Cranes are some of the most important pieces of equipment in the construction industry. Modern construction cranes include fixed tower cranes, drivable truck-mounted cranes, and more. Different kinds of cranes work in very different ways, so every construction crane is perfectly suited to the job it is designed to do.
There are many types of mobile cranes that are also used in modern construction applications, including truck-mounted cranes and crawler-style cranes. Truck-mounted cranes come in a few variations, such as off-road cranes and all-terrain cranes. Truck-mounted cranes drive on large rubber tires and can be maneuvered around a worksite through self-propulsion. This kind of crane also requires horizontal outriggers for stability when lifting, and unstable rigging can cause catastrophic results.
Some other types of mobile cranes do not require outriggers for stability. Crawler-style cranes are equipped with wide crawler tracks that make the crane both mobile and stable. Unlike truck-mounted cranes, crawler cranes cannot travel on roads and must be transported to worksites by trucks. However, the all-terrain capabilities of large crawler tracks make them extremely useful when construction sites are on soft or uneven terrain.
Some of the most impressive and recognizable construction cranes are tower cranes. These giant machines can often be seen in cities, rising hundreds of feet in the air to construct huge skyscrapers. Most tower cranes have a cab mounted to a long horizontal boom, which rotates around the top of a large mast.
Like other fixed cranes, tower cranes remain in one place while working and are not designed to move. Other types of fixed cranes include the jib cranes Jib cranes are similar to tower cranes, with a horizontal boom that rotates at the top of a vertical mast in a fixed location. Jib cranes are much smaller than tower cranes, but they can often be used to load and unload construction materials at construction sites.