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bik blog city cranes

Your City Wouldn’t Be the Same Without These Mobile Cranes

Nathan Ivan

Keeping a city safe, moving and beautiful is a collective effort. Hundreds of people across several disciplines work every day to make your city a great place to be. A sign of industrial and infrastructure development, city cranes are among the most important tools that keep metropolises moving.

Whether a stationary crane or a mobile boom truck crane, city cranes fulfil a plethora of needs. In recent years, the biggest development has been not just in capability, but how flexible they have become in terms of capability.

In this post, we’ll take a look at five of the most common types of city cranes and truck cranes.

Make no mistake city cranes have made modern living possible.

Tree Cutting and Trimming Cranes

Cranes can be great aids for those in the tree cutting industry. Truck cranes are particularly indispensable if trees have been damaged by a storm and are unsafe to climb. Even large trees or those located on compact residential plots require truck cranes to remove them safely. Similarly, tree trimming is essential to ensure the safety of pedestrians and vehicles from falling branches.

Did you know truck cranes are also used to move, replant and stabilize trees that have been damaged!

Construction Cranes

Construction cranes come in all types of configurations – some mobile, others static. Not only are construction cranes essential for the growth of the economy and creating jobs, they are considered a real metric of growth and prosperity. The more construction cranes a city has, the more prosperous it is considered.

These cranes are either temporarily built or attached to a motor vehicle. Most construction cranes are telescopic cranes. Stationary cranes are used to hoist large, heavy loads at commercial building sites. At residential sites, mobile cranes are sufficient to handle all material and equipment lifting needs.

More about boom truck cranes

WATCH: Our trucks in action

5 Cool jobs cranes are used for

How hydraulic systems are used in mobile cranes

bik blog crane constructionStreetlight & Overhead Cable Cranes

Just like cranes are really helpful for those working with trees that can’t support much weight, cranes have made repairing streetlights and overhead cable installation much more efficient. Mobile cranes enable rapid movement of crews from one point to another. Once there, a lifting platform ensures workers a stable surface to step on and enough room to manoeuver safely.


Car Towing & Accident Recovery Cranes

Cranes also play a key role in car towing and accident recovery. Transporting broken or crashed vehicles requires a truck-mounted crane is the best and fastest way to remove it from the road. A network of tow and accident recovery cranes means traffic isn’t stationary for long.

Industrial mobile cranes

Any growing city needs industry to sustain jobs, and industrial cranes certainly do their part. Small and mid-size businesses, in particular, rely on small mobile cranes to lift and haul cargo and equipment. In fact, some production operations employ the same crane for various different tasks around the facility. It speaks volumes about modern modular boom crane design for mobile cranes.


Bik Hydraulics has become known as one of the largest and most respected new and used boom truck crane sellers across all of North America. Our customers trust us for reliable and well-engineered cranes.

bik blog 5 cool cranes

5 Cool Jobs Cranes are used for Around the World

Nathan Ivan

If steel and concrete are the building blocks of the world as we know it, cranes are the indispensable workhorses that put them together. There are all types of cranes – from small mobile cranes to towering construction cranes that are taller than high-rise buildings themselves.

Think Thor is the mightiest avenger? You haven’t seen what these types of cranes can do!

Think crane and immediately your mind goes to construction cranes. However, cranes have permeated far and wide. Today, cranes perform a whole host of tasks, some that truly fall in the category of cool.

Here are 5 fascinating types of cranes. And their impact on your life is much greater than you can imagine.


Global shipping

Literally the backbone of globalization, vast gantries load and unload thousands of containers on and off post-panamax ships. Gantry type cranes are semi-mobile. Installed on rails, gantries are able to run parallel to docked vessels. The jib remains raised till the ship has docked and then positions itself over the containers. The World Bank estimates that over 750 million containers passed through the world’s 50 busiest ports in 2017 – and all have been handled by mobile cranes! Gantry cranes make the world economy possible – and deliver that brand new iPhone into your hand.

Tallest gantry: 220 feet

Strongest gantry crane: 20,000 metric tons


Building Boeings

You’ve surely heard at least one of the many interesting facts about Boeing’s factory in Everett, Washington. It is the largest building on Earth – so large that it is said the Disneyland theme park can fit inside it! If that’s not enough, the building has its own micro-climate, with clouds forming. So the 26 overhead cranes that run across 60 km of track have their work cut out. Wondering when your plane first flew? Probably when, in Boeing’s plant, one of these mighty overhead cranes lifted and ‘flew’ a near complete jet over other planes and thousands of workers. Building mounted cranes also have to be able to balance both facets – incredible lifting strength and fine control over movement.

