70 Years of Lifting & Rigging Excellence Click here to view our commemorative video!

The Complete Overhead Crane Buying Process: Part 2 – Approvals to Installation & Use

Purchasing an overhead crane system for your facility is a major investment that requires careful planning and an understanding of the entire overhead crane purchase process. In our last video, we walked you through the first stages of purchasing an overhead crane, consultation to quote. In our second and final comprehensive guide, we walk you through the critical stages of the overhead crane purchase process after signing the contract – from approving drawings and engineering to final installation, testing, and training.

If you are purchasing an overhead crane system for the first time, this video will prepare you for the road ahead in the overhead crane purchase process, letting you know what to expect at every important stage after signing. Whether you’re an Operations Manager, Maintenance Lead, Production Supervisor, or EHS Professional, you’ll gain valuable insights to confidently navigate this part of the overhead crane purchase process.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Approval process for crane drawings and revisions
  • Engineering and fabrication timelines in the purchase process
  • Site preparation and coordination requirements
  • Delivery logistics and professional installation
  • Load testing procedures and operator training needs
  • Post-installation services after the purchase process

During the drawing approval phase of the overhead crane purchase process, we explain what site information and facility requirements manufacturers need to finalize the overhead crane design. You’ll learn typical turnaround times and the approval process to ensure the crane meets your specifications.

We then cover the engineering and fabrication stages of the overhead crane purchase process, including timeline estimates based on equipment and component lead times and production schedules.

As the installation date nears in the overhead crane buying process, we outline the preparation required on site, like establishing staging areas, clearing space, and coordinating power needs. We discuss delivery logistics and what to expect during the rigging and installation done by experienced crews.

Finally, the video details load testing certifications, recommendations for operator training, and an overview of available post-installation services after completing the overhead crane buying process like inspections and maintenance.

By the end, you’ll have a clear picture of the entire overhead crane purchase process after you’ve signed the contract. We also highlight the benefits of partnering with an experienced overhead crane manufacturer throughout the purchase process and how a company like Mazzella can be a one stop shop for your crane, below-the-hook lifting devices, training, service, inspections, and rigging needs.

Don’t miss this final video in our overhead crane buying series. Get fully prepared for the overhead crane purchase process by watching the full video now. You can also check out our Overhead Cranes Buyer’s Course, Cranes 101, and the Overhead Cranes From Top To Bottom eBook for even more resources.



– So you’re thinking about purchasing an overhead crane, it’s a big expensive decision. So of course you want to know every step of the process so you can accurately plan and feel prepared when the time comes to make the purchase. In our last video, we walked you through everything you need to know about getting an overhead crane quoted. If you missed that video, you can check it out here. Today, we’ll walk you through the steps once you’ve signed the contract and the project begins.

What Are the Milestones of an Overhead Crane Project After the Contract Is Signed?

– My name’s Cory Bradley. I’m Regional Manager of Project Management and Engineering here in the Great Lakes region. So the significant milestones on a project are going to be the approval drawings, the engineering, and fabrication, and installation.

Approval Stage

How Does the Approval Process Work When Buying an Overhead Crane?

So the way the approval process works with Mazzella is we meet with the customer and if it’s an existing building, we will go out and take measurements of the existing building and make sure that the crane’s going to fit in the customer’s building, not only in the allotted space, but also we will show hook coverage to make sure that you know, the equipment that the customer’s buying is going to meet their production, maintenance, safety needs, whatever it might be. When we’re making our site visit to gather our measurements, it’s important for us to have access to the whole area that the crane system will be installed. And that might mean that the customer might have to put a break in production for a couple hours and turn off the power to the crane for us to be able to take our measurements and get everything we need.

So if it’s a new building, our approval process is a little bit different. We’ll deal with the building designer or engineering company to get the new building drawings and from there we could lay our crane system into that.

Can Revisions Be Made to My Crane Approval Drawings?

Making revisions to approval drawing is not an issue. We want to make sure that we’re doing our part in pushing the projects along, so we try to turn around revisions as quickly as possible.

What Should I Know About the Overhead Crane Approval Process?

So the way that Mazzella helps the customer through the approval process is we provide the drawing of the crane in their building, but we can explain a lot of the dimensions that are shown in that drawing and point out the critical dimensions based on what the customer’s needs are. The other crane companies, they’ll provide a approval drawing to the customer and from that point it’s the customer’s responsibility to make sure that all those dimensions are correct and the crane’s going to fit. We take a more hands-on approach where we don’t just send a drawing to a customer and ask them to sign off on it. We’ll make sure that the crane will fit, but we need the customer to verify the hook approach, voltage, things like that, that the customer knows better than we do as far as the purpose of that crane and what it’s intended to do.

