How to start a Crane Lifting Business in UK USA (Business Plan)

Crane Business

Do you have these questions in your mind?

  • How to start a Crane Business?
  • How much does it cost to start a Crane business?
  • How can you make from a Crane Business? 
  • How to find the best location to open your Crane Business?

In this article, you will find answers to all your questions. So please grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is the Crane Business?

With a global market value of around $60.4 billion and an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7%, the Crane industry is one of the biggest industries in the world right now.


The Crane Business refers to a company that provides crane rental services and operates cranes for various industries such as construction, engineering, manufacturing, and logistics. Their primary goal is to provide their customers with safe and reliable lifting solutions while maintaining high quality and customer satisfaction. 


They typically have a fleet of cranes of different types and sizes, along with skilled operators and support staff, to perform lifting tasks efficiently. They may also provide other related services such as rigging, transportation, and maintenance of the cranes.


By the end of this article, we will teach you everything you need to know when starting your Crane Business. 

Market Insight: The UK Crane & Lifting market size is around £2.8 billion and is expected to grow more over the years, while in the US, they have the biggest market size in the world with $22.6 Billion.

Crane Business

Types of Crane Business Models

There are several types of crane business models that companies can choose from. Here are some of the most common ones:


  • Crane Rental Business:
    In this model, the company owns and maintains a fleet of cranes that are rented out to customers for a fee. The customer is responsible for operating the crane, and the rental company provides support services such as delivery, setup, and maintenance of the crane.
  • Crane Service Business:
    In this model, the company provides skilled operators and support staff to operate the cranes for customers. The customer pays for the services provided, which can include crane rental, transportation, rigging, and other related services.
  • Heavy Equipment Sales and Rental:
    In this model, the company not only offers crane rental services but also sells and rents out other types of heavy equipment such as bulldozers, excavators, and loaders. The company may also provide maintenance and repair services for the equipment.
  • Logistics and Transportation Business: 
    In this model, the company provides logistics and transportation services using cranes and other heavy equipment. This can include moving heavy materials, machinery, and equipment from one location to another, both locally and internationally.
  • Construction and Engineering Business:
    In this model, the company provides a full range of construction and engineering services, including crane services for heavy lifting tasks. The company may also provide design and project management services, as well as other related services such as excavation, foundation work, and building construction.





Crane Business

Pros and Cons of a Crane Business 

Pros of a Crane Business:

  • High earning potential
  • Diverse customer base
  • Opportunities for expansion and growth
  • Ability to work in various locations and industries
  • Can provide essential services for construction projects
  • Potential for long-term contracts and repeat business


Cons of a Crane Business:

  • High capital investment
  • Dependent on the construction industry
  • Requires specialized skills and knowledge
  • Requires extensive safety precautions and compliance with regulations
  • Equipment maintenance and repair can be costly
  • Seasonal fluctuations in demand can affect profitability

Remember, as a startup, your goal should be to keep your costs low and depend on your skills. If you push the process and try to go full-service from the very beginning, there is a good possibility that you’ll be overburdened and may get lost in the process.

Investment required for a Crane Business

Starting your Crane Business is an excellent idea.


In the US, you can start this business from $50K -$100K, while in the UK, the figure may vary, and you can start this business with an investment between £40K – £100K, depending on the quality of cars you purchase to rent out.


In the beginning, you can manage to do with less staff. It will save the cost of wages. Gradually, once your business grows, you can hire staff accordingly.


List of some of the common operating expenses:


  • Cranes
  • Equipments 
  • Gas
  • Salaries
  • Vehicles
  • Rent
  • Internet
  • Insurance (if any)
  • Electricity
  • Telephone
  • Office Supplies
  • Repairs
  • Licenses (if any)
  • Property taxes
  • Loans if any
  • Advertisement costs
  • Office & Administration
  • Miscellaneous expenses
Crane Business

How much will you earn as a Crane business?

It is easier to estimate the earnings of a Crane business with more information about the specific company, such as location, target market, and competition. 

In addition, factors such as overhead costs, sales volume, and pricing will all play a role in determining your earnings.

The average US Crane business revenue is around $50K – $200K annually, while in the UK, it’s about £25K – £75K per year, with a profit margin of about 5% – 25%. 

Busiest time for your Crane business:

The busiest time for a crane business is during the warmer months when construction and outdoor projects are more prevalent, especially in areas with a colder climate. Additionally, the demand for cranes can increase during periods of economic growth and expansion.

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Crane Business

Types of Crane needed for your Crane Business

The specific types of cranes needed when starting a crane business will depend on the type of services the business intends to offer. 

