Selecting Tower Cranes

by Joseph R. Proctor, Jr., 936 Evergreen Road, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 2, Pg. 52-56

Document Type: Feature article


Looming over the skyline like steel dinosaurs, tower cranes can look deceptively similar. But these beasts of burden are not a homogenous species, and selecting and positioning the right crane is critical to project planning for high-rise construction. Tower cranes offer several advantages over conventional cranes, and though the advice of the crane vendor can be helpful, the entire project management team should have a thorough understanding of tower cranes special needs and characteristics to be able to use them correctly. Tower cranes are available in a wide variety of types, sizes and capacities. As in any other type of crane, lifting capacity is one of the more important considerations. However, length of reach (radius), maximum hook height above ground and the crane's positioning also factor into the selection. Tower cranes have a distinct advantage over conventional lattice-boom crawler or truck cranes because the boom, or jib, looms high above the work site. The tower crane's jib can place its load anywhere within its radius of operation without interfering with the structure over which it swings. In addition, the operator can be either on the crane or control the crane remotely using instrumentation located on the building structure, while enjoying an excellent view of the load and its surroundings at all times.

Subject Headings: Cranes | Project management | Load factors | Trucks | Traffic engineering | Team building | Structural control

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