Self erecting tower cranes are very helpful in many smaller scale projects around the world, such as residential and infrastructure projects. The self-erecting tower crane is a very versatile machine that does not need a team of erectors and technicians to set it up. It comes pre-assembled and can easily be transported to anywhere in the world, either in a shipping container or towed behind your truck.
Through a series of hydraulics and levers, with the flick of a switch the crane transforms from a flat-packed machine to a tall, overshadowing figure you would normally associate with a tower crane. Due to their slender figure they do not have the lifting capacity of their full-figured cousins, however you can still acquire a machine that will have a 45m jib and a max lifting capacity of around 6t. These cranes are a great solution to any residential or light infrastructure project where space is hard to come by in busy Metropolitan streets around the world.
Although these self-erecting tower cranes do come pre-assembled, you must ensure that you follow the same guidelines as with any other tower crane. Firstly be sure that only trained operators handle this equipment and set it up for you on any construction site. Although they are much easier to install than any other crane, the consequences of mismanagement are still just as severe and can cost people’s lives.
You must ensure that the base is level and that the ground beneath the crane can and will take the load that will be imposed on to it by the crane. When you are working on uneven ground make sure the base is level by packing out under the outriggers, using either sufficient grade timber or more preferably steel plates.
A technician will begin with the erection of the tower and jib sections via a remote control that controls the hydraulic and winch systems. But before they do that, you must give the crane a thorough inspection to ensure that there is no damage to any of the steel ropes or structural damage to the body of the crane. Once the thorough inspection is complete then it is time to erect.
It’s once the crane is erected and in operation where you start to see the vast difference of self-erecting tower cranes. The operator of the crane is not stationed on top, rather they have the capability to work from the ground and operate the crane via a remote control. This gives the operator the freedom to move around and to ensure that every load has the ability to be lifted and placed exactly where he wants it to be and they are not fully reliant on other slinger/banksmen to advise them over the radio.
Self-erecting tower cranes are a great innovation in the world of tower cranes and have provided a solution logistically for a lot of residential and infrastructure projects around the world. For a look at how they work check out this clip on YouTube.
What has been your experience with self erecting tower cranes? What challenges have you faced?