A Brief History of Cranes and Other Lifting Devices

A Brief History of Cranes and Other Lifting Devices

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If you have ever wondered how and when cranes were invented, you have come to the right place, as in this article, we will take a brief look at the history of cranes and other lifting devices that man devised to help with construction.

The Very First Cranes

Evidence strongly suggests that as early as 500BC, the Greeks used devices to lift heavy stones, which has been established due to certain holes that were found on the sides of buildings. Fabricated using timber, these cranes were powered by men or donkeys and while they were a far cry from what we use today, they did get the job done. Archaeologists have found drawings that back this up, and while their lifting devices were very crude and basic, they did understand how gearing worked and could therefore use that to their advantage.

Roman Cranes

There were an adaptation of the Greek cranes and used a long wooden bat that was cantilevered with heavy rocks at one end that helped them to lift heavy stone blocks to the required level. Multiple cranes were used to lift stones of around 100 tonnes in weight, and these cranes used a gearing system that was combined with the use of ropes and pulleys.

The Industrial Revolution

This era saw steel used in the making of cranes and with steam power, they were able to lift very heavy weights. Then came diesel engines that powered the cranes, and if you require some heavy lifting, there is affordable Perth crane hire from an established provider that has a wide range of state-of-the-art cranes, including mobile cranes that are ideal for almost any lifting environment.

World War Development

Both the first and the second World Wars saw great advances with cranes and lifting devices, as heavy weapons and artillery had to be loaded onto ships, and this also saw the emergence of mobile cranes that enabled heavy items to be lifted at any location.

Modern Cranes

The mobile crane is the main type of crane that is used today, and by attaching outriggers to the four corners of the vehicle, a solid platform can be created that allows for very heavy items to be safely lifted. The mobile crane has a telescopic boom that can be extended to provide a much further range, and when a company requires a specialist lift, they would contact a local crane hire company, who would provide the crane and the operator.

Types of Cranes

The most common forms of crane that are used today include the following:

  • Mobile Crane – With a telescopic boom, the mobile crane can be located in exactly the right place.
  • Tower Crane – Primarily used for the building of high-rise blocks, the tower crane can be raised by adding a bolt-on section, and they are often placed on the top of a working platform.
  • Overhead Crane – This is primarily used at ports, for the loading and unloading shipping containers.
  • Truck Mounted Crane – Used to load and unload heavy building materials, the crane is operated by the truck driver and with a pivoting arm, this unit can easily unload the materials at the construction site.

If you need something heavy lifted into place, an online search will help you to find a local crane hire company.

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