From LEGOS to World Construction: An Evolution of Crane Technology
Everything has a creation story. Certainly, no great technology is invented in a vacuum and there is usually a long line of trial and error before a truly successful invention takes off and makes a lasting impact. Human beings have always had an innate drive to build, to construct, to alter the environment to fit our needs. This much is evident from ancient civilizations and the architectural remnants they’ve left behind. Whether they are structures where human sacrifices took place, pyramids with complex tunnel systems, castles, or modern skyscrapers, civilizations thrive as they build.
We thought we’d do something different this month and take a look at the role of the crane in the imagination and in the real world.
The Crane in Modern Day
For centuries archeologists and engineers alike have been baffled by Stonehenge. One of the seven wonders of the world, Stonehenge is a Neolithic monument built in England by prehistoric societies. How these large stones were transported is still a topic of great mystery. It is likely, however, that these stones were put into place using an intricate system of levers, cranes, slides, levers, etc.
Pass by any construction site today and you’ll likely see the latest in the evolution of those preliminary ideas. You’ll most likely see a crane. Often long and tall, made of steel, and looking somewhat intimidating.
The first cranes were powered by men and/or animals. Later, wheels were added and harbour cranes were invented. Slowly the mechanical power of the cranes and the design was developed, leading to many of the cranes we see today.
Cranes are used to move steel, concrete, large tools, cargo, and other construction site materials. It is composed of several parts including the base, the slewing unit and the boom. Normally the slewing unit has the operators cab attached to it and rotates 360 degrees.
The Latest in Cranes
In late 2018, the world’s most powerful crane was introduced in Belgium. The world’s largest crane is the SGC-250, which was designed to be used in the construction of a new nuclear power plant in the UK. The crane has a maximum load moment of 250,000 tonnes allowing it to lift 5,000 tonnes. This makes it the strongest crane of its kind.
The crane’s boom can be extended from 118 to 160 meters and the jib can be extended up to 100 meters, which provides a height up to 250 meters. This allows for incredible flexibility in building a variety of structures at different heights with varying loads.
Even LEGOS Love Cranes
Everyone is familiar with the Lego brick. It is the most quintessential, widely used, ubiquitous childhood toy. It has been deemed toy of the century two centuries in a row and it continues to be a household favorite and the center of an entire cult following of Lego lovers of all ages. Why? Because it speaks to the undeniable human instinct of building and the fascination with mechanics. The word Lego comes from the Danish Leg Godt, which means “play well.” Apparently, the founders of the Lego were not aware that the same word in Latin means “I put together.” A meaningful connection.
You may not be aware that there is an entire line of LEGOS dedicated to construction cranes, boom trucks, rough terrain cranes, and other construction mechanics. Today, you can find intricate Lego models of crane trucks that mimic the real thing and have hundreds of tiny parts including oil tanks, tools, compartments, ladders, and other life-like details. This level of complexity only speaks to the great fascination that people of all ages have with the very mechanisms that help us build our cities, schools, stadiums, and so forth. It is through these kinds of toys that children engage their imagination and engineer new structures and learn the way things are built.
Get Reliable Crane Service With Alliance Riggers
The use of cranes has facilitated the movement, transportation, and erection of heavy objects in construction sites. It has allowed man’s imagination to take him to new places and build incredible things. Maintaining and operating these great machines, however, is not for the faint of heart. They require meticulous attention to detail and safety standards in order to ensure proper operation and to avoid accidents. Here at Alliance Riggers, we study, we train, and we follow rigorous maintenance and safety standards to make sure our cranes and machinery do their job. It is fascinating to see the development of the technology and to think about just how much construction enters the imagination of the young and old alike!