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5 Tips for Crane Hand and Voice Signals

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With the introduction of new construction crane standards and certifications, there are some key tips that people sitting these tests need to remember when taking the signal person test.


1. Understand crane operations and limitations

When a signaller understands what crane operations, limitations and results may occur when certain signals are given to direct a crane operator, then they can use this information to carry out tasks and direction more effectively. For example, if a crane is about to be put into an overload condition then a signal person needs to signal the gain or loss of capacity to the crane operator quickly and clearly.


2. Special assignments as a signal person

As a signal person, it is important to understand each of the different signals and what they mean. For example, the ‘blind pick’ relay signal is assigned to lifts being made in a prohibited zone, or during lifting activity that uses a suspended personnel platform.


3. Present the hand signals correctly

When signalling the movements must be standardised and performed clearly so that they are easily understood. This is key so there is no room for misinterpretation. No allowance should be made for lazy hand signals.


4. Give voice signals in the correct format

When carrying out signals there is a set format that must be followed: function and direction; distance or speed; function and stop.


5. Understand what to do when there’s a failure in the communication process

All signals are continuous, whether that be via hand or voice, therefore this means that when an unplanned event occurs to the signal person they should give a ‘stop’ or ‘emergency stop’ signal. This allowed for the event to be sorted and the load moved on without causing an incident. There may be times when the operator cannot see or hear the signals, suspecting an unplanned loss of contact has occurred. At this point, they should stop moving the crane and load until they regain communication and the situation rectified. It is integral that a signal person also knows what to do during an unplanned event.



If you would like any more information on crane safety, or you would be interested in learning more about the services NMT Crane Hire provides, please get in touch with one of our friendly team members by calling us on 0800 026 6985, or fill out one of our online enquiry forms.

Top 10 Construction Crane Facts

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NMT Crane Hire prides itself on offering quality crane hire throughout the UK. Cranes are integral pieces of machinery in construction, helping transform urban areas with building offices, bridges, skyscrapers and more. Every modern skyline in a bustling city was built with the help of a crane. Here are some facts about construction cranes.

10 Facts About Construction Cranes:

1. Cranes were built by the Ancient Greeks

The first human-made crane was built by the Ancient Greeks around 500BC. It looked very different to the modern cranes we have today, instead of steel or metal they were made out of wood. Human or animal power was used to pull heavy objects up – but these early crane designs helped build some of the most recognisable and beautiful structures of the ancient world.

2. The crane arm (“jib”) was added in the Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, the “jib”, or crane arm, was able to move both horizontally and vertically – mainly because it was used to unload cargo ships in a harbour.

3. Steam engine technology was added to cranes in the 19th Century

With the invention of the steam engine in the 19th Century, the new technology was also applied to provide cranes with power, which eliminated the need for humans and animals used as a source of power.

4. The first mobile crane was manufactured in the 1950s

In the course of the 1950s, there was a significant change in the material used to manufacture cranes. Strong steel was used and also placed on the back of trucks, which saw the introduction of ‘mobile cranes’.

5. 200,000 cranes are estimated to be in use around the world

Around the world, there are over 200,000 cranes in use, of which 125,000 cranes are used in the construction industry and between 80,000 – 100,000 cranes are used in general and maritime industries.

6. Tallest crane in the world is a Liebherr type 357 HC-L

The tallest crane in the world is the Liebherr type 357 HC-L and it can lift up to 18 tons at 44 metres a minute. This crane was used in the construction of the world’s tallest building: Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia.

7. Cranes are dangerous, leading to 42 deaths each year in the UK

There are around 42 crane-related deaths each year.

8. Only 11% of crane accidents are caused by mechanical failure

Out of all the crane-related accidents that occur on a construction site, only 11% are due to mechanical failure. If these failures are spotted early, then further damage can be prevented, which is why cranes are inspected daily and yearly.

9. There are over 20+ types of crane types

Like many other products and machinery, there is a wide variety of different types for an array of purposes or to be used for specific projects. Some of the main crane types include tower cranes, mobile cranes, truck-mounted cranes, and rough terrain cranes.

10. Cranes share their name with a bird

We previously discussed our 5 most interesting facts about cranes, but construction cranes share their name with the tallest flying bird in the world.


We hope you have enjoyed our list of 10 most construction crane facts. To find out more about our crane hire services here at NMT Crane Hire, please contact our team by calling us on 0800 026 6985, or filling out our online enquiry form.

