Use of tower cranes

Tower crane (crane) is one of the largest work machines. They are used primarily in residential and industrial construction. They allow us, among other things, to transport materials and assemble steel structures. They significantly speed up the execution of work on the construction site and are able to replace several workers.

They consist of a column and a telescopic boom, on which the tractor is attached. The crane can reach a lifting height of up to 100 meters with a free-standing crane, and the one that is anchored to the building is only limited by how long the lifting rope is. The development of technology has made it possible to equip the cranes with electronic systems that facilitate their operation and allow to increase work safety.

The cranes can be divided into:

  • tower - they are used mainly at construction sites, they can be stationary or mobile on rail or tracked chassis.
  • port or shipyard - they are used in the assembly work of floating objects and during the loading and unloading of ships.
  • self-propelled - they are used for reloading and assembly works.
  • floating - they are used in work in open waters.

Technical parameters of tower cranes

  • Lifting capacity - the largest mass of the load lifted by the crane during its operation. This parameter is variable depending on the variable reach of the crane.
  • Crane outreach - the distance from the axis of rotation to the vertical axis of the load-bearing hook. It is also a variable value depending on the boom configuration
  • Effective lifting height - this is the distance measured vertically from the ground level to the horizontal axis of the hook, which is located at the highest point of a given hoist. It also has a variable value depending on the number of tower members placed
  • Working moment - the value obtained by multiplying the crane's capacity by the jib. It is a constant value.
  • Crane tipping moment - its value results from the difference of fixing and overturning moments in relation to the hypothetical tipping edge. It is calculated by taking into account the crane load.


Classification of tower cranes

Due to location of the swivel mechanism cranes stand out:

  • Overhead turntable - the rotation mechanism is mounted on the top of the tower and rotated by the boom itself, the turret does not rotate.
  • Bottom rotary - the mechanism at the bottom of the turret rotates it and the jib.

In terms of type of base we can distinguish:

  • Stationary cranes - are anchored to the foundations
  • Mobile cranes - wheeled, rail-mounted or tracked


Relative to type of assembly cranes we distinguish:

  • quick-erecting cranes - no need for an auxiliary crane
  • assembled in units - an auxiliary crane is needed

In terms of the type of boom used we can distinguish:

  • cantilevered
  • tilting

We can also distinguish cranes that are controlled from the cabin and those that are controlled by a remote control. The former require the presence of the operator in the cabin, while the latter allow work outside of it.

Tower cranes that are controlled by a remote control are becoming more and more popular due to the ability to control the machine wirelessly. This significantly affects the safety of the crane operator and the assessment of the situation on the construction site.

Tower Crane Operation:

A special operator course and obtaining the appropriate UDT qualifications are required to operate the crane. Moreover, each device of this type is subject to technical supervision. Cranes with a lifting capacity of not more than 250 kg, excluding those for the movement of people, have a simplified form of supervision. These devices do not have to be reported to the UDT and tested, but they must be properly maintained and operated by appropriately authorized persons. However, qualifications are not required in the case of operating machines with manual drive.

UDT qualifications are divided into:

  • II Ż - self-propelled, stationary and portable devices
  • I Ż - tower devices, portable and quick-assembly cranes

Who can be a crane operator and what qualifications must he have?

Any adult person can become a crane operator. It must have valid medical examinations confirming that there are no contraindications to work as a crane operator. It should also have a valid certificate authorizing the operation of tower cranes, which is issued by the Technical Inspection.

According to the currently applicable regulations, the certificate authorizing the operation of cranes is issued by the Technical Inspection. Such qualifications as UDT, WTD or TDT are valid for 5 years.

The qualification certificate allows us to operate stationary, rail and quick-assembly cranes. These certificates, also issued by the Technical Inspection, valid for an indefinite period, shall expire no later than January 1, 2024. In order to extend such rights, a special application should be submitted to the Technical Inspection Authority, which will issue us with such a qualification certificate. It is best to submit such an application approximately 3 months before January 1, 2024.

How much can a tower crane operator earn?

As a crane operator, you can earn on average PLN 4,950 gross. The best-earning machine operators should count on gross PLN 6,400, and those with the least income - PLN 4,600. Gross.

What not to do while working with a crane ?:

There are many rules when working with a crane. Here are a few that are banned.

  • Working with a crane that is out of order
  • Making repairs on your own
  • Using the crane without a positive decision of the Technical Inspection
  • Operating the machine when visibility is restricted
  • Operating the crane when the wind speed is too strong
  • Overloading the machine
  • Lifting or tearing loads that are permanently attached to the ground
  • lifting people, unless we have such permission from the Technical Inspection

There should be a duty and maintenance book for each crane. Maintenance operations must be performed by persons with appropriate qualifications granted by the Technical Inspection.

Protection of tower cranes in the event of extremely strong winds:

Over the past dozen or so years, it has been noticed that hurricanes that occur more frequently in Europe are a huge challenge for many tower cranes, especially the older ones.

It is difficult to accurately predict the acceleration of wind speed that may occur as a result of not only the topography or building conditions in the presence of extreme weather phenomena.

Winding the crane boom, if provided for in the building conditions, is not only the operator's responsibility, but can also prevent a construction disaster. To set the boom with its back to the wind, regardless of its direction, release the swing brake. Leaving it braked and simply turning the crane backwards to the wind may not be enough. The wind can change its direction at any moment.

What is the cost of a tower crane?

 The new tower crane will cost around 3,000,000. zloty. in the case of the quick-fit ones that allow them to be transported on the hook behind the car. We have to pay a minimum of PLN 600,000 for stationary cranes. zloty. The technical parameters are the most influencing factor in the crane's price. These are, among others: lifting capacity, boom length and lifting height.

A better and undoubtedly cheaper option is to rent a crane. Then the tenant is responsible for the assembly, disassembly and removal of any failures as well as conservation care. Renting one quick-assembly crane for a month is an expense of 2-3 thousand. zloty. For long-term rental in the case of stationary cranes, we have to pay a little more, about 5-6 thousand. PLN for a month of use.


We invite you to familiarize yourself with the SPA offer:

Operator Training Center is the best choice. You will take place with us courses for mobile platforms, overhead cranes, forklift operator, HDS courses and aviation courses. Our branches are located in Warsaw, Kraków, Katowice and Bielsko-Biała. It is also possible to organize classes with transport to the client throughout Poland. Both individual and group classes are available. The fees depend on the number of course participants.