Published On: Sat, Dec 22nd, 2018

What Are the Different Types of Cranes?

The earliest record of a crane is estimated to be from the 6th century B.C. in ancient Greece. The maximum load it could carry was around 150 kilograms using a tripod-pulley system – such a contrast to the mechanical feats seen today. The crane has adapted by integrating new technology into existing models. From animal and human power to the steam engine to our electric/hydraulic systems, and wooden beams and steel frames, cranes have adapted to accommodate the community’s need for stronger faster machines.

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There are two categories of cranes, mobile and fixed, which have also branched out into specialised models.

Mobile cranes

Mobile cranes are often mounted on vehicles that allow them to move from one location to another. Typically, their work is to pick and carry items through the site. There are four kinds of mobile cranes: truck mounted, all-terrain, crawler, and floating.

A truck-mounted crane is self-explanatory. It is a crane that sits on top of a truck. It has outriggers which can extend vertically and horizontally to stabilise the truck and level the crane when in use. Like all other mobile cranes, it draws its power from hydraulic cylinders. Their lifting capacity ranges from 14.5 short tons to 1,300 short tons. The range of motion in most models is 180 degrees, but some models can do the full 360.

The all-terrain and crawler cranes are similar to the truck-mounted variant in that they are all on an undercarriage with rubber tires or crawler tracks. The kind of environment determines the difference in their design. Their full-potential can only shine in conditions that make use of those features (like the way it stabilises itself, etc.) For your regular land builds there are companies specialising in crane hire in Lincoln.

The floating crane is for onshore and offshore use. Instead of trucks and undercarriages, they are mounted on top of boats and barges. Their lifting range can exceed 10,000 short tons. They are used in transferring bridge sections and cargo. They are also used in salvage projects.

Fixed Cranes

Fixed cranes trade in their mobility for power. They stay in one area; hence the term fixed. They are for projects with heavy weights and high heights. There are many kinds of fixed cranes: tower, telescopic, hammerhead, level luffing, overhead, gantry, deck, jib, bulk-handling, loader, and stacker.

The tower crane is set up with a concrete foundation to ensure the structure is stable. They are the modern form of the balance crane. The mast is attached to a gear and motor which rotates and provides 360-degree movement for the crane.

The telescopic crane can be assembled and disassembled and transported from one project to another. The unique aspect of the telescopic crane is the boom. It can extend and retract. It is meant for short-term construction, simple lifting, and rescue operations. Though the telescopic crane is a fixed type, it can be mounted on a truck.

This list only scratches the surface of the different kinds of cranes. You can expect that for any environment that requires heavy lifting, indoor or outdoor, rural or urban, land or sea, there is a type of crane that is made for the job.

Author: Jayce Redford

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