My crane requires a really solid hit to activate, but I'm not sure it's much more difficult than when I first got the game. Maybe I'm just playing it more in the deeper code. I do know that the crane in Penguin mode is a severe impediment to my attempts to gather Minor Villains.
After a disaster in our datacenter took down our server, we are now running Pinside on a brand new server. However, things may not work as expected as we are still polishing the playfield and adjusting some switches! We might be switching to maintenance mode a few times. Please see this forum topic for more info.