The equipment listed in this section is equipment that has been designed for the hoisting & lifting of materials, equipment, and personnel. Other equipment such as excavators and loaders are also used for hoisting and lifting at times, but we will focus on equipment that is designed for this function.

This equipment varies in configuration from the manlift category, where machines are used to hoist personnel, providing elevated platforms from which they can work to forklifts, and various cranes to specialized hoisting equipment such as pipelayers.

Hoisting and lifting involves special considerations, such as lift radius, machine capacity at a given radius, wind speed, and ground conditions. Over the past several years, operator assisting devices have been added, starting with simply boom angle indicators to load measurement indicators and devices and on to today’s on board computers.

As you might expect, proper “hook up” or connection between the object being lifted and the lifting device is critical. This is also known as “rigging” and involves methods, principles, and technical data that be must be known in order to safely perform the lift.

Hoisting and lifting equipment has also evolved in size over the years, and today’s equipment is capable of enormous lifts with relative ease of movement from job to job, especially when compared with the equipment of the past.

 

Boom Truck

Boom trucks are basically truck units with cranes mounted on them to enable the loading and unloading of loads to and from either the boom truck itself or adjacent trucks. Outriggers that extend horizontally and vertically are used to level and stabilize the crane for hoisting.

 

Bridge Inspection Unit

The primary focus of the bridge inspection unit is to perform bridge safety inspections, prepare bridge load ratings and perform load posting compliance verification. This specialized vehicle allows for the inspection of the underside of the bridge while the vehicle itself is actually positioned on top of the bridge.

 

Bucket Truck

Bucket trucks or cherry pickers were originally designed for use in orchards (though not just cherry orchards) where they are still heavily used today. The bucket truck will have identical controls on both the truck and in the basket for the operator.

 

Container Handler

Container handlers or reach stackers are able to transport a container in short distances very quickly and pile them in various rows depending on its access.

 

Crane

Cranes exist in an enormous variety of forms – each tailored to a specific use. Sizes range from the smallest jib cranes used inside workshops to the tallest tower cranes, used for constructing high buildings.

Carrier Conventional

A carrier conventional crane is a crane that has a lattice boom on a rubber tired truck body. When working on the jobsite, outriggers are extended horizontally from the chassis then vertically to level and stabilize the crane while stationary and hoisting. Since these cranes are self powered and on “rubber”, they are able to travel on highways, eliminating the need for special equipment to transport the crane.


Photo: Little Giant Corporation

Carrier Hydraulic

A carrier hydraulic crane is a crane can be either a tubular extendible boom or lattice boom on a rubber tired truck body that uses hydraulics for boom. When working on the jobsite, outriggers are extended horizontally from the chassis then vertically to level and stabilize the crane while stationary and hoisting. Since these cranes are self powered and on “rubber”, they are able to travel on highways, eliminating the need for special equipment to transport the crane.

Crawler Conventional

A conventional crawler crane is a crane that has a lattice boom on a tracked body. When working on the jobsite, weights can be added to stabilize the crane before hoisting. Crawler cranes have both advantages and disadvantages depending on their use. Their main advantage is that they can move around on site and perform each lift with little set-up, since the crane is stable on its tracks with no outriggers. In addition, a crawler crane is capable of traveling with a load. Since these cranes are on tracks, they need to be trucked from job site to job site.

Crawler Hydraulic

A hydraulic crawler crane is a crane that is hydraulically powered on a tracked body. When working on the jobsite, weights can be added to stabilize the crane while stationary and hoisting. Crawler cranes have both advantages and disadvantages depending on their use. Their main advantage is that they can move around on site and perform each lift with little set-up, since the crane is stable on its tracks with no outriggers. In addition, a crawler crane is capable of traveling with a load. Since these cranes are on tracks, they need to be trucked from job site to job site.

Ship Mounted Crane

Located on the ships and boats, these are used for cargo operations or boat unloading and retrieval where no shore unloading facilities are available. Most are diesel-hydraulic or electric-hydraulic.

