Types of cranes used in construction

Types of cranes used in construction

There are a variety of different cranes out there that are used for specific construction purposes. 

From railroads to shipyards and statue placement to constructing tall buildings, there’s a crane for every project. If you’re looking for “construction equipment auctions near me,” consider checking out Lyon Auction’s equipment auctions for the crane you need! Below are the 12 cranes used in construction.

Mobile cranes

Mobile cranes are the most used crane in construction. They consist of a steel truss or telescopic boom that’s mounted on a mobile platform. It can be raised or lowered with hydraulic cylinders or cables. They’re portable and easy to set up which is why they’re used so much. They’re most commonly used for indoor lifting or statue lifting as they can reach areas other cranes cannot.

Vehicle mounted cranes

These types of cranes are mounted to a truck, which makes them easy to get from place to place. Outriggers that extend horizontally and vertically can be used to stabilize the crane while in use and in transport. These cranes have a capacity that exceeds 50 tons, and they come in types that rotate either 180 or 360 degrees.

Rough terrain cranes

Rough terrain cranes are more stable than vehicle-mounted cranes, making them good for jobs in off-road areas that are uneven or have terrain with rocks and dirt. They're mounted to an undercarriage with rubber tires, and the crane is powered by the same engine that powers the undercarriage. Outriggers that extend horizontally and vertically are also used to stabilize this crane. They’re great for highway construction and infrastructure projects.

All terrain cranes

All terrain cranes can handle any kind of terrain. They’re also great for job sites that may have changing weather conditions. They have great mobility and are often faster than other cranes; they move the same on paved roads as they do on rough terrains. This crane has more wheels to help balance it.

Crawler cranes

Crawler cranes are mounted to a caterpillar truck. They are extremely mobile and can handle heavy loads. They are easy to set up and don’t need outriggers. This type of crane needs the help of trucks to move from one place to another, but it is able to distribute its weight through a wider area while working.

Railroad cranes

Railway cranes are used in the construction and repair of railroads, and they can be used to lift derailed trains as well. They have flagged wheels at their base, which can only be used when moving across a railroad track. The different types of railroad cranes are goods yard cranes, maintenance cranes and breakdown cranes.

Aerial cranes

Aerial cranes are also known as sky cranes. They look just like a helicopter and are useful when it comes to reaching areas difficult to reach from the land, or when a large load needs to be lifted to a tall building. They’re used in forestry operations, to transport heavy loads or large construction materials and to repair or install power lines. 

Tower cranes

Tower cranes are the ones you most often see at urban construction sites. These cranes are attached to a concrete base at the ground with large bolts. They are used in the construction of tall buildings and can even be connected to the building at a certain point to keep it stable. They are the tallest crane.

Telescopic cranes

Telescopic cranes are often used in rescue operations or to transport things to a higher level. It can increase its height with a hydraulic mechanism and large booms fitted with tubes. It’s simple to operate by rotating, extending, raising and lowering as needed.

Overhead cranes

Overhead or suspended cranes are most often used in factories, shipyards or outdoor manufacturing plants. They can lift extremely heavy loads. They are operated by a hoist set on a trolley that moves in one direction along one or two beams.

Loader cranes

Loader cranes, also known as folding boom cranes, are powered by articulated arms fitted to an equipment trailer. They can be easily transported as they fold up smaller when not in use. They can carry up to 200 tons.

Floating cranes

Floating cranes are often referred to as crane ships and crane vessels. Their purpose is to help build bridges and ports, as their capacity reaches 9000 tons. They can also help load and unload ships.

Looking for construction equipment auctions near me?

If you’ve been searching for “construction equipment auctions near me,” know that Lyon Auction may have just what you need. If you’re in the market for any of these cranes, consider purchasing secondhand from one of our equipment auctions. Contact us today with any questions!


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