When you have a large or heavy item that needs to be lifted from one location to another on the same site, it’s tempting to reduce costs by opting for crane hire rather than a contract crane lift.

A contract lift can be more expensive that crane hire, but it is also more involved, requiring a site visit, method statement and risk assessment before the contract crane lift can take place. But safety and due diligence are important and trying to cut costs by choosing crane hire instead of a contract crane lift can be a false economy.

With a contract lift, you’re not only getting crane hire, you’re also receiving expertise in all aspects of a contract crane lift, which ensures a fast and efficient operation. A decision to opt for crane hire, on the other hand, could entail unnecessary risk and hidden costs.

Crane hire risk factors

When you choose a contract crane lift rather than crane hire, the whole operation is covered by your industrial services provider’s insurance. This means that the contract lift is insured for public liability, the value of the lifted goods, any damage to the lifted goods and any damage to the crane hire asset.

While your own insurance may cover some of these scenarios, it will not cover you for all elements of risk involved in a lifting operation using a crane. As a result, if something goes wrong – with the lift or the equipment – during your crane hire, the costs you incur could be much greater than the money you’ve saved by opting not to commission the project as a contract lift.

Insurance considerations are not the only risk factors involved in weighing up the choice between crane hire and a contract lift either. Utilising a crane to lift assets of any kind requires the availability of a suitably competent, trained and accredited slinger/signaller and an authorised person (AP). If you choose to carry out the project as a contract crane lift, your industrial services provider will ensure that the correct team is in place to deliver the contract lift safely and efficiently, aligned to the method statement. If you opt for crane hire on the other hand, you will need to ensure that the correct personnel are available.

Any issues with personnel availability for your project could not only result in delays and a longer crane hire period, along with the associated costs, but could also have knock on operational impacts, with cost and productivity implications.

Investing in contract lift expertise

When you hire a professional industrial services company, such as AIS Vanguard, for a contract crane lift, rather than opting for crane hire, you don’t just benefit from their fleet, you also benefit from their contract lift expertise.

At AIS Vanguard, no matter how small the contract lift project, we always do a site visit to help us understand your requirements and the idiosyncrasies of your site. Our contract lift experts will then put together a detailed method statement, including a risk assessment, and ensure your contract crane lift is meticulously planned. This includes identifying the right crane and ancillary equipment for your contract crane lift, along with required personnel, and ensuring that the availability of both skills and equipment is ringfenced for the specified time and date of your contract lift project.

Choosing the right contract lift provider

For some companies, with in-house expertise in planning and implementing lifting projects, crane hire may be the most suitable option. However, with a contract crane lift, most of the responsibility for planning, safety, and an efficient operation lie with the industrial services provider so there is clear added value to choosing this route.

If you do opt for a contract lift, it’s important to select a provider that you can trust. At AIS Vanguard, we have seven branches across the UK, a wide-ranging fleet of wholly owned lifting equipment and the proven contract lift expertise you would expect from an industrial services company with a 40-year track record.