Top Reasons for Crane Hire

Crane hire is used for various different reasons; some are more common than others. Different types of cranes can also be hired for different types of jobs. In particular, the most common cranes’ people hire are mobile cranes and tower cranes. Mobile cranes are fantastic for various different tasks and jobs due to their versatility. Below, we’ve shared a few of the top reasons people need crane hire.

Image of a crane hook


When you go to a construction site, what’s the first thing you’ll usually see? Cranes! Construction work is one of the most common reasons people use crane hire. Construction can involve a lot of working at height and lifting heavy objects, which is where crane hire comes in very handy. Heavy haulage cranes are particularly popular with construction projects. Mobile cranes are great for when the site is slightly smaller as they have excellent mobility and versatility.

Film & TV

Film and TV is another popular reason to use crane hire. Everyone loves a stunt scene in a film, but not many tend to think about what’s gone on behind the scenes when shooting it. More often than not, a crane has been used to help with the shooting. For example, do you remember the helicopter roof scene in World War Z? A crane was used to help with the filming of the helicopter.

Crane Hire Saves Money

Above, we’ve shared some of the projects crane hires is used for, but why do people opt for hiring over buying a crane? One of the main reasons is that it saves money. Not only is it already cheaper to hire than buy but you won’t have to worry about maintenance or storage costs which will, therefore, save you money in the long run! In addition to this, if you only need it for one project, there’s no point in buying one just for that.


To find out more about crane hire, get in touch with the team at NMT Crane Hire Ltd. Give us a call on 0800 026 6985 or fill out our online contact form and a member of the team will contact you as soon as possible.

What’s the Difference Between Crane Hire & Contract Lift Hire?

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In this blog, we discuss the difference between crane hire and contract crane hire and the advantages. When you’re planning a lift, it is very commonplace to hire a crane and an operator to work on your instructions on the site.


The difference between crane hire and contract lift hire

Standard crane hire is simple; if you don’t require the services of a crane operator or appointed person then you can just hire the crane. However, this means that the crane will be your responsibility whilst on your site.

Whereas contract lift hire is when you hire a crane with the assistance of a crane operator and fully-qualified appointed person. This means that all aspects of the lift are the responsibility of the crane hire company rather than the customer. The appointed person uses their expertise to draw comprehensive lift plans and guides you through where to rig the pedestrian crane or mobile crane. The crane operator ensures that it is safe to carry out the lift.


What does an appointed person/ crane operator do?

Typically with contract lift hire, an appointed person will take care of a number of different things. Firstly, they will ensure that the mobile or tower crane has been maintained, services, tested and certified. They will also look after any additional lifting equipment and carry out a thorough site survey. 

A crane operator can offer expert advice and recommendations both before and during the lift, as well as drawing up a detailed plan of action. Alongside this, they will conduct a full site ground assessment to enable the crane is rigged safely.

Furthermore, if the lift requires road closures they will be the ones in communication with the police, as well as taking care of risk assessments.


What are the advantages of contract lift hire?

The crane hire company will take on these responsibilities:

  • Plans the lift with a suitable crane and designated an appointed person to supervise the lift
  • They take on the majority of risks and responsibility, including legal liability in the event of an injury to the driver or property damage that could occur front the lifting operation 


What are the advantages of crane hire?

You are responsible for how you handle the lift, selecting the most appropriate model of crane for the lift as well as responsible for arranging any signalling. Alongside this, you are also responsible for supervising the lift while it’s in operation. It is important to provide an experienced and trained Appointed Person during the process.



If you’re interested in crane hire services we have a wide range here at NMT Crane Hire, please contact our team by calling us on 0800 026 6985, or filling out our online enquiry form.

NMT Cranes Lift Slugs at Tate Britain

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Cranes Lift Slugs at Tate Britain

Cranes are known to be a prevalent part of the construction industry, but mobile cranes have also become an integral part of other industries. You may have seen or heard about the two giant LED slugs that currently surround the outside of the Tate Britain, which were lifted into place by NMT Cranes. The Turner Prize-winning artist Monster Chetwynd designed the slugs for The Tate’s annual winter commission after being inspired by David Attenborough’s 2005 documentary ‘Life in the Undergrowth’. The documentary featured the fascinating mating ritual of leopard slugs that dangle from threads of slime, their bodies glowing blue and glittery.

