Guide To Reading A Crane Load Chart

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Guide To Reading A Crane Load Chart

Operating a crane rental is a very complex task and trying to read a crane load chart, for this reason, it should be left for experts to handle. This is one of the significant reasons many companies go out of their way to get companies specializing in crane lifting instead of attempting to do it by themselves. During crane lifting, in addition to the crane operator required, other specialists are needed to ensure the smooth running of the crane lifting process. This additional personnel is needed to supervise the different aspects of the running of the crane to prevent any issue that may arise from a slight variation in the calculation of weight or movement.

The only way by which all the members in a crane lifting team can ensure that they are all on the same page is by using a chart. So even if you are hiring a crane lifting service for your tasks, you should know how to read the chart to follow the things as they are being done.


A crane load chart helps the crane operator in calculating the lifting capabilities of the crane. The crane load chart makes sure that the maximum lifting capacity of the crane is not exceeded. The charts consider how the capacity that the crane can lift varies with variations in the distance and angle of the lift. The lift depends on how the crane base is arranged and how the crane is generally set up.


It is essential to know how to read the crane load chart, especially how to calculate the maximum load capacity of the crane concerning the boom angle and the length. Because most lifts are now usually planned with computer simulation, load indicators signify when the load approaches the limit of the crane capacity. Despite this, it is still essential to know how to read the crane load chart.

The crane load chart of each brand will look a bit different, but they all consist of the same essential elements.

Dimensions and weight

This is probably the most crucial part of the crane load chart. It is where the total dimension of the crane is listed. It includes the operation data, which indicates the working dimensions on the extension of the outriggers and the transport during the delivery. It also includes the total weight that can be carried during transportation and the weight that the axle can handle.

Lift Capacity

At the top of the chart, the capacity that a crane can carry is found. It is also essential as it is compulsory to know exactly how much load a construction crane can carry. A crane’s maximum lift capacity is made up of several things, including the counterweights that are used and how far the crane arm can be adjusted. When the crane’s arm is extended to its total capacity, it will not be able to handle the same capacity of load as when it is at its shortest possible length.

Lift Range

The lift capacity is just as important as the lift range. There is always a range diagram included with every chart from which the operators can determine the boom length needed to pick up and lift a load at a distance and a height. It is also important to note how far the crane arm can extend while still lifting the load and another thing that is to be noted is the range of movement.

Lift angle

Crane operators can use lift angle to determine the maximum lift when the lift angle is taken to higher angles; the maximum load that can be lifted decreases.


The values at the right-hand side of the crane load chart show the boom length at various levels of extension, which is usually measured in feet. The arced lines that extend from the boom lengths show the position of the boom at different lift angles.

There are also two additional measurements labeled 45’ EXT and 26 EXT’, representing the length of a job added on top of the main boom at its entire length. These two measurements are linked to three arced lines to show the angle of the jib.

When the boom length, jib length, and angle are known, the load radius can be calculated by reading the chart. Follow the arced line for a particular boom length until the radial line for a corresponding lift angle is reached.


The left column of the chart signifies the lift radius, while the top row signifies the length of the boom. At the intersection of each row and column, there are two numbers in each cell. The number on top corresponds to the crane’s load capacity at a particular boom length and lift radius, while the number in the bracket is the boom angle.


Often, when a crane’s capacity is exceeded, the accidents that it causes can be very dangerous. For this reason, proper precautions must be taken before any lift to ensure that the crane can handle the load. However, the crane operator must be able to read and interpret a crane load chart in the case of any unplanned eventuality.

So at Dependable Crane, in addition to initially performing every step of the lifting process with a computer simulation, every operator and technician at our firm can read the chart. This ensures that every single lift is undertaken without any hitch.

Going all out to buy your crane more often than not turns out to be a costly liability, so it is far more sensible to patronize a crane rental company. Dependable Cranes have continued to serve both homeowners and contractors by providing quality mobile cranes that have lift capacities from just 22 tons up to 75 tons.

Get the crane for your next project at the best rental price and enjoy thorough supervision of the on-site project as an added incentive.  You can contact them by giving them a call on the number (916) 306-7474, or you can get a quotation for your project when you reach them via their website.

Jared Maxwell

Jared Maxwell

Jared has been a NCCCO certified operator for over 15 years and is a certified lift plan professional. He enjoys spending time with his wife and dogs along with training BJJ.

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