How Does a Crane Lift?

How Does a Crane Lift?

When a crane lift something, it moves the load up and down or sideways. The long arm (or boom) of a crane is balanced by a shorter, counterweight jib that holds large concrete weights. On mobile cranes, a diesel engine supplies power to the hoists and drives any hydraulic mechanisms that may be needed. The operator’s “cab” has large toughened glass windows to give the operator a good view of the work site and controls for operating the crane.

Cranes are useful because their lever-beams, pulley-hoists and gears give them what’s called mechanical advantage, multiplying the amount of lifting and moving force they can apply. Even so, they run up against two limits. First, there’s only so much they can lift before the cables snap or the crane tips over. That limit is easy to judge based on the load charts supplied by the crane’s manufacturer or hire company.

Exploring the Process of Crane Lifts: From Planning to Execution

The other limit is how far the boom can swing from its center pin (or fulcrum) before it buckles or topples over. That limit is harder to judge based on the physics of how the crane works. For stability, the load must be farther from the fulcrum than the engine that’s pushing on it. This is why cranes need the extra weight of counterweights to help keep them stable during lifts. These heavyweights are transported to the job site on separate trucks and inserted into the counterweight sockets on the base of the crane.

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