Franna-lysis: an overview of the Franna crane

The Franna crane – Aussie ingenuity that changed construction forever

When someone tries to generate a list of things that are iconically Australian, many images will instantly spring to mind and may include the likes of Tim Tams, Vegemite, Bondi Beach, and Kylie Minogue. But for those of us working in construction, there is one Aussie icon that we truly value above all else – the Franna crane.

Franna? Never heard of her, what’s her backstory?

Designed in 1980 by Aussie engineer Dave Francis - its name derived from a combination of the Francis surname and that of Dave’s daughter Anna - the Franna crane became the first pick-and-carry crane to enter the market. Unlike the cranes that came before it, the Franna crane was designed for travel on public roads and could effectively transport or taxi a load from one point to another.


Why is this important?

Because in the dark ages of construction that we endured pre-Franna, operators and project managers needing to transport a load across a large site or, God forbid, to an off-site location were left with limited options. General practice would normally involve multiple crane set-ups in the different locations, with a more traditional piece of machinery needing to be acquired to physically take the load between the two points.

Not only could this process prove time-consuming, but it also accrued additional costs because of the need for transport machinery. The Franna crane solved all of this, consolidating the process into one efficient step that could be carried out with a single piece of machinery.

Since its inception, the Franna crane has gone on to become one of the most popular crane types available in the Australian market. Action Cranes is proud to offer them as part of their comprehensive mobile crane hire packages.

What are the additional benefits of a Franna crane?


Cost effective

The Franna crane’s signature ability to single-handedly taxi a load can translate into massive savings when it comes to project budgets. Should you have multiple projects operating concurrently, the road-worthy capacity of the Franna also means you can use the same piece to complete work across all site locations.

Easy set-up

Unlike other mobile crane models, the Franna crane does not feature stabilising legs or outriggers, which makes for an easier set-up and pack down on-site. It also allows for it to be easily utilised across a project area with minimal planning.


Tight access mobility

The lack of stabilisers and outriggers also means that the Franna crane can manoeuvre through and operate within limited accessways where other mobile cranes may be restricted.


Small- and large-scale project applications

While its compact dimensions and road-worthy abilities make the Franna crane an ideal candidate to carry out a range of residential work, it also has the lifting power to cater to civil and commercial projects. Our fleet features a 20t Franna crane and a 25t Franna crane, both of which are suitable for completing the lift and load transport requirements of even the largest construction sites.

Are there any limitations when using a Franna crane?

Even Superman has a weakness, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Franna crane is subject to its own set of limitations.

The main restriction of the Franna crane is probably its maximum carry load and the risk of overturning, especially if an unskilled operator is behind the controls. It also suffers due to the lack of outriggers which, while a space- and time-saving benefit, limits its lifting operations to firm, flat surfaces.

Should you have a project that requires an alternative mobile crane hire that is equipped to handle load lifting on uneven surfaces, Action Cranes have a fleet of all-terrain cranes readily available for dispatch across Sydney and surrounds.

Hire a Franna crane and experience a piece of Australian history

If you would like to see the difference a Franna crane can make on your next project, contact our team today. With over 40 years of experience, we offer comprehensive lifting solutions to projects right across Sydney and the surrounding areas. We understand the complexity that comes with construction in the nation’s largest metropolis, and have the top-of-the-line mobile crane hire fleet and expert operators at our disposal to lift our clients and ensure their success.

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