What size crane do I need?

This is determined by the weight to be lifted, the distance from the centre of the crane to the centre of the load (known as the radius) when it is at the maximum required distance whether this be at the unloading point or positioning point (the spot where the load is to be placed), and the obstacles that are positioned between the crane and the unloading/positioning points.

If you have these details, call our office and we can easily advise on the required crane size. If not, request a no-obligation crane survey, which will allow one of our engineers to determine the exact requirements for you.

I have a very restricted set-up area – will a crane fit?

We offer a full range of cranes, from city to all-terrain, some having variable outrigger bases and counterweight positions so there is every chance we will have a crane to suit. If you can send us a plan of the available area in CAD format, we will be able to determine the suitability of a specific crane for the available space.

Alternatively, we can take this risk out of your hands by visiting the site to carry out a free, no-obligation survey that will determine the appropriate crane size.

The ground where the crane will be deployed is soft in nature

In general, providing suitable, stable hardstanding for the crane is the responsibility of the hirer. You will need to confirm the Ground Bearing Capacity (GBC) in advance to allow us to determine the size of support plates the crane will need to rest on, if necessary. Ideally, ground with a GBC of approximately 200 KN/m2 is required but if the ground is not capable of this loading, we can hire oversize steel support plates to help reduce the loading implied, providing there is sufficient space available for them. Many of our cranes come with adequate ground support, with cranes in excess of 80t having large steel support mats as standard.

What if weather conditions are poor on the day of the lift?

In general, cranes can operate in most weather conditions, with high wind speeds being the only limiting factor. A rule of thumb is 9.8mps (approximately 22mph) but this may increase depending on the crane model and the length of telescopic jib required. It may also decrease depending on the sail area of the load being lifted. We can easily determine the wind speed limit for your specific operation as general advice or as part of our detailed lift plan.

We appreciate that delays due to wind can be an unexpected cost to you and because we are committed to providing a fair service, we are open to reviewing previously agreed rates should the crane be required to remain on site for longer than initially planned as a result of inclement weather.

What type of crane service do I require – crane hire, or contract lift?

If you, or the organisation in question, do not have an appointed person and crane supervisor and are not competent in the planning and execution of lifting operations, you should opt for a contract lift. Under the terms of a contract lift, we (the crane provider) take charge of the entire lifting operation.

To answer the question in more detail, we have set out the responsibilities of each party for both standard crane hire and contract lifts below:

Under standard crane hire, the hiring party (customer) must:

  • Determine the size of crane required.
  • Provide all the required lift plans, method statements (MS) and risk assessments (RA) for the work to be carried out.
  • Provide suitable hardstanding for the crane and a certificate to prove it is capable of withstanding the loadings applied to the ground by the crane throughout the operation.
  • Provide a competent crane supervisor to ensure the work is carried out in accordance with the RA/MS.
  • Provide a competent banksperson to attach all lifting gear and direct the movements of the crane.
  • Fully insure the crane for its replacement value, and fully insure the goods being lifted.

The crane provider must:

  • Supply a certified crane.
  • Supply a certified and competent crane operator.

Under a full contract lift (C/L), the hiring party (customer) must:

  • Provide details of the load to be lifted (weight, nature etc).
  • Provide suitable hardstanding for the crane and a certificate to prove it is capable of withstanding the loadings applied to the ground by the crane throughout the operation.

The crane provider must:

  • Attend the site in advance to carry out a full-site survey to determine crane size, identify any hazards and any other pre-requisites.
  • Prepare all required RA/MS and issue to the customer for comment.
  • Supply a certified crane and operator on the scheduled day.
  • Supply all required lifting equipment.
  • Supply a crane supervisor/banksperson to ensure the work is carried out in accordance with the approved RA/MS.
  • Provide all required insurance.

Basically, under C/L terms, the crane supplier provides a turnkey solution to the customer which takes the risk out of their hands, places the responsibility of providing the correct crane and lifting equipment in the hands of the people who know best and ensures that crane lifts are properly planned, thereby creating a safer environment.

What type of lifting gear do I need? Will the crane arrive with all required equipment?

All cranes carry a standard selection of chains, webslings and shackles but specialist equipment can be supplied on request. Please provide us with details of the load to be lifted and our engineers will select the suitable lifting equipment from our vast selection of spreader beams and specialist web and soft slings. Please note there is an additional charge for specialist equipment where it is delivered separately to the crane.

Are the drivers competent and certified?

We hand pick drivers who are proven within the industry and are trained to the highest standards. All personnel will always strive to work with you to achieve the objective. They are fully briefed on company policy, which includes the importance of:

– Being on time

– Having all documentation completed and well presented

– Being well presented (clean and tidy etc) with all required PPE

– Adhering to all site specific H&S requirements and being attentive during site H&S briefing

– Striving to work with the customer to get the job done within the allotted timescale

– Being flexible – should they need to work around scheduled breaks etc

– Leaving the site clean and tidy when they leave

When do I start paying for the crane? I need the crane ready to lift at 8am. How much is it going to cost?

In general, the hire begins from the time the crane leaves the depot until it returns; however, we will agree on travel time in advance. Rest assured that you will be charged from the nearest depot to your site.

The costs will vary depending on the size of crane required and whether or not it needs additional equipment.

We will advise what time we need to be on site in order to be ready to lift for 8am.

Typical set-up times vary depending on the crane configuration required, but they are generally as follows, taking into account that the operator must familiarise him or herself with the site and carry out a daily check of the crane in advance of mobilisation procedure:

  • Up to 80t crane – Approximately 30 mins.
  • 80t to 100t – 45 mins to 1 hr.
  • 120t to 250t – 1 hr to 75 mins.
  • 300t + – On application.

How much notice do I need to give?

At BOSSLIFT, we strive to provide our customers with cranes as and when they are needed with short-notice bookings being our speciality.


  • In general, 1 to 2 days’ notice is sufficient for booking cranes under standard hire terms.


  • We advise approximately one week’s notice to allow sufficient time to plan all work to be carried out under C/L terms, however, in certain circumstances, even these projects can be executed at short notice.
  • Where the Appointed Person can be dispatched immediately to the site to evaluate the work, and where the required RA/MS can be prepared and issued from a mobile office.

There are electricity lines running adjacent to the proposed set-up area for the crane – will this affect crane set up?

As rule of thumb, unless otherwise specified by a qualified representative from the electricity supply company in question, cranes or other plant must remain approximately 5 to 6 metres from closest line. This distance can often be reduced but advice is needed from a supply engineer who may recommend earthing the crane, switching out or diverting the power temporarily, or, in worst case, seeking a new set-up area for the crane.