Best Pickup Truck Cranes – Utilize Your Truck More

Do you own a kick@ss truck and looking to fully utilize it? Then you should get yourself an awesome crane that can withstand picking up all your equipment and tools.

But it is easy to decide on getting one but it is another thing choosing which pickup truck crane to get.

That's what this review post is for. In this article, I will be doing an in-depth review of the top 4 pickup truck cranes in the market today. I will look into important factors such as durability, capability and of course most value for your money.

If you are in a hurry and just wants to know which is the best pickup truck crane to buy, then see below.

Now that you know my top pick, let's go on to the review proper.

The main perk about a pickup truck is the space available on its open body on which can be put heavy and large things that cannot be put into regular cars. This open space is not achieving its full potential, however, if you do not have the capability to put large and heavy things on it.

Thankfully, cranes for pickup trucks are invented. Though not all pickup truck cranes are up to the task, there are those that do a marvelous job. Here is a comparison table for the best cranes for pickup trucks.

Best Pickup Truck Crane Comparison Table

Product Image

Product Name

Product Capacity

Product Rating

Product Price

MaxxHaul 70238 Receiver Hitch Mounted Crane

1000 lbs lifting capacity

Prohoists Hitch Mounted Winch

1000 lbs lifting capacity

XtremepowerUS 500Lb Pickup Truck Hydraulic PWC Dock Jib Engine Hoist Crane Hitch

500 lbs lifting capacity

CLIENSY 2 Ton Red Color 4400 lb Folding Engine Hoist Cherry Picker Shop Crane Lift

4000 lbs lifting capacity

Top 4 Pickup Truck Crane Review

MaxxHaul 70238 Receiver Hitch Mounted Crane

Our Rating​

Features & Key Technical Data

1000 lbs Load Capacity
Portable and Easy Installation
360 Degree Swivel

7 ft Lifting Arm

When it comes to strength, portability, efficiency and all-around usefulness, the MaxxHaul 70238 can be relied upon. It is light, removable and easy to use.

The MaxxHaul 70238 does not need any permanent installation or any drilling. Just mount it on the hitch of your truck when needed, and you can start loading or unloading drum barrels, generators, pressure washers or small engines out of the bed of your truck.

The crane swivels swing all the way around – three hundred sixty degrees. It has three boom capacities: 500 pounds, 750 pounds and 1000 pounds. The unit weighs around a hundred and forty pounds and measures 53.5 x 21.5 x 9 inches.

It has adjustable legs with a wide base for weight support and stability, a steel chain and hook for strength, an industrial grade hydraulic ram for safety and a removable hitch mount so it can be taken anywhere.

Safe, easy to use and very efficient – that is what the MaxxHaul 70238 Hydraulic Hitch Crane is.

  • Portable
  • 360 degree swivel
  • 7 feet lifting arm
  • Base has to be adjusted
Prohoists Hitch Mounted Winch

Our Rating​

Features & Key Technical Data

1000 lbs Load Capacity
Portable and Easy Installation
360 Degree Swivel

8 ft Lifting Arm

“Designed for heavy duty lifting and maintenance free operation” – that is an accurate description for the Prohoists hitch mounted jib crane. It has the wonderful features of an extremely useful pickup truck crane and more.

It is highly durable and weather resistant. It has a three hundred sixty degree swivel and a boom that extends up to fifty four inches. The lifting arm extends up to eight feet and can carry a limit of a thousand pounds.

The base plate is not adjustable, but has a dimension of 11 x 11 inches. The weight capacity is reduced by 60% when the lifting arm is fully extended.

 It requires no drilling for installation. It is portable and compact and has a hydraulic ram for easy lift.

When it comes to safety, efficiency and handling, the ProHoists hitch mounted jib crane is a great choice for your pickup truck.

