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When they’re finished building a skyscraper, how do they get the giant crane off the roof?

When they’re finished building a skyscraper, how do they get the giant crane off the roof?—Natasha Sanjabi, Regal Heights

In a word: slowly. The towering cranes busy filling our skyline with condos are trucked to construction sites in pieces and jigsawed together in a few short hours. At first, they’re bolted to a concrete pad at ground level, but as the edifice rises, the cranes are raised with it. It’s getting them down that’s the real challenge. That process requires a Russian doll approach. The main crane has to haul a smaller crane-like contraption, called a derrick, up to the rooftop, where it’s bolted to the building. The crane is then disassembled into chunks small enough for the derrick to painstakingly lower, piece by piece. The catch is, the derrick itself is a big sucker, and now it’s stuck on the roof. The solution, of course, is to bring up an even smaller derrick. The big derrick is, in turn, broken up and lowered piece by piece by the smaller derrick. And, at last, the small derrick is disassembled into pieces little enough to get down to the ground in a more civilized manner: via the elevator.

  • Jman

    Its a well known fact that years ago you geniuses in Canada used to just leave the crane up there. Problem was, there was only 1 crane in all of Canada. So anytime a new building had to be built you guys tore down the building with the crane on top. Thats why you guys only had 1 building taller than 10 stories until 1982.

    I guess you people finally figured out how to get the crane off a building without tearing it down when a short, retard bus headed for their school in Buffalo when the driver had a heart attack and the retarded school kids took control of the bus and somehow ended up in Toronto. Anyways these laid down roots in Canada, and taught you guys all sorts of things. Getting a crane off a roof being one of the many things Canadians learned from those retarded kids in the yellow short bus.