If you have a project which requires the hire of a crane, you may be overwhelmed with the amount of different types of crane available for hire, so it is important that you know exactly what each type of crane should be used in your situation. The main function of a crane is to lift large, heavy weights from the ground, usually over or onto a high structure – the lifting and moving is controlled by levers or controls in the cab. Whilst many modern cranes look like a simple machine, some of them are extremely high tech, but still share the same principles as they did almost 2000 years ago when the Romans used makeshift cranes to aid their building.
Perhaps the most common type of crane is the mobile crane – The mobile crane is generally a telescopic boom style which is mounted onto the rear of a large lorry or truck so it can be moved around, not only on site, but to and from sites – these cranes are excellent for general jobs, but can also be used to aid the construction of larger static cranes. They are generally built to be able to drive on the road, so are a great option for inner-city works.
Mobile cranes can also be used for demolition jobs, the hook on the end can be replaced/changed to a wrecking ball, or a wrecking bucket depending on what is required for the job at hand. Lorry based cranes can be driven almost anywhere, although for rough terrain you may wish to hire a crane with a caterpillar style base. The lorry mounted crane will have hydraulic outriggers which are extended to keep the crane stable whilst in use. Cranes that are on caterpillar style tracks are designed for rough terrain and are not generaly used on the road, they look and work just like caterpillar style JCB/Diggers.
Loader cranes, similar to grab trucks are small hydraulic boom arms which are mounted to the back of tipper style lorries and are used for loading or unloading the truck they are mounted to. You may see these delivering building supplies such as sacks of sand or concrete, and are mostly used for this type of work as they do not have a very high or long reach.
You may also have heard of floating cranes, these are generally used in shipping works, or sometimes for the recovery of ocean salvage – they can also be used in the construction of oil or gas rigs at sea, these are mounted on floating platforms, and can be hired from specialist companies – however this isn’t generally something a member of the public would hire, with the hire companies favouring specialist companies who have a requirement for such cranes.
Chances are you have seen the final common crane type – the tower crane, these are the large, constructed cranes which you see on the skyline when a large building or skyskcraper, these are generally built with the help of a mobile crane hire, which will come in and build the tower crane and then carry on to it’s next job.
Tower cranes are the most powerful but also the least mobile of cranes – they are moved in pieces by truck, and need assembled and disassembled every time you wish to move them, not ideal for a small project, but almost always the best solution for a large scale building project which requires high lifting of materials and parts.
Which type of crane do you need? Probably a mobile crane – from the likes of crane hire London, unless you’re building the next skyscraper in Canary Wharf!