Whilst the UK construction industry has borne witness to some difficult times over the past seven years, this doesn’t mean that investment in construction and capital projects hasn’t continued internationally. Emerging economies such as China, India and the United Arab Emirates place construction projects at the heart of their plans to bring more investment and trade to their biggest urban centres.
Indeed, even in Britain, the current government is aware of the value of new infrastructure projects and their importance to future economic prosperity; consider the debates over new high speed rail links and Crossrail/The Elizabeth line.
To give you an idea of just how much money and logistical planning is going into construction projects the world over, we’ve given you a break down of just seven of the most heavily anticipated. From our own Crossrail in London, to the new Kingdom Tower with its ambitions to become the tallest building in the world, all eyes are on the completion of these projects.
Choosing the right crane for your construction project
Here at Lift, we pride ourselves on our ability to offer mini and spider cranes that can be readily adapted to serve the needs of any construction project.
Our track record illustrates an ability to deliver mini-cranes for most types of construction work.
But how do you go about deciding what type of crane is right for your project? What process should you follow to ensure that your project is delivered to budget, and that you are not wasting money and time with equipment that is ill-suited to the job in hand. Broadly speaking, there are three main ranking factors that should affect your ability to choose the right crane for your project.
Equipment and cost
This is obvious, but the cost of hiring a crane will be the first and most important consideration; what will be the rental and installation expenses be and have you accounted for unseen costs along the way? Other considerations that will ultimately fall under the category of ‘cost’ include, but are not limited to, rental, transportation and installation costs, the difficulties associated with assembly and dis-assembly, maintenance and depreciation (e.g. what is the life-cycle of the equipment you are using). Some of these considerations will overlap with the second factor in our list…
Location and site
Cranes are often used at high altitude so location and regional considerations will be paramount in the process of hiring. Even small things such as daily wind conditions and adverse weather can have an effect on whatever type of crane you may end up using. Location factors will also include spatial constraints – how will the crane fit into the area in question? Spatial factors can significantly complicate the selection of a crane.
Environmental impact is an increasingly major consideration for all construction projects, especially in an age where health and safety is becoming more of a consideration. Energy (the amount of power the crane will be using), health considerations (noise and the risk of dust pollution), as well as the dangers posed by CO2 emissions. Construction projects will also pose unavoidable disruptions and delays in the local area. Projects that are making use of high altitude cranes in already populated areas will also have to think about issues of privacy and personal space.
The rise and rise of the mini-cranes in large-scale projects
Mini-cranes are becoming an increasingly popular option for project and construction managers alike, since they offer a flexibility that the larger models don’t. For example, mini-cranes are becoming more vital for glazing companies and contractors, as glass installation is now that much more of a difficult and precise operation. For example, the construction of the Shard was an operation that relied on the precision work of mini-cranes.
Mini-cranes have one benefit in a construction industry where time is money – their flexibility. Smaller cranes lift some of the logistical burdens that may afflict construction projects. For example, load bearing on a construction site can be a problem, especially when cranes are needed to get into hard to reach places. Mini-cranes can, usefully, be operated both inside and outside buildings and are easily portable.
Logistically, the selection of a crane for large-scale projects is often a time-consuming and complicated exercise. Mini-cranes are offering newer, more flexible solutions to some of the more bespoke and precision construction jobs.