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Lifting Equipment Hire: Spider Cranes, the Best for the Job?

Lifting Equipment Hire: Spider Cranes, the Best for the Job?

Lifting equipment hire has never before presented so many options but, in our opinion, the spider crane (or ‘mini crane’, as some people call them) is head and shoulders above the competition. Here is why we think you should look no further than the all-mighty spider crane when shopping around for lifting equipment in the UK.

Glass lifting equipment?

Spider cranes make great glass lifting equipment. In fact, high lift glass lifting is one of its most common and popular functionalities.

In-line attachments of different sizes fit to the crane’s chain slings; adjusting its ability to lift. This can include pads for more heavier loads. For example, 4 pads can lift up to 350kg. Six pads lift up to 600kg. And for the really heavy stuff (such as steel beam lifting equipment), more specialist attachments do the lifting.

Here are a few reasons why spider cranes are great for lifting equipment hire:

They are compact. 

Spider cranes make popular mobile lifting equipment because of their ability to fit into compact places. This fact alone makes them the perfect choice for lifting equipment hire. We usually think of cranes as behemoths towering over city skylines. But spider cranes can fit through doorways. They are also quick to get into action. A spider crane can sprawl and begin operations in about five minutes from moving into place.

They have powerful Legs.

The spider crane gets its name from the outriggers that it uses for stability and balance.

Spider cranes were not built this way to look different on purpose, though. Each outrigger leg is adjustable to meet the demands of the terrain the crane is working on. This is especially useful for lifting equipment — especially if the floor is uneven. They are also incredibly useful when working around awkward objects, such as scaffolding. Each outrigger leg is extendable and movable. This allows the spider crane to accommodate awkward objects in construction. Including heavy loads on the chain block.

So those funny-looking legs that make spider cranes memorable are actually very helpful.

They easily outcompete competitors.

In construction, a ‘boom’ is a type of aerial lift. There are two main types, known as ‘articulating boom lifts’ and ‘telescopic boom lifts’. The spider crane adds a third element to this type of lifting.

The spider crane has significant advantages over floor cranes and other lifting equipment for hire. Two popular competitors, the scissor lift and the boom lift, are restrictive in comparison. The spider crane has a 360-degree rotation boom that allows it to lift on its chain hoists in all directions.

Spider cranes also have more powered access. They can lift higher, heavier equipment, and reach harder places. It is also easier to access equipment.

Unique factors

In our opinion, spider cranes are the best option for lifting equipment hire. They pack a lot of muscle and punch for their size, but they are also built for efficiency. With some spider cranes able to lift nearly a tonne in weight, they need to be. Here are a few things that enable them to perform heavy lifting so well:

  • Good foundations: Powerful, spider ‘outrigger’ legs and counterweights

The spider crane’s powerful, sprawling, legs keep it sturdy and strong.

Most aerial lift booms, though mobile, have limitations with their foundations. They often need an engineered surface for stability. But spider cranes do not. They are more versatile.

The spider crane’s outrigger legs have hydraulic pans to help it level out. Steel or wooden ‘mats’ under these pans help distribute the load. When lifting equipment supplies, the loads on each of the crane’s legs fluctuates. The mats work to prevent any loading fluctuations from becoming a problem.

Outriggers, in tandem with counterweights, enable it to lift heavy loads without toppling.

  • Ultra-modern software

Spider cranes have advanced, in-built computer software monitoring each part of it. This enables the crane operator to know if a load will limit the crane’s capacity and radii. The software takes into account wind speed, levelness, ground pressure and tip height. (To name a few; all followed in real time.) Warning lights and alarm sirens will come into action if there is any perceived danger.

  • A well-trained team

Spider cranes often come with dedicated, trained (including in first aid), and professional hire personnel. It is there job to oversee operations. A spider ‘team’ will:

  • Make sure the crane’s foundations and material handling is secure
  • Calculate the weights and balances on the lifting chains before operating
  • Ensure height safety equipment
  • Enable clear and smooth communication

They will also carry the necessary industry-recognised qualifications, including:

  • A Safety Pass Alliance (SPA)
  • The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS)

The spider team are there to enforce mobile lifting equipment hire industry regulations and health and safety. They are also there to make sure everything runs as efficiently as possible. It is not always necessary to hire spider crane personnel along with the mobile lifting equipment. But those overseeing should have the legal qualifications necessary for portable lifting equipment.


If you are looking for lifting equipment hire services, look no further than Lift Ltd. Our cranes and team-members have worked on projects all over England and the UK. 

Got questions about material lift, or about our material handling equipment hire? Then contact us today.