Crane Lift

The Tate Britain Slugs

The sculptures themselves are made up of recyclable materials like hessian and wicker, reaching an impressive 33ft in length each. Their enormous bodies trail glittering energy-efficient blue and white LED lights. The installation came about from Chetwynd’s interest in alternative energy sources, and the possibility that bioluminescence could one day be used to light up buildings and streets. The slugs are stunning to look at and it was a productive job for our expert team.

NMT Cranes & Unusual Rigging

Manoeuvring large products and materials is a specialist job that only the most trained specialists and knowledgeable professionals can undertake. In order for such a project to come to life, there are a number of precise and careful steps which have to be taken, involving a whole crew that is responsible for making the project come to life. NMT Crane Hire assisted with the impressive installation, working with specialist company Unusual Rigging. We used the Bocker AK42/4000, which was the ideal tool for such a job. The gallery will glow with the slugs and light trails until 28 February.

Crane Lift

Lifting Specialists

This isn’t the first time NMT has undertaken such a huge and expensive project. NMT Crane Hire has previously worked with another specialist company, Outback Rigging, to install a special one-off Land Rover Defender in Selfridges on Oxford Street as a centrepiece for the menswear department, as well as a Damien Hirst sculpture,  said to be worth £5 million. The Land Rover was lifted through the Selfridges first floor windows. NMT used the Liebherr LTC city crane on straight down outriggers for the job.

NMT Crane Hire

NMT is a specialist team that has worked on many impressive lifting projects. If you have a project that requires the assistance of a mobile crane, NMT Crane Hire Ltd can provide a fleet of vehicles that can help you bring the project to life. We are skilled experts with an acclaimed and reputable history of assisting with big-budget projects. Contact us today on 0800 026 6985 or via our online contact form to discuss availabilities.

City Cranes and their Benefits

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In city construction, where space can be limited, city cranes offer the primary advantages of having an adjustable turning circle as well as a smaller footprint. But, they also come with a few other things that make them the perfect asset for your construction project.

Varied Capacities of City Cranes

City cranes come in a wide range of sizes and capacities.  NMT Crane hire offers 13-70 ton city crane hire meaning that you can rest assured we have something suitable for your job.

Boom Extension

City cranes have a large telescopic boom length, such as Lieberr’s (LTC 1050.3.1) 50 Ton City Crane, which has an 8.2-36 metre reach.  This means that they can extend to different lengths depending on your job’s needs. Some cranes, such as the one above also have a folding jib, or an adjustable erection jib, meaning you have complete flexibility with your job.


City cranes are known for their compact size, incredible strength and easy manoeuvrability. They can access awkward areas and have significantly lower install and dismantle times compared to tower cranes.

Another benefit is that City Cranes are able to move goods and heavy loads, as they have wheels, while tower cranes are fixed to one spot.

Benefits of City Crane Hire

If you are not needing a crane for the entirety of your construction, then hiring one from NMT Crane Hire can reduce costs significantly and allow you to cut down the time of your construction project.  NMT Crane Hire have accreditations from SSIP Worksafe Contractors, Achilles Registered, and Driver Agency Accreditation Scheme meaning you have complete peace of mind, knowing that we are high-quality service providers.


If you would like to speak more about an opportunity to hire one of our City Cranes, give us a call on 08000 266 985, we’d love to help. Alternatively, you can fill out our online enquiry form.

How to Become a Crane Operator

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Whether you’re a school leaver or looking for a career change, choosing to become a crane operator is a fun and rewarding career path. But, how can you become one? Take a look at our latest blog post and learn more about becoming a crane operator or crane driver.


What is a crane operator?

A crane operator, or crane driver, is an individual who operates lifting machinery on construction, quarrying or mining sites, at ports and in warehouses.


How can I become a crane driver?

There are several ways and routes you can follow to become a crane operator or crane driver. This includes taking a college course, doing an apprenticeship or working your ways towards this role.

College course

If you are looking to go through education, you can take a college course in Plant Operations; this level 2 certification is usually carried out in conjunction with on the job training. 


If you are looking for an apprenticeship you can get into this job role through applying to a lifting technician intermediate apprenticeship.


Another way in which you can become a crane operator is through starting work as a construction site labourer. When you have built up more experience of using heavy machinery such as excavators, then you can move onto crane operation.


What skills do I need to become a crane operator?

These are some of the main skills that a crane operator needs in order to be successful in the role.

