The “hammerhead”, or giant cantilever, crane is a fixed-jib crane consisting of a steel-braced tower on which revolves a large, horizontal, double cantilever; the forward part of this cantilever or jib carries the lifting trolley, the jib is extended backwards in order to form a support for the machinery and counter-balancing weight. In addition to the motions of lifting and revolving, there is provided a so-called “racking” motion, by which the lifting trolley, with the load suspended, can be moved in and out along the jib without altering the level of the load. Such horizontal movement of the load is a marked feature of later crane design. These cranes are generally constructed in large sizes, up to 350 tons.
A hammerhead crane is the configuration most often associated with a tower crane. A long horizontal jib is attached to a vertical tower. One end of the jib extends horizontally over the worksite, while the other end has a counterweight. A trolley, which holds the lifting cable, travels along the length of the jib, and a tower crane can operate anywhere within the jib’s radius. The operator rides in a cab at the intersection of the jib and tower. Hammerhead cranes typically require a second crane to assemble and disassemble them at the worksite. Self-lifting Hammerhead cranes can insert and remove sections to their tower and change their height.
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