Basic Guide for Siting Self-Erecting Cranes


Are you building a house, place of business, or some other type of low-rise building? If you are constructing a project that is no taller than six stories high, chances are you’d be considering a self-erecting crane being used.

Crane Basics

Self-erecting cranes are a type of tower crane. Because they belong to the same category of cranes, they are generally lumped together with luffing cranes and hammerhead cranes. These types of cranes usually have a boom or a jib that is mounted on a tower structure.

Just as the name suggests, self-erecting tower cranes are not disassembled into a boom or jib or tower element in normal usage. Both the jib and the tower are in hinged sections that fold back onto themselves like a concertina.

When erecting, the tower will unfold vertically until it has reached its maximum height. As the top section of the tower unfolds, the first section of the jib will unfold to a horizontal position. Then the second section of the jib will unfold to achieve the crane’s maximum reach. There is usually a counterweight at the crane base.

This type of crane is typically used for small to medium-sized building construction. This is because they are self-contained and need no assistance from any other crane during erection. However, unlike most tower cranes, self-erecting ones do not need to be fixed to a permanent crane base. They are typically remote-controlled cranes and do not have a cabin.

It is important that you know basic information about the equipment being used if you’re a project manager or involved in building construction as an engineer or some other role. The same goes if you are the building owner. Even if you already have a contractor, knowing what’s going on with your construction project will be a plus so you can also keep tabs on the building progress.

There are already crane companies which provide site planning, crane erecting, and disassembly services. At the same time, these crane companies can also take care of inspection and maintenance as well as the training and induction of crane operators. However, it always pays to be informed.

Here is a simple guide to siting self-erecting tower cranes:

When siting a self-erecting tower crane, certain aspects must be considered. For instance, one should consider the working radius of the crane relative to:

  • Areas that are accessible to the public, such as footpaths, railways, and roadways.
  • Common areas that are accessible to manpower and other people in the workplace.
  • Other temporary or permanent plants or structures in the area.
  • Dangerous structures such as power lines.

Essential Considerations

When it comes to the design and size of a crane, the manufacturer’s instructions should also be kept in mind. Factors such as bearing capacity, boom length, crane lifting capacity, ground type, terrain type, tie spacing, and tower height must also be considered.

Additionally, it is best to prepare a documented procedure to address the following:

  • Planning the site to reduce the need for other equipment to operate within the crane’s operating radius
  • Siting the cranes to avoid collision with other equipment, structures or people during slewing operations
  • Communication methods between the crane crew and other equipment operators
  • Efficient work schedule to lessen the time the crane and other construction equipment are required to work in the same area or height

Should there be cranes that share the same air space but are sited on adjacent workplaces, each workplace’s principal contractor must consult and cooperate with the other.

Such coordination must be done to observe the proper clearances between cranes and avoid the risk of collision. Each construction site must have a system of work and should identify people who will take on these responsibilities, such as having a clear communication system and scheduling requirements for crane operations between the workplaces.

Up and Forward

Properly planning for a construction site is a crucial step in building work, especially when using heavy equipment such as self-erecting tower cranes.

Not only will it make it safe to use the crane and other equipment, but it will also ensure overall workplace safety and increase the productivity of the whole construction crew.

When the crane site is selected based on the aforementioned guidelines, it would be easier to commence work with confidence.

AUTHOR BIO :- Hermann Buchberger is the Founder and CEO of Active Crane Hire (ACH). He’s taken the company from start-up to Industry Leader offering the largest fleet of construction cranes in Australia. ACH launched a new type of crane previously unheard of in the Australian market: electric tower cranes. The company’s infrastructure and associated services now comprise a fleet of trucks and trailers, a crane-rigging team, mobile crane technicians, a fleet of service vehicles, and an extensive range of crane spare parts.