13 Mobile Crane Parts
13 Mobile Crane Parts Every Operator Should Know
A mobile construction crane is a vital equipment to have on construction sites. But, they’re also used in a wide variety of industries, such as petrochemicals, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC), agriculture, and many more.
With its invaluable uses, understanding how the different mobile crane parts work is critical in maximising their use. They’re versatile cranes capable of hoisting loads at different heights. Whether installing roof trusses or erecting sky-high structures, mobile cranes can get it all done.
If you’re looking to rent or buy mobile cranes for your job site, basic working knowledge of each component allows you to operate and maintain it properly. Let’s dive deeper.
1. Telescopic Boom
Telescopic booms are the more distinct and significant features of a mobile crane. They are operated by a powerful hydraulic system that pumps hydraulic fluid into cylinders containing pistons allowing it to extend or retract through pressure.
The booms shoulder most of the weight when the mobile crane positions a load. It is telescopic, meaning it consists of tubular sections that seamlessly slide into one another. This allows the boom to extend at a specific length and reach a maximum height.
2. Lattice Boom
Some mobile cranes may also have a metal or lattice boom fashioned with distinct diamond or metal patterns.
Lattice booms are also found in crawler cranes, which move from one location to another through a crawler-type undercarriage. They’re not as versatile as telescopic booms and will require assembly and disassembly.
3. Elevating Cylinders
Also known as lifting cylinders, these cylinders allow for high-capacity lifting up to hundreds of tonnes.
These elevating cylinders provide the lifting force that allows the mobile crane to carry heavy loads. Most cylinders are powered hydraulically through a high-pressure liquid that provides the power. The mechanism is a bit complicated, but hydraulics generally use pistons connected to a series of levers. These pistons can be used to lift heavy objects.
In a crane, a lever-type connection must be established to connect the crane’s cylinder to the inner boom and outer boom. These connections force the boom cylinders to have an extended lever arm, ensuring maximum mechanical advantage in various positions.
The hooks serve as the primary connection between the crane and its carrying object or load. These are often designed using durable materials to lessen wear and tear and improve functionality. To provide an extra level of security, hooks can come with safety latches to prevent sliding when the sling becomes slack.
5. Wire Ropes And Sheaves
Mobile cranes must be equipped with heavy-duty wire ropes to help support and lift loads. These parts are made of twisted steel wires that form helices, which are also intertwined to create a more durable rope.
Wire ropes provide the crane with the lifting force to lift objects in place. The more wire ropes there are, the heavier the loads a mobile crane can carry.
On the other hand, sheaves are grooved wheels that are used for holding the wire rope. Its purpose is to facilitate smooth and safe operation during hoisting. They come in a pulley system holding the wire ropes together. It is important to perform regular inspections to check for wear as rope sheave failure can result in major accidents.
6. Crane Chassis
The chassis is another invaluable component of the mobile crane. It acts as the foundation of the entire equipment, ensuring it provides ample support from underneath.
The crane chassis must bear the weight of all the other parts, including the boom, operator’s cabin, etc.
7. Operator’s Cabin
An operator’s cabin is where the equipment operator sits down and operates the mobile crane.
Cabins are designed to give the operator maximum outside visibility while manoeuvring the machinery. They may include the following features:
- Ceiling lights
- Safety railing/grilles
- Outlets and sockets
- Insulation floor rubber mat
8. Crane Stabiliser
Stabilisers are support elements which are used to minimise the risk of vehicle toppling.
They can also increase the lift polygon’s surface and improve load distribution as it is hoisting loads or transferring objects from one location to another.
It would help if you considered different situations when using a mobile crane. This is because the machine’s entire stability depends on the direction of the boom. Stability requirements will differ if the load is in the crane’s front, back, or side.
Cranes can rotate through the bearing. It’s responsible for smoothly turning the superstructure to position the load. It also needs to support the weight of all the components that form the superstructure.
Mobile cranes can carry hefty loads without tipping over, thanks to the counterweights found in the back of the crane. Their primary function is to offset the load and prevent the vehicle from tilting in the direction of the boom lift.
Operators can remove or add counterweights as necessary. This is done to allow for easier transportation of the vehicle.In addition, it is important to always check a mobile crane’s load chart to determine the crane’s lifting capabilities.
Outriggers work alongside counterweights to ensure mobile cranes stay erect even when moving heavy loads. These parts can extend from the bottom of the crane, effectively stabilising it from the ground. Outriggers also prevent the crane from drastically shifting from its position due to wheel movements.
The outriggers, counterweights, and the crane’s hoist system help secure the entire vehicle on the ground. They all provide another layer of safety for the operator and other workers on the site.
Wheels allow the mobile cranes to move in different places around the job site, adding more versatility and mobility. They also make it possible to run the mobile crane on different terrains and surfaces like highways or bumpy roads.
However, in crawler cranes, tracks are in place instead of wheels. The vehicle moves much more slowly compared to wheeled cranes. But tracks are the preferred choice for job sites with uneven and muddy grounds.
In some cases, the mobile crane needs to be extended further than the boom can reach. This will require a jib or an arm that horizontally extends to create additional space between the load and the crane.
Jibs are useful when moving large or long loads that need the mobile crane to be further away from the lifting process. Jibs are typically on a fixed point, but some cranes have “luffing jibs” or hinged jibs that can be positioned up or down, depending on the direction of the boom.
Conclusion About Mobile Crane Parts
Mobile cranes remain invaluable in job sites across the world. Each component must be in good working condition for the entire machinery to function. A single malfunctioning part can potentially cause ripple effects on the equipment and safety of the workers.
If you plan on renting a crane for your project, ensure all parts are well-maintained. Trust only reliable heavy equipment suppliers to get the job done for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mobile Crane Parts
A mobile crane can move independently in different locations. The main superstructure is attached to a wheeled undercarriage that allows movement. Meanwhile, a tower crane is immobile and needs a fixed point to set it up.
Structural failures and safety hazards could result if you overload a crane beyond its carrying capacity. It's also possible to overload the crane if it swings or drops suddenly.
Each part of the crane will have different maintenance requirements. But it's advised to conduct regular inspection checks to ensure proper alignment and inspect for damages. Wheels must be replaced as needed, and the hook must be intact to ensure no loads will detach.