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What is a crane truck?

A crane truck, also called a boom truck, is a transport vehicle that has a crane built into its structure that helps load and unload large goods. This means no complementary machinery is needed to fulfill these functions. 

This type of vehicle not only transports items; it can also lift them to significant heights. Thanks to this potential and its solid support, a crane truck is capable of lifting heavy steel or concrete structures without the risk of collapse.

What are the main characteristics of a crane truck?

While there are different types of crane trucks, they all have a number of characteristics in common, such as:

  • They have two or four-wheel drive, either on tires or tracks.
  • They have over 350 horsepower in lifting capacities, and a second engine is usually required to put the crane into operation.
  • The crane arm can reach up to 25 meters in height.
  • The crane is installed in the rear of the truck chassis; however, some models have it installed in the same cab.
  • It is most commonly used in the sectors of construction and logistics, especially for transporting and lifting large containers.
  • To operate a crane truck, a set of safety protocols must be completed to ensure the physical integrity of the operators.

What are the parts of a crane truck?

In general, every crane truck has:

  1. A basic structure: the most important part of the vehicle, also called the shell, where the anchors and bearing systems for turning the column are located.
  2. Column: the main support for the hydraulic boom system.
  3. Arm system: whether the main one or extendable ones, these are the structural parts of the loader boom truck system.
  4. Stabilizers: these add solidity to the load-bearing structure anchored to the vehicle. They can have a seat fixed to the crane column or a platform located at its base.
  5. Carrier vehicle: the truck with the built-in crane.
  6. Hydraulic crane system: a pressurized pumping mechanism with lubricating oil that uses cuffs to conduct the liquid to the cylinders, which contain pistons to activate the boom’s movement.
  7. Hydraulic jacks: these can level the machine so that the crane operates properly on the truck, allowing it to extend. This way, the stabilizers – not on the tires – bear the weight since they have a greater carrying capacity.
  8. Support plates: these are responsible for reducing the pressure exerted by the machine on the ground where it’s operated to reduce the risk of the truck overturning.

What types of crane trucks are there?

The classification of crane trucks depends on the characteristics of the vehicles and the functions they fulfill. The most common types are:

  • Hydrocrane: a truck with an articulated hydraulic crane designed to transport, support, lift, and deposit loads.
  • Sidelifter crane truck, also known as a sideload truck: it has an attached lifting spreader that hooks, raises, and lowers containers to the truck.
  • Telescopic crane truck: a mobile kind that’s useful for work involving lifting, turning, or extending to different radii; it is precise and fast in its movement.
  • Articulated crane truck: this kind has a rotating column, and the crane is usually installed on commercial vehicles with high strength and load capacities.

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