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The Parts of a Crane Made Simple

The Parts of a Crane Made Simple

No matter where you live, numerous building projects are likely happening at any given time, from high-rise buildings to roads and shopping centers throughout suburbs and satellite towns. Many jobs require the lifting and moving of heavy products and equipment. 

When you are in charge of a construction project, you must become knowledgeable in everything. Whether it is lifting pieces many stories higher or moving multi-ton items from one part of the job site to another, you may need to rent crane equipment. And you will need to become well-versed in cranes and riggings.


The Parts of a Crane Made Simple

In order to better understand the type of crane you need for your specific job, it is essential to understand the parts of a crane. Here are the critical parts of crane equipment which you need to know:

  • Hook: Every part of the crane is essential, but the hook has perhaps the most critical role in your project. It is the part of the crane that connects to your load rigging. The hook will include a series of pulleys called "sheaves." The sheaves help distribute the weight of the load, so the more sheaves a hook has, the more weight it can carry. 
  • Hoist: The hoist is a system of wire ropes you can see between the boom and the hook. These wires are the part of the crane that creates lift. An electric or hydraulic motor works in conjunction with the wire drum and the cranking mechanism to raise and lower your load safely.  
  • Boom: This is the most recognizable component of a crane. The boom is the part you see raised high to the sky. That height is not just for show; it serves the vital purposes of distributing weight and providing the height you need to get your load in the air. 
  • Jib: A jib is an attachment on the boom that telescopes, allowing loads to be moved a greater horizontal distance than would typically be possible. This part isn’t present on all cranes. But a jib enables materials to be better navigated around obstacles.
  • Cabin: This is where the operator sits and controls the crane's function. This operating booth will have ample windows to help provide the broadest line-of-sight possible.
  • Counterweights: Cranes have the incredible ability to lift massively heavy loads. However, with all that weight on the front, have you ever wondered how it doesn't tip over? The answer is the counterweights placed at the rear of the crane. They can be removed for transportation and stacked on top of each other to raise the load capacity. 
  • Outriggers: To add additional stability, cranes have outriggers, which are metal rods that extend from the chassis. These help the crane stay planted on the ground even with the heaviest loads on the hook. 
  • Wheels: Mobile cranes have giant wheels or tracks for transporting across what could be difficult terrains. A crane's wheels must be in exceptional condition; otherwise, they could lead to dangerous, catastrophic failure.

Basic Rigging Parts

Another essential part of cranes is rigging. The term rigging encompasses the equipment used to lift and move heavy loads, and just like the crane itself has a few essential parts. Knowing these parts can help you select the crane for your job and help you communicate daily with workers and operators on-site.

  • Rigging Hooks: These heavy-duty steel hooks are essential to the lifting process because they reduce the chance of slippage.
  • Rigging Shackles: These are used to link rigging components and can hold up to 6,000 pounds of weight.
  • Eyebolts: Eye bolts are anchors for rope and cable loops that come in various shapes and sizes.
  • Wire Rope Hoist: Lighter and smaller than chains, wire rope hoists are used to lift loads.
  • Lifting Sling: A lifting sling is a sling made of cable, chain, rope, or webbing that is used in conjunction with a lift or crane to help lift and balance a load.
  • Load Capacity or Working Load Limit (WLL): This indicates how much weight the rigging equipment can handle.

Differences Between Crane Types

Now that you have a basic understanding of crane parts and rigging, you can begin to look at the type of crane needed for your construction. There are several unique types of cranes, all built for different situations and meant to perform various functions. Here are several types of cranes you may need for your job:

  • Tower Cranes: These are the cranes you might see towering above a city's skyline. 
  • Level-Luffing Cranes: Similar in design and function to tower cranes, these have slightly different processes and mechanisms that provide flexibility on your job site.
  • Crawler Cranes: A type of mobile crane, these cranes, which are mounted on tracks like a tank and have lattice jibs similar to static cranes, can lift up to 2,500 tons.
  • Rough Terrain Cranes: A type of mobile crane, these cranes have a telescopic boom mounted on four large tires and are used in areas with rugged terrain or frequent weather-related impacts. It has a lifting capacity of 165 tons.
  • Truck Mounted Cranes: A type of mobile crane, these cranes are highly mobile, with booms affixed to a big truck bed, and can lift up to 45 tons.

Rental Crane Experts

If you have never rented a crane before or are looking for a new rental company to partner with, Parker's Crane provides quality crane rental, rigging, and heavy hauling services throughout the Carolinas and the East Coast. We pride ourselves on safety and our Zero Accident Philosophy and conduct many detailed safety measures when performing a job to ensure that no project carries unnecessary risk.

With a fleet of well-maintained hydraulic truck cranes, we offer not only the best equipment but can also help with site installation, maintenance, and operation. Our crew is OSHA and MSHA-compliant to ensure your site and crew safety.

Contact us today if you would like to discuss your needs and whether or not our services and equipment will work for your construction project. We provide free on-site quotes and evaluations.