Tower Crane: types and operator, technical sheet, machine for construction, mobile, caterpillar, truck, engine, data sheet, features, spare parts, rent.

A tower crane is a machine designed to load and unload different materials. This load is distributed through the use of a hook and rigging that remains suspended thanks to the use of a cable.

In addition, it performs its corresponding displacement on a car and has rotating support that is usually mounted on top of a vertical tower.

The tower crane is often secured to the ground within the structure, where the space around the building is limited.

A common modern engineering technique is to fix the crane to the liftshaft site – lifting it to higher elevations as the construction progresses – and ending the well once the crane has been dismantled.

Tower Crane

Tower Crane

… the machines are imitations of the human body. The lever, for example, is a prolonged arm …

Carne operator

Tower Crane History

The tower crane began to be produced in Europe during the first half of the twentieth century, as a solution to the narrow streets of European cities, so the tall cranes in the form of a tower and with the operator above proved to be more advantageous. As a result, some of the first manufacturers of tower cranes originated within Europe.

In 1908, Julius Wolf & Co introduced the first series of tower cranes designed specifically for the construction industry. The first generation of tower cranes attracted the attention of boat builders who bought them and installed them in their shipyards and docks. More than 10,000 units were built and the basic design of these tower cranes remained in production until the late 60s, so there was still the need to have access to a tower crane that could be assembled quickly.

the dominant approach in the development and design of the tower crane would be in the capacity, to cover a larger work radius, make a faster load movement, new control systems, technology, and more efficient scaling mechanisms.

The market was also being filled with multiple manufacturers which produced a range of models, for example, smaller cranes that could be assembled “in situ” in just a few hours. While the skyscrapers were built at record heights, the need for higher-altitude cranes became evident.

Tower crane specifications

The lattice horizontal beam is called a feather and the vertical pillar is called a tower. The tower crane is a modern balance crane. This is attached to the ground (or to some attached structure). Due to the reach and height, they can develop they are used a lot in the construction of tall structures.

  • The crane has a base that is attached to the bottom of said tower.
  • Uploads and downloads made with great frequency
  • Make many transfers between various locations.
  • Where the tower crane is most used are the construction works,
  • They have the ability to reach great heights.

Construction crane

The boom-type cranes are characterized by having the ability to rise in themselves, extending along or across different sections or sections that are linked with each other through hydraulic and/or mechanical systems.

In these types of crane, there are different types of devices on which the operation of the same is based. The most frequently used is the device that is applied for the retraction of the boom on a boom crane that distributes horizontally and is quick to assemble.

This type of crane is mounted on a boom foot and a boom tip, articulated to each other, and crossed by a wiring system from the control of the truck of the distributor boom, to the system of pulleys, which allow it to circulate through over the boom, articulating with the pulley systems of the tip of the pen that allows the articulation for the ascent and descent of the loads, movements, etc.

The most characteristic cranes are the tower cranes, which reach measures of up to 50 meters of tower cranes, which can move between 3 and 12 tons, reach turning mobility of up to 20 meters on their axis. They have hook systems, with self-stable bases, transposable on rails. It moves in three types of lifting speeds and three speeds of rotation, operated from the cabin with joysticks, power in 220/380 V-50 Hz-70 kW.

Tower Crane Parts

The parts of the tower crane are composed of several parts that are fundamental to perform the work in the construction of a work, these parts are:

MAST: It is a structure of the metal lattice of a normally square section, whose main mission is to provide the tower crane with sufficient height.

Normally it is formed by lattice modules that facilitate the transport of the crane. For assembly, these modules will be joined by screws, all of which will be connected to the projected height. Its shape and dimension vary according to the necessary characteristics of weight and height.

In the upper part of the mast is the rotating area that gives the crane a 360º horizontal movement. Also depending on the model, you can have a cabin for its operation by an operator.

JIB: It is a metal lattice structure of a normally triangular section, whose main mission is to provide the crane with the necessary radius or range. It is also called a pen. Like the mast, it usually has a modular structure to facilitate its transport.

To move the specialized personnel during the assembly, revision and maintenance work along the arrow, there will be a longitudinal element, a safety cable, to which the safety belt carabiner can be attached.

TROLLEY: Consists of a car that moves along the arrow through some lanes. This movement gives the necessary maneuverability in the tower crane. It is metallic so that it supports the weight to be lifted.

crane crane tower
tower crane arrow

Tower crane base

In this section, we see the base of the tower crane, the counterweights, cables, hooks and load and transfer equipment.

COUNTERWEIGHT: Prefabricated concrete structures that are placed to stabilize the weight and inertia that occurs in the arrow of the crane. They must stabilize the crane both at rest and in operation. Both these blocks and those that form the ballast must have identified their weight legibly and indelibly.

