Since the invention of the construction crane by the Greeks in the 6th century, this simple tool that does indeed appear to reach into the skies to perform its job has greatly advanced in its capability of moving heavy loads. It is commonly utilized in the construction industry, the transportation industry, and even in the manufacturing industry.
On the other hand, Gottlieb Daimler, a German pioneer in the internal combustion engine, centuries later in 1886 took his 4-speed transmission engine and mounted it on a stagecoach frame thereby designing the first 4-wheeled automobile. Flash forward to 1925 and Henry T. Ford’s introduction of the first factory-produced pickup truck, the Ford Model T Runabout with Pickup Body. From the first pickup truck that was introduced in 1917 to today, truck technology has greatly advanced to become the workhorse vehicle of many different industries.
Imagine combining these two divergent examples of vital equipment into one, and you have the ‘truck with crane!’ A crane truck is a perfect example of synergizing two different pieces of equipment into a whole unit that greatly enhances the usefulness of either part separately.
In constructing high-rise buildings, a truck with crane-lifting capability is vital to get construction materials from the ground to the necessary high places. Imagine construction workers attempting to transport cement or steel from the ground to the 7th floor; it would probably take forever and be very labor-intensive. Using a crane truck for these tasks would surely save a large amount of money and time.
Crane Truck Types
The crane truck comes in different types, some very basic and some very sophisticated – from the basic to the most sophisticated; its functionality is nearly irreplaceable! Consider the following types of crane trucks:
• Sidelifter - The sidelifter crane truck is a kind of crane truck that has the capability of loading and unloading containers from various locations, including the ground, another truck, railway car, and dock locations. A unique feature of this crane truck is its ability to stack two containers on top of themselves. Lifting is accomplished by means of a mounted pair of hydraulic cranes. The crane is equipped with hydraulic adjustable legs that are useful for operation especially on uneven ground.
• Truck-mounted crane - Truck-mounted cranes are designed for highway travel, thus eliminating the need to transport the crane from site to site by some other means. This truck is only capable of traveling a few miles per hour with a suspended load and extra precautions should be taken to prevent the load from swinging sideways. Crane operators use electronic safeguards to calculate the maximum load as well as safe traveling speeds.
• All terrain crane - An all-terrain or rough-terrain crane truck is geared with axles to accomplish rough terrain jobs. The number of axles of this crane ranges from 2 to 9 axles and, dependent upon the number of axles, is the maximum capacity of the crane’s lifting loads – usually up to 1,200 ton lifting capacity. This truck with a mounted crane combines together the ability to travel on road and the ability for easy maneuvering on rough terrains.
• Rough terrain crane - This specialized hydraulic crane truck is design for rough terrain operations. The crane itself is mounted basically on a platform with four big tires that are able to travel under off-road and ‘rough’ conditions. For hoisting, the crane has outriggers that used to stabilize and to level the crane on rough terrains.
This vehicle is another type of truck that is very popular on construction sites as people love to stop and watch the crane reach higher than one can imagine. The unique usability of this truck cannot be easily duplicated especially in a movable form. The construction industry certainly appreciates the usability as well as the significance of the crane truck and how it can certainly reach for the skies!