What is the World’s Most Powerful Crane?

Exploring The Most Impressive Records Set By Cranes

Integral to the construction and engineering landscape, cranes continue to set remarkable records for their incredible capabilities. From reaching groundbreaking heights to lifting colossal weights, these phenomenal pieces of machinery continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most impressive records set by cranes, including the world’s most powerful crane to date.

At Emerson Cranes, we take pride in offering outstanding modern crane hire services, covering London, Essex and the surrounding areas. Whether you’re overseeing a small or large project, we can provide the ideal crane to suit your needs. To find out more, please get in touch.

The Heaviest Crane Lift Recorded

Taisun Crane

WHAT? Taisun
WHERE? China (Yantai)
WHEN? 18th April 2008

One of the most powerful cranes in the world, the record for the heaviest weight lifted by a crane is currently held by Taisun, and was achieved on 18th April 2008.

The dimensions of the crane are:

Height: 133m
Maximum Lift Height: 80m
Maximum Lift Capacity: 20,000t

Taisun was built specifically to install large modules in semi-submersibles or FPSO (floating production storage and offloading) equipment.

It achieved its heaviest lift by raising a 20,133t water-ballasted barge in Yantai Raffles Shipyard, Yantai, Shandong, China.

The Heaviest Crane Lift at Sea

Heerema Offshore Crane Lift

WHAT? 2X 10,000t Huisman Revolving Turret Cranes
WHERE? Danish Coast
WHEN? 4th October 2022

On 4th October 2022, Heerema Marine Contractors, a Dutch offshore marine contractor, achieved an extraordinary feat by executing an unprecedented 17,000t lift at sea.

This monumental accomplishment not only showcased their unparalleled expertise but also surpassed the previous world record held by Saipem 7000, whose 12,150t lift had stood as a benchmark since October 2004.

Two 10,000 Huisman revolving turret cranes were attached to the end of the Sleipner semi-submersible heavy lifting vessel, with the entire module weighing the equivalent of two Eiffel Towers. Over 260 offshore workers were required to complete the lift.

  • Each crane can hoist a maximum of 10,000t up to a radius of 48m.
  • The capacity remains at 7,000t at a radius of 62m and 4,000t at 82m.
  • The maximum radius for lifting is 102m.
  • The auxiliary hoist can lift 2,500t up to a radius of 60m.
  • The maximum lifting height above the sea is 175m.
  • Onboard is also a pedestal-mounted lattice boom crane that can lift 70t at a 12m radius.

Chief Operating Officer at Heerema, Michael Hendriks, said: “The project’s success resulted from six years of close partnership and collaboration between all parties involved.”

The Largest Crane in the World

Sarens SGC-250

WHAT? Sarens SGC-250 A.K.A. Big Carl
WHERE? Belgium
WHEN? 9th November 2018

With a main boom that can be extended from 118 metres to 160 metres and a jib that can be extended to 100 metres, Big Carl has a maximum height of 250 metres, making the SGC-250 the largest crane in the world. The enormous crane was designed and developed by Sarens and finished by experts in Europe. It is affectionately referred to as Big Carl, named after company founder Carl Sarens.

This incredible piece of machinery can lift an impressive 5,000t and has an engine power of 5.040 horsepower.

The Tallest Telescopic Crane

LTM 11200-9.1

WHAT? Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1
WHEN? 2007

With a maximum telescopic boom length of 100m, the Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1 is the tallest
telescopic crane to date. This crane has been specifically designed for the erection of wind turbines. It features optional jib and boom extensions for additional reach and versatility. The addition of a 122m luffing fly jib provides a maximum outreach of 136m and a maximum hoist height of 188m.

Max. load capacity: 1,200t
Telescopic boom: 100m
Max. hoist height: 188m
Max. radius: 136m
Number of axles: 9

The Largest Camera Crane Used on a Film Set


crane hire services

WHAT? Akela Crane
WHERE? Titanic film set, Mexico
WHEN? 1997

To cover all angles of the 236.22 metres set of the film Titanic, an Akela crane with a standard reach of 24.38 metres was adapted to expand its reach to 60.96 metres.

A gyro-stabilised camera was mounted to the crane basket, and the crane moved on tracks along the side of the ship in a water tank.

The World’s Most Powerful Wheeled Crane

XCMG’s XCA3000

WHERE? Yingkou, Liaoning Province, China
WHEN? 4th December 2023

The world’s heaviest wheeled crane recently completed its debut lift, setting a new benchmark in efficiency and lifting capacity.

The flagship model of Chinese manufacturer XCMG completed the assembly of a wind turbine in Liaoning Province, China on 4th December 2023. On its debut lift the XCMG XCA3000 positioned a 95-metre-long, 25t wind turbine blade onto a turbine hub by lifting it to a height of 107 metres.

The crane was uniquely crafted to lift wind turbines, resulting in more than doubled operational efficiency. It can lift up to 3000t, making it ideal for setting up wind turbines of up to 10 megawatts. Engineers designed the crane with performance and flexibility in mind, reducing the time required to install a turbine by 20-30 percent.

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At Emerson Cranes, we’re pleased to provide outstanding crane hire services throughout London and the surrounding areas. Our crane hire solutions are suitable for a wide range of applications, from construction and events to industrial and rail.

From flexible hire periods to access to the latest technology, there are so many reasons to choose us. If you would like to find out more about our cranes for hire, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 020 8548 3900 and speak to one of our experienced team members today. We look forward to hearing from you!