10th Feb 2022
As one of the most important pieces of heavy machinery used in construction, a crane hire is often at the epicentre of world events, the construction of landmarks or major rescue missions, which can turn ordinary people and machines into an indelible part of history.
Some cranes become famous due to being as much of a landmark as the site they helped create, some become famous due to a single event, and others become famous simply because of circumstance, but all of which have fascinating stories behind them.
Here are just some of the most famous cranes in the world.
Samson And Goliath
Arguably the two most famous gantry cranes in the UK, if not the world, Samson and Goliath in Belfast, Northern Ireland became a symbol of stability during deeply unstable times.
Named after the two biblical giants and situated at the docks of Harland and Wolff, one of the biggest shipyards in the UK and the place where the Titanic was constructed, the 96m tall Goliath was built in 1969, whilst the slightly taller 106m tall Samson was completed in 1974.
They became a symbol of a potential brighter, more stable future for the region during a time of political strife and a changing industrial landscape that put Harland and Wolff in trouble. Samson and Goliath were a symbol of confidence in shaky times and outlived the shipbuilders themselves.
Harland and Wolff would build their final ship in 2003, and amidst concern that the cranes would be demolished, the Northern Irish government worked to ensure that the cranes would be preserved for future generations.
Harland and Wolff would enter administration in 2019, but found a buyer for the company in the form of the energy firm InfraStrata, which focused on expanding their offshore renewable energy industry.
Harlingen Harbour Crane
Ever since its construction in 1967, the crane at Harlingen Harbour has been a beacon that has watched over the shores of the Netherlands and tow unloaded cargo ships, but what has turned it from a fascinating local landmark to one of the most famous cranes in the world is its second life.
After it fell into disrepair in the late 1990s, a team of enthusiasts painstakingly restored the Harbour Crane, but since it was no longer needed as a crane, they came up with a rather fascinating alternative use.
They converted the control cabin into a single hotel room with a roof terrace and a rotatable view, which has given the crane a reputation for being one of the most unique romantic places to stay in the world, with a view of the dock that can be rotated at will.
One of the single most famous cranes in the United States, Weeks 533 is the largest revolving floating crane on the East Coast of the US and due to its size and 454-tonne capacity has been used in several famous lifts and construction projects.
Whilst initially used to lift the deck sections of the San Mateo-Heyward bridge, the vessel formerly known as the Marine Boss before its extensive renovation in 1997 has been part of some exceptionally notable lifts and construction projects around the USA.
The crane took both Concord and the Space Shuttle Enterprise to their final resting place at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, it helped to lift US Airways Flight 1549 after it crashed into the Hudson River, and has helped put vital infrastructure in place after Hurricane Sandy and 9/11.
Because of this, whilst it has done jobs throughout the country, it is primarily connected to New York and New Jersey.