26 Nov What Affects the Cost of a Crane?
When Acculift comes on-site for a consultation, we try to identify your specific lifting challenges. This means we evaluate your facility to get an understanding of the building’s floor space, support structures in place, and the size and capacity of the crane that would suit your purposes, now and in the future. Prior to our visit, you may want to put together some notes on your work environment and your goals. This helps us understand your needs faster and lets us build a truly unique solution for you.
The following factors will influence the system we design and install:
TOTAL NUMBER OF CRANES
How many cranes will need to be designed, built, and installed? This is obviously the biggest factor but far from a simple answer. We know of different products and approaches to lifting that can reduce the number of cranes and equipment that you may need to install, keeping your costs down.
The capacity is the maximum load which may be applied to the crane, the hoist, or below-the-hook lifting device. Every crane is unique this way. A crane’s capacity is a variable that takes many different factors into consideration and can best be calculated by the crane manufacturer. They can determine capacity based on their understanding of:
- The weight of the material that you’ll be lifting,
- The rigging or below-the-hook lifters that will be attached,
- Any other considerations for future use or capabilities.
NUMBER OF LIFTS PER HOUR
Will your crane be making 2-5 lifts per hour at only 50% of its rated capacity? Or, will it be making 4 lifts per hours at, or near capacity, each time? This is the duty cycle of your crane and is a crucial component to ensuring your lifting solution meets your needs. This is defined in crane classifications and an answer to this question will dictate the type of equipment you need. Over-engineering a lift will tie up capital while a lift system that doesn’t meet your needs will wear faster or may need to be replaced.
Lift is how high into the air your material needs to be raised, and surprisingly, quite a few elements coming into play calculating your lift needs, such as:
- The height of any machinery or equipment on the floor that needs to be cleared,
- Racks or shelf that the material needs to be placed on,
- The height or elevation of any pits, boxes, or vehicles that material will be lifted out of,
- Overhead obstructions,
- How the material is to be worked on and WHY it is being moved,
- Elevation of an existing runway,
Will the crane be powered by electricity, hand-powered, or air-powered (pneumatic)?
The faster that the crane needs to operate, the faster it wears out components, so we have to plan your crane use with that as a consideration. A process crane making 10-20 lifts per hour will need a faster bridge, trolley, and hoist than a large lift crane that requires precision but slower speeds.
A severe, obstructed, or dangerous operating environment will affect the cost of an overhead crane.
Environmental factors such as high heat, the presence of chemicals or fumes, steam, dust, or excess moisture can require special metal coatings to protect and enhance the operating life of the crane. It can also require special equipment or protection (PPE) for the installers during installation.
Obstructions can affect the cost of an overhead crane if the installers don’t have clear access to the area to remove an existing structure or install a new one.
The existing environment is a large determining factor in a crane’s cost as it dictates what is possible to install.
Some runway location questions that affect the cost of a crane system are:
- Is there an existing runway in place? And is it sufficient to support the new crane structure?
- If a new runway system needs to be built, will be mounted to new support columns, or if it can be tied back to the building.
- Is the flooring able to support the loads of the crane?
Support columns cannot be put over drains, or on cracked or broken concrete and require a certain thickness of concrete to be placed on. In addition we have to consider any overhead or wall obstructions that may require additional design and engineering considerations.
Cranes with large spans will have different engineering requirements. Typically, as a span gets larger the crane’s cost will increase.
Finally, price should never be the only factor when selecting an overhead crane company! A lifting system is a complex and critical piece of equipment used to improve your business’ efficiency, safety, and production flows. It’s worth the time and investment to partner with a crane lifting company that understands your needs and can provide a lift system that improves your business and will support you in the future.