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Crawler Crane : where did it started ?A crawler crane belongs to heavy machinery for material handling. It's a mobile crane that travels on crawler tracks. It can originate from dragline excavators with a hook instead of a shovel. Some universal crawler cranes can do the work of a crane and of a dragline excavator.
The history of crawler cranes began in the 1920s in the USA when Northwest Engineering made first such machine in the world. Since 1960 crawler cranes have been equipped with a slewing ring. First fully hydraulic crawler cranes were manufactured in 1976 in Britain by Ransomes & Rapier.
The main parts of a modern crawler crane are: a track undercarriage, a slewing ring, a boom, a ballast and a cabin. There are telescopic or lattice booms. Like in truck cranes, the former is easier to operate and less time-consuming whereas the latter is lighter and can lift heavier loads. The boom can be extended with an auxiliary arm. A crawler crane can travel with load.
Crawler crane - one of the heaviest construction equipment
Crawler cranes are usually powered by a single internal combustion engine. They're heavy but manoeuvrable what enables them to work on rough terrain. However, their disadvantage is the necessity to be transported in parts to the working site as they can't travel on public roads on their own.
Crawler cranes are used for handling heavy building materials, construction of wind turbines and high rise building, demolition works etc. The biggest crawler crane is Terex-Demag CC 8800 with 1600 tons lifting capacity and main boom 117 m long.
Crawler cranes and other construction machinery are manufactured by eg. American Hoist, Hitachi, IHI, Kobelco, Liebherr, Link-Belt, Manitowoc, Mantis, NCK-Rapier, P&H, Ruston-Bucyrus, Sennebogen, Sumitomo, Terex-Demag and Unic Crane.