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Picking the Right Compact Crawler Boom to Support Steel Erection

Blog Posts - Feb 24

Picking the Right Compact Crawler Boom to Support Steel Erection

Mirco Negri
Senior Product Manager
JLG Industries

Should I consider a compact crawler boom for steel erection?

Telehandlers are an amazing tool for steel erection, helping to move joist structures and steel beams around the job site quickly and efficiently. Boom lifts are great for installing rebar and welding girders. But there are times when niche tasks and small spaces require more specialized equipment. Enter compact crawler booms.

Compact crawler booms for safter steel erection at a glance

Steel erection support: Compact crawler booms and articulated booms

Traditionally, the steel erection industry has favored straight booms over articulated booms because of their simple controls and high capacity, allowing iron workers to carry hundreds of bolts for placing X-beams or decking. However, COVID-induced supply constraints caused steel erection professionals to use highly maneuverable articulated boom lifts, including compact crawler booms, leading to a preference for this equipment.

Why are articulated compact crawler booms a helpful tool for iron workers? Steel joists and X-beams used in steel buildings are typically only a few feet apart, presenting small, challenging spaces for equipment operators. Nimble and lightweight, compact crawler booms allow iron workers to navigate tight spaces on the ground and at height. JLG’s compact crawler booms can rotate anywhere from 89 degrees to 180 degrees, maximizing the ability to fit between joists.

Specialized tasks at height are easy with JLG’s compact crawler booms, which come standard with air, water and power lines to the platform.

Compact crawler booms offer an advantage in areas with sensitive flooring or landscaping, and where equipment needs to fit through doorways or gates. But their tracks also excel in areas with difficult terrain, arriving quickly at working position. If needed, compact crawler booms can set up on a slope of up to 21 degrees, depending on the model, for ultimate versatility. JLG’s compact crawler booms offer one-touch outrigger leveling, an interactive display in the platform and controls.


Choosing electric or bi-energy

Compact crawler booms come in both electric and bi-energy (electric/diesel) options. Operating quietly, odorlessly, and with zero emissions, electric models are often chosen to support indoor work, after-hours work, or work in dense urban environments. Companies also choose electric models to help earn carbon credits, meet green building requirements set by municipalities, and achieve corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.

However, it’s difficult to beat the performance of a diesel engine in certain circumstances, including extreme cold weather and when driving equipment.

JLG’s bi-energy compact crawler booms feature a full-size diesel engine along with a full-size lithium-ion battery, offering the best of both worlds. This setup helps bounce between indoor and outdoor use, and when transporting the machine in cold temperatures (use the engine to drive the machine off the truck, then resume operation using the battery indoors).  


Find the best equipment for your steel project

JLG provides reliable, efficient and safe solutions for vertical access on the job site, and compact crawler booms are just one tool in our toolbox. Use our equipment selector tool to find the JLG lift access solution to best suit your needs.

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