Tower crane Establishment
This is How a tower crane is assembled
Tower cranes dot the skylines of most cities around the world as evidence of growth and an active construction industry. These amazing cranes enable the lifting and movement of heavy materials and equipment to great heights and long horizontal reaches. Many people marvel at the heights that tower cranes achieve and wonder how they manage to stay upright on a single steel column, sometimes reaching hundreds of meters into the sky.
Installing a tower crane on a construction site is a complex process that requires specialized equipment and a skilled team of professionals. Safety of workers and the public always come first when engaging in any establishment or crane operation. The consequences of a crane falling or a load falling are just too devastating to contemplate, so extra care and the measure twice, cut once adage, is always adhered to.
Tower crane Installation process
Before installation, a thorough site assessment is conducted by a team of installers, engineers and construction site management. Engineers and construction managers must evaluate the site’s conditions, such as soil stability, wind patterns, and the crane’s intended location. Selecting the location is incredibly important. The delivery and storage of building materials needs to be considered, the maximum coverage of the boom over the site, the maximum weight of materials to be lifted and other factors like weather conditions all need to be taken into account.
Permits and local council road closure approvals need to be obtained from local authorities, ensuring compliance with safety and environmental regulations.
Building the foundations
A tower crane relies on a stable foundation in order to effectively carry the weight of the cranes structure as well as the weight and stresses produced when lifting and slewing a load. Typically, this involves constructing a reinforced concrete foundation pad or base, often called a “crane mat” or “crane footing.” Each tower crane installation would need a purpose built foundation, designed in conjunction with the crane manufacturers guidelines by engineers who would then consider other factors that are site specific. The dimensions and specifications of the foundation pad must be in accordance with the crane manufacturer’s recommendations and engineering calculations.
Tower cranes are usually delivered by truck to the construction site in sections. A mobile crane would be used to lift and assemble the inital sections up to a maximum height capacity of the mobile crane and then if any further extension of the crane is required, the climbing process would be initiated (see below) The tower sections, counterweights, boom sections, and other components are carefully connected following the manufacturer’s instructions and then the tower crane is effectively able to build itself to the desired height (Climbing)
Anchoring the Crane
Tower cranes are anchored to the foundation pad using anchor bolts. Proper alignment and torqueing of these bolts are critical to ensure the crane’s stability. The crane’s base is then secured to the anchor bolts, and the tower sections are raised one by one until the desired height is achieved where the cab, counterweights and boom are added. When the crane is fully established, the climbing process can begin.
Climbing a Tower Crane
In cases where the crane needs to be elevated as the building grows, the crane’s mast sections are “climbed” by adding additional sections below the cab in a climbing process. This requires specialized climbing equipment whic is essentially a 3 sided frame that fits around the outside of the sections that is slightly larger than the main crane. This allows the operator to lift a new section from the ground, climb the crane and insert the new section between 2 existing sections. The climbing process is carefully coordinated to maintain the crane’s stability and structural integrity. It is an extremely dangerous operation which requires the strictest adherence to safety regulations.
Electrical and Mechanical Installation
Electrical and mechanical systems, such as the crane’s motors, controls, and safety devices, are installed and connected to allow the operator to slew the crane and lift items. Skilled electricians and technicians ensure that all components are functioning correctly.
Load Testing and Certification
Once the tower crane is fully assembled and operational, load tests are conducted to ensure it can safely lift and carry the intended loads. Certification and inspection by regulatory authorities may be required before the crane is put into service.
Equipment and Skills Required
Tower Crane Components
- Tower crane sections and components consist of mast sections, boom sections, counterweights
- Climbing equipment if the crane is to be raised to its required height during construction
- Anchor bolts and foundation materials
Skills and Expertise required to install a tower crane
- Structural engineers for site assessment and foundation design
- Certified crane operators and riggers
- Experienced crane technicians and electricians for electrical and mechanical installation
- Skilled equipment operators for assembly and climbing procedures
- Safety experts to ensure compliance with safety regulations