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Why Are Cranes Used On Construction Sites?

Construction Crane Types

If you’ve ever been to a construction site or glimpsed at one, you’ll know that cranes are an essential lifting device. Cranes are used to perform various lifting operations during the construction process, with a variety of different cranes available depending on the project. The most common cranes found on construction sites are tower cranes, telescopic cranes, crawler cranes, all-terrain cranes and rough terrain cranes.

Tower Cranes

A tower crane is a static crane, meaning that it must be transported to the worksite by truck and assembled on-site by smaller mobile cranes. The basic design of a tower crane is very simple – it consists of a vertical tower (for height) and an outstretched jib (for lifting and moving items).  The main benefit of tower cranes is their superior lifting and loading ability. Tower cranes can reach higher heights and lift heavier loads than any other type of crane. They are extremely stable, which allows them to safely undertake difficult lifting jobs. Tower cranes are most commonly used in the construction of tall buildings such as high-rises and skyscrapers.


Telescopic Cranes

The key feature of telescopic cranes is their unique boom design, which contains a number of tubes that allows them to change length. A hydraulic mechanism is used to extend and retract the tubes so the crane operator can shorten or lengthen the boom as required. A standard telescopic crane is often mounted on a truck so that it can be transported to and from worksites. Due to their adaptable boom length and quick set-up time, telescopic cranes are the preferred choice for construction projects and rescue operations. The telescopic crawler crane is a variation of the telescopic crane that offers the mobility of a crawler crane and the lifting capacity of a telescopic crane.


Crawler Cranes

A crawler crane is a type of mobile crane, which is mounted on an undercarriage with tracks instead of wheels. The tracks provide better stability and mobility over rough terrains than other types of mobile cranes. They are useful for performing lifting jobs in various locations around construction sites as they require minimal set-up (don’t require outriggers for stability) and can move easily over a range of terrains.  Crawler cranes can also be used to transport material around the project site.


Rough Terrain Cranes

Rough-terrain cranes are mobile cranes that are specially designed for uneven surface sites. They are mounted on an undercarriage with four oversized tires (4WD) and equipped with multiple steering modes that allow the crane operator to safely navigate complex terrain (slopes, uneven surfaces and large obstacles) while carrying a load. They also offer stability on uneven surfaces due to their wide wheels and base. The main benefit of rough-terrain cranes is their superior ability to access uneven areas while maintaining both traction and stability. They also offer a great lifting capacity relative to their size, which makes them a great option for projects with limited room.


All-Terrain Cranes

An all-terrain crane offers the same off-road capabilities as a rough-terrain crane but with the added capability of being able to drive on public roads. This makes them one of the most versatile mobile cranes available on the market.  All-terrain cranes can easily tackle complex uneven terrain while still remaining suitable for busy city roads. They can be used to lift and transport loads within the project site as well as between sites. All-terrain cranes can also reach much higher speeds than rough-terrain cranes. They can also lift heavier loads than many other cranes (e.g. Franna and city cranes), which makes them a great option for projects that have multiple specifications.


How Are Cranes Transported To Construction Sites?

There are a number of different ways that cranes are transported to construction sites, depending on the type of crane. Fixed or static cranes such as tower cranes must be assembled on-site, meaning the various parts of the crane are transported to the construction site by truck. Mobile cranes that are not capable of driving on public roads (such as rough-terrain cranes) are also transported to the construction site by truck, though once they arrive they are able to move around the site as required. Finally, road-worthy cranes such as all-terrain, Franna or city cranes can simply be driven to the construction site with no additional vehicle required to assist them.


Why Are Mobile Cranes Used On Construction Sites?

A mobile crane is any type of crane that is self-propelled, meaning that it can be driven around the construction site rather than set up in a static position (e.g. tower cranes). Some of the key benefits of using mobile cranes on construction sites include:

Compact Design – Mobile cranes are generally smaller and more versatile than static cranes. This compact design allows them to navigate tight spaces

Variable Lifting Capacity – There is a wide range of mobile cranes available. Each with a different lifting capacity, meaning you can choose the crane with the right amount of lifting capacity

Cost-Effective – Mobile cranes generally require little to no set-up meaning they are significantly cheaper than static cranes

Easy To Transport – Many mobile cranes can be transported by themselves via public roads and can be freely moved around the project site

Minimal Setup Time – Mobile cranes require minimal time to set up before the lifting job

Cranes are an essential resource for any construction project. There are various different kinds of static and mobile cranes available, each with different features and capabilities. If you’re looking to hire a mobile crane for your next project in Sydney, contact St George Cranes today.

Date posted: April 5, 2022 | St George Cranes