Types of Crane : Uses, Suitability, Advantages & Disadvantages of Crane

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A crane may be defined as a type of machine, typically equipped with a hoist rope, wire ropes or chains, and sheaves, that can be employed both to lift and lower materials and to move them horizontally.

It is mostly employed for carrying and raising heavy objects and transporting them from one place to another place.

The device employs one or more simple machines to make mechanical advantages and thus carry loads beyond the expected capability of a human.

Cranes are majorly employed in the transportation field for the purposes of loading and unloading of freight, in construction for the movement of objects, and in preparation for the assembling of heavy equipment.

There are various types of cranes, each employed for a specific usage. The sizes of each Carnes vary from the most undersized jib cranes, employed inside workshops, to the tallest tower cranes, employed in constructing high buildings.

Mini-cranes are also employed for making high buildings, to facilitate construction by getting tight spaces. Large floating cranes are commonly employed to produce oil rigs and salvage sunken ships.





  1. Different Types of Cranes  

The different types of cranes available in the market are mentioned below:

a. Floating crane

b. Telescopic crane

c. Harbor crane

d. Crawler crane

e. Rough terrain crane

f. All terrain crane

g. Truck mounted crane

h. Level Luffing crane

i. Rail road crane

j. Telescopic handler crane

k. Aerial crane

l. Tower crane

m. Mobile Cranes

n. Overhead Crane

o. Jib crane

p. Carry Deck Crane

q. Bulk Handling Crane

r. Hammerhead Crane

s. Stacker Crane



Types of CranesUse of Cranes
Floating CraneUsed for constructing ports and bridges
Telescopic CraneEmployed to transport objects
Mobile CraneCarry heavy objects and move them from one place to another
Truck Mounted CraneMajorly for loading and moving equipment on the job site
Tower CraneBuilding big structures
Rough Terrain CranePick and carry operations on rough terrain
Overhead CraneExtremely weighty or heavy loads through the overhead space in a facility
Bridge CraneUsed for industrial environments
Crawler CraneJobs with soft/uneven terrain
Aerial CraneUsed in Places where it’s very hard and challenging to be reached by land cranes
Hydraulic CraneUsed for lifting and hoisting
Carry Deck CraneLoading and moving objects on the working field
Floating CraneProjects on the sea, like ports or oil rigs
Bulk-handling CraneLifting and Moving bulk cargo, like coal or scrap metal
Hammerhead CraneUsed on the heaviest loads on any construction site
Stacker CraneRetrieval of cargo in warehouse storage
Railroad CraneUsed in:

Freight handling in goods yards

Permanent way (PW) maintenance

Accident recovery work

Harbor CraneUnloading small loads (balls, crates, etc.) from ships at the Port of Barcelona
Level Luffing CraneUsed for raising large materials and equipment component






a. Floating Crane  

A floating Crane is also known as a crane ship or crane vessel. It is mainly employed in offshore construction and they are experts in the raising and carrying of heavy loads.

They can be employed to load or unload ships or raise sunken ships from the water. They are fixed and due to this, they can not be rotated. They carry a big capacity of about 9000 tons.


Floating Crane


b. Telescopic Crane

The telescopic crane consists of a big boom where some number of tubes have been attached to each other inside it.

It raises its height with the use of tubes throughout the hydraulic system. They are majorly employed to transport goods from one place to another place.

When it is necessary to transfer the materials to a tall place, it would be the best choice. Since they could alter their heights in line with the place. They can also be employed in rescue operations too.


Telescopic Crane


c. Harbour Crane

It is also called a mobile harbor or port harbor crane. It is majorly employed in seaports to unload or load the ships.

The flexibility of the machine creates it effortless to employ it at any location. Its main benefit is, that it is one of the most powerful material-handling cranes available in the market.

This implies that objects will be moved from one place to another safely and with ease.


Harbour Crane



d. Crawler crane

The Crawler crane moves with the support of tracks which are called crawlers. It contains numerous benefits and drawbacks relying on their usage.

Their major benefit is that it can move mainly on any surface of the earth it can even move on soft soils due to its crawlers. Because it shares its load with a great area.

And its major drawback is that it is very heavy and moves on tracks. That’s why it can not be moved easily from one site to another and will cost more money.

But it can be carried by trucks easily and without costing huge money.


Crawler crane


e. Rough Terrain Cranes

They are arranged on four rubber tires. They are mainly employed in off-road uses.

Outriggers are employed for stabilizing the crane while operating. They possess only one engine which signifies that the same engine is operated for undercarriage and crane.

A typical vehicle-mounted crane can not be employed in off-road construction. That’s why these cranes are employed.


Rough Terrain Cranes


f. All Terrain Crane

It is a type of crane that can move at a similar speed on both public roads as well as on off-roads. They also include more additional tires than rough terrain cranes which is the major difference between rough and all-terrain cranes.

AT owns 2–12 axles and is prepared for lifting loads up to 2,000 tonnes (2,205 short tons; 1,968 long tons).


g. Truck Mounted Crane

These types of cranes contain only one engine. It signifies that the same engine is employed for the undercarriage as well as for the crane. They are arranged on a rubber tires truck, which delivers outstanding mobility.

