Many industries require machinery that can load, lift and move heavy things around quickly and safely. And since the nearly the beginning of civilization man has developed more and more efficient machinery for this purpose. In fact the ancient Greeks used simple devices for this purpose that are technically the forefathers of what we still use today.
Today, man has created a variety of highly technical lifting and carrying machines that are utilized extensively throughout industry. The most well know and often used of these is the crane. Cranes are widely used in a multitude of industries including shipping, manufacturing, construction, Steel and other commodities, ship building, the military, and dozens more. And today you can purchase a crane nearly anywhere, including from a crane distributor in Alaska or a crane company in Pennsylvania.
Today’s cranes are much different from what the Greeks used. They can be huge, taking up tons of material hundreds of meters in height. In fact, some high end infrastructure projects, utilize cranes that are as tall as 800 meters.
How Do Cranes Work?
The key goals in crane design are lifting volume and stability. Today’s cranes use a system of pulleys and cables that are combined to create power-driven leverage so that large loads can be lifted. They use a lever and other simple machines to decrease the amount of force required to lift and moving objects.
Levers manipulate the torque to do the heavy lifting and a pulley distributes the amount of weight needed to lift an object. In today’s cranes, many of these functions are mechanized.
Different types of cranes exist depending on the particular job. Here are the different types of cranes available:
- Vehicle Mounted
Many cranes are used in situations that are temporary causing the need for the crane to be moved regularly. In this case having a mobile crane is the right solution. Vehicle mounted cranes solve this issue. The crane is transported to a location and the vehicle is stabilized for the crane to operate properly.
Crawler cranes are mounted to a vehicle’s chassis and can be transported but do not require outriggers for stability. They have a capacity of up to 1500 tons and need disassembly and reassembly at the next location.
- Rough Terrain
Rough terrain cranes are mobile cranes mounted on a truck’s undercarriage and are generally used for off-road situations. These cranes need to be operated by professionals who understand positioning them so they are most stable.
On nearly every building construction site and certainly every one that is one where a tall building is going up, you will see large cranes being used to move around construction materials. These tower cranes, when mounted on strong concrete foundations, have tremendous height and weight capacities and can be operated at any height including on the tops of skyscrapers more than 1,000 feet high.
Aerial cranes are also called “sky cranes” as they are helicopters used exclusively to lift very heavy loads. These cranes are very useful in conditions where conventional cranes do not work. At a construction site, these cranes also help in disaster mitigation and risk relief programs.
There is a crane for every situation and every job.