be quickly and easily transported to different job sites and can be set up and dismantled relatively quickly. This flexibility increases efficiency on job sites with tight schedules and saves considerable time and money.

Static cranes are ideal for larger projects with heavier loads and longer construction durations. They are often more powerful and can handle loads that mobile cranes may struggle with. Static cranes are also generally more stable than mobile ones, making them better suited for lifting heavy objects in tight spaces or areas with limited access.

Ultimately, the choice between a mobile or static crane will depend on the specific requirements of the project in question. It is essential to consult with experienced crane operators and engineers to determine the right crane for the job and to ensure that the job is completed on time, within budget, and, most importantly, safely.

If you’re in the Sacramento area looking to get crane operator certified, contact us at Dependable Crane School. Whether you’re looking to operate mobile cranes or static cranes, we have the expertise to help you prepare!

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