Different Types Of Cranes & Their Uses

Choosing the Right Type of Crane for Your Needs

Thanks to modern engineering trends, there are numerous different types of cranes to choose from when tackling a construction project. While this is indeed beneficial when addressing specific tasks, it can also be somewhat confusing if you are unaware of the purposes and benefits associated with each variant. This is why it is wise to take an in-depth look at the different types of cranes and their uses. What are the different types of cranes and when should each be selected? Answering these questions will enable you to make an informed decision when leveraging the crane hire services provided by our team. Let’s examine five common varieties as well as their purposes.

All-Terrain Cranes

One of the different types of cranes to choose from is the all-terrain crane. As the title above suggests, all-terrain cranes are some of the largest and most robust models on the market. They are typically used when there is no traditional access to a site (such as few suitable roads or if dealing with a very remote location). Equipped with numerous pairs of wheels, all-terrain cranes are great when dealing with surfaces that might cause other models to lose traction. These units are likewise able to lift extremely heavy loads thanks to their four-wheel-drive systems combined with hydraulically powered telescopic booms. These different types of cranes are also versatile in regard to their applications, so they are often procured if you need to deal with a multi-stage project.

City (Compact) Cranes

Many projects will need to be carried out within urban environments. As space tends to be limited in such situations, professional crane hire services will often provide compact models. Referred to as city cranes, the diminutive size and excellent manoeuvrability of these models will provide superior levels of safety and efficiency. These cranes are essentially mounted directly atop a wheeled vehicle, so transportation between two different locations is often less complicated when compared to larger variants. Power steering, the ability to travel while carrying a load and the capability of working in areas associated with a limited amount of headroom are additional benefits attributed to these models. Being aware of the different types of cranes and their uses can dramatically impact the ease of a project. 

Crawler Cranes

Any article discussing the different types of cranes and their uses will logically address crawler cranes. This type of crane is mounted upon a set of tracks, also known as crawlers. There are several advantages associated with this configuration. First and foremost, the inclusion of crawlers provides extra levels of stability when lifting heavy or awkward loads. This also precludes the use of outriggers, so crawler cranes will require very little setup prior to operation. A lower centre of gravity likewise signifies that these cranes are able to travel while carrying a load. Crawler cranes can swivel a full 360 degrees atop their base, so operators will be able to make short work out of otherwise complicated lifting tasks. Finally, crawler cranes are excellent when dealing with uneven terrain (a condition which is frequently encountered on many construction sites).

Spider Cranes 

There are many different types of cranes and spider cranes are arguably the most visually unique. Their name is derived from the presence of hydraulic outriggers that can be adjusted as required in order to provide superior levels of stability upon uneven surfaces (the outriggers appear similar to the legs of a spider). These models are also employed when loads need to be lifted within closed confines (such as dealing with objects that need to be safely transported or manipulated between two floors of a commercial structure). Spider cranes are great when dealing with confined spaces as well as if awkward objects need to be safely lifted.

Tower Cranes

Tower cranes are immediately recognisable due to their sheer height. They are comprised of a robust base, a tower (known as the mast), a slewing system that enables the upper portion to rotate and a horizontal lifting arm. These types of cranes will often be seen during larger construction projects when loads need to be lifted to significant heights without sacrificing stability. Commercial buildings and modern residential apartment complexes are two common examples. They are known for their ability to provide excellent lifting capacities alongside the ability to reach tall structures. On a final note, the height of a tower crane can be adjusted as required.

What are the different types of cranes and their unique uses? The sections above have endeavoured to answer these important questions. Of course, there are often other variables to take into account such as the type of load that needs to be lifted as well as the capacity of a specific model. This is when the professionals at Emerson Crane Hire can help. Please speak with one of our trained technicians if you have additional questions or should you be curious to learn more about the different types of cranes and their uses, as well as what we have to offer.