So you’re starting up a big construction project and you need some heavy lifting power, but you don’t want to buy an expensive crane outright. Renting a crane is often the best option in these cases, but naturally you probably want to know – how much is this going to set me back?
It’s a fair question, because cranes don’t come cheap. However, renting can end up being more affordable than you might think, especially if you understand the different factors that influence the price and how to get the best possible deal.
In this article, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about crane rental costs. I’ll explain the different types of cranes, pricing models, and tips for maximizing value when renting a crane. Let’s dig in!
What Are The Main Factors That Affect Crane Rental Costs?
When it comes to determining crane rental prices, there are a few key variables that come into play:
Type of Crane
There are many different types of cranes out there – mobile cranes, crawler cranes, tower cranes, and more. Larger, heavier duty cranes like tower cranes cost significantly more to rent than smaller, more portable options. The specific capabilities you need will determine which type you rent.
Size and Lifting Capacity
Similar to the type of crane, the size and lifting capacity greatly impact the rental price. The more tons the crane can lift, the more it will cost to rent. Large cranes that can lift over 1,000 tons have incredibly high rental rates.
Where you need the crane delivered and set up will affect pricing. Costs for crane rentals can vary a lot across different markets nationally and regionally. Operating in a major city will likely incur higher fees.
Duration of Rental
The amount of time you need to rent the crane for – whether daily, weekly, monthly or longer – will factor into the total cost. Longer term rentals usually benefit from discounted rates compared to short term daily rentals.
The basic laws of supply and demand also influence crane rental pricing. In busy construction boom times when cranes are in high demand, you can expect to pay increased rental costs across the board.
Okay, so those are the key variables that rental companies use to determine the costs to rent out their cranes. The specific model and capabilities, rental period, location, and market conditions all work together to shape the final price quote.
What Key Specifications Should I Consider For My Job Site?
Now that we’ve looked at the factors that affect pricing, let’s talk about how you can figure out precisely what type of crane you need for your particular project. Before you can get an accurate rental quote, it’s important to understand the specifications of your job site and workload.
Here are some of the essential questions to ask yourself:
Where Will The Crane Be Located?
Consider the physical location where the crane will operate. Is the ground soft or unstable? Are there height restrictions with overhead power lines? Factors like accessibility and ground conditions will determine which type of mobile or crawler crane is best.
How Much Weight Will It Need To Lift?
Determine the maximum capacity you’ll need by looking at the heaviest loads that will be lifted. Will the crane need to haul multiple tons of steel beams or other materials? Cranes are rated by their lifting capacity, so match this to your requirements.
What Is The Tallest Height It Needs To Reach?
The vertical reach of the crane’s boom is another key consideration. Tower cranes can reach tremendous heights over 200 feet tall. Think about the tallest point the crane must lift loads to.
How Long Will I Need To Rent It For?
Crane rentals can range from daily rentals to monthly. Consider the full duration you’ll need the crane on site. Is it a short-term 2 week job or a long-term 6 month project? The length of time will impact the rental rate.
answering these questions will give you the details needed to find a crane rental that is specced out properly for your needs and budget.
Should I Rent or Buy My Own Crane?
A big question you might have is whether to just purchase a crane rather than dealing with rentals. There are pros and cons to each option:
Large Capital Investment
The huge cost of buying a crane, which can easily be hundreds of thousands of dollars even for a used model, is a significant barrier for most companies. Renting avoids this large capital outlay.
Transportation and Storage
For mobile cranes, you’ll have to transport the crane to and from job sites and store it somewhere when not in use – added costs you avoid by renting.
You take on the responsibility of regularly maintaining and safely operating a purchased crane over its lifetime. With rentals, the rental company handles this.
Purchasing locks you into just one crane that may not be suitable for different job site needs down the road. Renting allows flexibility.
Like other assets, a purchased crane will depreciate and lose resale value over time. Rented cranes avoid this loss of investment.
For many companies, crane rentals make more financial and operational sense than buying. But for those needing cranes very frequently, purchasing may pay off long-term.
Tips for Finding the Best Crane Rental Rates
Now let’s get into how you can secure the most affordable crane rental deal. While rates can seem high, there are ways to get better pricing:
Get Multiple Quotes
Shop around and get price quotes from as many rental providers in your area as possible. Having multiple options makes it easier to negotiate and do price comparisons.
Consider Used or Refurbished Models
For shorter term rentals, you may be able to save money by looking at used and refurbished cranes rather than only new ones. Ask rental companies about these options.
Negotiate Rental Terms
Look for opportunities to optimize the overall rental costs by negotiating terms like the rental period, delivery/pick up fees, insurance, and any additional services.
Ask About Discounts
Since longer term rentals are preferred, you can often get discounted extended rates for weekly or monthly rentals. Inquire about any available discounts.
Following these tips, and fully understanding your crane specifications, will help you find the most competitive pricing from crane rental companies.
Final Tips For Renting a Crane Smoothly
Here are some final best practices when renting a crane for your job site:
- Prioritize safety – A reputable crane rental provider will ensure the crane is certified and outfitted with the latest safety features. Don’t cut corners here.
- Hire certified operators – Crane operation should only be done by trained, certified professionals. Many rental contracts will include certified operators.
- Account for permits – Know what permits and regulations are required for operating a crane in your municipality. Factor these costs in upfront.
- Read company reviews – Check reviews and testimonials for any crane rental company you are considering to ensure quality of service.
- Provide ample lead time – Crane rentals can book up far in advance, so give as much lead time as possible.
Renting a crane is often the most economical option compared to purchasing one. By understanding what impacts pricing, and using these tips to optimize your rental, you can access the lifting power you need for construction projects without breaking the bank!
I hope this overview gives you a better sense of what goes into crane rental costs and how you can get the best deal. The key takeaways are:
- Crane rental rates are determined by the type of crane, size, location, duration, and market conditions.
- Carefully assess your job site’s needs for lifting capacity, height, and duration.
- For most applications, renting offers advantages over buying your own crane.
- Shop around for quotes, negotiate terms, and inquire about discounts to get the most affordable rental pricing.
Renting a crane can be an affordable lifting solution when you understand the cost factors and plan rentals strategically. With the right crane matched to your workload needs, you can tackle major construction projects with ease!