Mobile Crane Or Tower Crane?

Cranes are used on construction sites to lift heavy materials and perform tasks in a matter of minutes that would otherwise take a team of workers hours to complete. However, when it comes to choosing the right crane for your construction project it can be difficult to decide whether a mobile crane or a tower crane best suits your needs.

That’s why we have put together this list of the key differences between mobile cranes and tower cranes including the advantages and disadvantages of each.

What’s The Difference Between Mobile Cranes & Tower Cranes?


When it comes to tower cranes and mobile cranes, mobile cranes have the advantage of mobility as they can easily travel to different areas of the job site, and even between sites, to perform multiple lifts. Conversely, tower cranes are fixed to a single spot and cannot easily be moved like a mobile crane. In fact, it can take days to set up a single tower crane so it is typically not worth it to move a tower crane after setup.


tower crane

Another obvious difference between mobile and tower cranes is size. Tower cranes can be as tall as high rise buildings. Whereas, mobile cranes, though still a large piece of machinery, are considered compact in comparison.

This gives tower cranes an advantage when it comes to high rise construction as they can lift large and heavy items much higher than a mobile crane can (although mobile cranes are still capable of lifting objects to the top of high rise buildings). Additionally, the longer reach of a tower crane means that in most cases, they can reach anywhere on a construction site without moving. Conversely, mobile cranes would have to be moved and set up again to perform another lift elsewhere on the site.

However, the compact size of a mobile crane is an advantage for use on construction sites with limited space and access. Additionally, mobile cranes can be driven into smaller areas where a tower crane would not fit to complete lifts.

Set Up

When it comes to set up time, mobile cranes have the clear advantage. Most mobile cranes can be driven on public roads to the job site and, after minimal set up, be ready to start lifting. Conversely, tower cranes can take hours or even days to be set up before the first lift can be completed.

This means that in some cases a mobile crane can arrive onsite, setup, complete the job, and then leave in a shorter period of time than it would take to just set up a tower crane. This saves you money as time on site is money spent when it comes to cranes.


Mobile cranes and tower cranes typically have similar lifting capacities. However, a single tower crane can often complete the work of multiple mobile cranes due its greater reach. This is because a tower crane can access materials across a construction site without the need for site roads or the delay of moving and setting up a mobile crane.

However, for jobs across multiple job sites, mobile cranes hold the advantage as they can travel between job sites and even transport materials.

Mobile Crane Or Tower Crane?

mobile cranes vs tower cranes

Both mobile cranes and tower cranes come with their own advantages. The decision of whether to hire a mobile crane or a tower crane should be based on the requirements of each job. If you need a crane to be used on a job site with limited space, a mobile crane is the way to go as they are compact and require minimal setup.

And if your job is limited on time, a mobile crane is the way to go as they can drive on public roads for quick arrival to any job site and can be set up in no time. Conversely, if you need a larger crane with longer reach, and for an extended period of time, a tower crane may be right for you.

For personalised advice from the crane hire experts, call Mighty Cranes today on 0477 000 976. We offer reliable mobile crane hire Brisbane wide at competitive prices!

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