COUNTERJIB: The length of the countershaft oscillates between 30 and 35% of the length of the boom. At the end of the counterjib, the counterweights are placed. It is attached to the mast in the area opposite the union with the arrow.

It is formed a robust base formed by several metal profiles, forming on them a kind of catwalk to facilitate the passage of personnel from the mast to the counterweights. The sections of the profiles will depend on the counterweights that will be placed.

CENTRAL BALLAST: It can be formed by a buried shoe or by several pieces of prefabricated concrete at the base of the crane. Its mission is to stabilize the crane against its own weight, the weight it can transfer and the adverse environmental conditions

HOOK: The cable of elevation is one of the most delicate parts of the crane and, to give an adequate performance, it must be used and maintained correctly.

It must be perfectly tensioned and a periodic follow-up will be carried out so that, during its winding in the drum, it does not cross over, as it would cause crushing.

tower crane parts

cables and tower crane hook

Tower Crane Engine

The most generic tower crane consists of four electric motors:

  • Lifting motor: Allows vertical movement of the load.
  • Distribution machine: Gives the movement of the car along with the boom.
  • A machine of orientation: It allows the rotation of 360º, in the horizontal plane, of the upper structure of the crane.
  • Translational motor: Displacement of the crane, as a whole, on rails. To perform this movement it is necessary that the crane is at rest.

The tower of the crane can be embedded in the ground, immobilized without wheels or movable on straight or curved tracks. The assembly operations must be performed by qualified personnel.

Likewise, the maintenance and conservation operations will be carried out in accordance with the standards given by the manufacturer.

3d crane tower
Tower Crane

Types of cranes

You can see these huge loading machines, very similar to each other and fulfilling the same function; to be combined vertical and horizontal transport equipment, however, by observing them carefully, it can be proven that they are in fact very different from each other.

Types of tower cranes

Fixed crane

Its base does not possess means of translation or, being possessed, they are not usable at the site of the construction work. They are those in which the base is a foundation or any other fixed set; also known as a fixed tower crane.

construction tower

crane in the middle of the sea

Mobile Tower Crane

Is one whose base is equipped with own means of translation on rails or other mobile means and whose maximum height of assembly is such that without any additional anchoring means is stable both in service and out of service, for the requests to which it goes to be submitted

crane types tower
grua tower on rails

Self Erecting Crane

A crane truck is one that has a crane incorporated in its chassis, a temporary installation designed for frequent assemblies, disassemblies, and transfers.

truck pen


Portable tower crane

The tower crane whose tower is constituted by a single block and that does not require additional structural elements for its installation. It can be provided with wheels to facilitate its movement – crane mobile tower –

hydraulic crane
crane self-folding tower

Self Erecting Tower Crane

The climbing tower crane is an auxiliary means for lifting loads.

It is installed on the structure of work under construction and moves from bottom to top by its own means; to the rhythm and as the construction progresses.

crane tower
crane tower climber

Construction Crane

Nowadays the use of the tower crane in construction has become very common. We have them of all dimensions and capabilities. However, the foundation or support of the base of the crane can have new forms of support according to the reality of each work.

  • Not only can they be foundational supports,
  • those that go on metallic structures,
  • on rails
  • on metal beams
  • with counterweight, etc.

Below I present an image of each of these cases to serve as a reference in case they are in a similar situation or awakens creativity for new support modes.

Crane Operator

Operators maneuver the tower crane to lift, move, position and place materials and equipment.

They calculate the lifting capacity of the crane and determine the weight of the load, participate in the configuration and disassembly of the crane and place and stabilize the crane before lifting.

They also perform inspections of safety regular in the tower, and minor repairs and maintenance of equipment

Tower Crane Operator

Tasks and tasks of the tower crane operator:

  • Determine the load weights and compare with the lifting capacities to avoid overloads
  • Direct aides dedicated to blocking and stabilization placement under the cranes.
  • Load and unload the packages from the trucks and move the containers to the storage containers.
  • Move the levers, press the pedals and turn the dials to operate electromagnets or other mobile equipment to lift, move and place loads.
  • Review daily work and delivery schedules to determine orders, delivery sequences, and special loading instructions.
  • Weigh the packages, using floor scales and record the weights for the company records.
  • It cleans, lubricates and maintains mechanisms such as cables, pulleys, and gripping devices, making the necessary repairs.
  • It directs the truck drivers who drive the vehicles back to the loading bays and secures the loads for delivery.
  • Inspect and adjust the mechanisms of the crane and lifting accessories to avoid breakdowns and damage.
operator crane tower

operator crane tower

Prevention of occupational hazards

Involves people, property and property, that is why it is essential to comply with certain safety regulations related mainly to the automatic safety systems that the crane has, with the correct maintenance of its parts, with the conditions of operation in the workplace and with the staff that works with them.