  • Portable
  • 360 degree swivel
  • 8 feet lifting arm
  • Weight capacity goes down by 60% when lifting arm is fully extended
XtremepowerUS 500Lb Pickup Truck Hydraulic PWC Dock Jib Engine Hoist Crane Hitch

Our Rating​

Features & Key Technical Data

500 lbs Load Capacity
Portable and Easy Installation
360 Degree Swivel

7 ft Lifting Arm

Perhaps not as muscular as other cranes, but what XtremePowerUS lacks in power it makes up for reliability. It is highly compact, easy to use and highly portable.

No drilling or permanent installation is required. Just install it on your truck’s hitch when needed and even just one man can easily operate the lifting of heavy materials such as engines. The load is supported with adjustable legs to prevent too much weight pressuring your truck’s hitch receiver.

The crane swivels the full versatility of a whole circle. It has a hydraulic lifting system that can lift up to five hundred pounds. The boom extends to a little less than fifty seven inches and the lifting range goes up to 2200 mm.

This product can only be used on 2 inch hitch receivers and assembly is required.

  • Portable
  • 360 degree swivel
  • 2200 mm lifting arm
  • Only works on 2 inch hitch receivers.
CLIENSY 2 Ton Red Color 4400 lb Folding Engine Hoist Cherry Picker Shop Crane Lift

Our Rating​

Features & Key Technical Data

4000 lbs Load Capacity
Has Wheels For Ease Of Movement
Adjustable Lifting

7 ft Lifting Arm

If it is muscles that you need, then the Cliensy 2 ton engine hoist is what you need as your pickup truck crane. As the name implies, this product can lift two tons. 2 TONS! Now that is a crazy amount of weight to lift.

The crane is not hitch mounted, instead it is on four wheels. It has four adjustable positions: half a ton, a ton, one and a half tons and two tons. It is made of heavy gauge structural steel and can lift axles, transmissions, gas engines and small diesel engines.

The boom extends to 105 inches, and the base is adjustable. The unit weighs 160 pounds and has a dimension of 65 x 39 x 60 inches (length x width x height).

If all you need is muscle and lifting prowess, the Cliensy 2 ton engine hoist is what you should be looking for.

  • 2 ton lifting weight
  • Adjustable lifting
  • Can be rolled
  • Not as portable

How to Choose the Best Pickup Truck Cranes – the Only Guide for YOU!

Buying a pickup truck crane is a big investment. And like all investments, it can break your bank, or save you a lot of trouble that you get your every dime’s worth. Of course, as in all forms of investment, it takes serious thought to decide whether it is worth your time and money. In the case of a crane for your pickup truck, there are a number of factors you should consider before making the bi decision.


Strength is the first thing you should look for in a crane for a pickup truck. The main goal of having a crane is to make loading and unloading heavy and unwieldy objects to and from the bed of your truck so much easier. If your crane does not accomplish the task of lifting heavy objects, it is a waste of your precious time and money.

Of course there are many different kinds of cranes that have different lifting capacities. If what you want is something for everyday use, then maybe you do not need a crane that is meant for some serious industrial lifting.


This is perhaps not really a necessity, depending on your particular needs, but it is a wonderful perk to have, no matter what you will use a crane for. Portability adds usability to a pickup truck crane. If you can bring your crane anywhere without having any troubles, then you can use it anywhere.

Portability has its downside, though. The more portable a crane is, the less likely it can lift more weight. The thing about portability is that it makes the unit lighter and adds a lot of moving parts to the unit, which makes it less trustworthy than a solid, immovable crane.


Versatility is something that grants you control over hard to control situations like lifting engines or drum barrels to or from your truck. Some cranes offer great flexibility in such a scenario; they are easy to use, responsive, and are extremely flexible and adjustable.

These cranes become some sort of an extension of your body, that by such tools you can accomplish more. Versatile cranes should be able to not only carry heavy objects, but also to move them around, which is why a swivel with a wide range of movement is more often preferable.

The thing about flexibility and adjustability, though, is that they come with the cost of lessening the weight the crane can carry. For example, a crane with a fully extended arm can only carry a fraction of its full capacity when the arm is not extended.

Easy to Use

Not everybody knows how to operate cranes. Not everybody knows how to install cranes. And if the crane is not being helpful by being easy to use, it will probably become a worthless piece of junk in no time.

