Monday, August 5, 2013

Knuckle Boom Cranes - Pick Up Truck Cranes Might Be a Viable Option

Knuckle Boom Cranes are good for for a variety of jobs, not just those that typically come to mind, such as large-scale construction. The smaller scale truck mounted cranes can be great for personal work like landscaping around the home. While they definitely aren't as strong as knuckle boom cranes, they are perfect for the lighter duties that you might require around the home.

Many of these smaller scale pick-up truck cranes are manually operated by turning a hand crank, and they aren't very expensive, either. A large variety of these cranes lift only about a thousand pounds, and they typically retail for around a hundred bucks. For such a small investment, this is a tool that can really help out around the house or your business for a little initial investment.

These cranes can be the perfect option for those that need a light duty lifting tool and not a full on industrial knuckle boom crane.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New Certification Program for Service Truck Crane Operators

The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators has recently launched a new certification program for Service Truck Crane Operators. The NCCCO created this new program at the behest of many throughout the service truck crane industry because they needed a program that is tailored specifically to their needs. It took members of the NCCCO's practical exam and written exam management committee's a total of nine month's to devise the new course, which covers much of what a service truck crane operator can expect to be doing in their daily duties on the job site.

In order to find out exactly what needed to be covered under this new certification, a Service Truck Crane work group was formed, consisting of 17 various members who represented different manufacturers of service truck cranes and subject matter experts from the user community. The NCCCO also assisted this group by conducting a professional job task analysis to find out what the certification should cover and what it should omit.

Tim Worman, product manager for commercial vehicles at Iowa Mold Tooling Co. Inc., who was one of the 17 members of the work group, had this to say about the new program: "I am very pleased with the finished product. The written and practical exams are challenging but appropriate for the level of knowledge and skill operators need to safely do their work. Our industry will be better off with this new tool for assessing operators’ abilities." And indeed, many others throughout the industry are also happy to have this new certification program in place. It is basically a more restricted version of the CCO-Mobile Crane Operator Telescopic Boom-Fixed Cab Certification, also known as the CCO-TSS Certification.

The new certification, with the designation of TSS-STC, requires applicants to pass a single written exam, and then a practical exam. The practical exam is quite similar to the regular TSS exam, but is modified to account for the smaller size associated with service truck cranes, and it also encompasses the proper operation of these cranes via a wireless or pendant remote. Operators who already have their CCO-TSS certifications won't need re-certification to operate a service truck crane, but those holding the new TSS-STC certification will only be able to operate Service Truck Cranes.

More complete information regarding the new TSS-STC Certification such as exam applications, handbooks, and references can be found at the NCCCO's website here:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Safe Crane Operation

Operating heavy machinery safely on the job site is vital to reducing injury. Always remember to use great care, stay alert, concentrate on the job at hand, use good judgment and do not make hasty decisions that could result in damage to equip or personnel.

It is a privilege and a responsibility to operate a crane so not just anyone can jump into the crane operator’s seat. Anyone who cannot understand the printed instructions or the load chart, who is not of legal age to operate heavy equipment, who is hearing or seeing impaired, who suffers from medical conditions that could possibly compromise the safe performance of the crane, and who has not been properly instructed, trained, and received their certification, should not be permitted to use such equipment.

If all of these qualifications are met, read the operation manual for the particular crane in use. Test all of the switches and buttons of the devices, while all the power is shut off, to check for anything possibly sticking or not moving freely. Once this is completed, make sure no one or anything is near the crane, and turn the crane on. Lift the boom and become comfortable with the motion, being watchful for any malfunctions that may arise, and addressing them before beginning work for the day.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Just How Big Is A Knuckle Boom Crane, Anyway?

Of all the crane types, the knuckle boom is unique and prepared for anything to come its way. They are known for their usefulness and adaptability in and under certain situations, but it sure helps that they come in all different variations and sizes. Smaller knuckle-booms can be mounted just behind the cab of a single-axle truck, while larger knuckle-booms need their own truck to carry them! With that being said, you may begin to understand the complexity of a knuckle-boom.

