Cranes are a staple for construction companies across the country, with the crane rental market capping at $46.2 billion as of 2019. This useful piece of equipment costs too much for small and medium-sized construction companies to afford. That’s why they choose to hire cranes until they complete their projects.
If you’re looking to buy or hire a crane for your project, it’s important to first familiarize yourself with the different types of cranes available today. Understanding the various crane types will help you make a more informed decision when picking a crane to boost construction work.
In today’s post, we’ll be looking at the different types of cranes available today. That way, you can pick the right crane type for your particular needs. Without wasting too much time, let’s dive straight into it.
Mobile cranes are the most common type of crane found on construction sites. They get their name because these crates consist of a telescopic boom or steel truss fitted onto a mobile platform like a truck or rail.
They are usually smaller than other cranes but achieve the same purpose. You can lower the truss or the boom using hydraulic cylinders and cables. They are smaller than other cranes and find use in different areas of the construction site.
Unlike mobile cranes, you can’t move tower cranes from one place to another at your volition. Tower cranes remain in a fixed position until you remove them and reinstall them in a different area. They’re ideal for constructing tall buildings like skyscrapers because of their height and lifting capabilities.
Overhead cranes are also known as suspended cranes and are common in the automobile and metal refining industries. Contractors taking on large-scale projects also use overhead cranes to move materials around the site.
These cranes have a beam that carries a trolley, which acts as the crane’s hoist. The trolley moves along the beam in one direction. Sometimes overhead cranes can have two beams that move the trolley in different directions.
Truck-mounted cranes are a type of mobile crane that’s mounted on a truck. These cranes consist of two parts, the carrier, and the boom. The carrier is the truck itself, and the boom is the crane’s arm.
Truck-mounted cranes are among the most portable and flexible cranes you can buy. However, they may not be suitable for carrying very large loads.
Floating cranes are known by many names including crane vessels and crane ships. As the name suggests, floating cranes are cranes found on floating bodies like ships and other water vessels. As such, they’re useful for construction projects on large water bodies like seas and lakes.
Surprisingly, these floating cranes have been around since the Middle Ages. However, the floating crates we have today are a far cry from what we had in the Middle Ages. Technological advancements have allowed these cranes to lift heavier loads without using too much energy.
There are several types of floating cranes; some of them include:
- Submersible cranes
- Semi-submersible cranes
- Sheerleg cranes
Unless you have a construction project on a large water body, floating cranes are of no use to you. However, they’re ideal for projects like building ports and harbors at sea.
Rough Terrain Crane
Rough Terrain Cranes are cranes used for hoisting objects in rough terrain. The crane sits on an undercarriage that contains four large, rugged wheels. These wheels help the crane navigate rough terrain to serve its purpose.
Contractors use these cranes for off-road operations, although they’re most common with miners. The crane contains telescopic booms and outriggers to help them remain stable in rocky and rough terrain.
Knuckle Boom Crane
A knuckle boom crane or articulating crane is a standard crane, with a boom that folds at the “knuckles”. The “knuckles” is a point near the middle of the crane’s arm, and the fold allows greater flexibility than standard cranes.
They’re a pretty common sight in harbors and ports for loading and unloading shipping vessels. They’re also useful in construction projects for moving equipment and materials. You can check out these knuckle boom cranes on HIAB cranes.
A telescopic crane is a standard crane with a hydraulic cylinder in the boom that allows it to change its length. These cranes can either be fixed or mounted on a mobile platform like a truck.
Telescopic cranes are a great investment because of their versatility. You can lengthen or shorten the crane as you wish, making it ideal for different projects and situations. Apart from construction, these cranes are also ideal for rescue operations like during fires and natural disasters.
Like telescopic cranes, loader cranes also have a hydraulic cylinder to adjust the arm’s length. As the name implies, this crane is mostly for loading equipment onto a trailer. It sits at the back of a truck, making it easy to move from trailer to trailer.
It’s also very compact because the arm can fold up after use for easier storage and transportation. This crane is ideal for small construction projects, but not large ones that require the movement of heavy materials.
The Hammerhead crane is a type of fixed crane that consists of a horizontal lever that sits on a tower. This lever contains the trolley at one end of the arm, while the other end counterbalances the load. It also swivels so that operators can move stuff from one point to another.
Hammerhead cranes also have the capability to “rack.” Racking means moving the crane trolley back and forth on the arm. This is a feature that is lacking in most of the other crane types.
Different Crane Types for Your Choosing
Now that you know all the different crane types, it’s on you to pick the right one for your needs. Remember, if you can’t afford to buy a crane, consider renting one out instead. Just make sure you buy and rent your crane from a reputable dealer.
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