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Tower cranes in Dresden


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Jannik Schneider
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Self-erecting cranes for rent - masters of efficiency

Self-erecting cranes are specialised lifting machines for moving goods vertically and horizontally. They are often considered a type of rotating tower crane. Like top-slewing cranes, self-erecting cranes are able to reach any point within the range of the jib. The main difference is that on self-erecting cranes, the slewing ring is found at the base of the mast and not at the top near the boom. When the crane rotates, the mast revolves with it. Self-erecting cranes can be collapsed as well as disassembled. The hire and erection of the crane is comparatively hassle-free. At klarx, we offer self-erecting cranes in all sizes.

Advantages of self-erecting cranes

-       As the name suggests, self-erecting cranes require less time and equipment to set up on-site. The only equipment required for assembly is a lorry with a loading crane to deliver the counterweights. This massively reduces the cost of assembly compared to a top-slewing tower crane. Self-erecting cranes can be extended with added tower segments relatively easily, whereas for top-slewing cranes, the same change requires a near-complete disassembly of the crane. Many self-erecting cranes can be operated in raised jib position, combining the advantages of cranes with trolley jibs as well as luffing jibs. All the engineering parts and electronics are found near the ground, greatly simplifying any ongoing upkeep, servicing, and maintenance onsite.

-       Compared to mobile cranes for hire, self-erecting cranes have much lower variable cost per hour of rental, and the footprint on the ground can be considerably smaller. Self-erecting cranes are also superior at lifting loads over obstacles and hindering edges – which makes the ideal permanent crane for many sites, especially the construction of single-family homes. Renting a self-erecting crane tends to become cost-efficient from a hire duration of about one week.

-       Compared to mobile cranes, which are similar and often considered a sub-type of self-erecting cranes, non-mobile self-erecting cranes require significantly smaller space and – importantly – have much lower costs. In this comparison as well, hiring a self-erecting cranes tends to be cost-efficient from about one week of use.

-       In terms of load capacity, lifting height and range, self-erecting trains tend to beat mobile cranes on excavator chassis, trailer cranes, bridge cranes, pick-and-carry cranes, and spider crane rentals. Powered by electricity, they boast low costs and zero emissions, unlike the combustion engines powering some other types of cranes.

The components of a self-erecting crane

Self-erecting cranes consist of several parts, which are assembled on-site, at which point the crane is ready for action.

The Chassis

The base of a self-erecting crane is referred to as the chassis. It consists in a solid steel cross, which sits atop the slewing ring. It is usually collapsible, and can be fitted with a high-speed axle for transport. To a limited extent, the individual ground contacts of the steel cross can compensate for uneven surfaces and slopes underneath. However, it is still indispensable that the soil is compacted and the crane is supported by a solid foundation (e.g. timber).

The Mast

The mast of a self-erecting crane is often a steel lattice construction. It is collapsible and can be extended with individual tower segments, which are easily added from below. An increasingly popular alternative to this system are telescopic masts. These consists of segments which slide in and out of one another hydraulically, making it possible to vary the lifting eight directly. The mast contains the crane’s wiring system and in some cases a ladder for the operator. For most self-erecting cranes, these parts are not needed, as the crane is controlled remotely and does not feature an operator’s cab.

The Jib

The main jib serves to move loads horizontally. On self-erecting cranes, this is fixed to the top of the mast and, like the mast, is either collapsible or telescopic. The load capacity of the jib depends on the construction and the material thickness. The capacity is highest near the mast and is continually reduced the further from the mast the load is lifted or carried. The maximum load capacity should be one of the main criteria when choosing a suitable rental crane for the job at hand. Self-erecting cranes have trolley jibs, along which a so-called trolley with a deflection roller moves along the jib, moving the load horizontally. On some self-erecting cranes, the jib can be adjusted to a 35-degree angle, enabling applications similar to those for which a top-slewing crane with a fly jib, or luffing jib, would be used. However, in contrast to these luffing jibs, the trolley can still be moved along the steep jib of a self-erecting crane. It should be noted that this increases the strain put on various parts, and is therefore associated with greater wear and tear, as well as a lower load capacity. The advantage of this method lies in the fact that crane no longer needs a full cylinder-shaped free space, and requires less space to rotate past tall obstacles like church towers or chimneys by raising their jib. The raised jib also extends the maximum lifting height upwards.

The Counterweights

The Counterweights of self-erecting cranes are found at the base, near the slewing ring. The weight is divided into many relatively small plates, so that they can be added using the loading crane of a truck.

The Slewing Ring

An indispensable part of any rotating crane is the slewing ring. It enables the crane to rotate 360 degrees and lets the hook reach any point within the range of the jib. Upon request, cranes can be rented with a turning circle limiter. This makes it possible to block angular segments of a full rotation, in order to avoid hitting specific obstacles like a tall building or the mast of another crane. Please note that this necessitates especially careful planning, as a turning circle increases the forces experienced by a self-erecting crane when exposed to strong winds.

The operator’s cab / remote control

Self-erecting cranes are almost always remotely controlled. For this purpose, the crane comes with a radio remote control. Older types which have a small operator’s cab inside the tower are also still available for hire. Unusually large self-erecting cranes sometimes feature an additional cab attached to the side of the crane, to give the operator a better overview of the operating radius. This kind of bird’s-eye view becomes especially important in cases where several cranes have to work in concert, with their turning circles overlapping.

Warning Lights

The use of a crane in the approach path of an airport or a helipad may require not only a special legal permit, but also specialised hazard lights to alert air traffic. Adding these is an available option on almost all cranes, including the rentals offered at klarx.

The set-up of a self-erecting crane

Again, as the name suggests, self-erecting crane are known for their ease of set-up. They do not require a long and complex assembly process, which for top-slewing tower cranes can often take several days. This is why they are also known as fast-erecting cranes. Self-erecting cranes can be equipped with a high-speed axle and attached directly to an articulated lorry. In cases where an additional axle is needed – e.g. when using a bogie – a lorry with a loading crane can be used as the tractor unit, which makes the entire set-up possible using just a single lorry. Then comes the self-erecting crane’s moment to shine, as it unfolds itself out of its own power, without the need for assistance from a mobile crane. However, the ease of the set-up itself does not imply that there is no need for careful planning and preparation. The area intended for the crane has to be compacted beforehand. The forces exerted by the chassis while the crane is in use have to be matched by the static load bearing capacity of the ground underneath. If in any doubt about the ability of the ground to carry the load, concrete blocks must be used to distribute the load across a larger area. At the end of the use period, the crane can be disassembled and removed within a few hours.

Brands of self-erecting cranes available to rent at klarx

At klarx, you can find self-erecting cranes for hire from the following manufacturers:

Liebherr, Potain, Manitowoc

Sample technical specifications

One widely popular self-erecting crane which is available to rent at klarx is Liebherr 65K 1. The specifications of this crane are as follows:

-       Norm EN 14439

-       Max hook height 34.60 m

-       Max load 4,500 kg

-       Max jib working radius 43.00 m

-       Max load when used at max jib working radius 1,350 kg

Renting self-erecting cranes at klarx

At klarx, you can conveniently rent self-erecting cranes of all sizes. Our specialised advisers will help you with all steps from choosing the right spot to the assembly of the crane. With a few clicks, you can make the first step on our website and start the rental inquiry process. As our client, you will be able to monitor all your projects on the klarx dashboard, and use the dashboard to manage your entire fleet of rented equipment on-site. We believe that our commitment to complete transparency about costs, our fair rental terms, and a swift, fully digital process make klarx a reliable, competent partner in the tower cranes rentals, as well as supporting you in planning your construction site. Why wait, if you can make your rental inquiry with klarx today!