The largest example is the Effer DSB 3000 that sits on 4-axles of its own, while being pulled by an 8x4 tractor. The crane with the trailer weight summed in weighs in at approximately seventy tons providing it with adequate stability. The lifting chart for this crane is as follows: 55 tons at 3.2 meters (which is completely vertical), 43.9 tons at 5.7 meters, 34.2 tons at 7.45 meters, 32 tons at 8 meters, 27.5 tons at 9.35 meters, 22.75 tons at 11.4 meters, and
 19.3 tons at 13.6 meters. This beast has a lifting capacity of 288 tons per meter!

The smallest knuckle-boom crane on the market may have as little a lifting capacity as one ton…

Thursday, February 28, 2013

What Jobs Are Ideal for Knuckle Boom Cranes?

Crane operators rarely do the same job twice. The flexibility of knuckle-boom cranes set them apart, which in turn will let them undertake jobs that other cranes would not be able to handle. This may sound more grandiose than it really is seeing how a crane operator picks up and then sets down cargo all day, but the difficulties and troubleshooting that come into play can make for an exciting change in events.

The factors working against a crane operator are widespread. In a construction zone or shipping port, there is nonstop traffic going this way and that, while wind, rain, snow, ice, and other environmental hazards are seeking to compromise the efficiency of the knuckle-boom crane operator. They must be diligent and 100% percent on task when lifting thousands of pounds off the ground, which could come crashing down at any moment. This does not happen often, but the possibility of error is endless.

Jobs where knuckle-boom cranes are ideal, include but are not limited to shipyard crane operators, logging sites where cranes traverse treacherous landscapes, mining operations where heavy material is dug out of ground, construction sites where space is limited, and a hundreds of other operations in all different parts of the country and world.

Friday, February 15, 2013

When Were Knuckle Boom Cranes First Manufactured?

Cranes have been implemented throughout history to raise heavy materials that a person could not dream of lifting without the help of a simple machine. The Egyptians and Assyrians utilized ramps to build massive structures, but the Greeks understood crane technology, thus using it in the erection of monuments like the Parthenon. In ancient Rome, enormous structures like the Coliseum were built with the help of cranes, and then they were used throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance for the construction of castles, cathedrals, and other buildings. Now, in modern times, cranes serve us in ways that the ancients could never have imagined.

As with many large innovations, knuckle-boom cranes hit the mainstream in various forms right at the end of World War II. Around 1947 in America, versions of the stiff-boom cranes began manufacture within various companies. Following the post-War era into the Cold War era, technology boomed at an ever-increasing rate, and the 1970s through the 1980s saw innovations we had never thought possible. Crane technology exponentially rose with the technological curve and the emergence of hydraulic, telescopic, knuckle-boom, and articulated cranes were welcomed. Modern assembly lines put knuckle-boom cranes into production, and they have been a valuable asset ever since.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How Much Can A Knuckle-boom Lift?

Knuckle-boom cranes function much like your fingers do—thus the name—with a bending mechanism right in the center of the boom. They fold down easily and compactly leaving more space for greater payloads and cargo. In addition, they can be used during the job as well as after the job for cleanup.

Knuckle-booms vary in the weights they are able to lift, but luckily, each crane is equipped with a load chart explaining the maximum weight capacity of the crane depending on the boom angle and the boom length. For example, a knuckle-boom crane with 250,000-foot-pounds lifting capacity can lift about 12,500 pounds at twenty feet. In comparison a telescopic crane of this size would be rated at 25 tons lifting capacity, which tells you it can lift 50,000 pounds at about 5 feet. Knuckle-boom cranes really can do it all.

They are multi-talented in a vast array of environments and need less room to maneuver than straight-booms, which typically need more height and more distance to do the same exact job. Knuckle-booms give an operator more options in the actually size of the crane coming in small, medium, and larger sizes making them ideal in all sorts of construction frameworks.