Heavy equipment mavens: Purpose of old rubber tires on crane boom?
August 24, 2018 4:21 PM   Subscribe

They're almost finished tearing down an old state office building. As you'll see in this photo, the construction crane has more than twenty rubber tires attached to one side of the boom. What purpose do these tires serve? Construction fencing hid the crane's base--it's probably on wheels or tank-treads, definitely not fixed.
posted by Jesse the K to Technology (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'd hazard they're just fenders for transportation, so you can lie that section down.
posted by pompomtom at 4:41 PM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

I suspect they're vibration dampers, meant to keep the thing from resonating -- or, to attempt to use more modern language -- developing non-linear responses in the wind.
posted by jamjam at 4:57 PM on August 24, 2018

I've worked with a lot of cranes and this is new - vibration damping from movement coming back up the line is my best guess - I suspect many building inspectors would not like to see this.
posted by unearthed at 5:34 PM on August 24, 2018

It’s a 4-in-1: load balance, transport cushioning, vibrational damping, and a way to reuse old tires.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:00 PM on August 24, 2018

My guess is that because this is demolition, they are to stop large lumps of flying debris from being embedded in the crane boom.
posted by Lanark at 6:05 PM on August 24, 2018

ya what Lanark said
posted by patnok at 6:23 PM on August 24, 2018

On further inspection the tires are on the side away furthest from the demolition site, so not protection from debris.

I choose to believe the "bumpers for transportation" theory, since the preventing resonance theory is pretty scary.

Thanks all!
posted by Jesse the K at 9:27 AM on August 28, 2018

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