Overhead crane capacity: 40+ tons


Other interesting reads:

How hydraulic systems are essential for different types of crane trucks

Should buy a used or new boom truck for your business?

6 questions you should ask before buying a knuckle boom truck


Making movie magic

This one needs a bit of a spoiler alert. Gasping as your hammer wielding superhero takes flight? It’s a crane that made that bit of movie magic possible, or brought the director’s eccentric vision to life. Crane shots are integral to movie making; cinematography, special effects and more rely on movie set cranes. Camera cranes are much smaller than their heavy lifting brethren, but far more adaptable. These jib cranes can be remote controlled, shaped to suit confined space and are… shhh… extremely silent.

Number of Superman flights filmed: 19 per day


Construction cranes

The humble construction crane is, truly, the most underappreciated asset of the construction industry. Construction cranes are actually tower cranes. Fixed to one point in the ground, construction cranes serve one purpose: lifting. Some are specialized, but most building cranes are used to lift steel beams, heavy construction loads – even elevators! It’s why tower crane operators require so much training. You need incredible spatial awareness and foresight when you are working with hundreds of people on the construction site and the smallest mistake can cause fatalities.

Tallest tower crane: Over 400 feet tall

Strongest construction crane: 120 tons


Mobile cranes

Another equally unassuming type of crane is the mobile crane, or crane truck. These are everywhere, doing virtually everything. A mobile crane is typically self-propelled. What it means is it can drive to the job site; configure into a lifting platform with jacks; extend the jib and be ready for business. Almost like a Transformer this, mobile crane, is. Only, instead of shooting lasers it has almost alien lifting powers! Crane trucks can be configured with a number of boom and jib variations, making them extremely versatile.

Strongest truck crane: 1200 tons

Tallest mobile crane: Over 300 feet


Cranes are truly modern marvels. Floating cranes (ships designed especially for lifting) can lift over 14000 tons – on water! The International Space Station has a crane arm (designed and built right here in Canada!) that perform incredibly delicate tasks, transport astronauts and material, and even walk from one end of the ISS to the other!

bik blog hydraulic truck used crane trucks for sale

Learn How Hydraulic Systems are Essential for Different Types of Crane Trucks

Nathan Ivan

Hydraulic cranes are wonders of industry. Look at a 40 ton crane and you can’t help but marvel at how something so compact can lift a load so heavy and elevate it to such great heights.

Crane trucks are relied on by many an industry. Be it construction, mining or transportation, a boom truck crane will play an essential role. And it is why crane trucks come in so many configurations. Whereas light lifters may be diesel or electric powered, hydraulic types of crane rely on hydraulic power for their lifting needs.

In this article we are looking at the different types of hydraulic boom truck crane, and truck hydraulics, generally. Read more to understand why buying used crane trucks for sale from a reputed seller is so important (hint: truck maintenance).

What is a hydraulic crane?

A hydraulic boom truck crane is essentially a mobile crane. Whereas it is propelled on the road by a conventional diesel engine, its boom and crane are operated by hydraulic systems.

Hydraulics is a concept simple to understand but difficult to get right. Defined by Pascal’s principle, hydraulics is a way of transferring energy. A relatively small force exerted at one end is transmitted by incompressible fluid to perform a task requiring a much greater force. A hydraulic crane can, therefore, lift far higher loads and exert much greater pressures than compared to other configurations.

Truck hydraulics run under great pressure and that’s why safe operation and truck maintenance are quintessential.

How does a hydraulic crane work?

Depending on the types of truck, truck hydraulics can vary widely for purpose, specification and engineering. However, every hydraulic boom truck crane will follow these basic principles:

Ram – The ram will transfer the force pumped through the pipes to the application

Hydraulic cables – Hydraulic cables need to be thin and extremely strong. After all, they must transfer power to the ram and handle the inertia of the object being acted upon.

Pump – Hydraulic pumps are responsible for controlling the flow of liquid and control the hydraulic pressure that is applied.

Power source – Pumps need a power source and very often this is a diesel or electric power source.

Types of hydraulic crane

There are many different types of new and used crane trucks for sale that rely on hydraulics. Crane trucks are referred to as ‘40 ton’, ‘100 ton’ or ‘500 ton’. This is the maximum weight the crane can lift.

