Tight Urban Construction Sites: 5 Reasons to Hire Self-Erecting Cranes

The construction industry continues to boom as more and more companies — both large and small — discover the unending need for urban dwelling.

Take the United States, for example. From apartment complexes to high-rise residential buildings, industry analysts predict close to $1.2 trillion output increase by 2020. This is despite some experts saying that the demand has started to decline in 2018.

Putting the construction demand debate aside, this development comes with a major challenge for builders like you. Considering that construction sites are becoming more congested through the years, you might be thinking: “How can a 265-foot-tall (or 80-meter-tall) tower crane fit in a crowded urban community?”

It doesn’t. Instead, expert builders use self-erecting cranes. As the name implies, this type of crane assembles itself on site without the need for too much manual maneuvering.

There are five major perks that these cranes offer, as listed below:

1.   They Fit in Space-Constricted Sites

As a contractor, the major challenge you would face when erecting a multi-story residential building is the space. Aside from the lack of a laydown area, there are also limitations related to the use of public spaces. You might also have a difficult time navigating to avoid high-voltage wires overhead, especially if you’re using a standard tower crane.

To prevent such hassles (and, potentially, the added costs of having to repair damage), you should consider hiring self-erecting cranes. Compared to tower cranes, these are much smaller and are more adaptable to tight construction sites.

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With a span of about 150 feet (45.72 meters), these smaller cranes have no need for a big base to stay upright. They can also prevent the unnecessary disruption of any utility system underground.

2.   They are Powerful Enough for the Heavy Lifting

Despite their smaller size, self-erecting cranes are still powerful enough to do the required heavy lifting. These highly adaptable equipment can carry roughly 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms) of material.

Some of these cranes also come with attachments like forks as well as brick or block grabs that support the optimal lifting of construction materials, no matter what shape or size they may be.

3.   They are Quick and Hassle-Free to Set Up

Another major advantage that self-erecting cranes can offer contractors is the ease of setting up. These equipment, particularly remote-controlled Potain self-erecting cranes, take only about 10 or 15 minutes to erect. This means you would have more time for the actual construction work and, thus, become more cost-efficient.

Aside from that, these also do not require too much manual handling as they can be operated using a remote control. This is also the reason why one operator would suffice whenever you need to move the crane or lift cargo.

4.   They are Cost-Efficient

As a contractor, one of your primary goals is to save as much money as you can so that your projects result in a higher profit turnout. Self-erecting cranes can also help you achieve this because, as mentioned earlier, they can reduce the construction time and even lower manpower costs.

Aside from that, using these remote-controlled cranes can minimize the disruption of the community and even eliminate rebuilding costs. They also offer more efficient material handling, thereby resulting in lower operational costs.

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5.   They Cause Less Community Disturbance and Danger Risk

Contractors working in highly urbanized areas fully understand the unpleasant effects of disturbing neighbors during construction. To prevent issues with neighbors, they hire a self-erecting crane.

Since these cranes don’t create much noise, you are sure to leave your client’s neighbors unruffled while the project is ongoing. Also, these cranes pose less risk to the operator since they can be maneuvered from a distance using remote control. From his point of view, the operator should also be able to prevent potentially dangerous scenarios on site, especially if he can see its entirety without any obstructions.

Overall, self-erecting cranes are the top choice when it comes to ensuring the safety of your crew as well as the people living in the adjacent houses and neighboring communities.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

With the construction business booming, it comes as no surprise that the need for efficient and versatile equipment will also rise. As a contractor, it is your responsibility to choose the best equipment for your projects, especially when working on sites with limited and tight spaces. This will ensure a brighter future not only for your construction company, but the entire industry as well.


Hermann Buchberger is the Founder and CEO of Active Crane Hire (ACH). He’s taken the company from start-up to Industry Leader offering the largest fleet of construction cranes in Australia. ACH launched a new type of crane previously unheard of in the Australian market: electric tower cranes. The company’s infrastructure and associated services now comprise a fleet of trucks and trailers, a crane-rigging team, mobile crane technicians, a fleet of service vehicles, and an extensive range of crane spare parts.

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