June 17, 2019

4 Benefits of Using a Mini Crane for Glass Installation

mini crane for glass installation

Why Use a Mini Crane for Glazing?

Glass has become one of the most popular building materials of the modern age. From commercial installations in shopping centers, to residential skylights, to the glass curtain walls of skyscrapers, people want glass. While glass has been used in architecture for hundreds of years, the demand for larger, heavier pieces has grown. For glaziers, using a mini crane for glazing jobs can help alleviate some of the concerns associated with working with heavy panes of glass, particularly in challenging installations.

A mini crane, sometimes referred to as a spider crane, is a smaller version of a traditional crane, with a relatively lighter lifting capacity. They are ideal for glaziers because they are portable and lightweight, but still able to lift several tonnes. The UNIC URW-295, for example, fits through a standard door frame, but is still able to lift 2.9 tonnes. Glaziers can use a mini crane for glazing jobs with limited space and restricted access. Below are some examples of how a mini crane can be a beneficial addition to glazier resources.


The first concern when working with glass is for the safety of the crew. Glass installations are often off ground level, and require a great deal of heavy lifting. If not executed correctly, things could go badly for everyone involved.

Mini crane implementation can help lessen a variety of hazards that glaziers face on a worksite. Repetitive handling of large and heavy sheets of glass can lead to back and arm injuries. Using a vacuum lifter with a mini crane minimizes the need for lifting, particularly lifting above the head. Working at heights with ladders and scaffolds increase the potential for fall injuries. Mini cranes can reduce the occurrence of these injuries, as fewer workers are needed for glass installation when vacuum lifts, glass manipulators, and mini cranes are involved.

Using a mini crane for glazing jobs, specifically when paired with a vacuum lifter and glass manipulator, helps to reduce the physical strain on team members. It also helps reduce the likelihood of injury and damage to the glass.

Cost Saving

Using a mini crane for glazing jobs can save costs on a project, increasing profitability without sacrificing safety. Employing mini cranes reduces the manpower needed to execute a job by 50% or more. Because the mini crane is doing the heavy lifting, less people are needed to move the glass. As noted above, this can decrease instances of injury, which leads to a reduction in work-related injury claims.

If using a mini crane for a project will suffice, the cost of renting a mini crane is significantly lesser than renting a larger crane. It also eliminates the need for street occupancy permits and flag personnel, which are standard when dealing with tower cranes or mobile cranes. Maneuvering mini cranes is much more efficient and less time consuming, and time is money. This typically results in shorter construction periods, as transportation and set up time are also significantly lower than that of larger cranes.


Because they are able to fit into areas with restricted access, mini cranes are a versatile tool for glaziers. They fit through standard doorways and through tight corridors, and are able to perform in areas with limited headroom, so are ideal for indoor work. They are also able to maneuver  around existing structures on an outdoor job site, such as close buildings or utility poles.

Mini cranes are the solution to complex construction challenges, like weight restrictions and limited space. They can be used to install glass panes from the inside of large buildings, shopping mall interior glass installation, and for roof glazing. They are particularly useful in urban areas where construction is growing, but space is limited.

Mini cranes are designed for precision work, so they have more precise control for delicate jobs like glazing. Attachments, such as glass manipulators and vacuum lifts, are useful for not only lifting glass, but also for installing it. The UNIC URW-295 has a radio remote control, which allows for greater accuracy, while the operator has a safe and unobstructed view of the load. When paired with manipulators and lifters, this makes difficult jobs, like installing glass under a canopy, much easier.

Zero Emissions

Emissions from construction sites in urban areas are a substantial contributor to overall air pollution. Commercial and condominium construction is growing, yet there is greater concern about carbon emissions and the role they play in climate change.

While many mini cranes run on propane, they also have the option to run on battery or electric power. Using a mini crane for glazing jobs may require indoor work, which makes zero emissions a necessity for the job site. Even on an outdoor glazing job, companies can consciously choose to use electric or battery power sources for mini cranes. This is not only preferable for the environment, but for the health and safety of workers on site.

These are just four of many reasons why glaziers could be making use of a mini crane for glazing jobs. If you are interested in how a mini crane may be useful for your business, please contact SOLOS Lifting Solutions for a consultation. We offer mini crane rentals with delivery. We have certified Journeymen available for operation, or we can provide mini crane training and certification credentials.

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