Mobile Crane Basics – Understand Mobile Cranes

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Mobile cranes, also hydraulic cranes, are a major workhorse for the construction industry. They’ve got any number of uses across the building trade, and also come in handy elsewhere, moving bulky items from inaccessible places, for shifting things from one level to another.

They come in all shapes and sizes, meaning that any contractor or individual needing a crane will find one that’s exactly right for the job they need.

Their mobility means that they can usually be driven directly to where they’re needed, meaning that there is often little risk of “over-reach”, where the equipment is trying to lift something that is near to or outside its safe operating radius.

With advances in technology, the latest mobile cranes from manufacturers like industry-leaders Liebherr can be set up by one person alone, using just a series of push-buttons. However simplified the operation, however, there’s still significant skill involved in the lift to ensure a successful outcome, and operators need to be suitably qualified for safety purposes.

The mobile hydraulic crane is split into two parts – the lorry chassis on which the whole structure rests, and the crane itself. The lorry will have extendible outriggers, which are deployed at site to increase the footprint of the crane and ensure that it doesn’t topple under the weight of the load. Pneumatic road tyres don’t offer any stability, to the outriggers are absolutely vital in ensuring that the crane platform remains still while the crane is in use.

The crane’s boom will probably have a number of extendible sections allowing it to achieve its full height. The whole boom will be mounted on rotating gear to allow 360 degrees of operations.  Steel cables are used for the lift itself, and you may note that up to ten may be used in a pulley system familiar to anybody that ever made one in school science classes!

These mobile cranes owe their lifting power to hydraulics, which means the forces can be transmitted through the structure through the use of hydraulic liquids, such as oil. This allows ease of use raising and lowering the heavy boom, and shifting counterweights that ensure stability when the lift is in progress.

The beauty of it all is that once the job is complete, the boom is packed down flat, and outriggers and counter-balances are stowed, and the crane is ready to be moved on to the next job.

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