10 Fun Facts About Cranes

Call 01942 269 335

We know a thing or two about cranes here at Commhoist; you could say we’re experts. We take pride in knowing them inside and out.

Interested in finding out more about cranes? We’ve put together 10 fun facts you may or may not already know about cranes.

1. Cranes were built by ancient Greeks

The first human-made crane was built by the Ancient Greeks around 500BC. It looked very different to the modern cranes we have today, instead of steel or metal they were made out of wood. Human or animal power was used to pull heavy objects up – but these early crane designs helped build some of the most recognisable and beautiful structures of the ancient world.

2. The crane arm (JIB) was added in the Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, the “jib”, or crane arm, was able to move both horizontally and vertically – mainly because it was used to unload cargo ships in a harbour.

3. Steam engine technology was added to cranes in the 19th century

With the invention of the steam engine in the 19th Century, the new technology was also applied to provide cranes with power, which eliminated the need for humans and animals used as a source of power.

4. The first mobile crane was manufactured in the 1950’s

In the course of the 1950s, there was a significant change in the material used to manufacture cranes. Strong steel was used and also placed on the back of trucks, which saw the introduction of ‘mobile cranes. Now cranes are being powered by petrol, diesel, or electric power.

5. A massive 200,000 cranes are estimated to be in use around the world

Around the world, there are over 200,000 cranes in use, of which 125,000 cranes are used in the construction industry and between 80,000 – 100,000 cranes are used in general and maritime industries.

6. The tallest crane in the world is a Liebherr type 357 HC-L

The tallest crane in the world can lift up to 18 tons at 44 metres a minute. This crane was used in the construction of the world’s tallest building: Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia. It took six years to build from 2013 – 2019. The Liebherr type 357 HC-L can lift 18 tons at 44 metres per minute.

7. Cranes build themselves!

You read it right, cranes often build themselves. The only thing large enough and strong enough to build cranes, is other cranes. With the help of workers, operators use the crane to attach vital pieces of equipment. Sometimes cranes will literally build themselves placing pieces onto itself once the control panel is up and running – pretty cool!

8. Only 11% of crane accidents are caused by a mechanical fault

Out of all the crane-related accidents that occur on a construction site, only 11% are due to mechanical failure. If these failures are spotted early, then further damage can be prevented, which is why cranes are inspected daily and yearly.

9. There are over 20 types of cranes

Like many other products and machinery, there is a wide variety of different types for an array of purposes or to be used for specific projects. Some of the main crane types include tower cranes, mobile cranes, truck-mounted cranes, and rough terrain cranes.

10. Cranes share their name with a bird

We previously discussed our 9 most interesting facts about cranes, but construction cranes share their name with the tallest flying bird in the world.

We hope you enjoyed our 10 crane facts that you may or may not have already known. Commhoist are one of the leading lifting and logistics project managed service providers and we’re celebrating 25 years in business this year. If we can be of any help with your heavy lifting requirements, please contact a member of our team on 01942 269 335.