For centuries, man has been creating materials that far exceed human ability to lift. With the development of industrialized nations and manufacturing techniques, the use of cranes is a mainstay for factories, warehouses, and shipyards. If you are considering a crane for your shop, take a moment to review the three primary types of cranes used in industrial settings.
Also called an overhead crane, a bridge crane consists of 3 major parts. The bridge, or overhead part, runs forward and backward along two parallel bars, or tracks, affixed to opposite walls and holds a trolley that runs side to side across the bridge. Bridge cranes are commonly found in industrial settings that specialize in steel refinement and are built into the building's floor plan. They range on a class system from Class A, light duty, to Class F, continuous severe duty, meaning that it functions at full capacity on a regular basis.
A gantry crane, also called a portal crane, is another form of overhead crane that is built on a structure used to straddle a workspace. The main difference is that, while the elevated tracks of the bridge crane are attached to the walls, a gantry crane is used for smaller duty and its tracks are usually set on casters for mobility or on the floor. Gantry cranes are recommended when a manufacturer is leasing a building because it does not require changing the structure to install. While gantry cranes that are able to lift up to 20,000 metric tons exist, the most common type is a workstation gantry crane. These are most commonly found where overhead bridge cranes are not practical.
The third most common type of crane is called a jib crane. This crane consists of a protruding structure called a jib or a boom which holds a trolley that moves back and forth. A jib can be connected to a mast that is floor mounted or connected to a wall column. The main attraction of a jib crane is its 360 degree rotation. It will only rotate 180 degrees when mounted to a wall, however. These cranes have multiple uses and can be seen in their largest version as the large crane on construction sites or tall buildings. The smaller cranes can lift anywhere from 100 to 30,000 pounds.
As long as there are people building giant things, you can count on there being cranes to lift them. All cranes should be used with the highest level of safety in mind and proper knowledge of the material to be lifted. Take a moment to assess your equipment needs before diving into the world of heavy lifting.Share