old university building in Lund, Sweden

Understanding Requirements When Renting a Crane for Your Schools Roofing Project.

As the school year ends, colleges, universities and K-12 schools turn to the task of maintenance during the summer. Among others, one of the more common projects is roofing. Unlike many other projects, it often requires a crane

Facilities and Maintenance Managers often rely on their roofing contractor to handle this part of the project but it’s good to understand what’s involved.

When renting a crane for a project, there are many things to consider…

  1. Capacity – how much weight can the crane handle?
  2. Reach – once the crane has picked up its load, how far does it need to reach to place at in its destination?
  3. Insurance – is the crane rental company sufficiently insured
  4. Certifications and Licensing – do the operators have the right credentials?
  5. Safety – what is the crane rental company’s safety record?
  6. Experience – does the company have the experience necessary to do the job?

Although all of these things are important, I’d like to focus on experience. Experience means so much more than the knowledge to do the job. It allows an operator to do the job efficiently. This translates into a cost savings for the educational facility.

At General Crane, we have worked at many school projects around the state. Our most recent project at the University of Hartford involved sending up materials and bringing down debris. This is a pretty standard roofing project. However, it was our experience that made the difference.

The project was quoted from another company using a 45 ton boom truck. We used a 35 ton crane instead. With this crane we were able to move 4×4 and 4×8 pieces of insulation as well as 800 lb. rolls of rubber. The project was based on the height of the roof which is 35 ft. and the distance beyond the roofline the crane needed to reach. Using the 35 ton crane we were able to reach 80 ft. beyond the roof line and up to 105 ft. when needed (parking the crane 25 feet from the building).

The ability to use the smaller crane resulted in a $200/day savings on the project which lasted a total of 13 days. Although facilities managers will continue to rely on their roofing contractors for crane rental, it’s ideal to understand what that entails to ask the right questions.

Contact Us at (860) 528-8252 for more information on our crane rental services.

Danger Electrocution Hazard

Crane Operations Require Experience to Ensure Safety


According to OSHA’s analysis of crane accidents, there are an average of 71 fatalities each year. That accounts for almost 10% of all construction worker deaths.

Crane accidents happen more often than the average person would think. News media does not put these accidents on TV and they don’t make major headlines. The first alarm to the construction community was when six construction workers died and 24 were injured in a NYC crane collapse back in March 2008. Then 10 days later, a 20-foot crane section in Miami fell 30 stories, killing two construction workers and injuring five.

Even though regulations and guidelines have become stricter, crane accidents still happen every year. In 2016, a crane operator and a construction worker were killed when a steel beam fell from a crane on a windy day in Queens, NY. According to the NY Times, “the beam had been lifted about four stories when it fell, striking the cab of the crane and killing the operator inside before hitting the worker on the ground who had been helping to guide it with a flag.” Two workers in their 40’s were dead before emergency workers arrived at the scene. According to officials the 650lb beam fell due to failure of the crane’s rigging. Earlier that year, the mayor temporarily tightened the rules for cranes operating in high winds after a crane fell in Manhattan, killing one person and injuring three others.

In past posts we’ve talked about experience being at the heart of getting the job done in a timely and cost effective manner. Experience is critical when it comes to safety. At General Crane, all our operators have passed the CT Crane Licensing Test and with over 100 years of combined experience, we work with our clients on a consultative basis. Most organizations measure being accident free in days and months,  at General Crane, we measure our accident free in years. Since opening in 1972, we have proudly remained accident free. From project estimation to alternative recommendations, General Crane will ensure the job gets done in the most efficient, safest and cost-effective manner.

Tree removal with a crane

Knowing How to Use a Small Crane for a Big Project

Whether working on a job site or with an individual home owner as is the case in this post, it is critical to fully understand the scope of a project and the needs of everyone involved. Last month we blogged about using a smaller crane to save money. This month we’ll discuss using a smaller crane when nothing else will get the job done.

We recently met with a home owner who needed trees cut down in their back yard. The crane would be used to swing each tree section cut around to a ground crew for disposal. They needed a crane that would fit into their back yard.

The challenge was there wasn’t much room between the house, the landscaping and their woods where the work would be done. A large crane wouldn’t fit in the area. We took a look and recommended an 18 ton crane.

