If you have ever driven by a construction site, you have probably noticed a large crane used by the builders. You might be forced to gaze in wonder at the idea of such a large machine having the capability of functioning with such fluidity. While your average crane is quite large, it has nothing on some of the supercranes of the world. There are some cranes out there that appear to have the ability to lift the earth itself. Here are 4 of the world's largest cranes and how they are used.
The Thialf Crane Vessel
When it comes to the need for cranes, they are useful on both land and sea. Cranes at sea are necessary to build bridges that go over water, as well as assist in oil extraction. Crane vessels are usually smaller than land cranes because of the need for buoyancy, but not this bad boy. The Thialf crane vessel is the largest crane vessel in the world, with a maximum on-board capacity of 736 people.
The Thialf shattered records in 2000 when it was able to lift 11,000 tons at one time without breaking down!
ALE AL.SK190 Crane
First appearing on the scene in 2008, the ALE AL.SK190 crane was an earth-shattering success. The crane itself stands at a whopping 141 meters tall, and is used to transport shipping containers. What makes this crane truly humongous is not its height, but its load capacity. The ALE AL.SK190 crane can withstand a maximum capacity of 4,300 tons!
The beauty of the crane is that it is designed to be set up on sections of base rings as opposed to giant rings like traditional cranes. This enables the crane to be moved from place to place with relative ease. You might think that such a crane would be slow due to its size, but the ALE AL.SK190 has a hoist speed of up to 10 mph. Not bad for such a beast.
Bigge 125D AFRD Crane
Arguably known as the largest land crane in the world, the Bigge 125D AFRD crane is like no other. The crane itself is so large that it must be fitted with a reinforced concrete foundation at the base to ensure that it remains stable. The 300-foot machinery arm, or boom, can lift an unbelievably 6,803 tons at once, which is the equivalent in weight of almost 80 space shuttles!
The crane itself can stand hurricane force winds as high as 150 mph, and the five diesel engines it harbors give the crane enough juice to reach up to about 3,450 horsepower. Next time a hurricane rolls through your town, be on the lookout for a Bigge 125d AFRD for maximum protection!
The Taisun Crane
Now, on to a crane that would appear only God himself could have created. The Taisun crane is recognized as the largest offshore crane in the world, and for good reason. The Taisun holds the world record for lifting capacity at a whopping 20,000 tons, which is the equivalent of lifting 10,000 cars faster than you can even blink.
Shipping vessel captains all over the globe will tell you just how much of a dream it would be to dock in the Taisun. The dock itself is 120 feet wide, more than enough room for any type of cargo. It is also 14 feet deep underwater, so even the biggest ships out there can dock up. If cranes were humans, you'd have to think that no one would be getting in line for an arm wrestling contest with this bad boy!
As you can see, there are some machines out there that are simply mind-blowing. It is truly amazing that human beings are able to create fully-functional machines with the brute force to lift almost anything imaginable. Next time you are passing by a construction site and you see a regular-sized crane, don't be surprised if you are not impressed.
Be sure to go to this website for more information on cranes and how you can utilize them.