Basic Crane Info
How much can your crane lift?
The Allied Crane boom truck is rated for 30 tons. This is however measured at two feet away from the crane. In real terms, this means that the crane can lift about 15,000 pounds ten feet away, 10,000 pounds 20 feet away, all the way to about 1,000 pounds 100 feet away. Realistically, we typically move loads 80 to 95 feet away from the truck.
This is the first time I will be using a crane. What should things should I be aware of that can go wrong when using a crane? How do I know that this won’t happen when I hire you for the job?
First of all, when you hire us, you’re getting a certified, expert crane operator. You’re not just “renting a crane.” We don’t do “bare rentals.” (See the Services section below).
Secondly, it’s all about depth of experience. Experience develops two critical factors that are important for choosing a crane operator: a) skill, and b) safety record. The worst thing people can do is choose a crane operator based on price alone. Getting the cheapest crane rental you can get is not a good idea.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong in a job, and the possession of a basic operator’s license is absolutely no guarantee of safety. There have been innumerable, preventable accidents caused by licensed crane operators. Just because your surgeon has a medical license to practice medicine has very little bearing on his/her skill as a surgeon. The damage to property and risk to human life that an incompetent, careless, or over-confident crane operator can do is obvious. What is not so obvious is the ability of a contractor or homeowner to discriminate between an operator with limited experience, and a master crane operator. (You might want to go to this page if you want to get a better idea of what’s at stake in a crane lift. There are some useful videos you might want to watch to see what’s involved, and what can happen in a lift.)
It’s all about experience. There is simply no substitute. The more jobs one has done, the more knowledge and exposure one will get in determining and anticipating what can go wrong in a job. To be 100% safe, one has to anticipate anything and everything that can go wrong, and be able to plan accordingly. Painstaking attention to detail, and an understanding of one’s physical capabilities to do a job are important. For example, even partaking of alcohol the night before a job has been known to affect one’s dexterity, eye-hand coordination, and spatial-manipulation capacity. Dan takes his job seriously, and is aware of how inadequate rest and tiredness can affect the safety of a lift.
For a crane job to proceed without incident, the operator has to pay careful attention to the following factors: weather; terrain; traffic patterns; population density; load capacity of roads and bridges to the job site; overhead obstructions (e.g., structural, architectural, and electrical); zoning limitations.
But these factors are only the beginning. One has to know the load limitations of the surface where one sets up the crane outriggers, the specific area where the lift is to be made (i.e., maneuverability constraints), and of course the load itself (shape, weight, dimensions, and the subsequent rigging to be used).
Estimation and Ordering
Do you offer free estimates?
Many questions can be answered over the phone, and our office will be happy to give you an estimate if possible. Sometimes, however, due to site specific safety concerns, the job needs to be seen and sized beforehand. Free estimates are available for any jobs that cannot be accurately determined over the phone.
Are you going to charge us travel time to the job site?
Most crane companies charge “port to port”. We don’t do this. We do consider the drive time to and from the job site, but for our client’s benefit, we charge what we call “the best possible travel time” to get to a job site. Each job location is unique, and we try to give our customers the best deal we can.
When you give me a price quote for a job, what exactly does that include?
It includes a “reasonable” travel time estimate mutually agreed upon with the client. On the job site, we charge by one-half hour increments
What kind of information do I need to book a crane?
The main things to note when sizing a crane over the phone are as follows:
- What is the weight of the item(s) to be lifted?
- What are the dimensions of the item(s) to be lifted?
- Where are the rigging points or what is the rigging method? How will we attach to your item(s) to lift them?
- Is any special rigging required?
- What are the physical dimensions of the building or obstruction that we will be lifting over, including
- the distance from the bumper of the crane to the side of the building
- the height of the building
- the distance across the roof of the building
- Do a quick site safety check. Are there any overhead wires, trees, underground utilities, uncompacted soil, or other site specific safety concerns that warrant attention?
