Cranes: Types and uses

Cranes: Types and uses

A crane is a tower machine that has cables and pulleys that can lift and lower items. The Bubble Crane is one of the most common cranes in the construction industry; you have probably seen them around your city. These cranes can be a temporary structure or they can be mounted to another vehicle or fixed to the ground. You can control cranes in three different ways by a button pendant control panel, radio controls or by sitting in the cab using the controls. But there are different types of cranes!

Have a look below to see what your options are.

Mobile Cranes

Mobile cranes are a standard type and most used in construction sites. The crane has a steel truss mounted on a platform, which can be a cat truck; wheeled or rail. The truss is mounted at the bottom so it can be raised or lowered by hydraulic cylinders or cables. This is the most used crane due to its mobility and footprint. IT can be hard to get right up close to the pace where the materials need to be hoisted up.

Moving the crane into a position where it can lift the items with the correct capacity is achieved by what’s known as the “footprint”. The footprint is the area where the crane can set up its outriggers into a position where it can hoist the material up while remaining inside the crane chart requirements.


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Tower Crane

This crane is basically a newer version of the balance crane. It can be fixed to the ground, which will allow the best height and lifting capacity combination for tall buildings. This machine can reach 1000m high with a floor of around 3.5 metres. You are looking at a 285-story building that this crane helps with.

Tower cranes need to be connected to the building when they reach a specific height and this is to avoid any crane swaying and tipping.

Telescopic Crane

These types of cranes consist of tubes that are fitted inside another. The mechanism can extend and retract the tubes to decrease or increase the size of the boom.

Telescopic cranes are usually used for day-to-day hauling operations.

Rough Terrain Crane

These cranes are mounted on the undercarriage and have tyres that are designed for off-road work. With outriggers that extend both vertically and horizontally which stabilised the crane when it is being hoisted. The same engine that is used to power the crane also powers the undercarriage. These are ideal for work that is on rocky terrain or uneven grounds. This crane suits well for lighters hoists with highway work and all types o infrastructure projects.

Overhead Crane

Overhead cranes or suspended cranes are used in factories lifting heavy loads. The larger version, which is called a goliath crane, is used in large manufacturing plants and shipyards. The hoist is mounted to a trolley, which moves in a direction along beams, which can then move in any direction you want – on ground level tracks that are mounted along the assembly part.

All these types of cranes can either be brought outright or rented for temporary jobs by a crane hire company.  You need a license to drive each one and be experienced within the safety laws of cranes.