July 25, 2023
Site Services

Stiff leg derricks’ use in construction

In the world of construction, safety, efficiency, and versatility are paramount. A stiff leg derrick can be a valuable asset in that regard, providing exceptional lifting capabilities in a variety of construction applications.

Stiff leg derricks are similar to, but distinct from cranes. In this post, we explore the concept of stiff leg derricks, understand their differences from cranes, discuss derricks’ construction applications, highlight their benefits, and provide insights into acquiring one for your project.

What is a Stiff Leg Derrick?

A stiff leg derrick is a type of lifting equipment commonly used in construction projects that require heavy lifting and precise positioning of materials or equipment.

It consists of a vertical mast or tower supported by two angled legs. The legs are typically secured to the ground or a solid foundation. The mast acts as the main support structure, while the legs provide stability and prevent the derrick from tipping over during lifting operations.

Stiff leg derricks can be secured to a solid surface such as a platform on the ground, or onto a barge for use in marine environments.

Differences from Cranes

While both stiff leg derricks and cranes are used for lifting heavy loads, they differ in their design and functionality. The main distinction lies in the base structure and mobility.

Cranes are typically mounted on mobile platforms, such as trucks or crawler tracks, allowing them to move around the construction site. In contrast, stiff leg derricks are fixed structures with a limited range of motion. They are often anchored to the ground or a foundation; however, what they lack in mobility, they make up for in stability. This stability allows derricks to lift heavier loads than cranes and derricks are able to place these massive loads with precision.

Stiff Leg Derrick Construction Applications

Stiff leg derricks find applications in a wide range of construction projects, including but not limited to:

  • A stiff leg derrick is used on a bridge construction project.Bridge Construction: Bridge construction projects commonly use stiff leg derricks to lift and position heavy girders, beams, or precast concrete segments. The derrick’s stability and lifting capacity make them suitable for such critical tasks.
  • High-Rise Buildings: Contractors often use stiff leg derricks during the construction of tall structures. The derrick can lift materials such as steel beams, concrete panels, or facade elements to upper levels. The fixed positioning ensures accurate placement, contributing to the overall structural integrity.
  • Industrial Plants: Industrial plants, such as power or chemical plants, use stiff leg derricks for heavy machinery installation, major turnaround maintenance, and relocation. The stability and precision help ensure efficient and safe operations within manufacturing plants or refineries.
Benefits of Using Stiff Leg Derricks
  • Stability: Stiff leg derricks offer exceptional stability due to their fixed structure and the anchoring of legs to the ground. This stability minimizes the risk of accidents and ensures precise control over lifting operations.
  • Heavy Lifting Capacity: These derricks are designed to handle substantial loads. With their robust, engineered construction and high weight-bearing capabilities, they provide a reliable solution for lifting and placing heavy materials or equipment.
  • Accuracy: Stiff leg derricks allow for precise positioning of loads, thanks to their fixed configuration. This accuracy is crucial in construction projects where exact alignment and placement are essential.
  • Cost-Effective: Compared to mobile cranes, stiff leg derricks can offer cost advantages for long-term construction projects. Once installed, they eliminate the need for transportation costs associated with moving cranes from one site to another.
Obtaining a Stiff Leg Derrick

To obtain a stiff leg derrick for your construction project, you have a few options:

  • Rental: Stiff Leg Derricks are available for rental. However, derricks often require engineering and design specific to the job at hand. So unlike renting general construction equipment, you’ll need to consult with your supplier before securing the rental.

AMECO has the largest fleet of stiff leg derricks in North America. To learn more about renting one for your project, contact the experts at AMECO.


Stiff leg derricks have proven to be invaluable assets in the construction industry, offering stability, high lifting capacity, precision, and cost-effectiveness. Their fixed structure and versatility make them suitable for a range of applications, from bridge construction to high-rise buildings and industrial plants. By understanding the differences between stiff leg derricks and cranes and considering their benefits, you can make informed decisions regarding the acquisition and use of this equipment, ensuring the success of your construction projects.

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