Tower Cranes Grow to New Heights
In the tower crane business, the 1950s showcased many significant milestones in tower crane development and design. There were a variety of manufacturers were beginning to make more bottom slewing cranes which had telescoping mast. These types of machines dominated the construction industry for both office and apartment block construction. Many of the leading tower crane manufacturers abandoned the use of cantilever jib designs. Instead, they made the switch to luffing jibs and in time, the use of luffing jibs became the regular practice.
Manufacturers based in Europe were also heavily influential in the development and design of tower cranes. Construction sites on the continent were usually tight areas. Depending upon rail systems to move a large number of tower cranes, became too difficult and costly. Some manufacturers were providing saddle jib cranes which had hook heights of 80 meters or 262 feet. These types of cranes were outfitted with self-climbing mechanisms that enabled sections of mast to be inserted into the crane so that it can grow along with the structures it was building upwards.
The long jibs on these particular cranes also covered a larger work area. All of these developments resulted in the practice of building and anchoring cranes in a building's lift shaft. After that, this is the method that became the industry standard.
From the 1960s, the main focus on tower crane design and development started to cover a higher load moment, covering a bigger job radius, climbing mechanisms and technology, faster erection strategies, and new control systems. In addition, focus was spent on faster erection strategies with the most significant developments being made in the drive technology department, amongst other things.