Depending on the size and configuration of the drivetrain, a hydraulic crane may or may not be suitable to drive on the road. Cranes capable of lifting extremely heavy loads may be tracked vehicles, meaning they have to be transported on trailers. However, most mobile hydraulic cranes have tires and can be driven on the road.

The configuration of a hydraulic crane will also affect its load-bearing capacity. While a crane’s maximum capacity may be, say, 100 tons, as the angle and length of the jib are increased, peak load capacity decreases. Moreover, hydraulics are used in a variety of applications. Here are some other types of crane that employ hydraulics:

  • Tree trimming and cutting tools
  • Hydraulic excavators
  • Hydraulic jacks
  • Dumpster trucks

Before buying used crane trucks for sale

Looking to buy used crane trucks for sale? Make sure you get a full truck maintenance record. Hydraulic equipment can wear down with time and use. Seals can decay, stress fractures can appear in rams and pipes. It is essential all of this equipment is replaced at the appropriate time.

It’s why you should select used crane trucks for sale very carefully. Truck maintenance can have an enormous impact on your operation. Not only can it lead to downtime, operating hydraulic types of crane unsafely can be in violation of provincial and federal labour codes.

Trusted Hydraulic Truck Provider

Bik Hydraulics has been a trusted supplier of hydraulic boom truck cranes across North America for decades. Our engineering team has helped prepared numerous configurations of cranes for clients. Get in touch with our specialists to talk about your specific mobile crane needs.

The Ultimate Guide To Purchasing the Right Used Crane Trucks For Sale

Nathan Ivan

Crane trucks are machines of labour. They are not meant to be kept wrapped up in a garage – they are put to work!

Taken from place to place, crane trucks help you lift, carry, extract and install. These are real workhorses in industries ranging from marine to construction. When it comes time to buy used crane trucks for sale, you have to be aware of exactly what you are getting.

Crane trucks are sturdy workhorses! Good used crane trucks for sale aren’t tired out, they are just broken in.

There are far too many types of boom trucks and far too many configurations to guide a buyer of used crane trucks for sale with every little detail. Instead, in this article, we set you on the path that will lead to the right truck for you. Every used crane truck is different; but, with a little guidance from us, you can find a truck that will serve you faithfully for years to come.

Remember: be mindful of the capacity your business can need in the future.

How old is it?

Crane trucks are sturdily-built, reliable lifters. So, it’s no surprise that they keep running for many years. However, age can have a couple of consequences: it may not be legal on the road anymore, and it may lack the safety features you are legislated to have today. Old-but-functioning used crane trucks for sale may seem to offer a lucrative value for money proposition, but can cost you in other ways.

Check for: regulations governing the use of crane trucks in your industry; is the truck still road legal?

Corroded or rusted?

Once you start looking for used crane trucks for sale, you should keep an eye for rust or corrosion showing on the truck. It can be a sure shot sign that it has led a very hard life. Salt on highways, working in proximity to seawater and even some industrial areas can cause corrosion – external and internal.

If the body’s showing signs of rust (or even patches of fresh paint), it’s a sign you should check the hydraulic mechanism and drivetrain thoroughly. Cables, gears and motors, once they start developing rust, become safety hazards as much as causes of downtime.

Check for: rust on the under-body of the truck; corrosion on the boom; discoloured or misshapen seals and gaskets.

Has it been maintained?

Boom trucks face significant wear and tear in their working lives. Regular maintenance is essential for maximizing the longevity of the craning mechanism and the truck itself. Before finalizing from a stock of used crane trucks for sale, you should get a service record.

Unexplained gaps or ambiguous references to ‘checked’ should raise red flags.

Check for: service history; part replacement and maintenance details.

Repaired or botched?

Unfortunately, not every boom truck owner has the same mindset of taking care of their truck. Some will take care to replace or repair parts the right way, others will rely on a “botch” or “that’ll do” approach.

Replacement parts, especially, should be accompanied by a full record of source and conformity with manufacturer specifications.

Check for: different brands of parts; unsightly welds and tape; missing seals and gaskets; inspect hydraulic mechanism thoroughly.

What is its capacity today?

Just like a car engine that will lose horsepower over time, used crane trucks for sale too may offer reduced peak performance. It is not a sign of damage – it is simply a reality.
How much of a performance loss? Well, that can be a subjective answer and will vary from truck to truck. That’s why you need to buy from people who have a good reputation in the industry. At Bik Hydraulics we make sure our customers make informed decisions about their crane trucks.

