Taking a Closer Look at Types of Gantry Cranes and Their Applications

By: | June 7th, 2019

Humans have used different types of cranes since before the industrial revolution. After the industrial revolution, however, humans used electricity and fossil fuels to power the cranes, making them more powerful and efficient. In modern times, the gantry crane has proved to be quite effective.

A gantry crane comprises one or two steel beams supported by steel legs and a trolley. The trolley can move across the beam while the supporting steel legs can ride on the rails fixed on the floor. The entire structure resembles a giant gate. The primary use of a gantry crane is to straddle an object or workspace.

Let’s learn a bit more about different types of gantry cranes and their applications.

Types of Gantry Cranes

Depending on the type of supporting structure and application, gantry cranes can be classified into different types. Here are a few common types of gantry cranes you will come across.

  1. Full-Gantry Crane
    One of the most common types of gantry cranes, it consists of two supporting legs that can move across fixed rails. The crane typically works in the dedicated area. Vehicles can pass under the crane. The trolley moves within the main span and the main beam has no overhang.
  2. Semi-Gantry Crane
    Usually, one leg of a semi-gantry crane runs along a rail on the surface while the other runs along a runway system fixed on a wall or any other vertical structure. You can determine the height difference between the two legs depending on your construction site or requirements.
  3. Portable Gantry Crane
    Being portable, this gantry crane can be carried and assembled on different sites as and when required. Thus, it provides greater flexibility. However, it is small and can handle small loads only.
  4. Adjustable Gantry Cranes
    An adjustable gantry crane can be portable or fixed. However, it comes with variable height and span design. You can adjust the base width, height, and horizontal beam length depending on your load requirements.
  5. Single Girder Gantry Crane
    This type of crane consists of only a single girder and rail. Usually, the trolley and hoist are under-hung. They run on the underside of the bridge. It is often a light-to-medium-duty crane suitable for areas with limited floor space and low headroom. It also provides cost-effective lifting solutions.
  6. Double Girder Gantry Crane
    This type of crane, on the other hand, consists of two girder beams that make up the bridge. It usually consists of top running trolley and hoist. However, under-running designs are equally commonplace. It is suited for heavy-duty applications.
Image by Patrick Baum from Pixabay

Industry – Wide Uses of Gantry Cranes

Gantry cranes are used for various industrial and construction applications depending on their size, load capacity, and the ability to move in the work area. That’s why you should select a gantry crane with suitable parameters, whether you are offering lifting equipment services in Houston or Chicago. Here are few real-life applications of gantry cranes.

  1. Manufacturing Plants
    From the small to medium and large scale, all types of manufacturing plants use different types of gantry cranes. Automobile, steel plants, and airplane manufacturing units are the most prevalent industries that use gantry cranes. Depending on the application, you can use single or double girder, portable, and adjustable type of gantry cranes. For example, the automobile industry uses small single girder gantry cranes to straddle engines into the cars.
  2. Shipyards
    Being able to lift extremely heavy loads, mostly double girder gantry cranes are found in shipyards. You can use them to move heavy ship parts such as the engine or fuel tanks to be moved from the manufacturing site into the ship. One ship-building platform may need to use several dozen cranes at the same time.
  3. Warehouses
    Depending on the size and the weight of the load, you can use different types of gantry cranes ranging from small single girder ones to large double girder cranes. You can also use small gantry cranes running on rubber tires, allowing you to move freely without the need of any tracks.
  4. Construction
    Portable gantry cranes are particularly popular in the construction industry as you can disassemble, load up, and then transport them to a different location easily. You can use them to move and lift small concrete blocks, steel girders, and lumber, among other things. Large-scale construction, however, requires heavy-duty overhead gantry cranes with double or single girder. You can use them for moving heavy loads vertically to just about every area at the construction site.
  5. Shipping Docks, Airports, and Railway Yards
    Shipping docks (or ports), airports, and railway yards also use heavy-duty gantry cranes to move large containers. Mobility is a critical factor in these areas. As a result, rubber-tired gantry cranes are particularly in high demand in rail yards and seaports, owing to their ability to move while carrying heavy loads.

Wrapping Up

Gantry cranes are designed to handle all types of loads ranging from small to extremely large. Whether you are running a small workshop or setting up a big rigging project, knowing about different types of gantry cranes and their applications will help you pick up the one that suits your needs.

Author Bio:Vernon Glick is an experienced and passionate writer & blogger by profession with years of experience in delivering unique and high-quality content. He keeps exploring the web and loves to do in-depth research when things come to writing. He loves to hang out with family and friends and indulges in nature photography.

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