Do You Need a Gantry Crane?

Do You Need a Gantry Crane?

A gantry crane is a crane built on top of a set of legs – or sometimes a single leg. They can be designed as small shop cranes (e.g., to lift engines out of vehicles) or as a solution to lift some of the heaviest loads (e.g., cranes used at ports and steel yards). Gantry cranes and overhead cranes are sometimes used interchangeably, as both employ a crane on an overhead beam. 

There are two key differences between a gantry crane and an overhead crane. First, gantry cranes stand on a set of legs or a single leg; overhead cranes do not use legs at all, they are directly mounted to end trucks that run on a runway rail. Second, gantry cranes can utilize rolling wheels and be turned into a portable solution, whereas an overhead crane cannot.

This is the last in our series of articles discussing the basics of crane design. 

Jib cranes, overhead cranes, gantry, and workstation cranes – determining what kind of crane you need is complicated. Factoring in different crane sizes, load needs, lift and load movement speed, site design, crane location (indoors or outdoors), and whether it needs to be portable or fixed – crane design quickly becomes a challenging task. 

Gantry Crane

You can count on the experts at O’Brien Lifting Solutions to design and install the right crane to help maximize your production, minimize downtime, and help your business succeed.

The Basics

A gantry crane is one of the simplest crane designs. Gantry cranes consist of:

  • Gantry – the frame of the crane unit, typically consisting of two legs and a cross beam (or bridge).
  • Trolley – unit that moves along the bridge and suspends the hoist. 
  • Wheels or End-Trucks  – to move the entire gantry crane along a surface, or set rail. 

If you think of the gantry track being oriented so the crane structure moves North <> South, then the trolley typically moves along the bridge perpendicular to the track, or East <> West.

Gantry Crane & Different Types

  • Full Gantry Crane – a full gantry crane has two single or double-girder legs that move across fixed rails. Full gantry cranes can be designed to carry the heaviest loads – up to 50,000 lbs. Their tough and durable construction makes them ideal for use outdoors.
  • Semi-Gantry Crane – a semi-gantry crane also has two legs, but one is fixed to a wall, while the other runs on wheels or a floor track. Able to shift loads up to 20,000 lbs, a semi-gantry crane is ideal when you need an overhead crane, but don’t have the ceiling space for the overhead tracks. 
  • Portable Gantry Crane – a portable gantry crane is lightweight and moveable. The legs are on wheels, allowing loads to be easily rolled from site to site. Designed for lighter loads (up to 10,000 lbs), and smaller applications, it can quickly be broken down and assembled at different locations. The height can be fixed or adjustable as well, making a portable gantry crane a super flexible lifting tool for your work site.

Choosing the Right Gantry Crane for Your Application

One of the biggest factors in your choice is load capacity. You also need to consider the space in which your crane will be used (indoors or out), the traffic conditions around the crane (foot and vehicle traffic, plus other machinery), and power requirements. 

At O’Brien Lifting Solutions, our professional engineering team sets the benchmark for quality and service. We understand manufacturing design, structural analysis, and regulatory compliance. We analyze your site to design the ideal lifting solution to fit your systems and deliver maximum performance. From concept and design to installation and training, we work with you to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Choose O’Brien Lifting Solutions for Commercial Doors and Cranes

With 60 years in the business, we know cranes and commercial doors. Family-founded and family-run, we take pride in delivering excellent service to help your equipment – and your business – run seamlessly. Integrity and innovation are the hallmarks of our business. Whether you need a crane or a commercial garage door, installation, or service, choose O’Brien for all your on-site needs.

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