Look, it’s a Bird! No, it’s a Crane!

Cranes – The Mechanical Kind

I was very surprised and delighted the other day to see this very cool and visually interesting video on Allan’s blog post: The Crane because I’d been planning this post for a few days.

About once a month or so, I must run an errand to an office in one of our financial districts. It’s quite a nice area with lots of restaurants, nice office buildings and fancy shops. There is a new building going up and for months I’ve been passing by looking at the crane. As I am fascinated with many things mechanical, I knew I had to get some pictures and, finally, one day remembered to bring my camera.


The photo below I did not take but found on the net and is a huge floating crane that lifts submarines out of the water and puts bridges into place. It is Japans biggest floating crane and the lifting capacity is 3700 tons! "Boom length: 132m., built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Division."

On looking up information about cranes I found out that if an operator cannot answer these questions, it’s best he not operate the crane:

How big is the primary danger zone?
What does one cubic foot of steel weigh and how can one determine the correct loading for an overhead crane?
What is the defined purpose of the hoist hook safety latch?
What is the accepted grade of a sling chain?
What is the minimum safe sling leg angle to use as a standard practice?
How does the angle affect the capacity of a sling?
What is resultant sling angle? And why is it a killer?
How does an operator gain control of a swinging load?
What is the difference between a cable and a wire rope?
Are home made lifting devices legal? And what information is required on all below-the-hook devices?
What factor is used to de-rate the capacity of an eyebolt, when the eyebolt is being used horizontally?
What OHSA required safety precautions must be taken before working on a crane?

I also found out what the median expected salary for a typical Crane/Tower Operator in the United States is: $40,900. Hmmmmm…..seems to me they should make more than this for such a specialized skill.

About pam

I am retired from real 9 to 5 jobs. I do my artwork and occasionally write poetry. In September 2010, I moved to Fargo, ND after spending 60 years in Phoenix, Arizona. Now, five years later, July 2015, I'm back in Arizona. And yes, I love the heat!
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21 Responses to Look, it’s a Bird! No, it’s a Crane!

  1. I_ArtMan says:

    i have always been fascinated by cranes. i love that last one. it must be a ship lifter or something. just a few weeks ago i spent about twenty minutes watching a crane swing bundles around from floor to floor. it must have been at least a hundred feet high.i think they should get paid more too.

  2. Dacotah says:

    Pam, great post. I agree, they should make more than that.

  3. gdare says:

    This is a photo of a crane on top of Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, in United Arab Emirates.Whatever is a salary of these people, I am sure it is not enough :faint:

  4. PainterWoman says:

    Carol: I was expecting to find almost twice that salary!Scott: Submarine lifter that last one is. Darko: That photo gave me vertigo! Seriously, they should make more money than what I learned about! A couple of years ago, when I was still going to the university, there were two areas near Tempe Town Lakes where five hi rises were going up. There were five cranes, all different sizes, for months. Always forgot my camera! After two years, the construction is probably done now.

  5. PainterWoman says:

    Carol: I think it was starting salary. It should be bumped up at least$10,000.Allan: Thanks Allan and you'welcome. What is hypnotizing is when the cranes have something heavy attached to the cable and it's turning slowly and lifting the load to the upper part of the building. A 10 or 12 story classroom building was being put up in the middle of campus one year at ASU. At one point it was all steel beams. I observed a worker straddling a beam at the very top. It looked like he was eating his lunch. :eyes: :faint:

  6. Dacotah says:

    Me too, may-be that's the starting salary.

  7. Dacotah says:

    I think it depends on where they live and what crane they use. I dunno. Just thinking.

  8. ricewood says:

    I like cranes. Can't help looking at them whenever they are operating. Nice entry – good read.I think I should be payed more, though.Thanks for the trackback.

  9. PainterWoman says:

    Taller buildings, more money it seems.Wow, I noticed on the hourly rate one where the rate dropped at 20 yrs experience! :confused: I wonder why?

  10. ellinidata says:

    ahhhhhhh the feeling f power!I always feel it when I see them :)a dangerous job that not many are able to deliver,and the ones they do are under appreciated…….

  11. Dacotah says:

    They need a good union I think.

  12. Dacotah says:

    I watched a show the other day, the crain operators on that program got paid mega bucks.

  13. PainterWoman says:

    The operator must be very disciplined, excellent in communication and in control at all times because one wrong calculation or move means danger and possibly death. I agree, under appreciated.

  14. PainterWoman says:

    Hi Jean! A good day to you too. Yes, indeed, they must have no fear of heights that is for sure.

  15. FIFINELEB says:

    Get the Myspace App!

    The workers in a crane must be very brave! Honour to them!

    Kind regards to you ,Pam.

  16. L2D2 says:

    That is a sight rarely seen in my town. We have maybe two of what could be termed high-rise buildings. Not sure how many floors, but we don't have to build UP here. Plenty of space for single-story or not-too-high multi-story structures.In a town near here, LeTourneau Industries has a steel mill and makes huge, huge earthmoving equipment. I have been there and stood against machines whose wheels are about the height of four standing men, feet to shoulders. Some I think are even taller–just the wheels. They are a fascinating sight.I am scared of heights–couldn't do that job.

  17. PainterWoman says:

    Couldn't do that job either Linda. This area is new, having all been built up in the last 25 years or so. I should go downtown and take photos of all the old office buildings, some having been built in the 1920s. They have mostly Law offices inside and the courthouse is block away. I worked as a legal secretary in my 20s in a couple of them.

  18. edwardpiercy says:

    That Mitsubishi crane looks like it could take on Godzilla.And it might very well have to. :p

  19. PainterWoman says:

    Or the Loch Ness monster!

  20. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:now i'm working in saudi arabia as a crane operator.but i'm still looking other company w/big salary.i love to operate big cranes.

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