A crane is a type of tower that is equipped with pulleys and cables and is used to lower and lift materials. Cranes are most commonly used in industry that requires heavy machinery, such as construction or other earth moving tasks.

There are many different types of cranes, and there are numerous specific applications for each crane. Cranes like construction cranes, for example, are only temporary structures that are fixed to the ground or mounted on an all-purpose vehicle.

How does heavy machinery like a crane work?

Cranes can be moved and controlled via a cab operator, an operator at a control station, or by radio control. Communications between the crane operator and those below are still simple hand gestures that ensure everyone knows what’s happening. An experienced crew can lift and lower huge, heavy loads accurately and safely with just these hand signals.

Cranes can be converted for different uses simply by attaching other machine parts. For example, a demolition ball can be added to a crane for demolishing old buildings and the like, while a scoop, or clamshell bucket, can be added to create a hugely effective earth mover.

One of the most basic types of cranes contains a telescopic boom or steel truss mounted on a moving platform. This mobile transportation system includes movement along rails, on wheels or caterpillar tracks.

Hinged at the bottom, the boom is raised and lowered through a system of hydraulics. A hook is attached to the end of the cables, and they are controlled by a prime mover.

What is a prime mover? Is it a type of heavy equipment? 

A prime mover can be a variety of engines, like a steam engine, an electric motor, or the newer internal combustion engines. Prime movers operate the crane’s cables, and are an integral part of a crane’s make-up. They are considered heavy equipment, but more specifically, the machines that moves the heavy equipment.

Who makes cranes?

There are a number of manufacturers that specialize in heavy machinery and equipment production. They include Liebherr, Koehring, Grove, Bantam, Sennebogen, Hitachi, Manitowic, and many more.