Tools of the Trade: All-Terrain Cranes


By Seth Skydel

ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp. 

“In just a few days, we’ve used the same all-terrain on infrastructure work, at a chemical plant, and on a downtown street,” said Brian Meek, equipment specialist at ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp., part of the ALL Family of Companies. “These amazingly versatile machines can precisely fit the demands of each application. The same all-terrain that today is erecting a cell tower, tomorrow will be setting precast or steel. You just can’t narrow the scope of work for today’s all-terrain models. 

“The all-terrains we’ve been acquiring lately offer long booms and plenty of muscle, so we can cover mechanical and HVAC work, industrial, chemical, and petro-chem plant work, and maintenance on cell towers and windmills,” Meek added. “We can also go off road for infrastructure work because their high capacities can handle heavy lifts without needing to create specialize padding.” 

The ALL fleet of all-terrain cranes have capacities that range from 50 to 900 USt and boom lengths from 48’ to 279’. Most are from Liebherr and Grove, along with some from Link-Belt and Tadano. 

“With our all-terrain cranes, asymmetrical outriggers offer greater flexibility to get closer to the work because we’re no longer locked into a set length,” Meek stated. “We can now run site-specific load charts and place larger cranes that can adapt to a job site like never before. They can also give us the ability to use a smaller crane, which saves money for our customers.” 

Vic’s Crane and Heavy Haul 

Based in Rosemount, Minnesota, Vic’s Crane and Heavy Haul, is operating a new Grove GMK5250XL-1 all-terrain crane. “We primarily use the crane on cell towers,” said Josh Horsch, vice president. “With 5G expanding across Minnesota, there are many projects underway, and for cell tower work with a 257’ main boom we can hit everything. We’re also starting to use the GMK5250XL-1 for setting pre-cast panels. 

“The crane has an impressive load chart for a five-axle model,” Horsch continued. “Normally, long-boom cranes are not as strong for up-close lifts but the GMK5250XL-1 has stout charts at a short radius, and we are taking advantage of that for precast projects.”

Doc Bailey Cranes

Jeremy Lichtenberger, a crane inspector, rigger, and load-test supervisor with California-based Doc Bailey Cranes in its Hawaii and Pacific islands operation, reported how the company’s new Link-Belt 175|AT is being used in a number of ways. Its work includes lifting large boats at shipyards and water rigs for movie sets, placing HVAC units on buildings, and loading and unloading ships for the military. 

“One of the most stressful lifts we’re doing with the Link-Belt 175|AT is moving protected trees,” Lichtenberger related. “There are indigenous trees in Hawaii that have to be carefully placed on trailers at development sites and put back in the ground elsewhere without letting the rigging damage the tree. 

“This new crane has the portability and drivability, and the outriggers for tight job sites,” Lichtenberger added. “The ability to have flexibility at any configuration and still get a load chart is irreplaceable.” 

JK Crane 

JK Crane’s fleet of all-terrain cranes includes a number of newer Tadano models and routinely handles a variety of projects. The fleet’s work has included lifting railcars, bridge beams, toll booths, HVAC units, cargo from ships, and an excavator out a pond. JK Crane even used an all-terrain lift florescent rock from a quarry and set it on a flatbed truck for its trip to a museum. 

“The all-terrains have massive lifting power,” said Jennifer Gabel, owner and president of the Kenvil, New Jersey, company. “They also give us the versatility to configure them in rural areas and have the footprint to fit in the street for city work. One of the best features of our Tadano AC300, for example, is its asymmetrical outriggers that allow us to set up in almost any space.” 


Based in Portland, Oregon, NessCampbell has several all-terrain cranes in various sizes for rent throughout Oregon and Washington. The more than 50 all terrains in its fleet include Grove, Liebherr, and Link-Belt units. One of its most unique lifts was placing additional stadium seats at Lumen Field in Seattle so the facility could qualify to host a Super Bowl. 

“Our newest all-terrain cranes have better flexibility and longer booms,” said John Anderson, president. “They are so sophisticated that we can access load charts for any outrigger configuration in the cab and not have look through load chart books and perform the calculations. In that regard, especially, all-terrains make us more efficient and more competitive.” 

Seth Skydel is a writer with 38 years of experience covering the trucking, utility, construction, and related markets.


Crane Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.