The crawler crane is a specific kind of mobile crane that is offered with either a telescopic boom or a lattice boom that moves upon crawler tracks. Since this model is a self-propelled crane, it could move around a jobsite and completing tasks without a lot of set-up. Due to their enormous weight and size, crawler cranes are fairly pricey and even hard to transport from one location to another. The crawler's tracks offer stability to the machine and allow the crane to function without utilizing outriggers, although, there are several units which do utilize outriggers. Furthermore, the tracks provide the movement of the equipment.
Early Mobile Cranes
Originally, the very first mobile cranes were mounted to train cars and move along specially made short rail lines. When the 20th century arrived, the crawler tractor changed and this brought the introduction of crawler tracks to the construction business and the agricultural industry. Not long after, the crawler tracks were adopted by excavators and this further featured the versatility of the machine. It was not long after when manufacturers of cranes decided that the crawler track market was a safe bet.
The Very First Crawler Crane
Northwest Engineering, a crane company within the United States, was the first to mount its crane on crawler tracks during the 1920s. It described the new equipment as a "locomotive crane, independent of tracks and moveable under its own power." By the middle part of the 1920s, crawler tracks had become the chosen means of traction for heavy crane uses.
Developed by Ray and Charles Moore of Chicago, Illinois; the Moore Speedcrane was amongst the first to attempt to copy rail lines for cranes. Made within Fort Wayne, Indiana, the Speedcrane was a wheel-mounted, steam-powered, 15 ton crane. In the year 1925, a company referred to as Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co, from Manitowoc, Wisconsin recognized the marketability and the potential of the tracked crane. They decided to team up with the Moore brothers in order to manufacture it and go into business.