Outriggers are employed to maintain the truck by increasing it horizontally or vertically. Its main benefit is that it can move on highways itself, which makes it easy and less costly.

It does not require any other vehicles to move it from one location to another. They can be rotated up to 180º. But some of them can rotate up to 360º but are more costly.


Truck Mounted Crane



h. Level Luffing Cranes

They own a hinged jib. The hook stays at the same level. While they use the jib up and down. It is generally employed for unloading and loading ships with containers.

Careful movements are needed while using the jibs near the ground level.


Level Luffing Cranes



i. Rail Road Cranes

Railroad cranes travel on the railway track. They are employed for the construction of railway lines, maintenance, and for their repairing.

They can not move on roads or any other place excluding railway tracks because of their flanged wheels.


Rail Road Cranes


j. Telescopic handler crane

They possess a telescoping expandable boom-like crane.

Its major aim is to control Bricks pallets and establish frame trusses in buildings.

They are prepared too simply to enhance workability.

They can rotate up to 360º and also have outriggers to balance their stability.

They peek like forklift trucks.


Telescopic handler crane


k. Aerial Cranes

These types of cranes are also called Sky Cranes. They look like helicopters and are used to hold large loads.

They are employed mainly in that places where advancing by land is hard and challenging. Helicopters fly in the sky which means they are able of reaching any location.

They generally raise loads to high-rise buildings. They can raise anything in their capacity from boats, and cars to pre-made swimming pools. They can also be employed for rescue during in disaster.


Aerial Cranes


l. Tower Cranes

These types of cranes are the mostly used cranes in today’s world. Usually, they are fixed to the ground in concrete or attached to the side of structures. They are used mostly in the construction of tall buildings.

They can carry load up to 20 tons around and work up to 256 feet in height around. The operators of the crane mainly employ a mobile radio or walkie-talkie and hand signals as a medium for communication to hook or unhook the load.


Tower Cranes



m. Mobile Cranes

Mobile cranes are commonly discovered on vehicles, but cranes employed for construction work are adjusted to travel on the tractor, and many cranes may be connected to barges when employed for construction work on waterway bridges.

The raising arm is usually articulated to permit raising and reduction as needed. Normally, this is completed through a system of cables or hydraulic means, and the whole mobile structure may be coupled to an asset to deliver more balance during its working.


Mobile Cranes


n. Overhead Crane

Overhead cranes are the types of cranes that can also be called suspended cranes. They are generally employed at a factory, and some are able to lift extremely heavy and weighty loads.

The hoist of the crane is set onto a trolley that can move in one direction along a beam, sometimes both beams.

They move at angles to the direction across the elevated level tracks. The tracks are usually mounted across the side of an assembly area.


Overhead Crane


o. Jib crane

Jib cranes are similar to bridge cranes. These types of cranes are permanently installed within a workstation and are usually utilized for repetitious work.

The jib, or arm, is normally arranged on either a wall or floor-mounted pillar employing a moveable hoist and might have some extra movement.


Jib crane



p. Carry Deck Crane

Carry deck cranes are a relatively new type of crane that evolved from the older pick-and-carry model, which was first presented in the 1980s.

They are small, four-wheeled, can rotate a full 360º, and are more movable than that of other types of cranes.

Carry deck cranes are very easy to place, and their small size efficiently permits them to guide around open and restricted spaces, causing them a staple on multiple construction fields.


Carry Deck Crane


q. Bulk Handling Crane

Bulk-handling cranes are employed to maintain extensive volumes of heavy materials, such as coal or minerals.

Rather than a hook at the edges, bulk-handling cranes include a specialized hook that employs a catching action along with a bucket to catch, hold, and raise objects.


Bulk Handling Crane



r. Hammerhead Crane

Hammerhead cranes are the most majorly employed in construction projects. This crane has a horizontal, swiveling lever resting on a set tower.

The trolley is fitted at the forward portion of the arm and can be counterbalanced with the part of the arm, which advances backwards.

Hammerhead cranes also suggest a feature known as racking, which permits the trolley to drive forward and back horizontally along the crane arm. These cranes can be weighty and are made on the job site.


Hammerhead Crane



s. Stacker Crane

Stacker cranes are automatic machines employing a forklift-like mechanism and are mainly prepared for warehouse storage.

Generally, stacker cranes are employed in places with special working situations, such as strongly cold temperatures, making it extreme for a human worker to endure extreme working necessities.


Stacker Crane






  2. Advantages of Crane  

The advantages of crane are as follows:

a. Useful to carry heavy and weight load.

b. It also gives mechanical advantages.

c. They use for loading and unloading work easy.

d. Decreases the risk of accident.

e. Saves a lot of time.





  3. Disadvantages of Crane  

The disadvantages of cranes are as follows:

a. Expensive to buy.

b. Maintenance and repair is needed.

c. Skilled manpower is needed to operate.

d. Can be difficult to transport from one location to another.


This was for the types of cranes.




  4. References  

1. Content Filter & Authenticity Checking Team, Dream Civil International

(Our team checks every content & detail to maintain quality.)




Read Also: Soil Liquefaction


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