For every reason to go for crane hire, there is a crane to suit the purpose perfectly. From reliable and easy to use crane trucks for smaller projects, to huge tower cranes to help construct skyscrapers.
Naturally, much as there is a huge race to build buildings that can touch the heavens, there are also competitions to create the tallest cranes, as well as the cranes that can hold the heaviest loads.
Here are some of the strongest and tallest cranes ever built.
The Largest Construction Crane
The largest crane in the world, according to Guinness World Records, is the Kroll K-10000, and it has held this prestigious title for over 40 years.
It stands 120m tall (393ft) on a 12m rotating cylinder, with 223 tonnes of counterweights which allows it to carry 120 tonnes up to 82m in the air, which is just under 35 times the load capacity of a standard crane.
Just 15 of these gargantuan units were ever made between 1976 and the end of the 1980s, 13 of which were sold to the Soviet Union for huge infrastructure project work that was only halted by the disaster at Chernobyl’s Reactor Four in 1986, and the impending fall of the USSR itself.
Incredibly, despite the age of the units, only one of the 15 has actually been scrapped, and the other 14 have continued to see use around the work, primarily as dock cranes, as used in Norway, Singapore, Mumbai and Tehran.
The Heaviest Weight Ever Lifted
Cranes are generally used for consistently lifting a heavy level of weight a considerable height, but in some cases, a crane is needed to lift a considerable amount of weight regularly, such as a fully-loaded supertanker.
In 2008, Taisun, a gigantic crane designed to installed semi-submersible parts in Yantai, China, has the three heaviest lifts ever undertaken by a crane. The first was 14,000 tonnes, then a second at 17,100 tonnes, and finally a huge 20,133 tonne lift.
Whilst Taisun has a very particular use, it does manage to considerably reduce construction time, allegedly by up to 2m man-hours since the crane’s first lift.
Largest Camera Crane
Certain cranes have rather more glamorous roles, to the point that they could be considered film stars in themselves.
The Akela crane used for the film Titanic is no exception, and without its huge 60m reach, the filming of the gargantuan set used in the world’s third most successful film ever: James Cameron’s Titanic.
This extension is over twice its standard reach, and allowed for the huge stage to be filmed at all angles with a gyro-stabilised camera, before the camera was moved on tracks alongside the ship in the water tank.
This crane was also used by Cameron himself, generally to yell at the cast and crew whenever a mistake was made on stage, and without the crane, the huge climactic moment where the ship broke into pieces and began to sink, which required the 236m set to be shot at all angles.