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What is a Gantry Crane?

Nov 22, 2018

A gantry crane is a type of overhead crane with a single or double girder configuration supported by freestanding legs that move on wheels or along a track or rail system. Gantry cranes are usually considered when there is a reason not to incorporate an overhead runway system.

These are typically used for an outdoor application or below an existing overhead bridge crane system. Unlike a bridge crane, a gantry crane does not need to be tied into a building’s support structure eliminating the need for permanent runway beams and support columns. In some cases, this can result in a significant reduction in material costs and can be a more cost-effective solution compared to a similarly specified bridge crane.

Larger gantry systems may run on a rail or track embedded in the ground, typically in a straight line in a dedicated work area. Smaller portable gantry systems run on castors or wheels and can be moved about a facility for maintenance or light fabrication work.

Different Types of Gantry Cranes

Full Gantry Crane Systems

Gantry crane

Full gantry crane systems are the most popular configuration—consisting of two legs that ride on rail that is embedded flush with the top surface of the floor. They typically run in a straight line in a dedicated work area. This design allows motorized equipment like scissor lifts, fork lifts, carts, and trucks to roll over it and cross through underneath the crane.

Semi-Gantry Crane Systems

Semi gantry crane

Gantry cranes can also be designed with one leg riding on wheels or rails and the other side of the crane riding on a runway system connected to building columns or a side wall of the building structure. These are advantageous because they can save you floor space / work space. Unlike a bridge crane, this setup doesn’t need two runways supported by or tied back to building columns.

Portable Gantry Crane Systems

Portable gantry crane

Portable gantry cranes are smaller lighter-duty gantry systems that run on casters or rubber wheels. These wheels allow the user to move it throughout a facility to handle various materials or loads. When they’re empty and not under load, they can be moved or stored anywhere throughout a shop or into different work cells to offer greater space-saving and floor space flexibility.

Adjustable Gantry Cranes

Adjustable gantry crane

Adjustable gantry cranes can be designed with variable height and span design. Adjustability allows the end user to change the height of the beams—offering more flexibility when transporting a gantry system in and out of a facility or through different areas of a shop.