DC Powered Crane vs Hydraulic Crane

Knowing your current and potential future needs will successfully aid in determining which crane is right for you.  Specifying the correct crane for you, whether it be DC powered or hydraulic, will ensure long lasting productivity and prevent crane failure.

DC Powered Cranes

If you are working with a small budget, infrequently lifting, and your typical duty cycle is intermittent.  You may want to go the route of investing in a DC powered crane.  DC powered cranes generally have a lower cost of entry in comparison to hydraulic cranes.  And unlike hydraulic cranes, DC powered cranes don’t require a pump or an oil reservoir to operate.

  • Moment ratings from 4,500 ft.-lbs. up to 36,000 ft.-lbs.
  • All units are 12V DC powered.
  • All units feature a way of disconnecting from the power source when not being used.
  • All units incorporate a planetary gear style winch ( for best possible efficiency ).

It should be noted that DC powered cranes do have situational limitations in regards to size and operation.  DC powered cranes are typically limited to around 800 lbs - 6,000 lbs gross lifting capacity. In addition, ongoing, continuous use of a DC powered crane may reduce its life cycle; this is due to its design.  DC powered motors are limited by the heat it generates, motors must be allowed to cool and the battery to replenish its charge before operating again.  It may save you money upfront, but it could turn out to be a costly mistake if you end up exceeding the crane's duty cycle.  Exceeding the duty cycle constraints and over heating the motor is the #1 cause of DC Motor failure.

Inside Warehouse 18
DC Powered Crane, Liftmoore 3200REE

Hydraulic Cranes

If you know your usage will require ongoing operation periods and higher lifting needs.  You may want to go the route of investing in a hydraulic crane instead. Hydraulic cranes allow for more control, continuous cycles, and lift capacities that exceed 6,000 lbs.  Our cranes range in capacities from 3,200 lbs. to 10,000 lbs.  Hydraulic cranes also run faster than electric cranes, thus allowing you to finish operations at a quicker rate. This is why you may see more service trucks equipped with hydraulic cranes.

  • Hydraulic cranes are used when longer Duty Cycles are required with repetitive lifts.
  • Moment ratings from 10,000 ft.-lbs. up to 72,000 ft.-lbs.
  • Unlimited rotation on 5000 lb. capacity cranes and larger.
  • Either on/off or proportional controls are available.

The limitation of hydraulic cranes is that the oil reservoir can heat up, which will limit its duty cycle.  However, with a larger oil reservoir size, the duty cycle of a hydraulic crane be nearly limitless.  

Crane Elevated Rear 2
Hydraulic Crane. Liftmoore 4064


Many crane manufacturers claim to have 360 degree rotation, however, the rotation may be limited at 375 or 400 degrees at which point the rotation will stop and must be reversed. This limitation must be considered when positioning the truck to perform the work at hand. Liftmoore cranes, both DC powered and hydraulically, typically have unlimited rotation. There is either an electric or electric/hydraulic swivel that allows this important feature. As a result there is no limitation by mechanical or electrical stop on the crane's rotation.


Having this information on hand should help ease your decision in determining which crane is best for your operation!