For more than 20 years, Elemer Ivan has been helping producers find the right truck-mounted cranes and booms. As general manager for BIK Hydraulics in Toronto, Ivan knows what to consider when making this important investment. He suggests considering the following three factors:

(1) Know how the purchase will affect your budget.

Are you going to pay cash or finance? Producers often find they can defer tax dollars with lease payments instead of financing up-front. It is also a better tax write-off, which lowers your overall cost of ownership.

(2) How much lift capacity do you really need to deliver your product safely?

It's obvious that the direct cost of a boom goes up with longer reach and heavier capacity. But producers often forget that maintenance costs do, too. It's best to buy a boom configuration that will do the job you require, but not so large that it takes away from the bottom line.

For example, producers often want the longest reach possible. This is understandable because he want operators to place the load from the sturdiest ground possible. To achieve this, he often buys a large-capacity knuckle boom with a jib. After a few years of operation the producer starts spending money on repairs, and that long reach doesn't pay off anymore.

When it's time to buy another boom, that same producer has a different priority. Now he doesn't see the reach as the most important part of the purchase and starts asking more questions about shorter booms with less maintenance. Find the right balance.

(3) Buy from a reputable dealer who has experience and knowledge in your industry.

“I have been selling cranes and booms for a long time. But if I was going to install a new septic tank or pour a new concrete patio in my backyard, I would seek out and rely on a person from that industry, not only to do the job, but to help me understand my options and what would be best for my budget,” says Ivan. “We need to rely on people to assist us with our purchases because we are not experts in all fields.”

Following are some of the many truck cranes available to producers today.

Non-CDL truck mount

The TM-1052 crane can be mounted on a chassis with less than a 26,000-lb gross vehicle weight rating, so anyone with a driver's license can legally drive the vehicle. The five-section boom rotates 360 degrees and has a 10-ton capacity. It has a horizontal reach of 52 ft and hook height of 60 ft. Radio remote controls and a steel gravity leveled one-person basket are optional. Tadano America Corp. 281-869-0030.

Large crane packages

A new transport vehicle includes three models of heavy-duty cranes to meet a range of lifting and transportation demands. The PK 85002 is the smallest in the large crane family and includes high-power lifting and overload protection systems. The PK 100002 offers maneuverability and can be universally deployed. The PK 150002 performance crane features an integrated stability control system. Palfinger North America. 800-567-1554.

Truck cranes for precast products

Cranes with a high-lift capacity to low-weight ratio and compact dimensions for rear-mounting on trucks are ideal for setting septic tanks. This configuration is flexible for attaching trailers, to increase the amount of product delivered per trip, and to handle multi-drop deliveries. These cranes also can handle other precast products such as manholes, catch basins, steps, grease interceptors, and pipe. HIAB. 800-852-2331.