Gantry cranes are designed for lifting heavy objects, particularly in the construction and shipbuilding industries. Today, you can find different types of gantry cranes on the market and all of them are used for various purposes. These machines lift objects using a hoist that fits on a horizontal beam or girder and moves horizontally. The beam is supported by two pillars and the hoist carries objects from one point to another overhead. Gantry cranes have wheels or powered rails at their bottom which enables them to be moved to different locations. To choose the best one for your needs, you first need to understand their main features. Let’s take a look at some of the factors you need to consider to make the best buying decision.
If you want to be able to move your crane frequently without too much of a hassle then you need to look for a fixed height crane that acts as a trolley with the help of casters. This type of crane has a fixed beam which lets you lift to a certain height. There is another type of crane that allows you to adjust the height of the hoist so you can lift it up to different heights – this one is called an adjustable height gantry crane. These are best used indoors as they re not that big and fit into warehouses, but you can also use them outdoors.
You should also consider the crane’s span size, which includes the sheer leg and the space between the span size and the surrounding objects. This is to enable a safer area for workers, trucks and other vehicles to move between the crane and the objects around it. If you are going to use bigger gantry cranes like the single girder, double girder, truss or even the box type – you will need to have enough space between moving trucks and the sheer leg. You will surely use vehicles for loading and unloading, so having the space of at least 0.7m between the two is important. Also, when the crane isn’t going to be working you will need to have enough space so that the sheer leg is able to rest at least 0.5m away from the highest vehicle.
The lifting capacity of a gantry crane is also important so you have enough power to lift even your heaviest loads without causing too much of a strain. There are gantry cranes that are able to lift up to 1200 tonnes, but these are not that frequently used. Standard gantry cranes range from 80 to 500 tonnes but bear in mind that you will need a crane that is able to lift 20% more than your heaviest load. It’s important to know this so you get the best performance and durability from the one you buy.
You may need a special kind of gantry crane which is made to be used only for one specific thing, like container stacking or a shipbuilding gantry crane. The former is designed to pick up big containers from a truck or a ship and stack them accordingly, while the latter is made for assembling the big container ships. If you are not very certain whether you are going to do a specific set of functions, go for a gantry crane made for general use but beware as their lifting capacity is below 100 tonnes.