  • Good physical skills such as movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • Pay attention to details and be thorough
  • Patient with the ability to stay calm under stressful situations
  • Able to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • Able to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • Understanding and sensitivity
  • Ability to safely operate and control equipment
  • Basic computer skills to carry out tasks on a computer or hand-held device


What are the daily tasks and responsibilities?

Some of the day-to-day tasks include setting up cranes and carrying out safety checks; loading and unloading lorries; shifting loads around the site; monitoring sensors that measure load weights, crane stability and wind speed; and carrying out minor repairs to the machinery.

In addition to these tasks, it is important to also report any problems to the crane supervisor and keep thorough records of the materials that you’ve moved.

Typically, crane operators work on a construction site; this means that the working environment can be noisy and at height. Furthermore, you’ll also need to wear protective clothing.


Contact NMT Crane Hire

If you’re interested in hiring cranes or lifting equipment, we pride ourselves on building customer relationships and providing an excellent service. Here at NMT Crane Hire, we have over 40 years of experience within this industry so we are able to provide knowledgeable advice on equipment and crane safety. You can get in touch with our team by calling 0800 026 6985 or you can fill in our contact form and we’ll get back to you shortly.

The Advantages of Renting Heavy Haulage Vehicles

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If you are in the position where you require a piece of heavy haulage to be transported, you may be asking yourself whether it is better to purchase the transport equipment yourself or to rent it. In this blog, we will discuss the key advantages of renting heavy haulage vehicles and why it can be preferable over outright purchasing one.


If you are a business owner and are in the predicament of deciding if renting or buying a heavy haulage vehicle is right for you, the biggest argument for renting is perhaps the amount you could save on costs. Heavy-duty vehicles can be extremely expensive to buy, not to mention the addition of maintenance and upkeep, fuel and obtaining the necessary permits. 

All of this together can create a substantial financial burden, so when you consider how often you are likely to use the machine, it is likely to be way more cost-beneficial to rent rather than buying.


When you hire a heavy haulage truck to move your large cargo, you are most likely going to be giving a professional, experienced truck driver to help with the transportation. The advantage of this is that an experienced heavy haulage driver is more likely to be able to move your goods from one place to another without any hitches.

An experienced heavy haulage driver will be comfortable moving hundreds of tonnes of cargo and will be more likely to keep to the strict timescale that you require. This, in turn, will ensure that your company operations run smoother, having the appropriate materials and machinery delivered to suit your schedule. 

Receive The Best Equipment

Another key reason for renting heavy haulage equipment rather than buying is that you are more likely to receive the best equipment for the job if renting from a hiring company. Rather than you and your company having to make a long term investment in a piece of machinery that may not be able to complete some of your required tasks, you will get an up to date vehicle ready for the job.

Similarly, you will not need to rely on a single piece of equipment to carry out all of your heavy haulage needs. When contacting a company about hiring a vehicle, you can give them details about the specifics of the job, meaning they can provide a vehicle tailored to that task.

Contact NMT 

If you would like to find out more information about heavy haulage and the equipment used, or would like to inquire about hiring one or more of our vehicles, please contact us by filling out our online enquiry form or by calling us on 0800 026 6985. You can also visit our heavy cranes page for more information. 

How the Tower Crane Helped Build the Burj Khalifa

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A photo of the Burj Khalifa in the centre of Dubai

How the Tower Crane Helped Build the Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is now the tallest and most established building in the world. From the initial designing of the building back in 2004 to the finished product when it was finally opened in 2010, so much thought, effort and manual labour had to be considered when building this magnificent structure. From the concrete foundations to the steeple at the top, the building stands at precisely 830m or 2716.5 feet. Just to give you some perspective, another large building you will be familiar with is the Empire State Building, which stands at381m (1250 feet). The Burj Khalifa is the 21st century’s eighth wonder of the world and has set many records in architectural affluence.

The backbone behind this amazement is a lot of man-hours. 22 million hours to be exact. This involved 60 different contracting and consulting companies with the help of 12,000 workers every day for 6 years to help contribute to the construction of the building. With the collaboration of assistance and aid of the tower crane, 163 floors; 58 lifts ( which run speed of 10 metres per second) 304 hotels and 900 apartments were assembled within the building.

How Cranes Helped Build The Burj Khalifa

Without the help and source of the tower crane, or tower crane(s) and other high-level cranes, none of this work would ever have been possible. The machines were working 24 hours for the majority of the production, with about 35 machine workers operating them around the clock. The loads on the cranes normally consisted of holding heavy steels; welding and scaffolding equipment. Diesel was also carried to help power the tower crane.

