What types of cranes and lifting equipment exist and how can they help you with construction work ?


Whether it is small construction work or the construction of a huge residence complex, there is always a problem with transferring of heavy materials, large or fragile objects. And that's when the cranes and other lifting equipment come into play.

What is a crane?

The crane can recognize even a small child at first sight - the load transported with a high long arm is simply fascinating. This lifting machine works on a system of pulleys, the task of which is to reduce the force required to lift heavy loads. A crane arm is used to move the loads, which can usually be moved and rotated as required. Cranes have a very wide range of uses, but in shorthand they are mostly required anywhere it is necessary to handle heavy loads for ex. in engineering, construction, metallurgy or transportation.

Types of cranes

There are several types of cranes, we divide them into categories based on several aspects. According to the type of construction, we divide cranes into :

  • bridge crane
  • gantry crane
  • rope crane
  • cantilever crane
  • tower crane

Depending on what movement they perform, cranes are divided into :

  • slewing crane
  • stable crane
  • mobile crane
  • floating crane
  • combined cranes

Individual cranes also differ from each other according to the type of their driving gear. There are cranes operating on manual engines, steam engines, internal combustion engines, electric motors, hydraulic or pneumatic engines. They can even combine some of these methods. If you don't know which crane is needed for your construction, you can also find out from their names. For many, the name suggests where they will be best used: port, assembly, railway, stock, container, etc.

Use of cranes for the construction of buildings

At present, tower cranes are the decisive mechanisms in building construction. They have a significant impact not only on the construction period, but also on the flow of work and on financial costs. In general, cranes or even all the crane systems are among the most used, but also the most expensive machines on construction sites. Therefore, it pays off to choose the right one. The required technical parameters and financial demands will depend on the number of cranes, their type and the time of use. The tower crane can be operated only by persons authorized according to the Law 718/1998. As it is a restricted lifting device, it is necessary to observe the conditions set by the standard and technological procedures, when in use. The number of cranes and their location should already be stated in the construction project. It will be useful to do the geological research where the tower crane will be placed. So it can be installed there directly.

City cranes

Within tower cranes, we recognize a special group, city cranes. These are suitable for small spaces and high altitudes with large objects. They are popular for their flexibility. They are mounted on anchor bolts anchored in a reinforced concrete base or on feet. Its tower can be adjusted as needed to a height of over 60 m. The transport of the city crane to the construction site is carried out by semi-trailers. The assembly itself takes place directly on the construction site of an assembly crane at lower heights, with the help of a climbing device. Tower cranes are used not only for the vertical transport of materials, but also for the handling of building materials during assembly and concrete work. Especially those that require accurate and fast handling. The cost of procuring tower cranes will affect the budget, but as a result it is a good low-cost and less energy-intensive solution.

Cranes for the construction of steel structures

Steel constructions are very popular due to the speed of construction work and economic advantage. The time to build a steel structure for industrial, commercial or sports buildings will significantly reduce the use of cranes. In the case of steel structures, commonly used cranes are mini-cranes. They are very helpful in the placement and installation of various types of structures. For example, when building structures for climbing walls, buildings, warehouses or frame halls. They are even used to build structures for gantry or bridge cranes.

Bridge cranes

Bridge cranes are designed for moving and lifting loads in production halls, not on bridges, as you may think by its name. Their choice depends on how many beams are needed for the work, e.g. single-beam or double-beam. They are a popular solution mainly due to trouble-free operation with low maintenance costs and the operation itself.

Gantry cranes

Under the gantry crane, you can imagine a crane with a permanent location. It got its name because of its resemblance to the gantry. Its construction consists of a bridge and two struts, which are firmly connected to the bridge. The gantry crane can be either fixed or movable to a certain extent over a designated area or in its own path. They are mostly used in open landfills, ports, transhipments, but also in assembly, storage and production halls.

Lifting equipment

We rank cranes as lifting equipment. By this name we mean various technical classifications differing in the purpose of use. While some are used to transport material, others are used to transport people. Lifting equipment includes not only machines designed for work, such as cranes, but also stage equipment or carousels. Lifting equipment is dealt with in the Decree of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Slovak Republic no. 508/2009. on dedicated technical equipment. As their operation is associated with increased danger, increased supervision is required.

Hydraulic arm

Lifting devices include, for example, a hydraulic arm. It is an arm similar to a small crane, which is hydraulically operated. With the help of a hydraulic arm, the driver can load and unload the materials by himself. It is usually placed at the end of the truck so that he can also handle the load on the trailer, or he can find it directly behind the driver's cab. Different types of cranes are also equipped with a hydraulic arm. It is suitable for cranes with a load capacity of only a few hundred kilograms or tons. Cranes with a telescopic boom and winch are used to lift much heavier loads. However, the hydraulic arm also has other uses, you can attach various special heads to it, which process the material. You can use a mowing, shading or branching head.

Use of mini cranes

A special group of cranes consists of the so-called mini cranes. These are proven helpers wherever there is too much cargo crane and too little bare hand handling. They are excellent in confined spaces with limited access. You can also use them indoors, in production halls, in pedestrian zones or shopping centers. Thanks to their practicality, it is not necessary to uncover the roof, block traffic or search for enough space to stabilize a large crane. The compound mini crane can also pass through a classic 80 cm wide door. Inside, you just need to disassemble it and use it as needed. The specialty is crawler mini cranes, with which work on steep slopes or in muddy terrain is much easier.

Mini cranes are suitable for example for :

  • handling of glass elements
  • construction of wooden and steel structures
  • glazing and installation of balconies
  • modification of facades
  • settlement of swimming pools
  • roof work
  • reconstruction of family houses and high-rise buildings
  • maintenance and service of production lines, power plants or pipelines