Knuckle Boom Cranes vs Telescopic: Making an Educated Decision

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JOMAC Blog » Knuckle Boom Cranes vs Telescopic: Making an Educated Decision
Knuckle Boom Cranes vs Telescopic: Making an Educated Decision

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The decision between knuckle boom and telescoping mobile cranes is completely dependent upon their intended use and industry served.

Each crane offers its own individual advantages that can be utilized when matched with an ideal application.

Deciding between the two is a simple matter of assessing your job site requirements, analyzing what features best serve your industry, and solidifying crane parameters (such as boom length, weight capacity, etc.)

There is no catch-all solution for contractors and businesses that seek to benefit from the use of a mobile hydraulic crane; each individual scenario is different.

The following are unique benefits that are worth weighing when deciding between knuckle boom and telescoping cranes.


Longer Reach vs. Compact Storage

In most cases, a telescoping crane is going to provide a longer vertical and horizontal reach then their hinged, knuckle boom counterparts.

The longer reach can be an advantage for some businesses and unnecessary for others. The telescoping crane has the ability to extend and retract from the boom, allowing a completely adjustable boom length with the flip of a switch.

Contrast this with the knuckle boom which has the unique ability to be stored on little deck space, creating more usable surface area on the entire truck.

While a telescoping crane will provide a longer horizontal reach, for those looking for a compact crane solution, the knuckle boom articulating crane is typically the way to go.

A knuckle boom still provides adequate horizontal extension, an create more space on a service truck body.


Better With a Winch vs. Better Maneuverability

Another differentiator to consider when deciding on the best crane for your business is the use of winch versus agile maneuverability.

While a knuckle boom crane can be equipped with a winch, traditionally winches are better suited for telescoping boom cranes. A winch on a telescoping boom provides better control as the stick boom does not bend, allowing the cable sturdy support.

As far as multi-angle maneuverability goes, there is no better choice than the knuckle boom. The knuckle hinge allows for crane retraction and rotation in a single movement.

In combining lifting and turning in one fluid motion, the knuckle boom crane will provide an operator with the ability to move cargo in a more precise manner.

Additionally, the ability to retract and expand at any angle allows the knuckle boom to be the prime tool for moving heavy objects in tightly confined or hard to reach spaces.


Vertical Clearance vs. Faster Loading


The telescoping mobile crane will typically lend an advantage to operators that will need the ability to move cargo over vertical obstacles.

The ability to incorporate a winch and extend directly upward create the option to move heavy objects over barriers and obstructions without having to reposition the service truck.

This lends a great advantage to operators consistently exposed to overcrowded job sites or tall structure work, where cargo and materials will need to be lifted to higher levels to be off loaded for building.

Contrast this with an operator making multiple stops in a day, and the knuckle boom crane will be the prime option. The knuckle boom crane has the ability to make multiple movements at a single instance, allowing a skilled operator to lift and load with a single movement.

In addition, the knuckle boom allows for more precise cargo placement on the truck body when loading, due to the multi-joint construction of the boom, alleviating the need to reposition cargo once stored on the truck bed.


Wrap Up

knuckle boom crane telescopic crane infographic3


If you are interested in equipping your truck or fleet with mobile hydraulic cranes, please click here to contact a JOMAC service representative for a free quote and consultation.

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