Cranes are one of the most important pieces of machinery to come into existence for industrial and heavy duty use, making it possible for builders, utility crews, and many other workers to literally reach new heights. Through the years, this equipment has changed many ways, progressing from simple lifting of heavy loads to more complicated boom trucks that can accomplish much more complicated tasks.

Knuckle boom cranes, a popular commercial vehicle in other parts of the world for versatility gained through technological progression, are finally making a significant appearance in the United States as well. As American companies continue to learn the value and efficiency that can be found with articulating cranes over the typical straight, telescoping type, more boom trucks are being added to work fleets.

Boom Trucks – Lifting and Carrying

There are many important differences between straight boom, telescoping cranes and their newer cousin, the boom truck, that makes these crane trucks so exceptional and able to do so many jobs:

  • More Specialized Lifting Ability – Since an articulated crane is jointed with the ability to bend and swivel, maneuverability beats the boom crane without such abilities hands down. It completely alleviates the necessity to move the truck repeatedly or spend extra time maneuvering it in order to place loads for best lifting. These units can work around obstacles and are perfect for tight confines where it would otherwise be difficult at best to wedge the right crane close enough to be useful. Boom trucks allow for the lifting and placement of loads in ways that would otherwise be impossible with a crane, making it much more efficient and easier to operate.

  • Ability to Carry Payload – The main disadvantage faced with telescoping cranes that tends to drastically reduce efficiency is the inability to carry and transport any type of payload let alone lift and place it. Telescoping cranes store the boom in the rear of the truck, basically taking up any space that could be used to carry material. Boom trucks fold onto themselves and typically store against the back of the truck cab, leaving the rest of the truck bed open for hauling payload.

Boom Trucks – Other Benefits

Articulating boom trucks were developed initially in Europe and used extensively there to meet the need for restricted size limitations because of less overall working space. Roads and alleys are smaller, the turning radius is tighter, and there are different regulations on truck length and weight as a result, laws that eventually made available telescoping cranes inefficient. An articulated boom can be placed on a smaller truck, get in closer, and lift higher than other alternatives, making it very popular outside of the United States where the lifting truck of choice was a telescoping crane truck.

As more vehicles are replaced, American companies are embracing the utility and efficiency of boom trucks more each year as benefits continue to be seen. While there may generally be more working space on American job sites versus European sites, the one other substantial benefit in sending out crews with a boom truck is that the job can be completed without other workers or trucks – and in much less time. What comes down to more of a maneuverability remedy elsewhere is a greater help for safety and efficiency in the U.S.

With these kinds of advantages, it is time for more American companies to consider how a boom truck can be used in better ways when aging fleet trucks need to be replaced and upgraded. Faster and better performance paves the way to take on more diverse jobs, making these trucks the preferred future for mobile truck cranes!

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