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Updated 21 Jun 2018

Self-erecting cranes can save you time and money on smaller sites

Small cranes still have most of the heavy lifting power of larger cranes, but are faster and cheaper to assemble, giving your small construction business a competitive edge. 

Nicole Crampton, 30 June 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

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As a start-up, you need to be as versatile as possible when it comes to meeting a client’s needs cost-effectively. Did you know that with a self-erecting crane, you can increase the various types of projects your construction business can offer by including multiple story buildings as well as buildings made of heavier materials that require cranes to build.

Self-erecting cranes have several benefits for contractors wanting a quick, easy and efficient solution to their lifting and moving requirements on building sites.

“You will benefit from even greater flexibility and adaptability with these new designs and technologies, enabling them to cover a much wider range of jobs with a single machine,” says Jean-Pierre Zaffiro, global product director at Potain.

If your start-up construction company can provide a larger variety of building techniques, you can gain a competitive edge over other small and medium-sized businesses. 

Related: 4 Things you must have in place when starting a new construction company


A recently launched self-erecting crane boasts a 40m jib and 16 possible configurations for your on-site activity. This technology can enable you to work faster and more efficiently compared to fully-built on-site cranes.

Having your own self-erecting crane on site can offer your small construction business numerous opportunities and benefits, including:

1. It’s a time saver

A self-erecting crane can be dismantled, erected and commissioned in just six to seven hours. The time gain itself will give you a competitive advantage against those using full-sized cranes, as your projects can be completed ahead of schedule.

Gaytor Rasmussen, crane consultant and owner of Seattle Tower Crane Inspection says that on average, if no problems occur, cranes can take a full day to erect with the installation of ropes and load testing taking up another day.

Consider how much time a self-erecting crane will save you if you can be up and running in six to seven hours, as opposed to two full days?

2. It’s a cost saver

Cost -saver -in -construction

“The process of erecting a full-crane includes up to 13 trucks, seven crane erectors, three crane operators and two mobile cranes,” continues Rasmussen. Consider how much it will cost your small construction company to hire this team as well as the equipment they’ll need.

By using a self-erecting crane, you can reduce your costs, which means not only will your projects ‘price’ better than your competitors, but you’ll walk away with more of the profits saved from hiring a large crane.

Related: Why the construction industry needs cyber risk cover

3. It’s a space saver

The self-erecting crane places materials quickly and accurately. This offers you the opportunity to optimise your site storage.

Using this smaller crane also helps improve the level of health and safety compliance on your site, as there is less movement of wheeled equipment on the ground, reducing risk of worker to machine collisions.

The only decision left for you to make is whether to buy a self-erecting crane outright or rent it from suppliers within the country.

The answer: If you’ll use the crane for a long period of time on many projects, you should probably invest in it. “If the asset is being used for a short period, a lease may be the answer. At the end of the lease, it can be returned. The leasing company then has to sell it on,” says Toni Fritz, Head of Vehicle and Asset Finance, Business at Standard Bank.


  • A self-erecting crane can be dismantled, erected and commissioned in just six to seven hours, saving you time.
  • By using the self-erecting crane you can reduce your cost, which improves the competiveness of your price and increases your share of the profits.
  • This crane can help you to optimise site space and improve health and safety compliance.
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Nicole Crampton

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