World’s biggest crane ‘Big Carl’ is steel-built behemoth

World’s biggest crane ‘Big Carl’ is steel-built behemoth

The largest crane in the world, the SGC-250, uses the power of high-strength steel to deliver unprecedented lifting capacity.

20 planes, 63 trains, 126 trucks, 1,408 elephants – the world’s largest crane can lift them all. This gargantuan lifting machine has a capacity of 5,000 tonnes, thanks to a whopping maximum load moment of 250,000 tonne-meters.

A tonne-meter is a measure of how much a crane can lift in relation to how far the load is positioned from the base of the central mast. Dividing the tonne-meter rating by the distance from the centre gives the max capacity at that distance. A 250,000 tonne-meter rating means if the load is positioned 100 meters from the central mast the maximum lifting capacity is 2,500 tonnes. So even when extended out to a 100-meter radius, this crane is capable of lifting the weight of eight planes, or 563 elephants.

Designed and built by Belgium-based heavy lifting powerhouse Sarens, it is called the SGC-250 – or, to use its nickname, ‘Big Carl’. The ring-based crane, the first of Sarens’ third generation of ring cranes, is now being put to work in its first project at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in the UK.


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