Tower cranes - how do they work and what are they used for?

The construction industry has developed significantly in recent years. This progress contributes to the emergence of newer and better machines that speed up, facilitate work or minimize its costs. One such device is the tower crane, which helps to achieve the above-mentioned effects. It is said about these machines that they are already part of the panorama of large cities and blend in with them.

A tower crane (often simply referred to as a crane) consists of a vertical mast mounted on a mobile or stationary chassis and a horizontal or inclined boom. Otherwise it is called a construction crane and its task is to lift loads on a hook that is lowered on a rope from the jib. It is most often used in construction works, because they reduce the working time and optimize costs, e.g. for employees (the crane is operated by only one person). It is also recognized as the largest working machine. Working on it is based primarily on the movement of loads / goods of very high weight during their transport, assembly, loading or unloading. All these devices require technical supervision, a crane operator's course and UDT qualifications.

Advantages of tower cranes:

  • Precision,
  • Ability to work in difficult geological and atmospheric conditions,
  • Simplicity of use,
  • Possibility of lifting to great heights,
  • They have large boom ranges, which gives greater maneuverability,
  • Work on heavy loads,
  • Facilitating communication at the construction site,
  • Your work efficiency is increased because you can interrupt your activities,
  • Cost reduction (e.g. only one operator needed).

Different cranes differ in some parameters, for example in terms of lifting capacity (in tonnes), type, boom reach (in meters), lifting height (in meters), and the method of assembly or construction of the entire device. Basically, the primary element that distinguishes these types is the boom type.

The outreach is the maximum distance between the crane's axis of rotation and the hook in the boom configuration optimal for this parameter, measured horizontally.

Types of cranes:

  • Due to the type of boom:
  • Wodzakowy - used for large-size structures and heavy loads:
  • Extraction,
  • Dust-free,
  • Tilting - the tilting tractor is installed at the end of the boom,
  • Due to the place of rotation:
  • Top-turning - (boom only rotation) used in medium and large long-term investments,
  • Bottom-turning - (rotation of the tower with the boom),
  • Due to the way of moving:
  • Stationary - anchored to the foundations:
  • On the chassis,
  • Into the high-speed elevators
  • On the lost anchor,
  • Mobile - mobile:
  • Circular,
  • Rail,
  • Crawler,
  • Due to the method of assembly:
  • Quick assembly,
  • Mounted with an auxiliary crane.

Tower crane

The above-mentioned, modern, mobile tower cranes have been available in Poland for some time. They combine a construction crane and a truck crane. This makes it possible to move the machine. You can change its location even several times during one day. The operator of such a crane does not need to be in his cabin. It can control the machine remotely, from below, using a radio remote control. The time to prepare them for work is also shorter than in the case of traditional ones, which is why they are becoming more and more popular.

A classic tower crane is a machine that can only be operated by experienced specialists with appropriate qualifications and authorizations.

The crane operator must be a person who is ready to work at heights and resistant to stress. He must also be able to determine the prevailing weather conditions well. Technical and manual skills as well as knowledge of equipment and parameters are also necessary. Such an operator must also be able to cooperate, because he is forced to cooperate with the whistleblower, who provides him with information and instructions from below regarding the entire crane and the goods being moved. The crane operator must also be very concentrated on the task, be calm and not be distracted. It is important because after finishing work, the device must be properly secured and the loads must be placed in the place intended for them and an appropriate entry should be made in the log. That is why focus is so important. Interestingly, the crane operator often has to demonstrate physical fitness, because there are still cranes that do not have an elevator and you have to get to the cabin via a ladder. The ability to stay alone is also important, because the only contact with other people is the radio. When the operator receives orders and tasks to be performed.

However, the most important component of the crane operator's personality is the ability to work at height. A person who would like to obtain such qualifications must be at least 18 years old, undergo health and safety training, be familiar with the description and requirements of the position. Such a candidate is also informed about the occupational risk related to the tasks in this position. You also need a current medical certificate that excludes potential problems associated with this type of position.

  • Requirements to enroll in the course at the Operators Training Center:
  • 18 years or older,
  • Education at least elementary,
  • There are no contraindications to work in this position.

The condition that must be met in order to be allowed to operate a technical device (for full supervision) is registration and obtaining a decision authorizing its operation. It must be issued by the competent authority.

Before the decision is issued, the authority must perform the following steps:

  • Check that all documents are correctly completed and that they are complete,
  • Check the technical condition and labeling of the device,
  • Check the compliance of the submitted documents with the actual state of the device,
  • Carry out an acceptance test at the operator's premises.


Such an acceptance test includes the following steps:

  • Checking the properly carried out installation of the device in accordance with the operating instructions,
  • Performing functional tests of the equipment to verify that everything is working properly,
  • Testing the device with overload or equivalent tests.


The device that is presented for testing must meet all the requirements and be fully technically operational, assembled according to the instructions and ready for operation. The operator is responsible for providing a place and safe conditions for carrying out the tests. It is important that it also provides the necessary loads and test equipment. The presence of a maintenance technician and operator with the appropriate qualifications is also on the side of the operator.

The form of simplified supervision has been established on cranes with a lifting capacity of up to 250 kg (excluding those used to move people). This means that the devices do not need to be reported to the UDT and do not require testing. However, it is necessary to maintain and have the necessary qualifications (unless it is a crane with a manual drive).

For the described devices, it is necessary to obtain the certificate of category I Ż - tower devices (e.g. construction devices), quickly assembling mobile cranes.

Which is why KURSO Center meets these requirements. Offers crane courses at branches in Warsaw, Katowice, Kraków and Bielsko-Biała. It is also possible to organize classes throughout Poland with transport to the client. The fees depend on the number of participants. You will pay less than the competition, and in the case of groups, KURSO gives attractive discounts. Contact us on the website or via the form and book a course at KURSO.

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