The History of Crane Work in Queensland

16th November 2020

Queensland – in particular Brisbane – continues to develop through major building projects that use the latest in construction technology and advanced vehicles. None of these projects would be possible without the use of cranes; from tower cranes to overhead cranes, builders from the past, present and future are able to transform vision into reality with these construction giants.

Let’s take a look at the history of crane work in Queensland and the evolution of the crane.

Some of Queensland’s Biggest Building Projects

Some of Queensland’s most iconic structures are the result of huge development projects. We’re going to take a look at just a selection, to demonstrate what can be achieved with the right equipment.

  • The Story Bridge – built between 1935 and 1940 in Brisbane, The Story Bridge runs along the Brisbane River and is recognised for its unique LED lighting displays. Built by a family business run by Sir Manuel Richard Hornibrook (MR), the company was well-known for gaining the state’s biggest infrastructure contracts. At the peak of its construction, 400 employees worked on the bridge – on-site, in the office and in the workshops.
  • The University of Queensland – construction of the university started in 1938 and didn’t end until 1979. The centre of the campus was made from complex sandstone-clad buildings, and the project was delayed due to financial difficulties and WWII.
  • Parliament House – Parliament House is one of Brisbane’s best-known landmarks, with buildings added at different phases between 1864 and 1979. Initially, foundation stone and 500,000 sandstone bricks were used, though obtaining good quality sandstone proved to be difficult and expensive.

The Evolution of Cranes

Even throughout the history of construction in Queensland, cranes proved to be a necessary piece of equipment. Today, this still stands. Of course, over time, modern advancements and new technologies have made larger and more complex projects possible in terms of crane work.

Did you know that the first manual cranes were used by the Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese for construction work? They were used to build everything from the pyramids to many Roman buildings that still stand today.

Once the limitations of manual cranes were realised, the first modern cranes were powered by steam. After a while, steam-powered engines were replaced with internal combustion engines, electric engines and hydraulic systems.

Advances in the space continue to be made, with the evolution of mobile cranes making a huge impact on the construction industry around the world. With the ability to manage large loads and extensive projects, they’ve been labelled the “workhorses of the industrial world.”

Contact Surf City Cranes

We’re committed to continually advancing our crane fleet to bring you the latest technology and maximise results of your project. With the highest standards in safety, functionality and performance of cranes in the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Northern NSW, you can count on our leading service and reliable vehicles.

Book a no-obligation site inspection with our experts. It’s free-of-charge and is the ideal opportunity for project managers and construction professionals to plan their project and ensure they’re hiring the right fleet for the job.