5 Types of Overhead Cranes and Their Best Applications

At Americrane and Hoist Corp. we offer all of the commonly known types of cranes. But when you’re looking through our options and trying to decide on the best crane for your needs, it could be a hard decision to make. Here we’ll get into some details on the five types of cranes and spell out which is best for a variety of applications.

Bridge Cranes

Bridge cranes are constructed using two parallel runways that are connected by a single or double girder and supported by stationary columns. Single-girder cranes can handle capacities up to 15 tons and limited spans, while double girders can sustain large loads over 15 tons across long spans.

The bridge crane travels on runways with end stops on either side and is often used in indoor industrial environments. Bridge cranes boast one of the highest lifting capacities of any type of overhead crane. Two main configurations of bridge cranes are top running and underhung, referencing where on the bridge the trolley and hoist system are located. Typically a top-running setup is best when extra support is required for a very heavy load, while an underhung configuration helps to make the best use of space in your production area.

Gantry Cranes

Like bridge cranes, gantry cranes also facilitate the hoist’s travel on a bridge, but instead of ceiling mounted runways, it is supported using legs. Because the system for a gantry crane is freestanding it is often used in outdoor applications like shipyards, railyards, or other areas in which supportive top columns can’t be used. That said, gantry cranes can also be used for plenty of indoor applications where lifting needs are infrequent, like an auto body shop. Thanks to their versatility and portability, gantry cranes are a popular choice across industries.

Monorail Cranes

As the name suggests, monorail cranes often move in a straight line. The trolley and hoist are mounted on an I-beam and operate along the bottom rail. They are ideal for applications involving production and assembly lines and can be custom configured to meet specific automated assembly line requirements.

Jib Cranes

In applications where clearance is required and supportive structural elements are lacking, jib cranes are often the perfect fit. This type of crane can be floor mounted, articulating, or wall mounted. While jib cranes are somewhat limited in their overall movement, they pair well with other cranes and can help to supplement assembly operations. Jib cranes offer versatility at a generally affordable price and can help to save space on your production floor.

Workstation Cranes

For lighter duty applications and repetitive jobs, workstation cranes are a common choice. They offer ergonomics and easy-use design elements and are made in countless sizes and strengths. They can be freestanding but also include configurations that are hung overhead. Workstation cranes can go far to improve safety and output in your workplace.

For more information on the brands of cranes we stock and to discuss which type would best suit your specific application, get in touch with the expert team at Americrane & Hoist.

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