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How To Read A Load Chart for Crane Lifting

Operating a crane can be extremely dangerous – that’s why so many businesses choose to hire expert crane lifting services, rather than trying to maintain their own cranes.  Cranes must be closely supervised, with multiple technicians all handling different aspects of its operation.  If any of them are off on any dimensional, weight, or movement calculations, things could go wrong.

One of the main ways the crane crew is kept on the same page is through the crane’s load chart.  While you don’t necessarily need to know how to read these charts if you’re hiring crane lifting services, it can be useful if you want to keep a close eye on the work being done.

The Most Important Elements in A Crane Load Chart

  1. Dimensions / Weight

First, and most crucially, the chart lists the overall dimensions for the crane.  This will include both its “compact” transport size, as well as its maximum possible dimensions with all outriggers extended.  It also includes transportation weight, both gross, and broken down per axle.

All this information is critical for ensuring the crane can make it to your job site and fit within that site.

  1. Lift Capacity

Of course, you need to know what the crane can lift.  This is not a single number!  The maximum safe lift relies on several factors including the amount of counterweight used, and how far the lift arm is extended.  A fully extended arm can lift far less than when the arm is at its shortest.  So, there are charts included which are absolutely necessary for calculating max lifts.

  1. Lift Range/Angle

How far can the lift arm extend, while still being capable of lifting?  What are the ranges of movement for the arm?  The load chart includes these pieces of information as well, which will also be factored into calculating load sizes and lift angles.

  1. Crane in Motion

Finally, there are situations where a crane may first pick up a load, then physically carry it to a different location.  This section gives all the relevant dimensions, as well as maximum lifting while still moving at the standard 2.5MPH for carry jobs.

Bobcat Contracting Offers Highly Trusted Crane Lifting Services

We are one of the top choices in Texas and Oklahoma when contractors and other operations need top-quality cranes and expert safety-focused operators.  Contact us directly to discuss your next lift job.


Bobcat Contracting: PO Box 663 • 1721 HCR 3106 • Hillsboro, Texas 76645 • T: 254.582.0205 • F: 866.582.3199 • E: Bobcat Crane, L.L.C.: 20880 FM 2854 • Montgomery, Texas 77316 • T: 936.597.5448