Interesting Facts about Industrial Cranes that You Probably Didn’t Know!

8 Interesting Facts about Industrial Cranes that You Probably Didn’t Know!

If you don’t work in the construction industry, you’ve probably never given the heavy crane machines more than a passing thought but they’re a lot more interesting than you’d think.

Most construction companies make use of the crane hire Melbourne contractors can offer. Crane hire is not only economical but offers construction owners several advantages that include service and maintenance. And here are other facts you’ll find valuable or at least interesting when you next need a crane.

Interesting Facts About Cranes

Cranes play a fundamental role in our current lives because, let’s face it, we don’t know how the tall buildings would get built without them. Let’s have a look at some interesting facts that you probably didn’t know.

Birds and Machines

It should come as no surprise that the crane machines are named after crane birds. This is because their structure is very similar to that of the tall and lanky bird.

Crane birds use their beaks to pick food up off the ground and eat it in the air. Crane machines’ primary function is to lift loads from the ground and place it in a higher place.

Early Inventions

Like many other amazing inventions, cranes have their origins in Ancient Greece. The first crane originated around 500BC and was made out of wood. It sounds almost impossible that a wooden crane could be responsible for creating memorable structures like the Parthenon or the Old Temple of Athena.

The wooden cranes of ancient times were powered by animals and humans. Thankfully, years of industrial advancements have led to cranes being controlled by a simple touch of different buttons and levers.

A Shaduf, constructed by the Egyptians, was used to lift and move water. Some rural areas of the world still make use of this type of crane to transport water. Centuries later, these wooden cranes would be replaced and morphed into the steel cranes we know today.

And then Came Jibs

Wooden cranes were only able to move vertically. The Middle Ages however saw the invention of the jib. In case you’re not familiar with the term, a jib arm is a beam used to move the load horizontally as well as in the original vertical direction.

When the jib arm was included, cranes were used in harbours to load and unload cargo ships. Over time, specifically in the 16th century, two treadmills were added on each side of the cab holding the boom.

Steam Power

With the invention of the steam engine, it was to be expected that the way cranes were operating would change. Steam technology allowed cranes to be powered by a motor. Further inventions in the late 19th century saw cranes progressing to internal combustion engines and electric motors.

Largest Crane in the World

The largest crane in the world is a heavy-duty monster called “Big Carl”. The Sarens SGC-250 crane is a heavy-duty machine designed to facilitate the lifting needs for offshore platforms, oil and gas refineries, and even third-generation components used in nuclear power plants.

Strongest Mobile Crane in the World

The strongest mobile crane in the world is designed by a Swiss company called Liebherr. The Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1 is currently the strongest telescopic crane in the world. Not only does this remarkable machine have a maximum hoisting height of 188m but also a maximum radius of 136m. This means this crane can lift something across the length of a standard football field.

This particular model is primarily used to assemble wind power generators and radio towers. A plus point for smaller construction companies is that if you need this type of cranes Melbourne vendors have smaller but very similar models available.

Types of Cranes

Since different types of construction jobs have different lifting requirements. It’s very possible to find different types and sizes of cranes on the same job site, each designed for a specific job.

The most common types of cranes in use today include the following:

  • Carry Deck Crane: Carry deck cranes are small four-wheel vehicles with a 360-degree rotating boom housed in the middle of the machine.
  • Mobile Cranes: Mobile cranes are cable-controlled machines mounted on crawler carriers with a telescopic boom mounted on truck-type carriers. They can also be self-propelled.
  • Crane Vessels: Often called floating cranes, these machines are mounted onto large work ships and if you specialise in offshore construction such as oil-rigs you’ll possibly need one.

Rough Terrain Crane: Pick and carry operations on rough terrains make use of these rough terrain cranes.


The most bizarre fact about cranes might be that they can in some cases, assemble themselves. Often, the only machine large or powerful enough to manufacture the bigger cranes is another crane.

In other instances, operators will construct the control panel and the crane will then be used to place the rest of the parts on itself.

A Final Thought on Cranes

If you’re new to hiring cranes, you might be uncertain of the process. Fortunately, contractors in Melbourne will be able to give you the advice on the right cranes to use for the different jobs you need done. Next time however, when you see a crane, you’ll know a few new interesting facts that you didn’t know before!

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