First designed to meet the strict road regulations of the North American market, truck cranes are highly capable machines that can be driven at highway speeds to reach the jobsite. From there, the cranes are used to perform high-capacity lifts on construction sites, and they are often called taxi cranes because they make multiple lifts on different jobsites throughout a day.
Unlike a boom truck, truck cranes feature a single design in which the chassis and crane are one piece. This is a more sophisticated design than a boom truck, which often costs more. However, truck cranes can lift heavier loads than a boom truck, which gives them greater lifting capabilities to crane owners and operators. For example, the capacity of a boom truck tops out at 55 tons, while a truck crane can lift in excess of 150 tons. Boom lengths reach to about 200 feet. Check with the crane manufacturer for details on specific models.
Truck cranes often combine the boom from an all-terrain crane on a lighter chassis, allowing manufacturers to utilize these booms on a number of machines in order to cut manufacturing costs. Typical manufacturers of truck cranes are Liebherr, Link-Belt, Tadano, Grove, and Sany. Many models available only have one engine to power the cab and crane. However, some new models include a second engine to run the crane, which saves on emissions and gas for the owner.
Note that in 2010 the Occupational Safety & Health Administration passed a new crane rule. Among the changes, OSHA now requires truck crane operators to carry a license to operate a crane in North America. Many Canadian provinces also require operators to be licensed. Several organizations, including CIC, NACB, and NCCCO, are accredited crane operator licensures, which can facilitate operators to perform written and practical exams in order to receive their operator licenses.