To understand a crane’s movement, it’s helpful to have a good grasp of the various parts that make up a construction crane. All of these parts work together to make the incredible lifting power of a crane possible.
Concrete foundation: A tower crane always sits on a concrete foundation, where anchors are placed to secure the crane to the ground.
Tower or mast: From its base, the crane rises up with the tower, also called the mast, which consists of lattice sections stacked on top of one another.
Turntable: At the top of the tower, the crane has a turntable that enables it to rotate 360 degrees.
Operator’s cab: Near the turntable, the operator’s cab gives the crane operator a place to control the crane with an unobstructed view.
Jib: Stretching out forward from the cab is the jib, the long horizontal section of a crane.
Trolley and hook block: Along the jib, a trolley with a hook block runs back and forth, enabling loads to be moved along the length of the crane.
Counterjib and counterweights: Behind the cab is the counterjib, where counterweights are placed to stabilize the crane at rest and during movement.
Main winch and motors: At the back of the counterjib sits the main winch and motors, which enables the long rope to be lowered or raised to hoist heavy loads.
Tower peak or apex: Rising above the cab is the tower peak, also known as the apex, where the pendants extend out to support the jib and counterjib.
Remember that there are many varieties of tower cranes, and some will have parts that are not mentioned here. For example, a luffing jib crane has an arm that is able to raise up and down, and a flat top crane does not have the apex and pendant system shown in the crane above.
Some tower cranes also have self-climbing hydraulic systems, which makes it possible for them to climb internally as a skyscraper is constructed around them.
Overall, though, the basic parts of tower cranes are fairly similar, and this list will give you a good understanding of the parts that make up the cranes that you see in your everyday life.
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