How Are Cranes Transported and Where Are They Stored?

It’s the ultimate construction mystery. The skylines of some of the world’s major cities are adorned with countless cranes; from compact mini-crawler cranes to hundred feet tall tower cranes. When three giant quay cranes (some as tall as the London eye) were shipped into DP World London Gateway, the matter of crane transportation was brought to the public’s attention. So, how are cranes transported? And where are cranes stored when not in use?

City inhabitants rarely see a 100ft crane travelling from place to place, and people are unlikely ever to have stumbled across a nest of cranes in storage. So, where do cranes come from, how are cranes transported, and where do they go when no longer in use? As South England’s premier mobile crane hire firm, we have some answers.

Where do the biggest cranes come from?

Cranes are the ultimate building tool. In order for the vast majority of inner-city construction jobs to begin, giant cranes will have to be assembled onsite well in advance. Much like the buildings they are used to construct, many cranes have to be assembled and disassembled in between jobs.

How are cranes transported?

The largest tower cranes, often reaching several hundred feet, are known as tower cranes. Due to their height, they cannot be transported in their fully constructed form. So, how do they transport cranes like these? Crane Blogger explains, Tower cranes are transported in much smaller component parts and assembled when they reach their latest building site.

Once at the building site, they are often constructed by smaller, mobile telescopic cranes, the likes of which you can find available for hire from Emerson. For many jobs, of course, these are the only cranes that are needed; transporting these smaller cranes from A to B is much easier, as they fit onto large transport lorries without having to be deconstructed.

There are some models of cranes which reach their optimal height and lifting capacity without the assistance of telescopic crawler cranes. As explored in an article from Slate magazine, some cranes are able to “climb” the very building they are constructing. This “internal climbing” involves building a number of floors in one go, before “jumping” to a higher spot and continuing.

Another remarkable way cranes operate on-site involves an element of self-construction. Some cranes build themselves by lifting extra segments and attaching them to its supporting tower, as seen in this video.

Where Are Cranes Stored?

With the perpetual rise of construction projects, many giant tower cranes do not get a lot of downtime between projects. With the skyscraper boom continuing to shape London’s skyline and thousands of new homes promised in coming years, cranes across the South of England are in high demand.

For the short spell of time in between projects, some mobile cranes are simply stored in inner-city crane yards, like this one in New York. Whilst others may spend nights on the back of transport lorries, or in private storage. Large tower cranes, as we know, are likely to be stored inside as separate components, and constructed when they reach the building site.

If you’re interested in furthering your understanding of crane operations or need some extra guidance when it comes to answering the question – how are cranes transported? Please do get in touch!

Perhaps you’re looking to brush up on your knowledge before joining the industry and becoming a professional crane driver, or are just curious to learn more, call us today on 0208 059 2546, and speak to one of our expert team members today!