The Difference Between Stiff Boom and Folding Boom Cranes

6 Feb 2020 Mobile Cranes

There are many different types of cranes out there and, while all of them are used for hoisting and transporting heavy loads, every type of crane is different in its capabilities. The factors that differentiate various types of mobile cranes can include the system used to drive over different types of terrain, the crane’s height and weight capabilities, and whether it has a stiff boom or a folding boom. At TNT Crane and Rigging, we supply both stiff and folding boom cranes to industries throughout Northern Alberta and we know when to recommend different types of cranes for various projects.

The Benefits of Stiff Booms vs Folding Booms

Although both stiff boom cranes and folding boom cranes are capable of lifting large loads at great heights, there are major differences between the two boom types. Some of the things to keep in mind when operating either type of crane include:

Weight Capacity

Weight capacity can vary based on the hydraulic system being used, the size of the boom, and various other factors, but it can also be determined by whether a mobile crane uses a stiff boom or a folding boom. Stiff booms (also known as telescoping booms) are typically able to carry more weight than folding booms, as there are no hinges or buckle points along the length of the boom.

Range of Motion

Although folding boom cranes are more limited in their weight capacity, they are often better for jobs that require a wide range of motion, such as jobs that need to reach over the top of short buildings or under an overhang or ceiling. Folding boom cranes are usually also able to be more precise with load placement.


Both folding boom and stiff boom cranes are capable of reaching great heights, but stiff boom cranes are typically able to reach higher spots than folding boom cranes due to their multiple telescoping sections.

Transportation of Materials

Folding boom cranes are often capable of transporting materials on their own truck beds, making them extremely useful for material delivery and placement. Stiff boom cranes are great for lifting, but do not usually have truck bed space for delivering materials to jobsites and they are not typically able to place materials on their own truck beds.

If you are interested in finding out more about the difference between stiff boom and folding boom cranes, or if you would like to learn more about any of the crane rentals and services that we offer, please call TNT Crane and Rigging at 800‐799‐2505, or find the branch closest to you.