We arrived on site and once the crane was in place were ready to go. The homeowner could not believe that not only were we able to use a smaller crane for the project but that we were able to fit the crane in the space available. The job went off without a hitch.

The homeowner was also pleased with the way their yard looked after the project was completed. It is our practice to use plywood and mats when driving a crane over a backyard. It takes little longer but the results are worth it.

By using a smaller crane we ensured that we didn’t leave a large depression in the yard that a larger, heavier crane would have left where the plywood and mats were placed. This was especially important since we’ve had such a warm, wet winter.

It takes years of experience on a variety of projects to understand what crane to use in each unique situation. At General Construction Crane, problem solving is one of the many services we offer in relation to crane rental. For more information, contact us at 860.528.8252.

Stop Over Paying Sign

Avoid Overkill and Save Money

The size crane used on a project is determined by several factors, location, accessibility, load weight, reach, etc. It is not uncommon to err on the size of the next size up for safety reasons. However, General Crane recently acquired a customer who was experiencing overkill and it was costing them money.

The customer was told that they needed a 100 ton crane to work on their project. After careful review, General Crane was able to do the work with a 60 ton crane. This saved them lots of money. Each time a larger crane is used, the cost goes up. At 90 tons and above, this is significant because you need an additional vehicle for carrying additional counter weight. There are four crane sizes between a 60 and 100 ton crane (70, 75, 80, 90). Each one of these costs more than the previous.

In this case the customer needs to rent a crane several times a year. The cost of overpaying for the 100 ton crane was adding up.

Once again, experience saved the day. A less experienced crane operator wouldn’t be able to perform the same work with a lighter crane. Experience is what General Crane brings to the table and it’s how they save their customers money.

Comparing apples and oranges

When Determining the Cost of a Crane Rental, Be Sure You Compare Apples to Apples

We recently got a call from an old customer who had been using another crane rental company because he thought it would save him money. Sure, the other company had a lower daily rate but that doesn’t necessarily mean a cost savings as he realized over time. The question he forgot to ask is… How long will it take?​

The amount of time a project takes depends on several variables including level of difficulty and size of crane needed, but one of the most important variables is the expertise of the crane operator. A seasoned operator will not only be able to more accurately quote a job but have the ability to meet the quote. With experience comes the ability to look at a project in a different, more efficient and cost effective way. If the crane operator doesn’t have enough hours on a crane doing a variety of projects, they won’t be able to translate their expertise into a cost savings for their customer.

As the old adage says “You Get What You Pay For” or in this case they didn’t get what they paid for. He was paying less a day but overpaying on every project because the operator couldn’t get the job done efficiently.

Completed Bleechers installation

Experience Gets the Job Done!

When hiring a crane rental company. It’s all about experience. Without operator know-how, you can pay more because it takes longer, you risk damage being done and in some cases the project can’t move forward. The later was the issue one of our customers had.

The challenge was to get an announcer box placed on a set of bleachers. The customer already had a crane company on site. The box, which was about 12,000 pounds needed to be lifted by crane and placed. The crane company on site had a 90 ton crane there. They told the customer that they would need a bigger crane. This company did not have one so they simply left, leaving the customer high and dry.

That company reached out to us for help. After careful inspection, we told them it was no problem and we’d take care of it. Now here’s where the expertise comes in – we used a 35 ton crane and got the job done. At the end of the day, it’s not about the cheapest price or the newest equipment but good old fashion know-how that gets the job done!

Construction worker on the phone

Experience Outweighs Flash Every Time.

At General Crane we do one thing and one thing only, we provide expertise when it comes to crane operation. Getting the job done right, and in some cases getting the job done at all, takes experience.​

One example of this premise is a job we worked on a couple years ago. We were called in because the customer needed to move an electric motor (11,500 lbs) and a rotor (17,000 lbs). They were told by their current crane operator that they would need to cut a hole in the wall of the building. Obviously they wanted a second opinion.

After reviewing the building and the request, we were able to move both the motor and rotor through a 16 foot overhead door. The key was having the proper crane size that could both fit through the door and handle the weight of the move. Understanding all aspects of crane operation comes with experience, not the latest flashy equipment.

When looking into crane rental we recommend questioning how many years of experience the company has in their operators. Also ask them for examples of challenging projects and how they managed to complete them. When you hire a company with years of operator experience you save in time and money in the long run. After all, someone needs to pay for the shiny new equipment.​