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The World’s Largest Crane: Everything You Need To Know

Cranes come in all shapes and sizes, where their large frames and hydraulic lifting systems make them an essential tool for many construction projects. But some cranes are bigger than others, where the largest crane in the world can currently be found in Somerset, UK.

Read on for an in-depth look at the world’s largest crane, with an overview of where it is and what it does.

Various mobile cranes

Hinkley Point’s Tallest Asset

The world’s biggest crane can be found at Hinkley Point in Somerset, a nuclear power station currently under construction. When it is finished, it is hoped that the power station will supply energy to over six million homes.

This super-crane reaches 250 m tall, where its main boom can extend to 160 m, and its jib up to 100 m. It will eventually be tasked with lifting weights up to 1000 tonnes. For context, the average tower crane generally has a maximum weight limit of 18 tonnes. The crane began work on the site in 2019, and is expected to continue there for the next four years.

The crane has become a local landmark, earning itself the nickname of ‘Big Carl’. This is after Carl Sarens, the current director of global operations at Sarens, the crane’s Belgian manufacturing company.

Uses Of The Super-Crane

So far ‘Big Carl’ has been utilised to lift huge steel liner rings atop of the reactor buildings that are currently under construction at Hinkley Point. These essential containment rings protect the reactor from external factors such as weather, whilst also protecting nearby workers and residents from the harmful effects of radiation.

The crane is only utilised one or two times per day to lift the site’s heaviest elements. These are usually steel or concrete materials which have been pre-cast or moulded on site. It is limited by its size to a small number of lifts, as it takes around thirty minutes to make a full turn. ‘Big Carl’ can only be relocated at a slow pace compared to regular mobile cranes, where it moves steadily along six km of tracks that stretch across the site.

Comparable Cranes

Other colossal cranes are employed around the world for various construction tasks. The Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1 is the world’s longest telescopic mobile crane models, designed to manoeuvre heavy objects primarily around shipping ports. The SSCV Sleipnir is one of the world’s largest semi-submersible cranes, used in large scale maritime construction. The Taisun crane is one of the world’s strongest gantry cranes. Based in China, it is primarily used to install decks on ships and oil rigs.

Macsalvors Hydraulics: Hire A Crane Today

If you’re interested in hiring a more average-sized crane, then we have a comprehensive fleet to suit your project. We can provide spider cranes, all terrain cranes, and a wide range of other crane hire solutions. Contact us today for more information, or peruse our gallery for a visual overview of our current range.

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