The parties that’ll be involved in the approval process on the customer side, it ranges depending on the need of the crane. Generally it is usually maintenance or production or safety personnel. Sometimes it’s all three. So the main point of contact for the customer after they place the PO or a contract is going to be our project manager. We’re seeing the projects through the turnover to the customer but that doesn’t mean the account managers and the specialists aren’t still involved. We want to make sure that everybody that was involved on the sale of the crane is still involved during the project. During this time, you know, there’s probably an average two to three times a week, whether it’s an email or a phone call, being in touch with someone from Mazzella on making sure that the crane system is being designed as needed by the customer.

Engineering Stage

What Should I Know About the Engineering Process of an Overhead Crane?

So during the engineering phase of the project, the project manager and the customer stay in contact, but it’s basically just updates on schedule, if anything changes. Based on when they sign the approval drawings, a couple weeks later, we’ll get them a ship date or an install date. If anything changes during the engineering phase, that’s when we’ll reach out and let the customer know.

There more than likely isn’t going to be any revisions to the drawings but if they are, they’re usually pretty minor and we will provide an as-built drawing of the system. The engineering phase varies because the items can be off the shelf items to build the crane or they could be very long lead items. So if we’re talking a crane system with an off the shelf hoist, you know, we could be looking at five to six week turnaround, that’s usually the quickest. The contact you could expect with a project manager from Mazzella would be if any dates with the installation or fabrication changed. We’re still keeping the sales team, the account managers in the loop and how things are progressing.

Fabrication Stage

So after the engineering phase, that’s when we move into the fabrication phase. During the fabrication phase, we are taking the components and materials that were ordered for the crane and we’re assembling the crane, testing the crane in our shop and building a runway if that’s part of the scope.

How Long Does It Take To Fabricate My Overhead Crane?

The fabrication phase time depends on size of the system obviously, and based on the lead time of the components. For our standard cranes, I would say it’s a two week turnaround time once we receive all the components but if it’s a more complicated crane, it could be three to four.

What Do I Need To Know About the Overhead Crane Fabrication Process?

There typically isn’t any additional cost that a customer might see. When there are additional costs applied to a project, it’s usually during the approval process and that’s because of a change in scope.

So during the fabrication, a customer can send emails, phone calls. I get texts from customers just to see where we’re at on production and our ship dates. But you know, if a customer wants weekly updates, we could do that. We’re available for whatever the customer needs as far as updates.

What Happens Once My Crane Is Ready To Be Shipped?

While we’re fabricating the crane, there’s correspondence between the project manager and the customer confirming that the customer’s going to have power ready for the crane system when it gets shipped and is installed as well as clearing out area where the crane system’s going to be installed to allow our installation crew to work as well as bringing the crane and runway into the building and designated staging areas.

Installation Stage

How Does the Installation Process Work for an Overhead Crane?

So after the fabrication stage, we move on to the installation phase of the project. Prior to the install happening, there’s going to be a site visit or a conversation with the project manager regarding what we’ll need for the installation to go smoothly. And it’s typically designated areas for access to the building and staging areas. For the installation of our projects, the customer doesn’t have a whole lot of responsibility when it comes to the logistics of the crane systems. We typically arrange freight. We like to schedule the arrival of the cranes for when our installation crews get to the job site. So they are the ones handling the equipment. They’re used to rigging and lifting these pieces so we can prevent some damage to equipment. Prior to the installation, we ask the customers to make sure that the area is cleared out as much as possible to allow our installers as much free access as possible.

If a customer would like us to ship a crane for them to stage on site for any reason, we do that. But typically we try to schedule our fabrications for the cranes to finish fabrication and be installed immediately. Less chances of things getting damaged and parts go missing.

During the installation phase of the project, it is possible to have some additional costs with the install. We try to avoid that as much as possible with pre-meetings for the project to plan for the install. But if our installation crews have to stop for… production needs an area or another trade is working in the area and that doesn’t allow us to work safely and we need to halt our installation, that can result in either additional mobilizations or just additional time that we didn’t have allotted for the project.

So Mazzella uses a couple different methods of installing our cranes. We have service techs on hand that are capable of installing our crane systems, but we also use subcontractor companies that specialize in installing crane systems.

