What is a knuckle crane?
A knuckle crane is simply a crane that has a point where it is able to move in a totally different direction than the main boom (arm). Just like your own personal knuckles in your fingers.
Why is a knuckle important in a crane?
One, to give you more lifting options for manipulating your item in the air. Two, to reduce the amount of winch line or boom length the crane needs to lift item. This can reduce the amount of swinging in the air, making your lift safer to do. Another real advantage to this is it can reduce the size of crane boom needed on your lift. That could translate into a smaller knuckle crane being used in a spot that would require a much larger traditional stick crane. On the bigger lifts, this could save you a fortune, or make the difference from an impossible crane lift to a very possible crane lift.
Are knuckle cranes better then traditional stick cranes?
This is a loaded question, but I personally believe the answer is “Yes”. Knuckle cranes give you more options to work with. There are lots of places that traditional stick cranes work great and are the right tool for the job: like an open construction site where there is plenty of space to work. Knuckle cranes are designed to work in tighter spaces, with more control to get into places that traditional stick cranes were never designed to go into. The real question: Is a knuckle crane a better choice for my particular need?