July 10, 2019

Mini Cranes: Versatility in a Small Package

mini crane

We at SOLOS often refer to mini cranes as innovative and versatile tools. While that is certainly the case, you need to see them in action to truly understand what they are capable of. We have done hundreds of jobs with mini-cranes over the past 20 years and are continually impressed with their function and durability.  

Why Use Mini Cranes?

Over the course of our careers, we have used a wide range of lifting devices, including articulating cranes like Fassi, Palfinger, and Cormack, as well as straight booms like Tadano, National, and Mannitex. Some of these units were the largest in the country. But what are mini cranes capable of that these much larger capacity units cannot?

If you can’t access the site to perform a lift because of the sizeof the crane, or you are unable to extend your outriggers in a tight location, then it doesn’t matter how big or impressive the load chart may be, the job cannot be done. Break downs occur in areas of restricted access all the time. Dealing with electric or diesel motors, a valve, heavy flange, pipe, beam, switch gear, compressor, or a large pane of glass can be too much for a crew to muscle. A chain fall hung from a questionable securement point is unsafe. This is the kind of problem that the mini crane was designed to solve.

Small Package, Big Impact

SOLOS uses UNIC URW-295 mini cranes, which, in travel mode, are 2feet (0.6 meters) wide and 4.5 feet (1.375 meters) tall. This allows them to travel through a standard door frame and move along narrow corridors and areas with limited headroom.  Upper floors and mezzanines can be easily accessed using a service elevator, or lifted by the crane on our delivery unit, or by an on-site unit. Despite the compactness of travel mode, the mini crane has a lifting capacity of 2.9 tonnes.

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If you get to the lift location only to find that your set up area is the size of a postage stamp, this is where mini cranes really shine. The outriggers allow for multiple configurations; each outrigger can be pinned in to one of 5 different angle of deflection and can be used at full extension, or a host of lesser extensions. This allows you to safely use fully extended outriggers on your lift side, with very limited outrigger extension on the offside. This won’t reduce your capability in the lift sector or sacrifice stability.  

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Safety Above All

As experienced Journeyman operators, we think in terms of radius, which is from the center of our turret to the center of the lift. Regardless of the size of the crane, closer is better for safety, and the mini crane accomplishes that safety requisite like no other. Mini cranes thrive in situations where a standard crane would not get its outriggers to the ground or its boom out of the rest.  If you have any misgivings about putting a mini crane to work on your job site, you will soon shelf any doubts once you have the opportunity to see them at work.  

Operation & Training

The owner of SOLOS Lifting Solutions, Patrick Lucas, has trained hundreds of workers in the use of the mini cranes, and has a wealth of lifting experience, as well as jack and roll expertise. We have found that newly trained operators gain confidence and competence very quickly with mini cranes. If you need a mini crane for a challenging or critical lift, that first day of operation it might not be the best time to practice. We offer operation service as an option with rentals, as well as training and certification, and can operate the crane for the day or for a hoisting job. The lift will be completed with proficiency, and you’ll gain valuable insight over the course of the job that you can later use performing your own lifts with a mini crane.


Get in touch with us about mini crane rental or training opportunities.

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