Largest Floating Crane on Planet Earth
Do yourself a favor and click through to the full-sized images. They. Are. Insane.
Meet Kaisho, a floating crane owned by IHI in Japan with a lifting capacity of 4,100 tons. Kaisho is the largest floating crane on the planet. Dry Roasted Blend covered Kaisho’s smaller sister, Yoshida, back in 2007, but Kaisho is even bigger, towering more than 450 feet over the sea.
In fact, the 2 cranes worked together, along with a third massive floating crane, on the Tokyo Bay Highway Project in Japan. Pictured below, from left to right, is Musashi, Yoshido, and Kaisho.
The helicopter really puts the sheer size of these behemoths into perspective.
The three cranes were used to hoist 760-foot bridge spans weighing 7,400 tons for the Tokyo Bay Highway Project . In an incredibly complex engineering ballet, these three monsters moved inch-by-inch from barges carrying the bridge spans to the installation point. During the move, GPS was used to coordinate both the position and height of each bridge span as it was carried into position. Because each crane’s hooks had different rolling speeds, Kaisho had to radio lift positions to each of the two smaller cranes over and over again so they could keep the massive spans balanced until they were in position.
If you take a look at the original size of the image above on Flickr you can see tiny little people on top of the concrete pillars.
I managed to track down a photo taken from that same restaurant ship pictured above as it passed by the Yoshida:
This was the first time in 15 years that 3 floating cranes were used in a simultaneous lift in Japan.
After a bridge span was in place, one of the massive floating cranes lifted a 450 ton crawler crane 200 feet above sea level and deposited it into the girders to work on the upper truss. If you click the photo below to see the larger version you can really get an idea of the scale of these cranes. Notice the yellow crawler crane that looks like a toy compared to the massive floaters.
A shot of Kaisho all alone.
Lifting a crawler crane into the bridge girders:
A photographer named Gunnar Horpestad has some images in his gallery of Kiasho working on the Dalia build at DSME.
And if you’re technically-inclined, you can read more about the lift here (pdf).
Other Sources used: