Take, for example,Houston's Reliant Stadium. Its 1,000-ton roof takes several minutes to slide open and closed. Bah! With an LR13000 crawler crane on hand, that roof could pop off like a bottle cap.
A crawler crane is like any other incredibly huge land crane, except its base is a set of tracks—like you'd find on a really enormous tank. Builders of massive structures adore them because, unlike stationary cranes, crawlers can move around job sites (with or without loads) and are quick to set up. Double bonus: the treads also act as a stable lifting platform.
The LR13000 is the single most powerful crawler crane in the world. Officially, it has a maximum lifting capacity of 3,000 tons at a distance of 12 meters. Not content with official numbers, LR13000 successfully lifted 3,371 tons in November 2010. Take that, spec sheet! It's rumored to be preparing to lift 3,750 tons when construction of its new "Power Boom" is complete. Who knew competitive crane-lifting was, like, a thing?
The LR13000's hook block alone weighs 111 tons and measures 9.7 meters in length. Its main boom can be anywhere from 60 to 144 meters long (one-and-a-half football fields, with room for a concessions stand on either end). Its maximum hook height? 270m, the height of a 73-story building. What's more, the LR 13000 is the only crawler crane this size that can work without derrick ballast (a 1,500 ton stack of shipping container-sized, concrete counterweights—25 tons apiece— attached to to its ass). Powering this monster are dual Liebherr V8 diesel engines cranking out a combined 1360 horsepower. The crane's cables are equally impressive at 52 mm thick (about two inches). Each has an individual lifting capacity of 62 tons.
Primarily, the LR13000 is used in the construction of power plants. The latest generation of nuclear plants, for example, are built as pre-assembled modules that are lifted as a single, massive unit during final assembly. The LR13000 is also used when building oil refineries where 100m tall, 1,500 ton exhaust columns need to be lifted into place.
Monster Machines is all about the most exceptional machines in the world, from massive gadgets of destruction to tiny machines of precision, and everything in between.