Knuckle Boom vs Straight Boom Cranes – Which Do I Need?

16 january 2023 16:23 PM

When you need to handle and move heavy objects, you need to be in the market for a crane to help you out. The question is which crane is right for the job? Here are some guidelines on cranes and the differences between knuckle boom and straight boom cranes.

What Is a Straight Boom Crane?

Straight boom, stiff boom, or stick boom cranes hoist and move materials using a cable rope winch system. These types of cranes can be either self-contained crane machines or truck mounted crane machines. These cranes can be rotated in different directions using hydraulic slew rotation systems. A straight boom crane can be used to lift many different types of objects straight up and down. Crane lifting capacity varies from one ton to 1,000 tons depending on the size capacity of the crane.

What Is a Knuckle Boom Crane?

A knuckle boom crane, also known as an articulating crane or a folding boom crane, differs from a straight boom crane in a few ways. A knuckle boom crane has an arm that folds in on itself, and can switch arm attachments to do a variety of projects on the job.

There are different types of knuckle boom cranes, including light duty t-type cranes, light range duty knuckle type cranes, medium range duty knuckle type cranes, k-type drywall cranes, heavy range duty knuckle type cranes, and super heavy range duty knuckle type cranes, because they are used for a variety of purposes. Knuckle Boom cranes fall into the category of truck mounted cranes and in accordance with the size of the crane can be installed on almost any size truck.

What Do They Have in Common?

Both straight boom cranes and knuckle boom cranes can be configured to be mounted to a truck, or to be static based mounted in a fixed location. Both types of cranes can move heavy objects from one place to another. In order to operate both types of cranes, you have to obtain a special operator’s license for each crane type.

Should I Use a Knuckle Boom or Straight Boom Crane?

Both straight boom and knuckle boom cranes differ from each other, you’ll need to find the perfect crane for your job. Below are the advantages of a Knuckle Boom Crane over the Straight Boom Crane.

Straight Boom Cranes

Due to their use of a cable rope winch lifting system type, straight boom cranes are best for lifting objects straight up and straight down. And particularly come into their own when this type of lifting needs to be done multiple times in the same place. 

The problem is, unlike how versatile knuckle boom cranes are, with straight boom cranes, you need to keep in mind that they are basically a one-trick pony. Straight boom cranes can constantly and consistently lift heavy objects and move them around, but that is all they can do. 

Knuckle Boom Cranes

Knuckle boom cranes have many advantages over straight boom cranes. As mentioned before, knuckle boom cranes come in many different sizes and weight classes. The largest knuckle boom cranes have a rated capacity of over 300 tons. 

Unlike straight boom cranes, knuckle boom cranes are able to articulate to form different boom lengths and angles/shapes, enabling the user to carry out many different types of lifts (e.g. into buildings and under bridges,) giving your business more versatility. You can switch out boom tip attachment tools on the knuckle boom crane to change the type of load you want the crane to pick up. Knuckle boom cranes are often used to pick up and move material that is not in a solid block or piece, such as wood, construction materials, and electrical equipment.

The amazing versatility of knuckle boom cranes are what makes them the crane of choice for many of today’s crane operators. They are still able to lift heavy objects to high places like a straight boom, all while still having the ability to do much more. Knuckle boom cranes can pick up and move objects very quickly, while being able to be used in a wide variety of applications.

Where Do I Find a Crane for my Needs?

If you are in need of a crane that can offer the versatility and functionality of a knuckle boom, Hiab is the perfect company for you. We offer a wide range of knuckle boom cranes, from small knuckle boom cranes to our super heavy duty knuckle booms. Our cranes are built with cutting edge technology, including the ability to remotely access data. See our wide range of knuckle booms today!

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