Cranes can be defined as heavy-duty machines that are equipped with suspended ropes or cables which can be utilized for lifting and lowering objects impossible to be carried manually. There is a global demand for hoisting and moving heavy material and the different types of mobile crane capacity that are available are further evidence that it is an essential machine used for a wide range of industrial activities such as building construction, maintenance, oil mining, machine fabrication and movie production.
Mobile cranes are vital in the construction industry and are fabricated with various configurations. Following are a few examples.
- Truck-Mounted – The name explains the type as the boom is mounted on the truck trailer in order to move the crane from one place to another. There is no need for a special transportation device since it can be easily moved to via any major roadway. When such a configuration is used, it is important to understand that the object being lifted should not swing from side to side. Hydraulic outriggers are usually engaged prior to starting any work in help stabilize the device and prevent any tip-over hazard. When it is maneuvered, the driver has to move out of the cab and onto the rear of the vehicle to be able to view the load. This is why the latest designs have a radio-linked control system to control the telescopic or knuckleboom arm.
- Crawler – The boom is mounted on a chassis or undercarriage with wheels or a set of tracks for stability purposes and mobility. It is very stable and can easily move with heavy loads in any work area; however, when it is transported by road, the machine must be dismantled due to its heavy weight. In addition, this machine is very expensive and as a result, unaffordable by many.
- All-Terrain – This vehicle is ideal for both off-road construction and industrial jobs. It can travel over public roads without restrictions and can be configured to carry loads up to 1,200 tons. It is very reliable in any location and is equipped with safety devices such as an automatic load shut-off, overloading warning signal, and a hoist limit switch shut-off.
The current world’s largest crane is the LTL-2600 Transi-Lift, which is being used to build the Intel Corp D1X factory. Workers spent almost four weeks reassembling the boom parts with a reach capacity of 460 feet. Including the lattice jib attachment, it can reach to a maximum of 700 feet and has been noted to lift 2,600 tons without encountering any technical problems.
The world’s strongest and most powerful truck-mounted telescopic hoisting equipment is the Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1. Its radius is 8 feet with a telescopic eight-section boom that has a reaching capacity of a maximum of 558 feet. With the jib attachment, the boom can extend an additional 79 feet. This monster machine is utilized for wind turbine construction with a maximum lifting capacity of 1,330 tons.
With the latest breakthrough in hoisting truck technology, the hydraulic-powered telescopic or knuckleboom cranes are designed to cater to different applications. They are used extensively in the construction of buildings and bridges and deployed for use in the mining industry as well as by manufacturing companies. Interestingly, they are also used for shooting films and for garden set-up tasks, especially for positioning cherub decor.
There are so many cranes with so many different uses that are available; however, this article only highlights those that are commonly seen in the industrial construction arena. The many different types of cranes are useful in a variety of industries and each design has varying lifting and reaching capacities, depending upon the specifications. Their versatility, functionality and usability enables them to perform almost any lifting task imaginable!