Material Handling Crane Types Used In Construction

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Construction is a large and diverse industry with countless applications and required equipment. This is especially true for cranes. The several variations of mobile and static cranes each have their own specialties. Understanding what each type of material handling crane is and its applications can help you select the right crane for your business.

Static Vs Mobile

Cranes can be boiled down to two main categories, static and mobile cranes. Static is a permanent or semi-permanent structure that is fixed in place on the ground or on a building. From this position, it lifts and moves loads. Mobile cranes, on the other hand, are cranes mounted on wheels or treads that can be moved. Unlike static cranes, mobile cranes don’t move across a fixed path. This makes them better suited for projects that require versatility in movement. 

Overhead Cranes

Overhead cranes have a horizontal beam, called the bridge, which moves up and down a runway on a track. A trolley and hoist move horizontally along the bridge to lift and lower loads. Overhead cranes are known for their safety and reliability on job sites that require a wide range of loads to be lifted, typically between a quarter of a ton to 400 tons. These permanent structures are used in facilities that have repetitive workflows like an assembly line.

Tower Cranes

When you see massive cranes next to skyscrapers and other tall structures, you are likely looking at a tower crane. These cranes are made from a verticle tower, known as the mast, and a jib. The jib can rotate in 360 degrees around the mast. Due to their massive size, they are often constructed using mobile cranes.

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Level-Luffing Cranes

Level-luffing cranes are made of a vertical mast that is connected to a rotating jib that can move inward and outward from the base of the material handling crane. This movement allows them to keep the hook level while moving the jib along a vertical axis. Level-Luffing cranes are very effective on job sites that require loads to be moved at or around ground level. They are often used during the construction of ships, freight loading, and other construction applications.

Crawler Cranes

Crawler cranes are a type of mobile crane. They are also known as lattice cranes and telescopic crawlers and are the biggest type of mobile material handling crane. They have large treads that resemble the treads on a tank and can lift up to 2,500 tons. Crawler cranes operate without using outriggers, as the treads provide the required stability. They often use a lattice boom to lift larger capacities and longer distances. These heavy-duty cranes are used on large scale projects with massive loads.

Rough Terrain Cranes

Rough terrain cranes are another type of mobile crane that is specially built for off-road use. Harsh environments with excess mud or snow create challenges that most other cranes simply cannot handle. The smaller-size cranes carry up to 165 tons and are mounted on four tires for mobility. These are easy to set up at a job site and can reach those ‘hard-to-reach’ loads in confined or harsh environments. 

There are also all-terrain cranes that can travel both on the road and on off-road applications. They roll on 4 to 18 tires and can lift heavier loads than a rough terrain crane, up to 1200 tons. However, they are less versatile in extremely challenging environments. They are operated from a cab that spins over the truck bed, along with the boom. 

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Truck Cranes

Truck cranes are also known as boom trucks or truck-mounted cranes. They are mobile cranes with a boom that is mounted to a truck bed.  These smaller cranes can carry around 45 tons and are typically used for lighter loads. However, they are legal to drive on the road so they can easily move from job site to job site.

Carry Deck Cranes

These cranes are made from a rotating telescopic boom that is mounted to a level platform on four wheels. They rely on outriggers to maintain balance while lifting loads from 4-1o tons. They are used to carry light materials from job site to job site.

Material Handling Crane Experts

If you are planning on buying a crane or finding a reputable inspection and repair company, look no further than SISSCO  Material Handling Equipment. For over 45 years we’ve made the manufacturing and maintenance processes more efficient, cost-effective and safe. Need repair or maintenance service? We tailor our crane & hoist service to your specific needs, providing you with highly trained technicians, mechanics, and electricians to ensure your equipment is running optimally at all times. 
As a master parts distributor for all major manufacturers, we offer efficient customer service and same day service on our parts.  We will help you identify the parts you need and work with you to minimize your downtime. We offer the best service in the business, don’t settle for less! Contact us today.