A crane is all about balance, and balance means counterweighting. The crane body itself is a hefty counterweight; without the boom, the 11200 weighs 108 tons (that doubles when the boom is in place). But the crane also holds up to 445,000 pounds of counterweights—giant, 5- to 20-ton steel plates filled with scrap metal and concrete that are stacked on the truck’s back.
These support the boom and direct the force down to the counterweights on the truck body.
This short, stiff extension contains a pulley that changes the direction of the rope. The jib is set at a slight angle. This gives the operator more maneuverability while keeping heavy loads (like a windmill generator) close to the boom’s tip, sending the weight down the boom and into the truck body, counterweights and outriggers.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.