The construction industry is one of the most hazardous industries based on the number of fatalities. Mobile cranes, as a central component of many construction operations, contribute to a large number of construction fatalities. While many of these fatalities are caused by inadequate planning, few of the mobile crane safety issues have been well addressed. Developments in information technologies, notably cyber-physical systems (CPS), are changing the way in which mobile crane planning can be done. With the capacity for bi-directional coordination between physical world components and their virtual representations, CPS offers advantages in monitoring mobile cranes in such a way as to facilitate effective planning, proactively monitor crane operations, provide rich multi-modal feedback to crane operators, and ultimately, to avoid mobile crane failures. This paper explores CPS applicability in planning mobile crane operations on construction sites. It reviews the key definitions and characteristics of CPS, current CPS applications in the built environment, potential benefits and barriers for CPS application to mobile cranes, and discusses how CPS application to the planning and operation of mobile crane uses can be achieved.