When buying a crane for your pickup truck, it is always better if the unit comes with a manual. No matter how experienced you are, you should not operate such a tool without guidance from the manufacturers. Doing so might cause harm either to you or others, or it might damage the equipment.

The easy to use aspect of a pickup truck crane cover installation, unmounting, operation and assembly (if assembly is required). A manual should be available for each of those tasks.

Long Lasting

If the crane you buy lasts only two and a half uses, even if used right according to the manufacturer’s manual, then it just costs you time, money and effort. Such heavy equipment as a pickup truck crane should have features that make it last longer so you can get the most out of it.

Some units have features like weather resistance, and others are made with tougher materials. It will take some research on your part, sure, but all of that will be worth it when it comes the time to write your last will and testament and a pickup truck crane is one of your possessions.

Make sure you get your money’s worth. Get the crane that will last long despite vigorous usage.

All About Pickup Truck Cranes – Most Frequently Asked Questions

How heavy can a hydraulic truck crane lift?

Going around the city, there will be times when you see a crane lifting metallic beams for buildings or for bridges. They are also used for lifting fallen trees on the road or placing roofs on houses even for lifting humongous animals like whales from water tanks.

Witnessing a truck crane work can make one wonder how much it can carry. Well, varying hydraulic truck cranes also vary in the weight they can carry. It is pretty easy to know how heavy they can lift. Know the name and you’ll know the weight, a 2 ton crane can lift up to 2 short tons (4,000 pounds or 1814 kilograms).

What are the basic parts of a hydraulic truck crane?

First, is the eye-catching Boom. Who can miss this long extending arm of the crane, mainly responsible for lifting.

Second, we have the Two-gear Pump. It is the hydraulic pump system that uses two rotating gears to pressurize the liquid, in this case the oil.

Next is the lattice structure that one can see extending out of the boom. It is called a Jib.

During a lift, the cab with the boom rotates to bring the load from one place to another. What makes this rotation possible is a large gear located under the cab called Rotex Gear.

One can never be too sure of how heavy the load is. To be safe, you should never assume. Never think that the load you want your crane to carry is well below the capacity of your crane, more so if the boom is extended. Using a pickup truck crane to carry weight above its capacity can cause harm to you or anyone near the equipement. It can also damage your crane.

Lastly, there are the outriggers and counterweights. Using either one of them, they are to balance the truck crane and offer stability. Sometimes these balancing apparatus are just the legs of the crane. Preferably, the base of the legs should be wider so as to distribute the weight of the load over a larger area. This decreases the pressure on one specific area of your crane, limiting the damage that can be done to it.

How do cranes remain stable when lifting extremely heavy objects to tall heights?

It is extremely important that truck cranes stay stable when lifting heavy objects lest they lean towards one side and fall completely. Some pickup truck cranes have bases that should be wide to provide stability. Other units have legs that can be adjusted to go wider apart or narrower. it is always best to wide, especially if the load is particularly heavy.

A wider base serves two main purposes: to provide stability and to distribute weight. When the base of the crane is wide, the chances of it falling over during operation goes down significantly… it is physics (for which there is not time to bore you with).

Weight distribution is the other purpose of having a wider base. A wider area to distribute weight exponentially lowers the amount of pressure weighing down on your crane, making it more able to not buckle under pressure (again, physics).

There is another way to keep the balance of a crane during operation. That is using counterweight. The amount of counterweight to be used for a lift is determined by the weight of the load, the radius of the boom (steel arm that lifts the load) and the boom’s angle during operation. Counterweights are to be used only during operations, they are placed on the back of the crane on the underside of the cab to prevent the crane from tipping over.

Conclusion: The Best Pickup Truck Crane – Choose Right

A pickup truck is a big investment. And it requires deep thought and consideration to make the decision of which unit to buy. You should look for a crane that will last, and that will make lifting and transporting heavy objects so much easier. Whatever your needs and goals are, you can find the best pickup truck crane.

What do you think of our list? Are there products that you think should have made our list? Let us know in the comments below!

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