Cranes are among the most versatile pieces of construction equipment you are likely to find, being adapted for use to carry a range of payloads of different sizes and weights.

When people opt for a crane hire, they will have many different choices when it comes to their equipment and expert guidance is available to help them make the right choice.

However, some people take the versatile nature of cranes to a whole other level, as they have been used for, among other purposes, a hotel, to make art and even to serve soup to tens of thousands of people.

Here are some of the most unique uses for crane equipment.


The Crane Hotel

At Harlingen Harbour in Denmark, that has existed a luffing crane since 1967 which was used for loading and unloading timber from different ships.

Because the cabin is 20 metres high and the crane itself can reach up to 45 metres in the air, it has become something of a local landmark, and in 2001 became one of the most unique hotels in the world.

Featuring accommodation for two people and a 360-degree panoramic view of the harbour that can be moved at will, the Havenkraan at Harlingen has become one of the most unique places you can wake up, with a price per night starting at a mere €319 (£274).


The Biggest Soup Ladle In The World

Exceptionally popular in Yamagata, Japan, imoni is a very popular meat soup that is most commonly eaten in Autumn as part of large social gatherings known as imonikai.

One of the biggest, both figuratively and literally, is Akino Imonikai, often known simply as “The Biggest Imoni Festival”, which takes the principle of heating up soup, taro, soy sauce and seasonal vegetables and takes it to its logical extreme.

A huge crane, cleaned and slathered with butter, is used to add ingredients and stir the pot, as well as serving thousands of hungry residents until the iron kettle bowl is finally empty, usually after a couple of days and over 30,000 people filled up.

The most soup ever served in eight hours was served on 16th September 2018 during one of these festivals, where thanks to a bigger pot and a lot of attention, the crane helped serve 12,695 people in eight hours, which averages to one serving every two seconds.

Cranes are known for making construction sites far more efficient, but they can also help feed thousands of people.


Space Crane

Cranes are often used to help lift, and carry, with other attachments that can be fitted to help with particular specialist purposes. However, a multipurpose crane has been designed to be lightweight enough to travel with astronauts on missions but also be usable as a digger and a forklift.

The Lunar Surface Manipulation System (LSMS) was initially designed and patented in 2008 with the purpose of being used to lift hundreds of kilograms on Mars and on the Moon with considerable ease and accuracy.

It is designed to lift roughly 150kg in Earth’s gravity, which translates to 500kg on Mars and 1000kg on the moon.