Gantry Cranes and Their Applications: An Easy Reference Guide


As experts know cranes are vital role players in many industries; from construction to production lines. Of all the cranes available, gantry cranes are fast becoming the crane of choice.

Do you know whether this should be your business’ next investment?

Below we’re going to discuss the different types of gantry cranes available as well as the different applications they’re used in.

What are Gantry Cranes?

Cranes have a longstanding reputation for being an indispensable tool used in various applications and industries all around the world. As technology has evolved, the simple crane has evolved alongside it.

As the name suggests, a gantry crane is an overhead crane that is built above a gantry. Gantry cranes are similar to bridge cranes but there is one notable difference: instead of using suspended runways a gantry crane makes use of strong legs.

What are the Different Types of Gantry Cranes?

Before we discuss their various uses, here are the four most frequently used types of gantry cranes you will find on the market today:

  • Full gantry cranes: Often found in hangars, scrapyards, railyards and shipyards, full gantry cranes are well suited toward heavy fabrication applications and manufacturing industries. Using a somewhat complex system of components, cables and various attachments full gantry cranes are ideal for lifting extremely heavy loads.
  • Semi-gantry cranes: Semi-gantry cranes essentially make use of one leg. While one leg is overhead, the other will be moving along the floor or the workspace.
  • Portable gantry cranes: Mainly used for the transport and lifting of smaller items while they’re being worked on, portable gantry cranes are an ideal solution for applications where said items weigh 10 tons or less.
  • Adjustable gantry cranes: The adjustable height, span and tread capabilities make adjustable gantry cranes an incredibly popular choice across different industries. These super stable gantry cranes are easy to maneuver, can be used in a variety of working conditions such as uneven ground space. The general flexibility that comes with working with them is hard to match.

Each type of gantry crane boasts its own set of benefits, but the general elements that make them solid components remain the same. These benefits include:

  • They’re less expensive than other crane options
  • Completely mobile
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Versatile

What are Some of the Common Applications of Gantry Cranes?

Gantry cranes are common in industrial applications and on construction sites all around the world. One of the main reasons leading to their ever-growing popularity is the versatility they offer.

What you can use a gantry crane for is mainly dependent on the type of gantry crane you’re using.

Gantry Cranes in Shipyards

Gantry cranes are frequently found in shipyards for a multitude of reasons. Because of the load capabilities featured in full gantry cranes, moving vital ship parts like engines from the manufacturing area to the ship itself is made easy. You will often find multiple gantry cranes in one shipyard, working on different parts of a ship at the same time.

Gantry Cranes in Manufacturing Plants

Manufacturing plants across all industries and on all scales make use of gantry cranes. Gantry cranes are a common sight at the sites of steel plants, aircraft and automobile manufacturers. They form a vital part of the manufacturing process.

Gantry Cranes in the Construction Industry

Gantry cranes are most often found on construction sites; more specifically portable gantry cranes. This is primarily because of how easy the process is of assembling, loading and transporting them to different areas within the construction site. They’re also often used to transport other pieces of heavy-duty equipment like steel girders.

Gantry Cranes in Hangars, Airports, Railway Yards and Scrapyards

The large containers or vessels that are often found in hangars, airports or railway yards can be easily transported or moved by gantry cranes. Mobility is a vital aspect of performing tasks in these industries. Gantry cranes make this possible

Final Thoughts

In today’s turbulent economic climate, it can be immensely difficult to justify spending of any magnitude. Thankfully, due to being far more affordable than other types of cranes a gantry crane will prove itself to be a versatile and valuable investment for your business.

Still, any large purchase should be properly investigated before you make a final decision. Not sure if you’re ready to commit? Or would you like to see the benefits of using a gantry crane first-hand? Luckily you can consider hiring a gantry crane and determine if it’s what you need.

Have any questions or tips for others in our industry? Please leave a comment below.

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