What is a crane?

A crane is a specific type of machinery that is used to lift and lower various materials. It is most commonly used in construction projects but can also be used to move large items like pianos into a position that would otherwise be impossible. Cranes can be extremely large and tall, or much smaller and located on the ground.

History of the Crane

Cranes have been used for thousands of years in various forms. The first crane that we know of was a lever mechanism used to help with irrigation. It was around 3000 BC in Mesopotamia. It has since been used in places throughout the world and continues to be a key piece of equipment. Of course, cranes have advanced in many ways throughout the centuries.

Types of Cranes

There are many different types of cranes, each of which have a specific use. The following are some of the most commonly used cranes, and what makes them unique:

  • Floating Crane – This is a crane built on a ship or other floating platform.
  • Telescopic Crane – This is where the crane can be extended using tubes that fit within each other. These are popular for transporting goods from one place to another and are usually found attached to a vehicle of some type.
  • Harbor Crane – The harbor crane is used near the water but is attached to a fixed platform either near the water, or even out on the water.
  • Crawler Crane – These cranes can move from one location to another using tracks. Due to this mobility, these cranes are typically used on new construction sites.
  • Railroad Cranes – The railroad crane is used when constructing or repairing a railway. They travel on the rail tracks.
  • Aerial Cranes – This is a crane that is attached to a helicopter or other flying machine.
  • Tower Crane – Tower cranes are the most commonly used crane today and are fixed in the ground or attached to a large structure during construction. These are often required for building very tall buildings.

Cranes are an essential type of machinery used in most industries today. Operating a crane requires special training because of the fact that they are used to lift and move extremely heavy objects and making a mistake can have deadly results.


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