If you’ve ever had to move heavy equipment to the top of a silo or grain elevator, then you know that it’s not easy—or cheap. Renting a crane can easily cost $300/hour and, at that rate, a 10-hour repair operation can run you upwards of $3,000.
If you rent a crane more than 1x every 12-24 months for maintenance or repairs, you should consider buying a silo crane.
What is a Silo Crane?
Silo cranes are smaller, lighter, “mobile” cranes that can be placed on top of grain elevators or silos. They can safely lift loads of up to 2,000 lbs. to a height of 400 ft., making them ideal for hauling heavy items like motors, bearings, gear reducers or tools to the top of your structure.
How a Silo Crane Adds More Value Than it’s Worth
Cheaper than renting a crane
Since most silo cranes cost only $4,000-$6,000, it’s less expensive to invest in owning one than it is to accrue leasing costs of $300/hour rental crane—plus the additional expenses that come with hiring a crane operator. With a silo crane in-house, your own staff can easily be trained on how to use it.
Safer for routine maintenance and repairs
“Lifting a 200 lb. gearbox to the top of an elevator or silo is a difficult, dangerous job,” Thelen said, adding that there’s always a temptation to use the wrong equipment (such as a forklift and pulley or cumbersome chain hoist) to get the job done quickly and cheaply. There’s also the risk of falls, injury or damage to the beam or structure.
“The silo crane gives a nice, clean vertical lift—without the danger of injury or structural damage,” Thelen said.
Quicker response time—if there’s a system failure at the top of a silo or grain elevator
“Since your silo crane is already onsite, and your staff will already know how to operate it, you can get up and running much faster after a part failure,” said Nick Lakin, Marketing Manager at Thern. “It’s also less of a hassle to plan and execute routine maintenance, like bearing replacements.”
Portable mobility adds convenience
Better yet, Thern’s silo cranes are portable, making your life easy for whatever job you need it to perform. By purchasing multiple bases, you can simply disassemble it and move it, as needed. In addition, the cranes:
- Rotate 360°
- Lift objects weighing up to 2,000 lbs.
- Lift objects up to a height of 400 ft.
- Are available in 115V or 230/460V power
“Custom base extensions, rotational devices, heavier loads, and other height/reach options are also available,” Lakin said.
Complete Line of Industrial Winches and Cranes
Silo cranes are routinely used by: co-ops, grain elevators, mills, silos, manufacturing facilities and power plants. If you’re in the business of heavy lifting, Thern offers a comprehensive line of winches and cranes, including:
• Electric winches
• Air winches
• Hand winches
• Portable cranes
• Stationary cranes
• Conveyor winches
• Load-out chute positioning winches
• Belt pulling winches
Thern, Inc. is a family-owned manufacturer specializing in lifting and pulling equipment for a wide variety of industries all over the world. Founded in 1948, the company is dedicated to manufacturing top-quality products and providing excellent customer service.
For the grain and bulk handling industries, Thern provides heavy-duty winch systems with capacities up to 100,000 lbs. for positioning rail cars, barges and conveyers—as well as a variety of smaller winches for positioning load-out chutes and pulling or tensioning belts. For utilities and maintenance needs, Thern offers an assortment of portable and stationary davit cranes with capacities up to 3,000 lbs. and long-lift capabilities of up to 400 ft. for use on silos and grain elevators.
All Thern products are made in the U.S., and are backed by a 2-year limited warranty.