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Simple and effective control strategies are very important for hydraulic crane systems. In this paper, a fuzzy-PI compound control which integrates fuzzy control (FC) with an improved feedforward proportional control based on fuzzy tuning and a segmented integral control, is proposed to adjust the tip damping of a hydraulic crane system under load dynamics. FC is responsible for the stable control, while the feedforward proportional control improves the tracking performance and the segmented integrator adapts control to the actions of saturation. Position and pressure signals in the hydraulic crane system are fed back to control the damping of the crane tip. Simulation results show that the right artificial damping without high losses in dynamical performance is realized by adding the proposed fuzzy-PI compound control into the hydraulic crane system.