There are lots of people who have had some construction experience. But not so many that have experience running a crane, particularly a heavy lift crane. The crane is a mysterious machine that rolls onto the job site and does the heavy lifting. That sounds like a cliché. But in this case, it couldn’t be more literal. When the crane is on the job, it is like the having special forces come in and mop up some issue that the regular infantry can’t handle. And then they roll away like heroes. But those who stand and watch, are no wiser about what makes a crane function. Here is a look at some of the common crane components and what they do.
Hook: This is the business end of the crane and it is the part everyone knows. It is designed to hook onto whatever the riggers have worked out to accomplish the lift. Usually an end effector. The hook is attached to one or more cables that are attached at the other end at the hoist, which is essentially big winch. The power of the hoist is one of the factors that determine how much a crane can lift
Boom: This is not just the sound you don’t want to hear when you are doing a big lift. It is also the name of the thing that makes a crane in Perth a crane. There are many kinds of booms and this makes different kinds of cranes possible. The boom is the long arm that extends outward and can be lifted up and down to get the hook into just the right position. Sometimes a boom is telescopic and sometimes it can be extended with a jib.
Stabilizers: The stabilisers have the important job of dispersing the weight outward from the boom to control the centre of gravity. With a rolling crane you will see the stabilisers telescoped way out to the sides and they usually lift the vehicle so that the wheels are no longer touching the ground. This gives the crane the widest possible platform. The most common crane accidents are caused by overstepping this platform and losing control of the centre of gravity.
The other common crane features are the operator’s cabin, and the counterweights. There are many different crane configurations, but almost all of them have these items in common. The crane is one of the most important construction machines there are. And it takes a lot of skill and experience to operate them effectively.