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Tower cranes are commonly used on the construction of tall buildings. These construction cranes stand hundreds of feet tall and can deliver materials and tools hundreds of feet from its upright mast.
Tower cranes consist of a base, the tower—or mast—and a slewing unit at the top. The slewing unit holds the horizontal jib that lifts and places the crane’s load. The slewing unit rotates 360 degrees, and the jib has a trolley that moves the load horizontally. Tower cranes provide wide access to areas of the site.
The crane operator sits on top of the mast in order to have full visual access to the site as they operate the crane. They are in contact with the job site, usually via radio, and a team of workers assist the operator. These include spotters, riggers, and other specialists who ensure the loads are safely affixed and that the load is safely moved around the site. Operators access the cab by climbing up inside the tower.
The tower is affixed to a concrete pad on the ground with anchor bolts. This construction holds the tower in place, supports it as it works, and provides stability as it moves loads.
The crane arrives on site in pieces, transported by several trucks. A secondary crane assists in lifting the bottom of the tower onto the base, where it can be securely fastened. These cranes may also lift the remaining pieces of the tower crane into position.