The Importance of Lifting Capabilities in Crane Trucks for Construction

Gravity and Newton’s third law dictates the capabilities of a crane within any particular locale. It’s therefore crucial that the operator has a detailed understanding of these lifting properties. Gross loading charts aid in this circumstance, as does an in-depth understanding of the mechanical faculties of the lifting apparatus. In the case of the latter attribute, the assembled components of the crane form an overall profile that determines lifting capabilities. The factors influencing the lifting characteristics include:

  • The footprint of the crane
  • Length and width of the lifting boom
  • Quality of the rigging material
  • Other mechanical components. This includes lattice sections in the boom and how many telescoping sections are incorporated within the design

The overall lifting capacity of our hypothetical crane is set by hydraulic power and outrigger length, by counterweight bulk and boom characteristics, mechanical assets that offset the mass of the load and allow it to be lifted without compromising the structural integrity of the crane’s framework.

In making matters that much easier when hiring a crane, manufacturers like to promote lifting capabilities, placing the figure in a place of prominence. Similarly, hiring companies follow this practice, listing the type of crane, the length of the boom and its lifting capacity in one breath. Thus, span of coverage and lifting prowess are closely matched within crane characteristic listings.

Unfortunately, the finer points of a lifting project can’t always be stated as a single figure. First of all, this integer is a maximum lifting value. A seasoned crane driver knows that there’s more to this figure than a load-limiting numerical value. In short, a handful of physical influences can affect the lifting cycle and trend lifting competence downward and away from the maximum limit. Foremost among these influences comes the angle at which the load is being moved. Preferred inclination of movement is straight up or down, directions that simplify the quoted limit. On consulting the load chart that should come with the crane, perhaps fixed in the cabin or appended as part of the hiring documentation, a user will see how the crane performs when the lift is carried out at different angles. Movement components accounted for by the chart include:

  • Angle
  • Jib configuration
  • Inclusion of telescoping sections
  • Outrigger deployment
  • Boom length

Plan to hire a crane that can handle all possible construction site loads as set by the work site you’re employed within. It’s a good idea to add at least ten percent to this figure as a safety margin. Finally, know the profile of the crane, its general footprint, and hire only from a company that understands the complexities associated with the interpretation of a load chart.

The Significance of Structural Steel in Construction Industry

Structural steel is heavy steel (with regard to its chemical composition and properties) which is formed into construction components (i.e.: H-beams, I-beams, T-beams). These components are incorporated into structural frames as load bearing members for building and heavy construction projects. The size, shape, tensile strength, composition, integrity, and other elements of structural steel forms are standardized, regulated, and controlled.

Beneficial Impacts of Structural Steel

Structural steel is commonly used for beams, columns, and building and bridge skeletons. It is the material of choice due to its numerous construction efficiency, safety, durability, and overall cost benefits:

  • Constructability / Productivity – Structural steel is fabricated, inspected, and tested off-site to standard specifications. The materials are delivered to project sites for immediate use. This process supports the construction schedule and improves construction productivity. Structural steel components are bolted, welded, or tied together in construction.
  • Strength – Structural steel is one of the most commonly used materials in commercial and industrial construction due to its high strength-to-weight, stiffness, robustness, and ductile properties. Other materials fail to meet the strength of structural steel even when they are reinforced. For example, structural steel has a yield stress of 50,000 psi (pounds per square inch) in both compression and tension, compared to high-strength concrete that has a compressive yield stress of 12 – 15 ksi (kilopounds per square inch).
  • Sustainability – Structural steel is fully recyclable and can be reused without further processing. The only water used in the production of structural steel is make-up water added to a closed loop recycling process. No water is used in fabrication or discharged into the environment.
  • Fire Resistance – Structural steel is noncombustible. However, when used in high-rise construction, in accordance with the IBC (International Building Code), the steel must be enveloped in fire-resistant materials. Fire resistant material used to envelope steel is typically water resistant.
  • Anti-Corrosive – Structural steel does tend to corrode when it is in contact with water. The result is loss of structural integrity and a potentially dangerous structure. To reduce the potential for corrosion and its effects, structural steel is typically blasted, primed, and painted.
  • Mold- and Mildew-Proof – Structural steel is ideally used in moist, porous environments where mold and mildew propagate (typically in residential buildings). Steel studs minimize infestations.
  • Cost Efficiency – Structural steel remains the most cost efficient compared to other comparable framing and support systems. For example, a structural steel framing system (including decking and fire protection) typically costs 5% – 7% less than a concrete framing system.
  • Design Flexibility – Structural steel accommodates the multiple purposes of function and form / design. The intent of a building design, for example, may be maintained while meeting structural compliance requirements. Structural steel buildings may be more easily modified to accommodate revised load conditions, vertical / horizontal expansion, and configurations that other framing systems cannot accommodate.