There is no one-size-fits-all crane solution. Overhead cranes are as versatile and varied as the jobs they’re built to do, with each crane type designed for specific types of work. For safety, effectiveness, and efficiency, it’s essential to get the right overhead crane for your project. Read on to learn more about types of overhead cranes and how to choose the best one for you.
What Will Be the Overhead Crane’s Purpose?
The first step in determining which overhead crane you need requires understanding the types of lifts you need the crane to do and the environment in which it will operate. Some of the questions you should ask include:
- What size is the facility?
- How heavy are the items the overhead crane will be lifting?
- How many loads must it lift per hour, and how many hours per day will it be in operation?
- What range of movement does the crane need?
- What’s the temperature of the facility? Will there be sizeable temperature changes?
- Will the crane need to tolerate exposure to certain chemicals, gases, moisture, sunlight, rain, wind, dust, or other potentially harmful factors?
- Will the crane work with explosive or corrosive materials?
- Will the lifts require rapid, repeatable lifting or slow, precise crane handling?
Determining these factors will help you to identify the overhead crane best-suited to your application and environment.
The Overhead Crane’s Weight Capacity
Cranes have varying capabilities when it comes to lifting. Each machine has a maximum lifting capacity, which is the heaviest weight that the crane can lift safely. Determining the maximum safe lifting capacity isn’t always as simple as knowing the weight of the lifted items.
For example, say you need to lift a product that weighs five tons. Whether a crane with a five-ton capacity will best suit the job depends on multiple factors. The answers to these questions will help you determine if a five-ton maximum lift capacity is enough:
- How many times a day must the crane lift that five-ton weight?
- Does every item weigh five tons, or do most of them weigh far less?
- Will the crane occasionally need to lift something heavier than five tons?
- Will operational changes or expansions require heavier lifts in the future?
You might want a slightly higher lifting capacity than your maximum lift to stay on the safe side, but there’s also no reason to go too big. Overhead cranes tend to become more expensive as lifting capacity goes up, so going overboard on maximum lift capabilities will ultimately cost unnecessary money. Conversely, barely scraping by on lifting power and overworking the machine will result in expensive repairs or replacements, ultimately driving up costs in the long run.
You also have to consider the crane’s speed requirements and how the load’s weight will affect it. While standard speeds are sufficient for most applications, yours may have unique needs. Maintaining your production output could rely on a crane that can move quickly, with easy loading and unloading. Assembling products may require slower-moving, highly precise crane operation.
Each type of overhead crane has its benefits, and most are customizable to meet specific needs. When trying to determine the best crane for your needs, this general breakdown may help:
- Overhead bridge cranes have the largest lifting capacity.
- Double-girder bridge cranes work at high speeds and repeatedly lift heavy loads
- Overhead gantry cranes offer precision movement
Overhead Cranes from American Crane & Equipment Corporation
With so many considerations, choosing the best overhead crane for you isn’t an easy task, but the team at American Crane can help. As Your Expert, Craftsman and Partner, we’re committed to high-quality products, a safety-first mentality, and customer satisfaction. Our experts will communicate with you to understand your needs and ensure that you receive the best overhead lifting solution for your application.