The biannual Urban Melbourne crane census - July 2014

It's time once more to take the pulse of Melbourne's development scene, with another installment of the Urban Melbourne Crane Census. Akin to the RLB Crane Index, the Urban Melbourne version assesses the location of tower cranes throughout metropolitan Melbourne as opposed to the RLB Crane Index which concentrates on Melbourne's inner suburbs, hence providing a more comprehensive report of what is being built and where.

By pooling varied resources and conducting a physical count, we believe the census to be accurate to within 1-2 units.

By the numbers: The Urban Melbourne crane census

Locality All Residential Commercial Health/Institutional
Melbourne CBD 14 10 4 -
Melbourne LGA / Docklands 12 7 4 1
Melbourne Southbank 5 5 - -
Melbourne Carlton/Parkville 8 3 - 5
Port Phillip 5 4 - 1
Stonnington 16 13 1 2
Boroondara 6 3 3 -
Yarra 15 13 - 2
Manningham / Whitehorse 7 6 1 -
North & West 8 6 2 -
South & East 11 5 5 1
Total 107 (100%) 75 (70%) 20 (19%) 12 (11%)


  • Ten tower cranes currently on health related projects with five alone for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
  • The equivalent count last year saw residential projects account for 67% or tower cranes in use.
  • The current figure has increased to 70% as tower cranes become more common on smaller scale residential projects, and is expected to continue growing.
  • Commercial tower crane use has risen marginally from 17% to 20% over the equivalent period.
  • The breadth of tower crane placement has never been greater, from Tullamarine to Ringwood to Frankston.
The most recent arrival, Caelli's lifter for Probuild's Eastland redevelopment

All in the timing

Melbourne's large crane count is a reflection of the success of relatively new tower crane operator, Clark Cranes. This half yearly census shows that in excess of 20 Raimondi tower cranes with Clark Cranes' blue and yellow trim are distributed throughout greater Melbourne, with only two of their tower cranes found within City of Melbourne.

Having been a mobile crane operator for some time, Clark Cranes evidently read the tea leaves perfectly and entered the tower crane hire market a few short years ago at a point when low and mid-rise residential projects were proliferating throughout greater Melbourne. The niche service they provide in smaller scale tower cranes for predominantly residential projects has clearly resonated with many of Melbourne's smaller builders.

A typical Clark Cranes project - Blu Apartments Edithvale

Looking ahead

As has been the norm for some years there's no shortage of upcoming projects warranting tower cranes of all sizes. Over the months to come hubs of construction such as Doncaster, Box Hill and Fitzroy can expect additional cranes while Clayton can expect a potential count of 5-7 tower cranes by year's end due to imminent residential, education and health projects.

Within the CBD a number of cranes will continue their upward journey while a batch of new cranes will grace the cities skies for large-scale projects such as Light House, Victoria One Melbourne and 35 Spring Street. This new wave will emerge into the new year, just in time for the next Urban Melbourne crane count.

My Real Estate Mate logo

Development & Planning

Friday, October 28, 2016 - 00:00
The route 11 tram not so long ago used to be known as the route 112 which ran from West Preston to St Kilda. The old 112 route was split in two (routes 11 and 12) and route 11 now runs from West Preston and terminates at Victoria Harbour in...

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 14:30
On Monday 24th of October, the iCities: World Class CBDs series conference kicks off. First held in Kuala Lumpur, this year's conference is to be held at the Langham Hotel on Southbank. iCities is owned and operated by iProperty Group, a network property under the REA Group umbrella brand. Over...


Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 17:00
Melbourne’s architectural landscape is a wonderful juxtaposition of modern and Victorian architecture. Although the CBD has been peppered with many skyscrapers, its historical structures have won Melbourne the title of “Australia’s most European city”. Perhaps the most striking example of this juxtaposition between old and new is the Coops Shot...

Transport & Design

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 07:00
108 Leicester Street is a collection of eight multi-level Fitzroy townhouses that have been designed to respond to the changing face of multi-residential living in Melbourne. The hybrid inner-city dwellings combine developer/builder FOURSQ with Melbourne firm BKK Architects. The design acknowledges the housing typologies of the development's Fitzroy neighbourhood with...

Sustainability & Environment

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 00:00
The proposed new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) on Sturt Street is shaping to become much more than a cutting edge venue. While the project has been given coverage to date across a range of mediums, very little has been said regarding the project playing an integral part in the...