However, some common types of cranes that are often used in the industry include:

  • Mobile cranes
  • Tower cranes
  • Crawler cranes
  • Rough terrain cranes
  • All-terrain cranes
  • Truck-mounted cranes
  • Overhead cranes
  • Gantry cranes
  • Jib cranes
  • Floating cranes
  • Ship-to-shore cranes
  • Telescopic cranes


The selection of the appropriate crane depends on factors such as the nature of the project, the weight and size of the loads to be lifted, the location of the site, and the height and reach required. It’s crucial for a crane business to have a diverse range of cranes to offer to clients to meet their varying needs.

Crane Business

Crane Business Service List

Here are some services that a crane business may offer:


  • Heavy lifting and equipment installation
  • Tower crane erection and dismantling
  • Material handling and placement
  • Rigging and hoisting services
  • Structural steel and concrete erection
  • Building demolition and dismantling
  • Equipment relocation and transport
  • Maintenance, repair, and inspection services for cranes
  • Emergency response services for lifting and recovery
  • Specialized lifting solutions for unique projects
  • Wind turbine installation and maintenance
  • Bridge construction and maintenance
  • Pipeline and powerline installation and maintenance
  • Film and TV production equipment placement and rigging
  • Tree removal and pruning services
  • Disaster relief and rescue operations
  • Heavy equipment and machinery relocation
  • HVAC system installation and maintenance
  • Industrial plant shutdown and turnaround services
  • Crane rental and leasing services



Note: The specific services offered by a crane business may vary depending on the business’s specialization, location, and equipment.

Crane Business

Employees needed for your Crane Business

Below is the list of the basic items required for the Crane business, few could be optional for you:


  • Detailers
  • Service Manager
  • Sales and Marketing Manager
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Quality Control Specialist
  • Inventory Manager
  • Bookkeeper
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Office Administrator
  • Sales Representative
  • Social Media Manager
  • Web Developer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Detailing Trainer
  • Operations Manager
  • Automotive Technician
  • Paint Correction Specialist
  • Ceramic Coating Specialist
  • Window Tinting Specialist
  • Upholstery Repair Specialist
  • Mobile Detailing Technician
  • Apprentice Detailer
  • Equipment Maintenance Technician
  • Environmental Compliance Specialist
Note: As a startup, if you don’t have required funds to acquire all the above mentioned people, THAT’S OKAY! Start with the staff you can afford at that moment and just go with it!
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Crane Business

Licence needed for a Crane Business 

While essential licenses such as Business Licence, Health and Safety regulations, and Sales Tax Permits apply to almost all businesses (To read more about the licenses, ‘Click Here to read our Mini Guide’).


Some specific licenses and permits might be needed to open a Crane Business in the UK and the US. Those licenses are as follows:




  • Crane Operator License:
    Crane operators in the UK are required to obtain a crane operator license from the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) or another recognized competence scheme. This involves completing the necessary training, passing written and practical exams, and demonstrating competence in operating specific types of cranes.
  • Operator’s Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC):
    If your crane business involves operating cranes for hire or reward, you may need an Operator’s CPC, which is a professional qualification for road haulage and passenger transport operators.
  • Vehicle Operator’s License:
    If your crane business involves operating cranes on public roads, you may need a Vehicle Operator’s License from the DVSA. This applies if your cranes exceed certain weight limits or are used for transporting goods or passengers.






  • Contractor’s License: 
    Depending on the scope of your crane business and the services you provide, you may need a contractor’s license to legally perform construction-related work.
  • Crane Operator License: 
    In many jurisdictions, crane operators are required to obtain a specialized license or certification to operate cranes. This may include passing written and practical exams, meeting specific experience requirements, and complying with safety regulations.
  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL): 
    If your crane business involves operating cranes on public roads or highways, you may need a CDL, which is a special license for driving commercial vehicles.
  • Permits: 
    You may need various permits, such as overweight/oversize permits for transporting oversized loads, road permits for operating on public roads, or permits for working in certain areas or jurisdictions.




