Crane simulations are necessary for selecting a proper type of crane for an erection task in a construction project. However, simulating the motion of a specific crane is hardly realized because modelling a specific crane is complex. Thus, by taking advantage of a robot arm with multiple degrees of freedom, our goal is to simulate any type of retractable crane and boom crane virtually. The developed simulation process can help identify constraints of the robot arm and transform the configuration between the robot arm and a selected crane. In the experiment, by applying the developed simulation process we used a virtual robot arm to simulate a virtual retractable crane in one of the tasks of crane operator exam. The comparison of the endpoint paths of the crane and the robot arm showed the feasibility of the method. Furthermore, the method can be applied to the real robot arm for selecting a proper type of crane for the erection tasks. The erection tasks can also be easily simulated physically with a robot arm in a scaled construction site.