Overhead Cranes

Look up some facts on overhead cranes

Overhead cranes suspend a hook-and-line mechanism on the bottom side of a horizontal fixture, which is itself supported by two separate end rails. There are three major components to overhead cranes: a hoist which is used to lift materials, a trolley which moves the materials along and a bridge which defines the length of the trolley (which is why they are sometimes called bridge cranes). Overhead cranes share many of the characteristics of gantry cranes, except that gantry cranes have wheels on the upright support beams, making the entire piece of equipment mobile.

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Jib cranes are another variation, essentially functioning like compact versions of overhead cranes. They are freestanding hoist units which are usually intended to supplement a bridge or gantry crane.

Applications of Overhead Cranes

Overhead cranes are usually found in manufacturing and steel processing plants, and they are used to transfer raw or in-process materials from one part of the facility or the other, or to provide packaging or shipping support. In the steel industry, overhead cranes are used to handle partially processed products, allowing the steel to cool without affecting its structural integrity.

Jib cranes are typically used in work bays of limited size and on loading docks. These hoists are also frequently seen in manufacturing facilities, where they can be overlapped with other jib cranes to create a continuous coverage area.

There are other jib crane variations which have more specific applications. Wall bracket jib cranes are economical and sturdy, and don't take up a lot of room. Cantilevered jib cranes can rotate up to 200 degrees, providing you with more versatility. Mast jib cranes can rotate a full 360 degrees thanks to bearing assemblies located both at the top and the bottom of the mounting arm.

Supplementing Overhead Cranes

You may find that you need to squeeze some lifting capability into a tight space, or require supplemental lifting power at ground level. If so, consider the benefits of the different types of lifts that are available. Scissor lifts and boom lifts are able to provide surprisingly effective lifting power in confined areas and cramped corners.