If you were to visit Riverworks, you’d see a lot of old, tall grain elevators from a bygone era. The owners of this industrial wasteland, however, have decided to turn the property into a post-industrial tourist destination where folks can eat at the big indoor/outdoor restaurant or play sports like hockey and roller derby… and recently, somehow a giant red double decker bus got put on top an old building at Riverworks, high in the sky. How in the world did they get a big, heavy bus like that “way up there?” Well, you can thank cranes.
Modern Skyscrapers and Cranes
Cranes are what make today’s modern skyscrapers possible. Without cranes, tall structures wouldn’t easily exist. And you could forget about putting things on top of such structures!
Cranes are used to lift extremely heavy construction materials and equipment to great heights. Thanks to levers, pulleys and scientific principles, cranes can lift loads that weigh up to, say, 40,000 pounds.
Did you know that the tall part of the crane (the part that sticks up in the air) is called the mast? The mast raises building materials. Gears and motors allow a crane to rotate. Other parts of a crane include the working arm (the jib), machinery arm, operator cab and the base.
Tracing Back the History of Cranes
Why are they called cranes? Their structure resembles that of a bird crane with its long legs and neck. Cranes are the largest/tallest flying birds in the world, so it makes sense that a machine that lifts things high up would get the name “crane,” too.
Did you know that humans had cranes back about 500 B.C.? At that time, Greeks used cranes in order to lift heavy objects. It’s evident if you examine their civilization and architecture. Egyptians also utilized their form of cranes in order to lift and move water some 4000 years ago. Long ago, cranes weren’t powered by machines. Instead, they used both human and animal force. For centuries, most cranes were made of wood with wheels attached… and these wheels would be turned by human/animal force to lift heavy objects.
In more recent times, steam engines and internal combustion engines were used to both power and run cranes. And instead of being made of wood, cranes were constructed using steel.
In New England, if you’re looking to rent hydraulic cranes ranging from 6 to 600 tons, call Astro Crane at 978-429-8666.