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Types Of Tower Cranes

What Are Tower Cranes?

A tower crane is a fixed crane that consists of a base, mast, slewing unit, working arm, machinery arm, hook and trolley, and an operator cab. Tower cranes are usually constructed onsite and resemble an inverted L shape once erected. They are designed to lift heavy loads at extreme heights and are often used to build tall structures (e.g. skyscrapers). 


Why Are Tower Cranes Used On High-rise Buildings?

Tower cranes are used to construct high-rise buildings as they are able to carry heavy loads at incredible heights. The crane design allows buildings to be constructed next to or around it. Tower cranes are usually constructed and assembled using a series of mobile cranes. Mobile cranes cannot replace tower cranes in the construction of high-rises as they have a maximum reach and load limitation. 


Types of Tower Cranes

Though all tower cranes share certain characteristics, there are a number of different designs. The 3 types of tower cranes that you’ll commonly find on a construction site are the hammerhead tower crane, luffing tower crane and self-erecting tower crane.

Hammerhead Tower Crane

The hammerhead tower crane is one of the most commonly used cranes in the world because of its versatility. They can be used to provide reliable and precise lifts on a range of sites and projects. The most unique feature of the hammerhead tower crane is its ability to rack. The crane’s trolley can move the load in and out along the jib horizontally without the need to change the level. 


Luffing Tower Crane

Luffing tower cranes have a similar design to hammerhead tower cranes with one major difference. The jib of a luffing tower crane can be raised and lowered in a motion known as luffing. This allows the crane to achieve a more compact slewing radius and makes it ideal for building projects with limited space. Luffing tower cranes are able to lift heavier loads than hammerhead tower cranes and are generally more expensive.


Self-erecting Tower Crane

Self-erecting tower cranes can be erected without the assistance of other lifting equipment. This makes them a great option for jobs where equipment needs to be frequently moved from one location to another. Though self-erecting cranes are lighter, more compact and easier to set up than other tower cranes, they also have a lower maximum load capacity. 


Tower cranes are an essential piece of equipment used in constructing buildings, particularly high-rise buildings. They offer the highest reach of any crane type and also have the largest maximum load capacity, which makes them ideal for lifting heavy loads at extreme heights. If you’re planning on using a tower crane for your project, you’ll most likely require mobile crane hire to assist with their setup. Contact St George Cranes today to see what type of mobile crane is suitable for your project.


Date posted: September 3, 2022 | St George Cranes