Do I Need To Load Test My New Overhead Crane Before Use?

So the load tests of the new crane systems is ultimately a requirement by the end user. Mazzella typically includes that as part of their scope in the original proposal. So just in case a customer might not realize that that’s a requirement of theirs, we offer that as a standard on our proposals. So the load test is either performed by our installing party or we will have Mazzella crane technicians perform the load test.

During the installation phase of the process, your main point of contact is still the Mazzella project manager. Once the startup and load test is completed and we provide the load test certificate to the customer, at that point the project manager’s job is done on the project. Your account manager is going to be in touch with our customers, making sure that the crane’s performing as expected. Crane specialists, the project managers, we’re still available to the customers if they have any questions.

A lot of our customers are return customers and I think it’s a testament to how our projects are run and handled and trying to make sure it’s a positive experience for the customers.

Follow-Ups and Use

– I’m back. I’m Chris Whitney, crane specialist for the Great Lakes region at Mazzella. I’m here to talk to you about the post installation process and what you can expect from our sales team after a crane system has been put in place.

What Happens if There Are Problems With the Overhead Crane?

Overhead cranes are typically provided with a standard one year warranty. If you have issues with the system in that first year, you’ll reach out to your crane specialist or your account manager and we will send a service tech out to troubleshoot the problems that you’re having.

Is Training Required for Overhead Crane Operators?

So you have aligned yourself with us. Mazzella is a partner, we are not here for just a single crane installation. To most, a crane is a crane. However, each one operates differently and has different features that a new operator may want to know about. So we will walk you through the new crane, talk about safe rigging practices, safe operating practices, so that all of your operators are well informed about the new system that they’re operating. Training for overhead crane operation is a requirement. You need to be competent enough to operate the system. However, a certification is not required. If you need training for your crane operators, we can provide that.

How Can Mazzella Support Me After My Overhead Crane Purchase?

Mazzella has a strong focus on training, not just crane operation, but also safe rigging practices. Whether you have a new crane or an old crane, Mazzella has factory trained technicians that are qualified to work on your system. Any crane that you have requires at least an annual inspection. If it is a high use crane, you may want to look at semi-annual or even monthly inspections. Mazzella is unique in the fact that we can not only provide you with a new crane, but we can also provide you with training, we can provide you with service, we can provide you with repairs, rigging, below-the-hook attachments. We handle all of that under one roof.

How Can You Learn More About Purchasing an Overhead Crane?

– Hopefully, you better understand the process you may go through when purchasing an overhead crane. If you are considering making that investment, we have a ton of information to help you become a more informed buyer. From our Overhead Crane Buyers Course to our Overhead Cranes eBook to numerous articles and videos, check out the links below to research anything you may need to know before purchasing an overhead crane. And if you think we missed anything, drop your questions in the comments.

If you found this video useful, informative, entertaining, or you just feel like being friendly, then hit that like button so we can get this information out to everyone who needs it. Subscribe and hit the bell so you never miss a video. Remember, safe rigging is smart rigging. My name is Ben. Stay safe out there.

FREE Overhead Crane Buyers Tools!

New Call-to-action

Articles, Videos, and More!

Contact Mazzella

In this video

0:00 – Intro

0:55 – How Does the Approval Process Work When Buying an Overhead Crane?

1:59 – Can Revisions Be Made to My Crane Approval Drawings?

2:10 – What Should I Know About the Crane Approval Process?

3:57 – What Should I Know About the Engineering Process of an Overhead Crane?

5:04 – How Long Does It Take To Fabricate My Overhead Crane?

6:12 – What Happens Once My Crane Is Ready To Be Shipped?

6:39 – How Does the Installation Process Work for an Overhead Crane?

9:00 – Do I Need To Load Test My New Overhead Crane Before Use?

10:21 – What Happens if There Are Problems With the Overhead Crane?

10:48 – Is Training Required for Overhead Crane Operators?

11:29 – How Can Mazzella Support Me After My Overhead Crane Purchase?

12:09 – How Can You Learn More About Purchasing an Overhead Crane?

Subscribe to The Lifting & Rigging Channel on YouTube
Disclaimer: Any advice, graphics, images, and/or information contained herein are presented for general educational and information purposes and to increase overall safety awareness. It is not intended to be legal, medical, or other expert advice or services, and should not be used in place of consultation with appropriate industry professionals. The information herein should not be considered exhaustive and the user should seek the advice of appropriate professionals.