Making A Crane that can pick up rigidbody objects

I have only been using unity for about 2-3 weeks and I have made a few simple games. I was thinking of making a game that you would operate a crane that would pick up logs and load them onto trucks or something. I have made up some models but I am not sure how I should make the crane. I know I can just scale the rope on the Y axis to make it go down and up but how can I make it open and close the arms at the end. I was thinking I could script it so that it would rotate the arms in/out but I am not sure if/how to do this. I know that their is the transform.rotate but if the crane turns right or left the axis will not be the same anymore. I am not sure if I could make an animation to do this? I have not worked with animations much. if you have any ideas I would be happy to hear them.

Yeah just make a simple animation in your modelling softwear and use the function Animation.crossfade("What ever you named the animation"); (Javascript snippet) Then it should work, if you have colliders.