My favorite book when I was a kid was just a collection of drawings of heavy equipment, interspersed with paintings of particularly awesome heavy equipment. So news that the Elandsgracht arrived at the Port of Indiana yesterday with the world's biggest crane, the 1.65 million pound LR 1300, made my day. It's on its way to Whiting, Indiana, to be put to work on BP's refinery as part of its $3.8 billion expansion.
This is what it looks like when you hang a bunch of cranes from it to create a crane mobile.
This is what happens when you film it like something from the Death Star while it picks up 3,300 tons, or 6,600,000 pounds—more than six 747s at maximum takeoff weight:
Why do you need such a big crane? To lift the industrial columns that mark refineries such as Whiting's out where the great black rivers flow, which can be up to 1,500 tons—lifting a 1,000 ton refinery column is basically like picking up a very narrow 30-story building.