What is a Crane Boom?

Article categories | 13 june 2022 15:06 PM

Cranes are typically used on many construction sites and are equipped with a crane boom which is used to help construct buildings or to tear them down. The crane boom is a long, fixed or hydraulic arm that is attached to the crane cab and is used to lift heavy objects, like palettes of bricks or constructed walls. A wrecking ball attachment is also applied to destroy buildings for a number of reasons.

How Crane Booms Work

The crane boom bears most of its weight when positioning a load, and the length of the boom determines the crane’s maximum reach. While the length of the boom can’t be changed, there are many different sizes of cranes available for use, and many companies that lease and sell cranes.

The crane boom is like a large lever that allows the engine to apply greater force over a shorter distance to lift a load. Cranes are equipped with counterweights that prevent the crane from tipping over while it lifts a load. Chains are also attached to the load to make sure it doesn’t fall off the crane boom. Crane operators adjust the angle of the crane boom to lift, lower, and move the load.

Crane booms are similar to the booms on a boom truck. However, boom trucks are a bit different than cranes.

Boom Truck vs Crane

Boom trucks are vehicles with an extendable boom mounted to the roof or bed, if it’s a truck. Boom trucks are typically used to lift people up to fix things, like high windows, electrical poles, phone lines, or even high rooflines. They can also be used to lift heavy objects on construction sites. Unlike a crane, boom trucks do not have counterweights. They can lift up to 50 tons, but anything past that will cause the truck to tip over.

There are many uses for boom trucks. A boom truck is usually described as a hydraulic crane that is mounted to a commercial truck chassis. There are different types of booms that can be used on both boom trucks and cranes.

Some of the boom types are:

  • Telescopic booms
  • Hydraulic booms
  • Lattice booms

How Does a Telescopic-Boom Work?

A telescopic-boom is a hollow boom that allows the elongation and retraction of the boom. The boom must be able to move left to right as well as up and down in order to lift a load. Telescopic crane booms are operated with joysticks and pedals located inside the crane cab. Typically, one joystick controls the left to right movements, and the other controls the up and down movements. The pedals control the retraction and extension of the telescopic sections of the boom arm. They also control the pressure from the pump.

What is a Hydraulic Boom?

A hydraulic crane boom is able to extend to different lengths and retract for easy transport. They operate with a powerful hydraulic system. Hydraulic fluid is pumped into cylinders containing pistons. The pump generates pressure that pushes the pistons in and out, and that allows the sections of the crane boom to extend or retract.

Cranes that use hydraulic booms are equipped with outriggers that allow the crane to stay balanced when lifting heavy loads. Outriggers are beams with pads, known as feet, on the bottom. The outriggers use hydraulics to lift the truck off the ground, tires and all. Detachable counterweights are also used to keep the crane from tipping forward during operation. Hydraulic crane booms can lift up to 60 tons.

What is a Lattice Boom?

Lattice boom crawler cranes are the largest type of mobile cranes available for construction. They are so big, they are usually disassembled, transported, and reassembled at the construction site. Lattice booms are lighter than other types of booms so they offer a wider operating radius.

Lattice booms have a job that is located at the end of the boom. The jib is usually fixed in place, but some lattice crane booms can be hinged. Lattice booms give the crawler cranes the advantage of moving with loads for a short distance. They can lift and carry up to 1,600 tons.

What Metals are Crane Booms Made From?

Crane booms are made from metal because metal is strong, durable, and fire-resistant. High-strength low-alloy steel is used to construct cranes and crane booms. SHLA steel is lightweight compared to most metals to make it easier to drive the crane and carry heavy loads at the same time. SHLA steel also is resistant to corrosion, which makes it an ideal choice for construction sites, as construction vehicles are left exposed to the elements for hours to days to weeks at a time.

Heavier cranes are more expensive to move around. This is why cranes, crane booms, and other crane parts are now made with SHLA steel.

Crane Applications

Cranes can be used in the transport industry for the purpose of systematic loading or unloading of freight from trains or trucks. It is most known for use in the construction industry. High buildings, like commercial buildings, high-rise apartments, and skyscrapers require cranes for construction. For the demolition of these buildings, and even some residential buildings, a wrecking ball will be attached to a crane boom. The wrecking ball will be swung back and forth into a building many times until it falls down.

Some other types of cranes include knuckle boom cranes, K cranes, tower cranes, side-lifter cranes, rough terrain cranes, and all-terrain cranes. These cranes are typically used for lifting and transporting. Modern cranes use either internal combustion engines or electric motors to supply power to lift and transport heavy loads.

Knuckle Boom Crane Suppliers

The crane and the crane boom are important tools to use for construction, transportation, lifting, and much more. Different cranes are able to complete many different tasks. HIAB has knuckle boom cranes, crane parts, and much more. Contact HIAB today if you have any crane needs or view our selection of knuckle booms!

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