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7 Common Types of Cranes for Construction

What are the common types of cranes for construction?

  1. Tower crane
  2. Hammerhead crane
  3. Level-luffing crane
  4. Crawler crane
  5. Truck crane
  6. Telescopic crane
  7. E-crane

Cranes are useful for lifting and moving heavy loads, materials, and even machines, so they’re used in various industries. But because of this capability, they are beneficial for construction. For instance, they’re necessary to build skyscrapers, which are often seen in cities today. 

As an integral part of construction projects, different types of cranes have been developed to fit different needs. In this article, you will learn about the common types of cranes for construction. 

There are two types of cranes — mobile and fixed. Mobile cranes offer great mobility because they’re often mounted on crawlers or tires. Because of this, they’re useful for a variety of projects. 

On the other hand, fixed cranes are often situated only in one spot, and typically need to be assembled at the site. Their advantage is their ability to lift heavier loads and reach greater heights. 

Keep on reading to learn about cranes used for construction!

Tower Crane

The most common, and widely recognized cranes are tower cranes. They’re hard to miss because they stand tall in the middle of a construction site. Most tower cranes are made up of two parts — the tower, and the jib, or the arm that extends out and can move a full 360 degrees around the tower. There is also a trolley that can run up and down the jib, so the block hook can be lowered. 

The main feature of a tower crane is its height and weight-lifting capabilities, that’s why it’s perfect for building tall buildings.

Hammerhead Crane

A type of tower crane, hammerhead cranes feature a horizontal swiveling lever on a fixed tower. They resemble upside-down L. The jib rests at a set level and can rotate, but cannot be raised or lowered. The trolley is placed in the forward part of the arm, and can move back and forth — which is referred to as racking. This allows for precise horizontal movement of the load. 

Level-Luffing Crane

Level-luffing cranes have a vertical mast that is attached to a rotating latticed jib. The jib can move inward and outward from the base, which makes this type of crane unique. This mechanism can help keep the hook leveled, while also allowing for the jib to move up and down. For this reason, level-luffing cranes are used for lifting loads near ground level. 

Level-luffing cranes are often used for shipbuilding. They’re useful for loading and unloading freight. 

Crawler Crane

A type of mobile crane, crawler cranes are mounted on large vehicles with tank-like treads, which allow mobility over soft, rough, and marshy terrain. For this reason, crawler cranes are often seen in the beginning of construction projects. They’re perfect for construction projects that involve soft or uneven terrain.

Crawler cranes are considered the largest of the mobile cranes. These can lift extremely heavy loads. Some cranes will have a lattice boom or telescopic boom. 

Truck Crane

Truck Crane

Truck cranes are also often used in the construction industry, since they are able to travel easily on the road. This type of mobile crane is made up of a carrier, which is the truck, and a boom, which is the arm. They’re also assembled with counterweights for stabilization, so it’s possible to move while carrying heavier loads. 

Truck cranes are often used for inspecting, maintaining, and building bridges. 

Telescopic Crane

Found in fixed and mobile mechanisms, a telescopic crane’s main feature is the boom that uses a hydraulic cylinder allowing it to change length — just like a typical telescope. Because it is able to do this, telescopic cranes are useful for various jobs, whether it’s construction projects or rescue operations. Telescopic cranes are fixed, but there are variants that can be mounted to a truck for transportation to worksites. 



An e-crane is often seen in various industries due to its capability to facilitate large-scale material handling. E-cranes are specialized equipment often included in personalized solutions depending on the client’s needs. 

One of the applications of an e-crane is for floating solutions. Its design can help maximize stability, minimize barge size requirements, and reduce the number of overturning moments. Compared to other barge cranes, it requires lower operating costs. E-cranes can be used for precise grab placement above or below the waterline, which is why they’re used for marine construction. 

Key Takeaway

There are many common types of cranes for construction, and choosing the right one is important because all construction projects will require the moving of heavy materials. 

Whether you choose a mobile or fixed crane, you need to consider the terrain you’re working with, the weight of the materials, the size of the project, and more. The good news is, that there are plenty to choose from because different types of cranes are made to fit different requirements. For more information on this type of heavy-duty equipment, contact Multico today.

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