Derrick vs. Crane: Is There a Difference?

Numerous types of cranes and similar devices have become integral parts of ports and shipyards throughout the years.

This includes the derrick. What is the real difference between a derrick and a crane? Is there one?

Learn more about this as we take a look at derrick vs. crane.

How They Are Similar

Before looking at how they differ, it helps to know their similarities. Both of them are hoisting machines that carry heavy loads, moving them around shipyards, construction sites, and factories.

The OSHA regulations for cranes apply to derricks since they are technically considered cranes. Both cranes and derricks have booms and use pulleys or sheaves to lift heavy objects.

Though many engineers use the words interchangeably because of their similarities, there are significant differences.

Identifying a Crane

The crane can move objects horizontally and vertically, offering efficient movement and a simple design.

There are two general categories of cranes: stationary and mobile. Stationary cranes cannot, as their name implies, move about, but they make up for this with the ability to carry heavier loads and adjust the length of the boom to move materials.

A stationary or fixed crane can be installed in one place. They are efficient, especially when transporting materials horizontally over a small distance. You can do this by adjusting the boom or rotating the crane.

A mobile crane is mounted on a track or wheels, allowing you to transport it from one location to another. They cannot handle loads that are as heavy as what a stationary crane can manage, but they allow you to place them where you need them.

You will find cranes in ports, factories, constructions sites, and more.

Identifying a Derrick

Like a crane, a derrick moves objects horizontally and vertically. They are made up of two or more simple machines that can lift large loads. These machines include pulleys or sheaves and hoisting mechanisms.

Unlike a crane, a derrick has a stationary mast and rises from the base. It also has a moveable boom. 

The boom has cables and sheaves (or pulleys), which guy wires stabilize and which you have to manipulate if you want to move an object from side to side. There are different setups for the mast, and you may even come across derricks with more than one mast and boom.

A derrick has its weight evenly distributed, allowing it to lift heavier loads than most cranes.

Places where you might see derricks are ports, oil rigs, and cargo ships.

Derrick vs. Crane: Which One Is the Right One?

The answer will depend on the job, where it will take place, how much mobility you need, and how heavy the loads are.

A crane is the best option for a job that requires moving from site to site. However, a derrick is a more efficient option for a stationary job because of its simple construction and evenly-distributed weight.

Maximize Your Machines

Whichever machine you prefer — derrick vs. crane, you want it to work efficiently as you tackle your next job.

Contact us to learn more about derrick and crane repair parts.

Posted in Crane.