Overhead Crane

An overhead crane, also known as a bridge crane, is a type of crane where the hook-and-line mechanism runs along a horizontal beam that it runs along two widely separated rails. A hoist is used to lift the item, the bridge spans the area covered by the crane and a trolley moves along the bridge. Often it is in a long factory building and runs along rails along the building’s two long walls. It is similar to a gantry crane. Overhead cranes typically consist of either a single beam or a double beam construction. These can be built using typical steel beams or a more complex box girder type. A double girder bridge is more typical when needing heavier capacity systems from 10 tons and above. The advantage of the box girder type configuration results in a system that has a lower deadweight yet a stronger overall system integrity.

Rough Terrain

A crane mounted on an undercarriage with four rubber tires that is designed for pick-and-carry operations and for off-road (“rough terrain”) applications. Outriggers are used to level and stabilize the crane for hoisting.

 

Carry Deck Crane

A carry deck crane is a small 4 wheel crane with a 360 degree rotating boom placed right in the centre and an operators cab located at one end under this boom. The rear section houses the engine and the area above the wheels is a flat deck. The Carry deck can hoist a load in a confined space and then load it on the deck space around the cab or engine and subsequently move to another site.

 

Forklift

The forklift or lift truck, is a powered industrial truck used to lift and transport materials. The modern forklift was developed in the 1920s by various companies. They can be powered either by, diesel, gasoline, propane or battery electric. Different attachments increase the functionality of the lift truck.


Komatsu propane powered, pneumatic tired forklift


Photo: JLG Industries, Inc. JLG telescopic rough terrain forklift


Hyster solid tired forlift with round container attachment

 

Manlift

Straight Boom

Straight boom lifts are generally used for jobs that require a high reach without obstructions. The machine’s turntable can rotate 360 degrees with an extendable boom that can be raised vertically to below horizontal. The operator can maneuver and steer the vehicle while the boom is fully extended. It is available in gas, propane, or diesel-powered models with two or four-wheel drive.

Articulating Boom

Articulated boom lifts are used for jobs that require reaching up and over obstacles to gain access to a job not easily approached by a straight telescopic boom. This lift is nearly identical to the straight boom lift in every aspect, except in the boom’s ability to articulate. Articulation points on the boom allow it to bend in any number of different directions enabling it to maneuver around various obstacles on a job site. Boom lifts can be equipped with outriggers to stabilize a unit while the boom is fully extended.


Photo: JLG Industries, Inc.

Scissor Lifts

Scissor lifts are designed for working on directly overhead projects as they only lift on a vertical plane. It consists of a series of linked, folding supports that crisscross in an “x” pattern. In order to raise the unit, pressure must be applied to the outside of the lowest set of supports, which elongates the crossing pattern, elevating the platform vertically. If the machine is hydraulically or pneumatically powered lowering of the platform can be achieved by simply opening a valve to release the pressure.


Photo: Skyjack Inc.

Mechanical Lifts

Mechanical lifts are generally smaller models that use rack-and-pinion systems or screw threads to elevate the platform. They are limited in the amount of weight they can carry and the heights they can extend to. They are mainly used for indoor tasks like changing light bulbs.

Pedestal Mount Aerial Lift

Pedestal mount manlifts are mainly used in specialized applications due to the fact that they are fastened to the floor. The main users are the aircraft industry.

 

Pipelayer (sideboom)

Pipelayers have been around since the 1920′s as various companies made sideboom attachments for crawler tractors. In the 1953, Midwestern introduced the world’s first hydraulic operated sideboom attachment for small tractors. Today, several companies sell integrated pipelayer.

 

Rigging

When the weights and capacities are known, the rigger must then determine how to lift the load so that it is stable. Training and experience enable riggers to recognize hazards that can have an impact on a hoisting operation. Riggers must be aware of elements that can affect hoisting safety, factors that reduce capacity, and safe practices in rigging, lifting, and landing loads. Riggers must also be familiar with the proper inspection and use of slings and other rigging hardware.

 

Telehandlers

A telescopic handler, or telehandler, is similar in appearance and function to a forklift but is more a crane than forklift, with the increased versatility of a single telescopic boom that can extend forwards and upwards from the vehicle. On the end of the boom the operator can fit one of several attachments, such as a bucket, pallet forks, or lift table.

The most common attachment for a telehandler is pallet forks and the most common application is to move loads to and from places unreachable for a conventional forklift.