Gantry Crane vs. Overhead Crane – Which is the Right Choice for You?

Gantry Crane vs. Overhead Crane – Which is the Right Choice for You?

To a layman, on first glance a gantry crane might look a lot like an overhead crane. The most noticeable element of each crane is the large beam (girder) that supports the lifting mechanism, with a trolley that allows movement of the load perpendicular along the length of the beam.

Both types of cranes can be designed to lift extremely heavy loads and move those loads over distances. 

So, the choice of which crane is best for your business – a gantry crane or overhead bridge crane – may not be as simple as it seems. Luckily the crane experts at O’Brien Lifting Solutions can work with you to select the best crane solution for your business, with the features you need at an affordable cost.

What is More Important in your Work Process – Portability or Strength?

The most important question when considering a gantry crane vs overhead crane is portability – how far do you need to move your loads? Gantry cranes are designed to maximize movement. 

With a gantry crane, you don’t need supporting steelwork. The girder is supported by vertical beams (legs). The legs can be fitted with wheels or casters allowing the entire structure to be moved independently or on a rail system.

This makes gantry cranes ideal for outdoor environments, or for work processes that require flexibility in movement of the load.

By contrast, the girder on an overhead crane moves along a structure that is attached to a building’s structural supports. The added building support gives overhead cranes the edge when it comes to lifting the heaviest loads.

But the choice is not as simple as that – within the range of lifting solutions, there is a range of available options to provide the best solution for your lifting needs.

Gantry Crane For Flexibility and Portability

Portable gantry cranes are smaller crane structures on wheels – they’re completely mobile and lightweight, available in fixed and flexible heights and girder spans up to 40 feet. While the structure is lightweight, portable gantry cranes can be designed to lift loads up to 10,000 lbs.

Full gantry cranes and semi-gantry cranes are even tougher. 

A semi-gantry crane can be designed to lift up to 20,000 lbs. While not as portable as their smaller cousins, they are designed to fit into tighter spaces where an overhead crane or full gantry crane is not suitable.

Full gantry cranes are the workhorses of this crane type. Able to lift loads up to 50,000 lbs or more, you’ll often see these cranes in shipyards or steelyards where the industrial processes require heavy loads to be moved over large distances.

Overhead Crane to Maximize Lifting Power

As previously mentioned, overhead cranes are mounted to the building’s structure – walls or other structural supports. This allows overhead cranes to support the heaviest loads.

O’Brien overhead cranes set the industry benchmark – they’re built to sustain multiple work environments. Our double-girder top-running overhead cranes can lift loads up to 25 tonnes. While gantry crane designs maximize portability, overhead crane systems can be designed to support complex industrial processes with custom movements or specific combinations of crane speeds and duty ratings.

Gantry Crane or Overhead Crane – Your Best Choice is O’Brien Lifting Solutions

With more than 60 years in the business, O’Brien has the experience, equipment, and expertise you need to select the right crane system to maximize your productivity. Our team of engineers and technicians will work with you to design the ultimate lifting solution, taking into account safety, productivity, and price. Even better, we pride ourselves on designing and building systems quickly and efficiently to get your business up and running fast. 

And of course, all our crane designs meet or exceed CMAA (Crane Manufacturers Association of America) specifications.

Reach out for a consultation by calling us at 1-866-706-1203 or contact us online.Follow O’Brien on LinkedIn or Facebook.