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From Safety to Savings: A Heavy Construction Equipment Blog

If your business works with construction, you deal with a lot of heavy equipment. If you want advice on how to save money on your equipment, you should check out my posts. I plan to write about everything from hiring versus buying, to troubleshooting to reduce repairs, to handling repairs yourself. I also plan to write about other aspects of heavy machinery use such as safety. I ultimately hope that my ideas guide you toward creating a leaner, more productive, more efficient, less expensive, and more profitable business. My ideas are geared toward everyone from newbies to experts in the field of construction.

From Safety to Savings: A Heavy Construction Equipment Blog

The Essentials of Crane Life: What to Look for When Buying or Renting an Older Crane

by Fred Gutierrez

If you need to add a crane to your work site and are looking for an older—and thus cheaper—one that your crew will operate (as opposed to one with which the crane company provides an operator), you're going to have to be careful about what's included in the operator cab because older models might not have all of the amenities that newer models have. Chances are that the models you see won't be too old, but you still need to be sure you're not forgetting anything.


Crane operators have to sit in a tiny cab for a long time, so that cab needs to be ergonomic, from the controls to the seat. Make sure the seat provides lower back support and that there is enough room for the operator to stand up or stretch out his or her legs. The control panel needs to be at a good height so that the operator doesn't have to strain his or her neck to see everything.

Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation

The cab has to have heating built in. Do not think you can add a space heater. If there is a window, see whether it is big enough—and the frame strong enough—for you to add a window air-conditioning unit that is properly strapped in. At a minimum there should be a couple of windows or vents to provide a cross breeze on a hot day.

Food and Drink

Crane cabs are small, but many have enough room for a small personal fridge. Some require the fridge be on the platform right outside the door; ensure that there is enough space so that you can strap down the fridge securely if it has to go outside. You should also have enough room to store water bottles for the operator, as dehydration can make someone sleepy.

Storage Room

Speaking of storing bottles, you'll have to have enough room to store empty bottles for bathroom use. Remember that crane operators can't just walk out of the crane to use the bathroom, and it's not unusual for them to have to rig up a system involving empty bottles, as questionable as that sounds. Ensure they have room to store a couple of those.

A crane company such as A C Jones Trucking Inc should be able to give you specifications for each cab and show you how long it would take to access the cab from the ground. Your crane operator should be as comfortable as possible.