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Extreme Crane Fails

in 1999, I was working on a construction site that utilized a 1000 ton crane - this meaning it could lift 2 million pounds of a load adjacent to the crane. The longer the reach, the less the capacity due to the leverage. We were installing tube bundles that weighed in excess of 300,000 pounds each with a horizontal reach of about 150 feet. This was judged to be safe, for a lot of calculations are performed before such a lift is attempted, and a machine that size requires a crew of eight.

All was well and several bundles had been installed, when the cabling snapped. These cables, about 4" thick, are used to support the enormous boom as well as lift the load. When it failed, the boom crashed to the ground, destroying the boom and damaging a lot of equipment, with a close call since it fell next to a junction of several high pressure fuel gas lines. Luckily, no one was hurt.

The crane failures shown in the embedded video (and Youtube features many such videos) are maybe not quite so dramatic but are nonetheless awe-inspiring to watch. If you've ever worked construction, you know what I am talking about. And if you've merely watched cranes in action from afar, maybe you'll appreciate just how dangerous this work can be.


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I hope that was intended to be hyperbole, and not a pile of projection and misunderstanding it looks like.

I have and continue to do technical work in both imperial and SI, and also several nonSI metric units. It is all quite functional with only a slight difference in effort. In the grand scheme it doesn't matter too much what units you use as long as you can convey things with necessary consistency and accuracy (hence natural/theorist units that make some fields of physics quite easier to write out than SI...).

There is plenty more in life to worry about than what units other people use. Except for cgs electrical units...those are just smell bad to anyone near by.
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Yikes. There must be so much to take into consideration in those calculations. More than the weight of the payload, the length of the boom and its angle translating into leverage, there is the acceleration of lifting a load adding to that weight. Also, when lowering every foot of cable is adding weight as well. How much did your 4" cable weigh per foot? Base size, surface area of the feet, soil composition, wind for chrissake. I've lifted some heavy stuff on the job, but I would leave the crane work to other people to screw-up.
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