Equipment Type

Extraordinary Crane Uses

October 20, 2011

Around the globe, cranes of all types have proven vital tools for a range of industrial jobs, from manufacturing and construction, to mining, maintenance, and even theatrical production. The applications for today’s cranes stretch from the routine to the extreme. Here are our top 5 extraordinary uses of a crane.

The world’s largest gantry crane, dismantled by crane

For years the Kockums Crane was the world’s largest gantry crane and dominated the skyline of the Kockums shipyard in Malmö, Sweden. Built in 1973, the crane measures 450 feet in height, with a rail length of over 2,300 feet. The crane has a lift capacity of 1,500 tons and was last used in 2002 to lift the foundations of the Oresund Bridge. The Kockums Crane was dismantled in 2002 (in part using barge-mounted cranes) and was sold to Hyundai Heavy Industries who moved the crane to Ulsan, South Korea.

A crane that raises hotel standards

Imagine a hotel in a crane. That’s exactly what the Harlingen Harbour Crane in Denmark has become. Originally a Figee level luffing crane built in 1967, it was used until 1996 to unload timber freight from Russia and Scandinavia. The operator’s cabin sits 56 feet above the pier, and the crane’s jib arm can reach as high as 148 feet. Ownership of the Harbour Crane was transferred to the current owner in 2001. It took two years to completely transform the crane into a hotel. The view from the cabin is spectacular and guests can rotate the crane to control the panoramic view. A single night’s stay for two in “The Spider” (as the crane has been nicknamed) runs about $415.

The world’s largest and most powerful mobile crane

The largest mobile crane in the world is the Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1, a truck-mounted telescoping crane with a maximum lifting capacity of 1,330 tons. The crane’s 8-section telescopic boom has an 8-ft. radius with a maximum vertical reach of 558 ft. Attached to the end of the telescopic boom is a lattice jib that can reach another 79 feet to 413 feet. With the combined reach of the telescopic boom and the lattice jib, the crane’s maximum tip height is an amazing 630 feet with a maximum lifting radius of 425 feet. A common application for this monster crane would be the construction of a wind turbine.

Cranes in space? You bet

The innovative lunar crane being developed by NASA is intended to provide heavy lifting on other worlds. With the combination of composite materials that are used to improve the mass-to-strength ratio and variable degrees of rotation, this versatile machine is able to perform complex lifting tasks in less than hospitable environments. The lunar crane may be the first crane on Mars!

Did you say twins?

The Harland and Wolff shipyards in Ireland are home to Samson and Goliath, the largest set of twin shipbuilding gantry cranes in the world. These cranes dominate the skyline of Queen’s Island and are landmark structures of the city of Belfast. The twin cranes are capable of lifting loads up to 840 tons to a height of 229 feet. Each crane has a span of 460 feet with a combined lifting capacity of over 1,600 tons. The dry dock at the base of the cranes is the largest in the world, and measures 1,824 feet x 305 feet.

--Contributed by SPANCO, a provider of overhead cranes and services.

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