Even construction managers with experience in heavy equipment often make the mistake of thinking all-terrain cranes and rough terrain cranes are the same things. In reality, though they're similar, these two pieces of machinery have several key differences that can affect the process and outcome of your project.
As the name suggests, a rough terrain crane is designed to work on rugged, uneven, steep and otherwise challenging ground. Thanks to their deep wheelbases, these cranes can drive over rocks and hills without getting damaged. All-terrain cranes, meanwhile, are usually made with wider bases and extra wheels to provide a compromise, allowing you to traverse flat and rugged terrain with one machine.
But how can you decide which crane is right for you? Here's a handy guide to help you choose.
1. Need a light crane? Choose rough terrain
If you can't drive your crane onto your construction site and need to transport it with another vehicle, you may want to opt for a rough terrain crane. These cranes are more lightweight than their counterparts, making them easy to get around. In turn, this also makes them better for looser terrain that may give way easily under a heavier crane.
2. Need speedier travel? Choose all-terrain
Whether you're working on tight time constraints with your project or you just want to get things done efficiently, an all-terrain crane may be best for you. Because of their design, all-terrain cranes can travel faster than rough terrain cranes, both on flat and rugged ground.
3. Facing extreme terrain? Choose rough terrain
While all-terrain cranes are made to traverse rough ground, they lose some of their stability in order to allow flat ground travel too. As such, if you're going to be constructing on highly rugged terrain more extreme in its challenges, a rough terrain crane is likely the best decision. Their all-wheel-drive and wide centre of gravity makes them more stable and easier to manoeuvre on uneven land, increasing safety and efficiency.
4. Facing great heights? Choose all-terrain
While each all-terrain and rough terrain crane has its own capabilities, in general, all-terrain cranes can be configured to reach much greater heights than rough terrain cranes. The build design that makes rough terrains so great for rugged ground also makes them less stable when it comes to working at great heights. The weight and wheel positioning of all-terrain cranes, on the other hand, helps them stand firm as their crane arm is raised.