- Will the crane be sitting on private property or public property? If the crane will need to setup on public property, we might need to either gain permission to use this property, or in some cases, purchase a permit to sit on the property.
- What is the address of the job site?
How far in advance do I need to call to order a crane?
Crane orders can be placed days or weeks in advance, or even the day of the job, depending on availability. To place an order, call our dispatch office at (626) 792-6019.
Do you have to come out ahead of time and do a pre-site check?
Most times we can get enough information over the phone. The more information you can provide us, the less likely it is that we will have to visit the site ahead of time, thus saving you money.
Who do I call for a crane after hours or in an emergency?
The after hours phone number is (626) 792-6019. In case of an emergency, we will do everything we can to dispatch a crane to your location.
Do you offer bare rentals?
No. Our machine comes with a crane operator, who also drives the machine to your job site. Bare rental is the rental of a crane without an operator. We do not bare rent our crane.
What types of rigging come with the machine I’m renting?
Our crane is equipped with a basic supply of rigging that will support most everyday lifting tasks. Typically, each crane will have an array of different sizes of web slings, wire rope slings, shackles and hooks. If you have a question about whether we can supply a specific type of rigging, please give this information to our dispatch office.
What other types of lifting attachments do you offer?
We are able to create customized rigging for any specialized lift. We do have a variety of webbing and attachments (e.g., spreader bars, man baskets etc.) that cover the majority of jobs, from trees and landscaping materials, to furniture, HVAC equipment, and residential, commercial, as well as industrial construction supplies. In addition we also have pallet forks, which is a lift accessory that we use for construction clients who use pallets for moving materials, supplies, and miscellaneous equipment. With 2 to 3 days notice, we are able to create specialized attachments for unique jobs.
What about permits?
Depending on location, we typically obtain the permits ourselves if possible. If not, we utilize a permit service company. In both cases this is an additional charge, and we will let you know in advance what the associated costs are.
Do you provide service in residential areas?
Yes. Our crane lift equipment can be used in residential communities for everything from construction work, heating & cooling, landscape work, hot-tub installations, to massive tree removals and installations. We provide apartment and office building crane lift services for items too large for elevator service. Allied Crane has extensive experience working in extremely tight quarters and residential communities where safety is of the utmost and highest concern and consideration.
Do you do movie studio work? What experience and capability do you have in as far as doing camera crane shots?
Yes. We have experience in moving props, working with the electrical/grip departments, and camera operators (using the “man basket”). Studio work is typically a “one of” specialized task that we discuss with the production manager, props, design, camera, or electrical departments. We also welcome student productions, and have special rates for student filmmakers and projects.
How often do you inspect your cranes?
We complete daily frequent inspections as well as third party annual crane inspections.
Inspection is an ongoing process, over and above basic requirements dictated by law. Any crane operator should be performing “inspections” continuously, even while active in a job. Dan has specific maintenance schedules for the engine and various parts of the crane. Some inspections require dismantling the crane and inspecting the crane literally from the inside out. These are time consuming but are an absolute necessity for safe and efficient operation of a crane. “You have to trust your equipment 110%, and it has to feel, sound, and even smell right!”
Safety and Training
What training and certifications do you have?
Dan has a Crane Operator’s License for small hydraulic cranes with 17 tons or less capacity, and large hydraulic cranes for cranes capable of greater than 17 tons. To maintain your license, you have to accrue 1,000 hours per year of crane operation. The license requires a comprehensive written test, and a practical test. Allied Crane has a comprehensive Safety Manual that serves as our operator’s safety guide to any rigging, lifting, and hoisting procedure using our crane truck.
What is your cancellation policy?
Typically, we require one day prior notice. We are very flexible, however. Our goal is to serve our customer the best way we can, and we understand that there are many unforeseen circumstances that can lead to cancelling an appointment.
Do you offer credit terms to new customers?
Please call out office at (626) 792-6019 for more information, since this is decided on a case-by-case basis.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes. We gladly accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express credit cards for payment. Please note that there is a cash discount that applies when paying by cash or check.