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16th July 2020


Here at Ainscough Crane Hire, we’re proud to run the UK’s largest and most varied fleet in the UK crane industry. In this article we will detail the difference between crane hire and contract lift services.

Jump to: Whats is crane hire? | Whats is contract lift?

As experienced operators across a variety of sectors, we understand the importance of even the smallest detail to deliver the end result your project requires, and our wide range of teams, cranes and transport enables us to carefully tailor our services to your project’s needs. It’s this combination of experience and knowledge that enable us to consistently deliver results for our clients.

However, while its second nature to us, we’re very aware that for a lot of people crane hire is not an everyday activity.

Which is why, when it comes to understanding our services, it can be difficult for customers to know just which crane and what sort of rental their project will require.

So, we’ve put together a handy guide to the two main types of crane rental that will help make your project run that little bit easier.

While there’s a variety of cranes your project could use – this includes mobile, crawler, and mobile tower cranes of up to 1000t – there are two main ways that they can be rented.

Below, we’ll explain the ins-and-outs of what are known in the industry as Crane Hire and Contract Lifts.

What is Crane Hire?

Crane Hire refers to the rental of a vehicle from our well maintained and updated fleet of over 400 cranes.

As part of the Crane Hire service, Ainscough also provides an expert crane operator, CPCS ‘blue card’ qualified, who will follow your instructions capably and efficiently. They will work to our standards and expectations, and your Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS).

Through the crane hire process under CPA (Construction Plant Hire Association) crane hire terms and conditions you would be fully responsible for the supervision of any work undertaken on-site and have full liability for the vehicle, operator, lifting operations as set out in your Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS). You are therefore required to prepare all of the paperwork required which includes Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS) provide an Appointed Person and lifting team to oversee the planning, selecting a suitable crane, ensure compliance to BS7121, LOLER and provide insurance cover (usually referred to hired in plant insurance and third party liability cover) for the crane and team while on your site.

You will also be fully responsible for the ground conditions at the berthing location of the crane and the access/egress to and from site.

Given the importance of this role, we will always recommend that your Appointed Person has appropriate experience and training within the operating industry. Skillsets such as knowledge of slinging and signalling duties are essential.

Some businesses will often have their own Appointed Person who is able to manage the required level of preparation and supervision needed for a lift to take place safely. For a lot of businesses though, there simply isn’t the call to have an Appointed Person on the books or their experience and expertise of handling complex lifts, locations and conditions when an operation involving a crane or complex activity may not be a regular occurrence.

If that sounds like you or your business, it’s likely a Contract Lift may be the better option.

What is a Contract Lift?

Contract Lifts are the perfect option for those companies who do not have their own Appointed Person and are looking for a fully managed, turnkey lifting solution.

Just like Crane Hire, this option means we would provide specialist, best-in-class equipment and team to complete our task. However, customers who opt for a Contract Lift provided under CPA (Construction Plant Hire Association) contract lift terms and conditions receive a much wider service.

This includes:

  • Site visits/scope of work
  • Selection of required crane
  • Lifting plans
  • Risk assessments (including COVID-19 compliance)
  • Method statements
  • Appointed person
  • Slinger/signallers
  • Transport
  • Traffic management
  • Quality, health & safety & environmental analysis
  • Road closures and much more.

Insurance Cover

  • Damage to crane
  • Loss of hire during the repair
  • Lifted Goods
  • Public Liability

All of the above are delivered by the most experienced team in the industry from our nationwide network. This means we can plan and deliver the lift, allowing you more time to focus on other aspects of your project.

Under the terms of a standard CPA Contract Lift, the safe operation of the crane and the safety and welfare of the operator are our responsibility including the supply of Appointed Person who will be responsible for all aspects of planning and execution of the lift.

Plus, our team always follow the safe system of work, if we are in any doubts our team will stop and Make the Safe Choice, always.

In terms of what cranes are used as part of a contract lift, we have the largest fleet in the UK to choose from incorporating innovation like Vario-base and Vario-ballast which allows us to get our cranes into places that might not have been possible without those innovations.

Contract Lift comes with the reassurance that the majority of the responsibilities, legal liabilities and potential financial risks sit with us, rather than you or your business.

Contact Ainscough Ltd For Crane Hire & Contract Lift Services

So, the difference between Crane Hire and Contract Lift is relatively simple, but if you’re still unsure about which is the best option for you then don’t worry, you can always get in touch with our team to discuss your requirements in greater detail.

We’d be delighted to discuss how we can support your next lifting project.

Contact us today:

0800 272 637
Book a site survey today ✉️

Call Us today on 0800 272 637