Mobile Crane Hire vs Tower Crane Hire

There are many types of cranes to consider when deciding which crane to hire. However, they can all generally be categorised into two types: mobile cranes and fixed cranes (most commonly tower cranes). Though both have their own strengths and weaknesses, there are many advantages to hiring a mobile crane rather than a tower crane.

The Benefits of Hiring a Mobile Crane


The biggest difference between mobile cranes and tower or fixed cranes is their mobility. As their names suggest, fixed cranes are fixed to a single spot once they have been set up. Whereas, mobile cranes can be moved as needed.

The mobility of a mobile crane holds many advantages for any construction site. For example, if you require the use of a crane for multiple sites, you could hire a single mobile crane that could travel between the two sites when needed. Plus, because most mobile cranes are also roadworthy vehicles, they can also be used to transport heavy materials between sites.


A huge advantage of choosing to hire a mobile crane is the versatility it comes with. Though tower cranes are ideal for use on heavy duty construction sites, they don’t have many other applications.

The versatility of a mobile crane allows it to be used for both heavy lifting on a construction site as well as other uses. Other applications of a mobile crane can include fitting into small spaces and even inside large buildings for precision lifts. Mobile cranes are also able to be used for domestic lifts including moving furniture, storage containers and pools.


An obvious difference between mobile and tower cranes is their size. Compared to a tower crane, any type of mobile crane would be considered compact. Although they are small, mobile cranes still have a considerable weight lifting capacity.

Compact size can also be an advantage on an urban construction site. Heavily populated cities are often affected by limited space on job sites and Brisbane is no exception. This is where the compact size of a mobile crane can come in handy. The small size and increased maneuverability of a mobile crane allows for it to be used in tight access lifts where precision is essential. Not only that, mobile cranes can be used on many job sites where the limited space will not allow for tower crane erection.

Set Up Time

Another big difference between tower cranes and mobile cranes is their set-up time. Mobile cranes are known for their high on road speeds and quick setup times. Because the mobile crane is an all-inclusive vehicle it requires little to no setup time. Because mobile cranes can legally be driven on suburban roads, a mobile crane can be ready to lift almost as quickly as it can arrive to the job site.

Conversely, tower cranes require a lot of time and labour to set up. After the crane has arrived on site it can take anything between hours to days to set up depending on the size of the tower crane. This won’t only cost you more in money.

If your job has strict time constraints the set-up time of a tower crane could be the difference between finishing on time. This also means that a mobile crane could have a small job completed before a tower crane has even set up.


Because of the considerable time required to set up a tower crane, the total hire cost of a tower crane is driven up. Consider the hours required for tower crane setup where you are paying for both the crane hire and the labour required to set it up. In comparison, the cost in a setup of a mobile crane is negligible.

This also makes a mobile crane ideal for jobs with a shorter time frame or even a single day of crane hire. The shorter amount of time you are planning to hire a crane for, the more you will save by hiring a mobile crane and reducing setup costs.

This is a generalised summary of the difference between the average mobile crane and tower crane. If you’re looking for advice about which crane to hire for your next job, Contact Consolidated Transport for advice or a quote