Determining the difference: All Terrain crane vs Mobile Truck crane

Life is full of choices. Do you buy the new long-wheelbase Defender or the classic Discovery? Decisions, decisions! The old “pros and cons” list might seem a bit trite, but often it’s the best way forward. 

Choosing the right type of crane for your specific project is crucial to ensure efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness. 

In this simple guide, we’ll explore the key differences (and honest pros and cons) between two popular types of cranes: All Terrain crane vs Mobile Truck crane, to help you make an informed decision on which crane is best suited for your project’s needs.

Understanding the All Terrain crane

Design and mobility

All Terrain cranes are specifically designed for off-road applications. They come equipped with large, robust, and heavily treaded tires, allowing them to navigate challenging terrains, such as construction sites, gravel roads, or uneven ground. This design makes them highly mobile in outdoor environments.

Lifting capacity

All Terrain cranes are known for their impressive lifting capacities. They can handle substantial loads, making them suitable for heavy-duty tasks. These cranes can have a lifting capacity ranging from 30 to 150 tons, depending on the model.

Telescopic boom

All Terrain cranes feature a telescopic boom, which can be extended to reach significant heights. This makes them suitable for tasks that require both reach and lifting power, such as setting up steel structures, HVAC installations, and lifting materials to elevated areas.


Despite their heavy-duty capabilities,All Terrain cranes are surprisingly agile. They can rotate 360 degrees and have excellent manoeuvrability in tight spaces, making them ideal for construction sites with limited room to operate.

Counterweight system 

To maintain stability while lifting heavy loads, All Terrain cranes come equipped with a counterweight system that can be adjusted as needed. This ensures that the crane remains steady during operations.

The Mobile Truck crane: A versatile option

On-road and off-road use 

Mobile cranes are highly versatile machines, as they can be driven on both roads and off-road terrains. They offer a degree of mobility that makes them suitable for various construction scenarios.

Varied lifting capacities 

Mobile Truck cranes come in various sizes and lifting capacities, ranging from smaller models with lifting capacities of 8 tons to larger units capable of hoisting up to 100 tons. This wide range of options makes mobile cranes adaptable to a variety of projects.

Boom configurations 

Mobile Truck cranes typically come in two main boom configurations: telescopic and lattice booms. Telescopic booms are ideal for reaching higher elevations, while lattice booms provide exceptional strength and versatility for lifting heavy and oversized loads.

Quick setup

One of the key advantages of Mobile Truck cranes is their quick setup time. They can be deployed rapidly, making them suitable for time-sensitive projects.

Outriggers for stability

To ensure stability during lifting, mobile cranes are equipped with outriggers that extend to provide a solid foundation. These outriggers can be adjusted according to the terrain, enhancing the crane’s stability.

Which Crane is best for your project? An All Terrain crane vs Mobile Truck crane

Now that you’re aware of the primary differences between All Terrain cranes and Mobile Truck cranes, the question remains: which one is the best fit for your project? The answer depends on various factors:

Consider your terrain and environment. If your project takes place in a rough, uneven, or off-road environment, an All Terrain crane is the superior choice. It is specially designed for these conditions and can handle heavy lifting on challenging terrain. 

Also look at the space you have to work with. If your project site is characterised by limited space or restricted access, All Terrain cranes excel due to their ability to navigate tight spots.

Think about the height and reach requirements of your project. If your tasks involve working at considerable heights, a crane with a telescopic boom, whether All Terrain or Mobile Truck, may be the best choice.

Evaluate the weight of the loads you need to lift. If your project requires the lifting of extremely heavy loads, you may need a mobile crane, which offers a broader range of lifting capacities.

Often, whether we like it or not, time constraints and budget come into our decision making on various aspects of a project, crane hire is no exception. For short-term or rapidly changing projects, a Mobile Truck crane’s quick setup and versatility may be more advantageous. All Terrain cranes are well-suited for more extended projects with demanding terrain. 

All Terrain crane vs Mobile Truck crane?

Your choice between these two cranes will depend on the terrain of your site, the space you have to work with, as well as the height and reach requirements and weight of the loads in question. Ultimately, this is also underpinned by your time and budget constraints. 

If you are still not sure which crane would suit your requirements, learn more about our contract lift service. We can help you determine the crane that is best and provide a team of operators to help you perform a successful lifting operation. 

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