The assembling of the tower crane was pretty straight forward, as this required sections of the crane being moved up to a higher level. However, the dismantling of these cranes was not as smooth running. The first crane was lowered in 2007, another the year after, leaving one prominent crane stuck at the top. This left people wondering if this would be achievable to dismantle and descend. Another smaller crane was sent up to support and dismantle some aspects, then lowered. The last few components of the crane were dismantled automatically and independently. The disassembling process of the Burj Khalifa had to be an organised and well-formulated operation for everything to run as smoothly as possible.

The Burj Khalifa is the monarch of all architecture projects and nothing like we have ever seen before. This is and will continue to be a dazzling asset to the United Arab Emirates… until the next big skyscraper is designed (with of course the help of many different cranes.)


If you would like to speak to one of our professionals regarding any sort of crane hire, please fill out an online enquiry form or give us a call today on 0800 026 6985

Career Pathways Within the Crane Industry

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What are your options?

So you’ve made the decision that you would like to work within heavy construction. But it can be overwhelming knowing that there are a few different options out there for you to now explore. NMT Crane Hire help break down the different options available, to ensure you can make an informed decision on fulfilling the right career path within the crane industry.

Crane Operator

There is a lot more to this job title than what it suggests. As a crane operator, you are responsible for carrying out four main components, which consists of equipment maintenance, equipment set-up & dismantle, risk assessment, and lifting.

  • Equipment maintenance consists of regular check-ups and inspections to ensure all fluid levels are as they should be and everything is running smoothly.
  • Crane set-up and dismantle is one of the most crucial and important aspects of the crane operators role. Cranes work on a theory of balance and counterbalance, so it is critical that the crane is set up accordingly to ensure there aren’t any unbalances that could cause serious injury.
  • Risk assessment is an on-going activity that should be carried out prior to starting the job, assessing factors such as the loads that need lifting, the weight of the load and any environmental factors.
  • Following the other steps and making sure they are carried out efficiently and correctly, should mean that the lift is straight-forward.

Crane operators play an important role that involves patience, accuracy and great attention to detail that all contribute to playing a crucial part within working on a construction site.

Crane Inspector

Crane inspection is a serious responsibility to protect you and the safety of others within the worksite. As your role as a crane inspector, you have the responsibility of having the final word and approve of the last checks before giving the go-ahead. Other aspects of the job role consist of, detecting any signs of damage, defects or risk factors that could put workers in danger. Other responsibilities include visual and operational inspection of booms, gears, drums, sheaves, blocks, hooks, rigging, hydraulics as well as testing, interpretation of test results, and record keeping. In order to be an efficient crane inspector, you must have good sight and hearing and be free from any physical impairments as this could affect the ability to inspect in a safe way.

Crane Buyer/ Purchasing Agent

A buyers role or purchasing agent within the crane industry consists of the responsibility of the purchase of appropriate equipment for the job, whilst maximising productivity, ensuring good quality and complying with all safety regulations. Other duties within this job role consist of supervising the transport, storage and maintenance of all obtained equipment. The responsibility of a team is to provide excellent service in terms of the purchase of the products and services.

Cranes Salesperson/ Industrial Sales

Cranes sales and industrial sales represent and have the responsibility to cultivate and maintain good client relationships that promote business and prophet within the crane industry. The position is important for ensuring customer satisfaction and providing information to clients. It’s crucial that you are equipped with solid interpersonal skills and have the ability to connect with people as a sales representative is the companies public face.

Crane Engineer

In the crane industry, there are many pathways that fall under engineering. Some of which consist of, electrical, mechanical, and structural engineering, these roles tend to be more of the design and product development elements of crane engineer work, ensuring that the products produced are versatile and durable, powerful and safe to use. Field engineers within the crane industry typically oversee the construction and assembling of the equipment on site. Project engineers tend to project manage by budgeting, scheduling and planning ahead for big-scale projects.

Quality Assurance Manager 

Maintaining standards and good quality machinery is just as important as designing and buying. Keeping conditions safe and following regulations is an important role that comes with plenty of responsibility. Continuing to carry-out good quality standards is crucial to any manufacturer within the crane industry. This job role consists of carefully inspecting products and materials, looking out for any warning signs of damage or deviation that do not coincide with the manufacturer’s standards


If you have any further questions about jobs within the crane industry, or you are interested in any of the services we offer, please get in touch by filling out our online enquiry form or give us a call today on 0800 026 6985