The most common accidents are caused by imprudent actions or ignorance of the people involved in its assembly, maintenance or operation.

Workplace health and safety

Tower crane safety standards:

  • Do not carry out maneuvers with load, if you do not have a complete vision; otherwise, request a signalman to the work.
  • Do not lift loads that at a glance exceed the capacity of the crane.
  • Do not lift badly damaged loads and/or badly stowed. Always check that there are no loose materials that may come off and fall when stroking.
  • It is strictly forbidden to use strobe spells; as those who have cable press, etc.
  • It is recommended to always use shock absorbers or protectors, such as softwood or rubber, to protect the strobes and slings from the sharp edges of some load.
  • Never allow the load to go beyond the real reach of the crane pushed by the workers, because in these conditions, and because the movements are stopped, the load limiters do not operate and the maximum moment is increased.
  • Avoid that the loads move with abruptness and pendulum. If a pendulum or an oscillation occurs, do not make movements that could aggravate this phenomenon, stop turning causing the pendulum effect. Do not try to compensate with the dealer car.

Tower Crane Safety

Safety in cranes:

  • Do not lift loads that are attached to walls or the ground, in case of very common occurrence when proceeding to dehorn.
  • Avoid impacts caused by jerks when lifting and/or lowering loads. You should not brake or move the load suddenly.
  • The loads must be deposited stably, before being unhooked. Make sure that the personnel is outside the discharge sector, while this operation is being carried out.
  • Never try to drag or push any load on the ground, or at any level of work.
  • The load before being hoisted must be correctly centered and tied. When lifting or lowering, use appropriate slings: never improvise with cables or non-standard chains.

Tower Crane Assembly Procedure

One of the main points to consider within the planning is the crane service, to choose the machinery to be used. Specifically, when we talk about a project at high altitude, where an important point is to adequately solve the lifting needs, we must think carefully about the machine that will best respond to the requirements.

The machines that are considered in this case are the tower cranes, of which there is a wide variety in the market, the reason why the different existing alternatives must be carefully studied.

If the final decision of the project management team is to use a tower crane, it is also important to bear in mind that a tower crane has the following advantages:

  • Tower cranes have a distinct advantage with respect to platform lifts or crane trucks because the boom or jib rises over the construction site.
  • The boom of the crane can put its weight in any part of its operating radius, without interfering with the structure on which it is balanced.
  • In addition, the operator can be on the crane or remotely controlled using instrumentation located in the structure of the building, while enjoying an excellent view of the cargo and its surroundings at all times.

It is important to bear in mind that there are many types of tower cranes, which is why it is essential that the people involved in the management of the project handle accurate and accurate information on the different possibilities.

Tower Crane Cost

The fewer tower cranes we have in the construction, the more economical we will get the installation of auxiliary means of our work, in principle; because we will save the cost of the execution of the shoe, (which will easily oscillate from 2,500 to 6,000 dollars or more); the rent and maintenance of the tower crane, Projects and Legalizations of the different Torres Cranes; assembly and disassembly, autogrúas used in these tasks and of course the salary (gross) of the gruísta; salaries and rents multiplied by the months that the crane will be in the work, in the end, a significant cost.

Tower crane operator salary

How a tower crane is erected?

To rise to its maximum height, the crane grows itself one mast section at a time! The crew uses a top climber or climbing frame that fits between the slewing unit and the top of the mast. … The crane operator uses the crane to lift another 20-foot mast section into the gap opened by the climbing frame.

How tall is the tower crane?

A typical tower crane has a maximum height of 80 m. (265 feet) without support, with a maximum range of 70 m. (230 feet)

What is crane in construction?

Crane (machine) A crane is a tower or derrick equipped with cables and pulleys that can be used both to lift and lower materials and to shift them horizontally. Construction cranes are usually temporary structures, either fixed to the ground or mounted on a purpose-built vehicle.

How much do construction crane operators make?

In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the average, annual crane operator salary was $55,690. Experienced crane operators that are working on large-scale projects may make as much as $84,290. Most experience is gained at a construction site.

What are the tasks of the crane operator?

Crane Operator Tasks
-Operate a crane to move heavy equipment and cargo.
-Perform work area housekeeping functions and help with equipment maintenance.
-Diagnose problems and maintain a variety bulk handling equipment.
-Work with crews to load and unload heavy items.

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TOWER CRANE: How many types of cranes are there and what are they? price and rent, maintenance of a crane, safety regulations and technical sheet.
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