Crane Business

Useful tips for growing your Crane business

There are several strategies that you can use to grow your Crane business. Here are some suggestions:


  • Provide exceptional customer service and prioritize client satisfaction to build a reputation and gain business referrals.
  • Develop a solid online presence to attract potential customers through websites, social media profiles, and online advertising.
  • Offer a diverse range of crane services to cater to customer needs and expand your market reach.
  • Network and collaborate with construction companies, contractors, architects, and other professionals to generate leads and referrals.
  • Invest in modern crane technologies, such as telematics, automation, and safety features, to enhance your operations’ efficiency, productivity, and safety.
  • Offer competitive pricing and flexible payment options to attract and retain customers in a highly competitive market.
  • Provide ongoing training and certification opportunities for your crane operators.
  • Seek partnerships with equipment manufacturers or suppliers to access discounted pricing, exclusive deals, and technical support.
  • Leverage digital marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and content marketing, to increase your online visibility and generate leads.
  • Attend industry trade shows, exhibitions, and events to showcase your services, network with potential clients, and stay updated with the latest trends and technologies.
  • Offer exceptional after-sales support, including maintenance services, spare parts availability, and prompt response to customer inquiries or issues.
  • Establish strong relationships with local regulatory agencies, such as DOT and OSHA, to ensure compliance with regulations and obtain necessary permits efficiently.
  • Seek government contracts and tenders for construction projects, infrastructure development, or public works, as they can provide a significant steady revenue source.
  • Implement effective fleet management practices, including regular maintenance, inspections, and asset tracking, to extend the lifespan of your cranes and minimize downtime.
  • Focus on building a loyal and motivated workforce.


Continuously evaluate and adapt your business strategies to meet the evolving needs of your customers and the industry, and consistently deliver high-quality services to build a reputable brand in the market.

Trends & Challenges in the Crane Business

Trends in the Crane Business

1. Increased demand for specialized cranes for mega construction projects.
2. Growing adoption of advanced crane technologies.
3. Focus on sustainability and eco-friendly practices in crane operations.
4. Emphasis on operator training and certification.
5. Rise in modular and prefabricated construction methods.

Challenges in a Crane Business

1. Increasing competition in the crane industry.
2. Compliance with complex and evolving regulatory requirements.
3. High initial costs of purchasing and maintaining cranes
4. Skilled labor shortages.
5. Economic fluctuations and construction market volatility


In conclusion, starting a Crane Business can be rewarding and profitable.

However, conducting thorough market research, creating a solid business plan, and securing the necessary funding are crucial.

In addition, it is essential to find the right location, choose the right equipment and suppliers, and create a unique and inviting atmosphere for customers.


Following these steps, you can set your Crane Business up for success and build a business that customers will love for years.

Want to Save Time in your Business Launch?

  • How to Create a Business Plan
  • What is Market Research, USP, Niche & Positioning
  • How to find a suitable name for your business
  • How to create your brand image (Logo + Branding)
  • How to Register Your Business
  • How to Register for Taxes
  • How to get Licenses / Permits
  • How to Open a Business Bank Account
  • How to Get Business Insurance
  • Which Payment Processing Terminal (POS) to buy
  • How to get Funds for your Business
  • How to do Sales & Marketing – Offline & Online
  • Why have a Website / Blog / Social Media
  • How to build & train your Dream Team
  • How to provide Excellent Customer Service
  • Buying an Old Business Vs Franchisee Vs Own Brand from Scratch

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A. The type of cranes you choose would depend on the specific services you want to offer and the target market you want to serve. Common types of cranes include mobile cranes, tower cranes, crawler cranes, rough-terrain cranes, and overhead cranes. Consider the needs of your potential customers and the projects you want to undertake when selecting the type of cranes for your business.

A. The permits and licenses required for your crane business would depend on your location and the type of services you provide. Research and comply with all the local, state, and federal regulations regarding crane operations, safety, and licensing. Contact the appropriate government agencies, such as the Department of Transportation (DOT) or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to obtain the necessary permits and licenses for your crane business.

A. Safety is a crucial aspect of operating a crane business. Make sure to implement and enforce strict safety protocols and guidelines for your operations. Train your crane operators to comply with safety regulations, conduct regular inspections and maintenance of your cranes, and provide appropriate safety gear and equipment for your workers. Stay updated with industry standards and best practices for crane safety to ensure a safe working environment for your employees and clients.

A. Pricing your crane services would depend on various factors, including the type of crane, the complexity of the project, the duration of the job, and the market rates in your area. Research the market rates for crane services in your local area and consider your operating costs, including equipment maintenance, labor, insurance, and overhead expenses when determining your pricing. It’s also important to consider your profit margin to ensure your business is financially sustainable.

A. Marketing is essential to attract clients and grow your crane business. Develop a professional website and online presence, create business cards and brochures, and utilize social media platforms to promote your services. Network with potential clients, construction companies, contractors, and industry associations to build relationships and gain referrals. Consider advertising in local directories, industry publications, and participating in trade shows or events to increase your visibility.

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