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Tower cranes are a modern form of balance crane that consist of the same basic parts. Fixed to the ground on a concrete slab (and sometimes attached to the sides of structures), tower cranes often give the best combination of height and lifting capacity and are used in the construction of tall buildings. The base is then attached to the mast which gives the crane its height. Further the mast is attached to the slewing unit (gear and motor) that allows the crane to rotate. On top of the slewing unit there are three main parts which are: the long horizontal jib (working arm), shorter counter-jib, and the operator's cab.
Mast: the main supporting tower of the crane. It is made of steel trussed sections that are connected together during installation.
Slewing unit: the slewing unit sits at the top of the mast. This is the engine that enables the crane to rotate.
Operating cabin: the operating cabin sits just above the slewing unit. It contains the operating controls.
Jib: the jib, or operating arm, extends horizontally from the crane. A "luffing" jib is able to move up and down; a fixed jib has a rolling trolley that runs along the underside to move goods horizontally.
Counter jib: holds counterweights, hoist motor, hoist drum and the electronics.
Hoist unit: the hoist unit houses the hoist drum, hoist cable, gear box, gear shift, brake, and supporting components.
Hook: the hook (or hooks) is used to connect the material to the crane. It hangs at the end of thick steel cables that run along the jib to the motor.
Weights: Large concrete counterweights are mounted toward the rear of the mast, to compensate for the weight of the goods lifted.