View Full Version : giant hydraulic crane

01-30-2008, 06:58 PM
Is this something new in hydraulic cranes? I don't follow these developments, so I was surprised at the size of this one at a Phoenix building site. At first I thought each of the telescoping sections must be the actual hydraulic cylinders. But now I suspect they are structural tubes, surrounding the activating cylinders.

Fabricating this obviously required a huge lathe, a machine which could handle a ship's propeller shaft, perhaps. Are there still such machine shops in North America or Europe?

[edit] Belatedly, I now suspect the crane's sections are not hydraulically activated, but extended mechanically and locked into position, at the site. I'm can't quite picture the scenario, though.



01-30-2008, 07:09 PM
quite a crane. i have some familiarity with telescoping boom cranes, the type made of rectangular sections, no where near as long but very heavy duty. That style (rectangular), the telescoping part travels on case hardened wheels. what little i know about hydraulics, if the telescoping boom is the cylinder, it would be hell on the cups and seals....i thought HD cylinders didn't respond well to lateral loads, but maybe they've built another way.,...

01-30-2008, 08:27 PM
I saw the inards of one similar,but less tonnage.It's just a series of mechanical tubes rolled to size so they telescope.Each tube starting at the bottom had a series of plastic bearing strips inside the bore that the next smaller tube bears on.Inside there is a much smaller telecopic hydraulic cylinder that handles the extension.

The plastic looks like an MDS filled nylon,but I'm not sure.

Mark McGrath
01-30-2008, 08:38 PM
That`s not very big by todays standards.There is very little back ballast on it and not many axles on the carrier.1000 tonners on wheels are common nowadays,the first one in Scotland was in the seventies and owned by a company I worked for.The big cranes need several artics to carry the ballast,back struts,hook block etc when moving from job to job.A hook block on a big one will be eight feet high six seven feet wide and need it`s own artic to carry it.The one in the picture only has a single fall on it so it`s there mainly for reach.All the sections are hydraulically extended on these things.Have a look for the Liebher (sp) and Demag websites if you want to see some big stuff.

01-30-2008, 08:46 PM
This is pretty average as far as hydraulic cranes go. Boom sections are tube steel and as stated before, extension of the tube steel sections is via small hydraulic cylinders within each section and do not add to lifting capacty. The actual lifting is done with the ram located beside the operators cab. These cranes are pretty handy and available in capacities over 500ton.

Mark McGrath
01-30-2008, 08:54 PM
Here`s some pics of some quite large cranes.I often get held up by some of these Sarens cranes and their entourage of backup lorries when going home at night over the Forth road bridge.They close the bridge to all other traffic while these are going over.


01-30-2008, 09:11 PM
Big crane also demonstrating why you don't walk or park your car under a big crane in winter.


Gantry crane meets tower crane,gantry crane wins:D


01-30-2008, 11:37 PM
Here's a Liebherr LTM11200-9.1 hydraulic crane...


It's rated to lift 1322 US Tons, which is pretty impressive, if you ask me.

01-31-2008, 12:49 AM
It's dangerous to be working around a crane.
When the deadline if looming, look around.
Companies don't give a damn about Osha, just doing a job.

When I look up, see death and mayhem coming at me out of my control, I get my toolbox and leave. I'm Paid by the hour, well that last hour should pay just a tad more.

The Lieberr crane set up at Sequoah scared the bejesus out of me. THEY had JLG's set up on the polar crane and people working out of them, it was still making lifts, had a Smaller Lieberr running outside and the Big one on a poured foundation set a section of the reactor roof off. THAT hook, with about a dozen wraps of three inch diameter cable going past all that trash in the ceiling to lift the HOT reactor generator "said" I should leave it to the Others who cared less for health and saftey. I quit that job and Bechtel can still kiss my butt. I have been shot at and felt safer.

One thing interesting.. I cut down a 3" pipe lighting rod support, I told the crane operator to apply my calculated lift weight onto it (*his computer has a meter). and when the last bit cut through with the port-a-band saw it just floated, didn't bounce up, or pinch the blade.. I was prepared to jump, dive or run for it.. this was about 225' up.. on the domed reactor roof.

If you think you are safe, and trust your employer, you are a fool.. You are responsible for going home with all your fingers, toes and life.

01-31-2008, 10:09 AM
AMEN David! Where I work, once apon a time there was over head crane operators and that is about all they did. This is inside a shop. Old cranes too really old electric controls that occasionally catch fire. Then the managment decided that cranes running should be part of everyone's job. Who ever had the time. PLUS they started paying 7 cents an hour more if you operated the cranes. Now I have to work with old guys who think they know what needs to be done while they are in the crane and I am on the floor. Easier riding back and forth in the crane than walking back and forth on the floor. Some of these guys can not see and should not be driving but since they have seniority and don't want to be the guy on the ground they are in the crane. After 10 years and my constant ENFORCING of the idea that since I am on the ground and they are just contol operators I AM IN CHARGE! plus half a dozen times of just shutting the crane down and leaving the a**hole sit for a while, I now just have to put up with the bad eye sight..... There isn't enough pay anywhere to die or lose part of your body for a paycheck.


02-01-2008, 02:40 AM
There are plenty of lathes big enough on US shops, dont know about Europe, but I'd bet so. I spent a good portion of my working time on a five foot swing by about 35 foot bed length LeBlond, the last 12 years before I retired. And that was just a maintenance shop in a paper mill.

02-01-2008, 01:51 PM
I spent a good portion of my working time on a five foot swing by about 35 foot bed length LeBlond, the last 12 years before I retired.

That's an enormous lathe. In Coos Bay perhaps? I don't recall seeing much heavy industry elsewhere along the Oregon coast. It's good to hear that some of these big lathes are still in use.

02-01-2008, 07:37 PM
Across the aisle from my mill at work is a 8 foot x 36 foot (estimated, I need to measure some time) Leblond. It doesn't get used much but it's ready to go. Heavy machine shops are still around you just don't hear about them much.

02-01-2008, 08:01 PM
That is not a hydraulic (as one would think of hydraulics) crane as stated before the Hyd. cylinders are inside,probably smaller than the one on the outside.
If anyone has heard of Elliot Equipment of Omaha, they build these cranes and man lifts, and I did a few years there a while ago.


02-02-2008, 05:51 PM
That's an enormous lathe. In Coos Bay perhaps? I don't recall seeing much heavy industry elsewhere along the Oregon coast. It's good to hear that some of these big lathes are still in use.

The mill is onthe Columbia river, about 70 miles downriver of Portland, Or.

The lathes in this shop are in order of size:

17" Colchester Clausing, 24" Monarch long bed, 25" HD LeBlonde with extended bed length and DC 50HP variable speed drive, 32" HD LeBlond long bed, and the big guy, a WW2 vintage HD LeBlonde raised to 60" swing, bed extended to about 35 feet and scraped in and lathe completely rebuilt including a DC 50 HP variable speed drive, by the very capable Yancey Machine Tool of Portland,Or.
The original tailstock with a 7" diameter quill proved unstable at loads much above 11,000 lb. Happily, the company allowed me to build a new tailstock with a 10" quill that will carry the mills big rolls. It was the most enjoyable project I've ever done. Later I oversaw instalation of DC drive infeeds and traverse, and built a traveling platform for the operator, since the machine was contributing to neck and shoulder problems in some of the machinists in the crew. If anyone has questions or would like to see pics,
is my email address.

02-02-2008, 06:18 PM
The company I worked for built an assembly fixture for telescoping cylinders for Caterpillar a few years ago. Something like 3 foot diameter tubes IIRC. It had what amounted to motorized steadies which would be moved to position and raised to hold a new section. A large chuck on one end could be used to rotate an assembly and screw sections together. Previously they'd assembled these vertically, but were getting a little edgy about the safety of that process.

Dave S.
02-02-2008, 10:49 PM
Wauna Pulp and paper, Wauna OR. Been by it hundreds of times and helped haul a load of chips from Garibaldi OR there back in 1976.


02-04-2008, 12:48 AM
That's the one, I spent 40 years in the main machine shop there. Can't say that I'm sorry to be retired though. Every day's a Saturday now!