Tower Cranes Grow to New Heights
During the 1950s in the tower crane industry, there were numerous important developments in the design of these large cranes. Many different manufacturers were started making bottom slewing cranes with a telescoping mast. These equipments dominated the construction business for apartment block and office construction. Many of the top tower crane manufacturers didn't use cantilever jib designs. Instead, they made the switch to luffing jibs and eventually, the use of luffing jibs became the regular method.
In Europe, there were key improvements being made in the development and design of tower cranes. Often, construction sites were tight areas. Having to depend on rail systems to move a large number of tower cranes, became very inconvenient and expensive. Some manufacturers were providing saddle jib cranes which had hook heights of 80 meters or 262 feet. These types of cranes were outfitted with self-climbing mechanisms which enabled parts of mast to be inserted into the crane so that it could grow along with the structures it was building upwards.
The long jibs on these specific cranes also covered a bigger work area. All of these developments precipitated the practice of constructing and anchoring cranes in a building's lift shaft. Afterwards, this is the technique that became the industry standard.
From the 1960s, the main focus on tower crane development and design started to cover a higher load moment, covering a bigger job radius, faster erection strategies, climbing mechanisms and technology, and new control systems. Additionally, focus was spent on faster erection strategies with the most significant developments being made in the drive technology department, amongst other things.