Check for: sufficient capacity overhead in truck performance; working history of the truck.

At Bik Hydraulics we have a vast inventory of new and used crane trucks for sale. If you have a need, we have a truck for it. We treat our trucks with the respect they deserve. Our motto: your business should get the boom truck it can trust and rely on for years to come.


Nathan Ivan
Buying a knuckle boom truck for your business is a big decision. It will have a significant capital impact: it will also have a lot of revenue generating potential.

You should perform a thorough assessment of the real world implications of buying a knuckle boom truck for sale. In this article, we help you do that. We discuss the six critical questions you should ask before you buy a knuckle boom truck.


Nathan Ivan

You’ve worked hard, you’ve saved your money, you deserve to spoil yourself.  You drive to the car dealership, walk in proud as can be and plunk down $400,000 for a brand new shiny red Ferrari 812 Superfast.  One of the world’s most incredible feets of automotive engineering.  You take the The Pilota Ferrari driving course to learn how to get the most out of your new found love.  You never miss the regularly scheduled maintenance intervals and as amazing as this car is and exciting it is to drive, this vehicle won’t earn you a single penny.  None the less, you will love this car like its your child ensuring it is cared for in every way possible to keep it pristine.

Nothing is to good for your shiny red Ferrari! Right? Well why not your boom truck?


Did you know that less than 1% of boom truck owners read their owners manual unless there is a problem?  Did you know that unless a company is forced to have proper training few companies will ever provide it?

We have a local customer who owns several boom trucks.  We won’t see the trucks for months and months.  Then we see the same truck 3 times in one week. This will prompt me to call our customer and ask him how long has he had a new operator? And of course he wonders how I would know. The answer is very simple.  If suddenly we see the same boom truck coming into the shop 3 times in one week, then I know someone is not operating the boom properly. At that point I will notify my customer that I would like to keep his operator there for a couple hours and familiarize him with the boom. 9 times out of 10 when we are finished with the repair and the truck leaves our shop, I never see the operator back.

In this scenario, the operator is happy, our customer is happy, and in turn, his customers are happy. So, reading your owners manual is critical to help ensure your boom truck is being operated properly and will have a longer and less costly life.


Nathan Ivan
The tree removal industry has faced a number of challenges – safety, property damage, operational inefficiency. Moreover, the skill level of operators can vary significantly. And, perhaps, most significantly, the quality of equipment makes the biggest difference of all. After all, not everyone will invest in a high-quality Heila knuckle boom to make their jobs easier.


Nathan Ivan
I sell boom trucks. I also own a home that has a septic tank, a shingled roof, drywall on the walls, brick on the outside of the house, and a host of other things. I have no idea about how to shingle a roof, what shingles to use; I certainly have no idea about how to form a septic tank, lay weeping tile or mix mortar and lay bricks. So, where would I start if I had to complete any one of these?

1. Call an industry professional!

What’s an industry professional? I would say a time-tested company that has been in the industry for a substantial period. Such companies usually have standalone facilities. The companies also stock booms, indicating that they sell boom trucks regularly and are stable.

Call a company that participates in your industries’ associations; it shows that they will support your company’s ability to do business better, and, to grow. An industry professional is someone who understands your business and needs because of the years of experience they have in dealing with that type of industry.

2. Define your needs

When you’re purchasing a boom truck, you are paying a large part for reach and capacity. Time and again we have a precast-concrete or poured-wall Company call and asks for a boom longer than they need, with capacities greater than they require. I will use septic tank companies as an example. I take a call from a company and they ask for a boom that will lift 25,000 pounds at 25’. I immediately respond, “Are you sure?” Normally my septic customer lift to 15’ and the capacity is 18,000 pounds, 24,000 pounds, or 27,000 pounds. There is a massive $100,000 price difference between those reaches and capacities. The response is almost always, “I do 18,000 pounds at 15’.” Now, we can get the proper proposal together for the customer.


Nathan Ivan

In the early days of modern signmaking, installers would use ropes, pulley systems, lifts, and ladders to accomplish various aerial jobs. However, over the years, the use of sign trucks has made it easier for industry operators to take their sign businesses to great heights. These machines are both mobile and versatile, and have made it easier for installers to work seamlessly—even in hard-to-reach areas.

Buying a sign truck is a significant investment that requires a great deal of thought.

Whether a company is looking to enhance the reach of its installation business or expand its overall services, here are seven factors for sign shop owners/managers to consider before making a purchase.

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