Selecting the right Potain tower crane for the job can save huge amounts of time and money on the project, as well as ensuring reliable and accurate operation onsite. So, it’s important to get it right, through detailed planning with your local Potain dealer. Here we look at some of the basics, to get you started.
1. Which Potain model do you need?
The starting point is figuring out which Potain crane from its wide range is right for your particular jobsite. To do this, talk to the contractors to understand what the loads are: how much do they weigh; what size are they; and from where to where will they be lifted? Then check the constraints of the jobsite and look at possible options for siting the crane. Next determine how high it will be rigged and look at the best way to achieve that. At this stage, it also pays to check the crane’s mechanisms for slewing, hoisting and trolleying. These are the lifeblood of any crane, so they need to have proven reliability to meet the demands of a long-term project. At Potain, all mechanism designs undergo lifetime testing so you know you’re in good hands from the outset.
2. How many tower cranes do you need and where will they be positioned?
The cranes need to cover as much of the jobsite as possible, while avoiding existing buildings such as apartments or office blocks. This working area can be determined from the construction plans. The number of Potain cranes will also depend on the construction schedule. The more there are, the higher the productivity. However, more cranes also means more planning and anti-collision technology is vital for these jobsites. On jobsites where Potain cranes are allowed to overlap there are often local regulations governing. Potain topless cranes are designed specifically to allow greater numbers to work together and overlap inside a set space. So, these are often the best choice for busy projects.
3. How will you get the crane to the jobsite and ready to work?
Transporting and assembling tower cranes takes time and costs money. So, it makes sense to choose one that makes this as fast and efficient as possible. With Potain cranes the mast and jib components typically come in 3 m - 12 m (10 ft – 39.5 ft) sections making them easy to move by truck. Once onsite, getting the crane assembled needs the support of a Grove mobile crane (see this article). Often the choice of mobile crane is determined by the weight of the heaviest component (usually the slewing assembly). If you have to rent a bigger mobile crane, then it’s more expensive to install the tower crane, so pay particular attention here for internal-climbing tower cranes, as dismantling the crane from the roof after construction will need to be accounted for. Assembling Potain cranes is designed to be as fast and easy as possible, with built-in slinging points on the jib and pinned joints on the mast and jib for easy connection.
4. How high will the crane need to go?
To accommodate varying project needs, Potain tower cranes can be installed on a choice of mast sections depending on customer needs. For example, slimmer sections for internal climbing or stronger, wider sections for higher free-standing heights with fewer anchors. Your Potain crane will ultimately reach a height that is taller than that of the completed building. For super high-rise buildings that are over 200 m (650 ft) tall, an internal climbing tower crane is a good option. With this set-up the crane can be installed inside an elevator shaft and climbed as the building grows around it, avoiding the need for large numbers of bracings and anchors.
5. What kind of weather conditions will the crane have to withstand?
Understanding and respecting the weather is one of the most critical aspects to running successful tower crane operations on site. Wind speed should be monitored constantly and when planning the project anticipated weather should be factored into construction progress. Consider also that above certain heights, tower cranes will have to be attached to a building for stability. The biggest enemy of tower cranes is wind; so you need to have a process that understands the effect it has on the structure of the crane and on loads, as well as full awareness of the crane’s lifting limits and a highly experienced operator.
Want to know more?
Manitowoc is one of the most trusted crane manufacturers in the world and has a team dedicated to assisting customers with the positioning of Potain tower cranes on their jobsites. The company also has an in-house Lift Solutions team, that can assist with customization or unique requirements, to give customers the confidence they need to optimise crane set-up. To learn more about Potain tower cranes, please visit the Manitowoc website.