It seems like a pretty simple question, right?
Picture this: you’re driving home one day, same as always. You look up, and suddenly, at the construction site, there it is: a big crane, towering over everything in sight. It wasn’t there yesterday, yet it’s here today.
How did it get there? How are cranes transported?
The process by which how cranes are transported is a fascinating one, and it doesn’t go exactly how you think it would.
What Exactly is a Crane?
Before we get started, it’s important to make sure that we’re clear on the terms of what we’re talking about. When we say cranes, we’re talking about the massive pieces of equipment used in building construction.
There are other types of cranes, like mobile cranes. Those are the type that stay affixed to the back of trucks, like the ladder on a fire engine.
Another type of crane that you may be familiar with is the crawler crane. These are all-terrain vehicles without much range, so they’re driven as close to their destination as possible. Once there, the crane drives over the remaining rough terrain.
You may have heard of them referred to as tower cranes or construction cranes. No matter the name you give them, cranes are big pieces of machinery, and the crane transport process isn’t immediately evident.
How Are Cranes Transported?
In spite of what you may be picturing, cranes are not transported at their full height. That wouldn’t be feasible, considering all the bridges, overpasses, and power lines that the crane would end up hitting.
How are cranes transported? In multiple pieces, that’s how.
Placed on the backs of multiple trucks, the pieces of the crane are moved from where ever the storage site may be to the construction site. Once there, the crane is assembled, piece by piece, until it stands at full height.
Cranes aren’t put together by hand, though.
Cranes Assembled Other Cranes
It’s a chicken and the egg sort of scenario. Which came first, the big tower crane or the cranes that assembled it?
In this case, the smaller, mobile cranes come first. They are used to assemble the large crane, piece by piece, until it stands at full height.
In most cases, these smaller cranes have telescoping booms attached that allow them to reach the top of the tower crane. Without these booms, it would be impossible for the cranes to reach the necessary construction heights.
Transporting Cranes is Part of the Construction Process
In many cases, it would be impossible to construct buildings without using a crane. In order to have a crane, obviously, it needs to get transported to the construction site.
To succinctly answer the question: how are cranes transported? Piece by piece, mile by mile.
If you want to learn more about the world around you, this site is a great resource. Check out another article to explore the mysteries of the world, hidden in plain sight.