Everyone knows tower cranes are necessary to the construction of any building or structure— but how many people take a minute to understand how cranes work? Anyone with an interest in the construction industry should know just how these powerful machines are built and function.
What Exactly is a Tower Crane?
Here we will focus on the tower crane, which is the most commonly employed type of crane on large-scale construction endeavors, such as skyscrapers.
Tower cranes are able to construct such massive structures due to their unique and complex design with several moving parts. At the base of a tower crane lies a concrete foundation that anchors to the ground for security, from which a long tower of stacked lattice emerges.
At the brink of this tower is a turntable (essentially the crane’s rotator) and the operator’s cab, where the crane operator sits while communicating with other workers and controlling the movement of the crane.
Moving along the long, arm-like jib that extends from the top of the tower is a long trolley and hook block, which lift loads vertically along the extent of the jib. The crane’s main winch sits behind the operator’s cab and contains the motors for the trolley, which riggers at the bottom of the crane secure onto the load.
On the other side of the cab sits a counterjib and counterweights, which balance the weight endured by the jib and are supported by pendants from the tower peak of the crane.
How Are Tower Cranes Built?
With a makeup as intricate as that of a tower crane, the best way to construct one is by using other cranes. After laying the tower crane’s concrete foundation, builders use a mobile crane (typically for constructing smaller-scale buildings and machinery) to construct and connect key pieces of the crane, such as the jib, operator’s cab, motors, and turntable.
Then, with the help of a hydraulic jack, they use what exists of the crane to masterfully construct the rest of the machine’s own tower. From constructing massive buildings to constructing itself, the tower crane is one of the most versatile pieces of machinery in the world of construction.
Without them, we would never know big cities as we do today, and skyscrapers would be impossible. To learn more, be sure to check out the helpful crane animation from BigRentz below.