When we think of a crane, we picture a loud, urban landscape with a lanky, yellow structure manoeuvring large objects high into the sky. For the most part, this is the environment cranes are resigned to. Yet, sometimes, these pieces of machinery disregard stereotypes to leave us picking our jaws up off the floor.
Outside of the construction sites, cranes have created some spectacular, death-defying moments from base jumping to conducting scientific research on the moon. So, besides from constructing a building, what can you do with a crane?
Hold A Protest
In total Jackass fashion, stuntman Steve-O revolutionised the traditional ‘peaceful sit-in’ by clambering up a 100ft crane in protest of SeaWorld. Recording the whole ordeal on Facebook, Steve-O and his small, inflatable Orca grabbed headlines all around the world with one of his most dangerous stunts yet. A subsequent night in jail seemed worth it for the cause, however, as the hashtag ‘#SeaWorldSucks’ trended worldwide, forcing the Orlando aquarium to halt their Orca breeding programme.
Steve-O and the Jackass crew have performed hundreds of meaningless stunts over the last 15 years, but this may just have been their most significant.
Test The Limits Of The Body
David Blaine has pushed his body right to the very edge on multiple occasions to wow his audiences, yet one of his oldest stunts is still his most famous. Back in 2003, the American magician and illusionist imprisoned himself in a plexiglass box for 44 days, with only 4.5 litres of water a day to keep him company. Suspended by a crane on the doorstep of Tower Bridge, Blaine pushed the limits of the human body right to the very edge, drawing huge crowds for each of the 44 days.
As Crane uses go, this is one of the most extraordinary.
For as long as science as a concept has existed, mankind has strived to push the boundaries of exploration and research. This desire for knowledge eventually lead scientists to the moon back in the 60’s and ever since then, a number of tests and research projects were carried out to further our understanding of our neighbouring planets.
The invention of the lunar crane has long been a major tool when studying the moon, collecting rocks and gathering materials for scientific research. In terms of the most meaningful crane uses, researching the solar system has provided scientists with a greater understanding of our galaxy.
Make A Hit YouTube Video
The internet is littered with videos that make you laugh, cry and cringe. But when two Russian free climbers ascended the crane atop of the Shanghai Tower, it created a video which will make any viewers’ palms’ instantly sweaty. With no harnesses in sight, these two daredevils stroll along the 650ft high crane without a care in the world. The resulting footage has become one of the most watched videos on the platform, racking up an impressive 62 million views.
While cranes have their uses, none of the others are as perilous than this. But hey, anything for a like, ey?
Fuel Your Inner Adrenaline Junkie
What is the one thing you need for base jumping? Height! (And a parachute, you’ll need one of those too). Cranes offer the perfect platform for anyone looking to base and bungee jump, and NMT have recently provided a 700-tonne crane for the annual World Base Jumping competition.
If you fancy yourself as a stuntman/daredevil/lunatic, then base jumping off a 90ft crane offers the perfect platform to get your kick.
Build The World’s Tallest Building
Ever since the crane was invented, humans have had a desire to build taller and taller and taller. The end result is the 2,700ft monument that looms over the Emirati desert. The building is so tall that crane operators live in their cranes for a whole working week, as the time it takes to descend the tower would leave them with only a few hours before they make the climb again.
The desire to build bigger is one of the purest crane uses there are, and who knows? Perhaps in a few years, architects will construct a building even taller than the Burj Khalifa.
Film A Blockbuster Movie
Cranes may not be synonymous with movie sets, but they have been used to capture some of the most iconic shots in film and TV history. Construction work and industrious work may be the most common of crane uses, but these huge pieces of machinery also offer a certain degree of subtlety and creativity when needed.
If you are in the process of filming the next Oscar-nominated flick, or if you need a crane for any one of these projects, contact NMT Crane Hire today to speak to one of our operators.