Wherever you are in the world, look out your window. Cranes are a common site across our cityscapes, especially in Texas where construction is booming. 

Cranes are a wonder of engineering, and every part of one is essential. They’re used in every sector of industry, from construction to mining to shipbuilding and material loading. 

Let’s discuss the different parts of a crane and what they do. 

The Hook

This is one of the most recognizable and unique parts of a crane. The hook is what connects the crane to its cargo, and it is entrusted to hold large and heavy payloads. A safety latch prevents the payload from slipping from the hook while the cargo is moving. 

The hook is made from iron or steel, and heavy-duty hooks are put through a forge in order to produce the strongest possible hook. The forging process changes the internal grain texture of the metal by use of compressive forces and eliminates any porosity. 

Now the super-strong hook just needs something to attach itself to… 

The Boom

The boom is the part of a crane that resembles an arm. Its primary purpose is to lift, move, and position cargo that is attached to the hook. They bear the majority of the load and are responsible for determining the reach of the crane. It’s very recognizable — you can usually see it from a distance. 

It’s also one of the largest parts of a crane, and comes in two forms: 

  • Lattice Boom
  • Hydraulic Boom

The Jib

This is the horizontal piece that extends beyond the boom and gives the crane additional reach.

The Hoist

The hoist, AKA, the hoist drum, is the part of a crane that raises cargo from its original position and lowers it to its destination. The hoist consists of a cranking mechanism, or winding drum, and a wire that raises and lowers the hook. Without the hoist, the payload wouldn’t get off the ground.

parts of a crane

Wheels and Tracks

Wheels and tracks are what make cranes mobile. Depending on the terrain the crane is operating in will depend on whether it has wheels or caterpillar tracks. 

Crane wheels offer a level of mobility that range from maneuvering around a job site to driving down the highway at high speeds. Machines like All-Terrain Cranes are the best option for uneven, bumpy ground. 

On the other hand, tracks are a great option if the job site is muddy. Soft ground presents an issue for heavy construction vehicles, and the tracks on Crawler Cranes are long and wide. 

Wire Rope and Sheaves

Cranes use heavy-duty wire ropes to lift extremely heavy loads. These ropes are cables that are braided into the shape of a helix. Next, helixes are twisted together to create an even stronger rope. These wire ropes give the crane its strength to lift objects with the hook. 

A sheave is a pulley system that holds wire ropes. The more wire ropes, the more weight is distributed and the more weight the hook can lift. 


Counterweights are placed on the back of the crane. They prevent the crane from tipping over in the direction of the load.


The outriggers are the pieces that extend out from the base of the crane. They provide stability and help to prevent the boom from tipping over.

Gain Tips, Insight, and Industry Expertise From BOSS Cranes

BOSS Crane is passionate about cranes, and we are happy to be serving Texas and providing industry expertise wherever it is needed. One of the reasons we’ve been operating for over 80 years is our dedication to customer satisfaction. Give us a call, and let’s chat cranes! 

You can also read more of what we have to say on our previous blog: How To Decide Which Type Of Crane Is Right For Your Job?