In the 17 years I was in hot tub retail we sold about 400 portable spas a year and out of those 400 spas we probably craned 5-10% of those deliveries. We also sold another 25-50 swim spas per year. At least half of our swim spa deliveries required a crane as swim spas are considerably heavier, larger, and more awkward to move.
Cranes are great for lifting hot tubs into tight places, onto second story decks, or onto roof top decks. They are equally great when access around the home is limited or encumbered. Crane costs are outside of a “normal hot tub delivery” and are passed along to the buyer although most hot tub companies will go thru the exercise of coordinating the crane and getting an estimate for the customer. For a hot tub delivery, most of the time, you can get away with using a 20 ton boom crane which is capable of slinging a hot tub 50-70 feet at a cost of $300-600. Most crane companies charge an hourly fee based on size of the crane (ie 20 ton, 40 ton, 50 ton, etc..) and they usually have a 2-3 hour minimum which starts from the time the crane drives away from the crane operator’s facility. Cranes for swim spas are typically larger and therefore more expensive. Cranes for swim spas typically run $500-1000 depending on the size. Crane costs also vary based on where you live, number of crane companies in your area (competition), and availability.
Here are some of the things to consider that may or may not make using a crane feasible;
- Power lines or telephone lines – even for the shortest of crane jobs this can be a problem if you live on a street where telephone wires and power lines run right in front of your home.
- Parking – cranes are mounted on very large trucks and if the street or driveway is narrow then they may not have adequate access to set up properly to get the job done. The bigger the crane the more space it will need. Also consider that cranes have large outriggers that extend out from the truck and position themselves against the ground to give the truck a wider stance making it capable of booming out further.
- Street Access – as referenced above some of the larger crane can take up a substantial amount of space especially when the outriggers are deployed and if your driveway is not big enough and it requires the crane to park in the street then a road use permit may be required and a small crew maybe required to re-direct traffic during the time the crane is being used. Although this type of circumstance is rare, it can be very costly by the time you add up all of the expenses.
- Cost – depending on the distance and crane size required, it may not be cost effective to employ the services of a crane. For example, in the rare event you need a large enough crane to move a 800lb hot tub 125′ at a cost of $1500 it may not be worth it.
- Potential Damage – crane are heavy especially the larger 40 and 50 ton ones and have known to crack driveways if they aren’t poured very thick. Most crane companies will make note of this and ask the homeowner to sign a waiver if the potential for damage is great. Also, avoid having a crane drive over septic tanks or drain fields.
It is extremely important to note that in the event you feel that a crane maybe necessary with your hot tub or swim spa delivery it is always wise to reach out to your local dealer and ask for a site visit or site check by the dealer’s delivery team or by their preferred crane operator to get an estimate and confirmation that it can be done.
For more information on how to research and compare hot tubs or swim spas before purchasing please visit our hot tub buyer’s guide pages. You can also click on the pink boxes at the top right of every page to get a free local quotes from dealers in your area.