A tower crane is a machine used for loading and moving extremely large objects and it can be found at almost every construction site. Stationary and stable, the base of a tower crane provides a great stability which is very efficient on big construction sites. A typical tower crane consists of a mast section and a horizontal beam or jib, located at the top of the crane to form the letter “T”. In the construction industry, the tower crane is used to set steel beams, amount of concrete, large tools and equipment and similar huge construction elements. But not only in the construction industry, the tower crane can be used in the transportation industry, shipping industry and other industries where loading and unloading large objects is needed. It is hard to miss a tower crane, as it is one of the few largest construction equipment that can reach hundreds of feet in the air.
Setting a tower crane is a complex process. First, the mast section of a tower crane is being set into a foundation and plumbed to 1:500 degree. When the foundation is set, the concrete is poured and once it is cured, the tower crane is ready to be erected. Depending on the size of the tower crane, around 12 to 16 bolts should be installed, torqued with a hydraulic wrench to about 5500 newton meters.
Once the previous step is done, the process continues with adding as much mast section as needed, until the needed height is reached. The heaviest piece of a tower crane is the turntable, which contains trolley, operator’s cab, hook, trolley pulley, hoisting rope, hoisting block, jib and counterjib. Once these components are installed, a tower top is added. The jib is added with the help of a mobile crane and once it is elevated, the hoist is attached to it and pulled up to the tower top. One element that is added as a single piece is the counter jib, which is usually connected by large pins at the turntable.
The final step when building a tower crane is to perform a load test and check its capacity. Once it passes the test, the tower crane is functional and ready to perform the toughest tasks. The whole process will take from one to four hours, depending on the design and size of the tower crane, and it includes about 10 trucks, 5 crane erectors, 2 skilled crane operators to operate one or two mobile cranes. If you are wondering about the price for setting up a tower crane, it ranges from $20,000 to $50,000.