When to Use a Hydra-Slide

When to Use a Hydra-Slide Skidding System

Cranes are one of the most common and useful pieces of equipment on any construction site. They are powerful and technologically sophisticated machines; cranes can lift very large and heavy loads to great heights. But what about when you need to move a heavy load horizontally? In many circumstances, it’s optimal (even necessary) to use a Hydra-Slide skidding system instead. But the question remains: how will you know when to ditch the crane and use a skidding system?

when to use the hydra slide graphic


Space limitations

A crane is a huge piece of machinery. Often, the crane you need to lift a load is larger and heavier than the load itself. Your infrastructure might not be able to accommodate something that large and heavy. You may also have to deal with overhead wires or obstructions. Extreme ground load bearing pressures need to be considered.  That’s when you need to consider a Hydra-Slide.  This skidding system has a very low height of maximum 8 inches. These systems are ideal for working in spaces with limited clearance and the load weight can be spread out over a large area.  The strong steel track is rigid and can carry loads over unsupported spans, depending on the weight of the load. It’s also customizable and you can build track sections in various lengths to suit your application.  So, measure what space you have and what your ground bearing capabilities are, then you’ll be able to see if you need to slide rather than lift.




Large cranes can be difficult and expensive to move, even short distances. In order to meet road weight restrictions, they are dismantled and shipped in smaller components. This means that they are reassembled at the job site, which is a formidable rigging job in itself.  There is always the question of availability. You need to keep in mind where your jobsite is and if you intend to use your own crane or rent one locally. Will it be there when you need it?

The Hydra-Slide is your best bet in this case. A 500 ton capacity system can be transported on a single truckload. Its setup, use and breakdown are designed to be simple and safe. Its lightweight design makes transporting the system fast and easy, significantly reducing your mobilization costs.



Cost can be a significant factor in deciding on your rigging plan. Cranes, being a very high-value asset, are be very costly whether they are working or not.  A small delay on your job can result in expensive crane standby charges.  We don’t have to tell you that your budget is often a very difficult thing to manage, if not the most difficult, and weather or equipment delivery delay can eat up your profit.  That’s why you have to make smart choices when purchasing or renting equipment. Many times, moving heavy loads with a skidding system has proven to be more cost effective than lifting with a crane. hydra-slide track



We have left this item to last but in fact it is likely the most important aspect of any rigging job. You should hold the safety of workers and personnel above all other concerns.  Next is the safety of the load itself and the environment.  A crane operates by lifting and maneuvering the load with it freely suspended and balancing it against its own weight. An inaccurate load weight estimate can result in an overloaded crane.  The extreme potential and kinetic energies developed by lifting and moving large loads can have disastrous results.  A heavy load dropped form even a few inches can seriously damage itself and anything/anyone around it.

Your load is never freely suspended with a skid system. All movements are slow and controlled.  When properly set up, your load can never move on its own. Since your load is supported from below and not cantilevered, a slight variation in the weight usually has little or no effect on the stability or capacity of the system. Should there ever be any type of failure in the hydraulics or propulsion system, the load simply stops moving until the failure is corrected and then the move continues again.


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