A gantry crane is a crane built atop a gantry, which is a structure used to straddle an object or workspace. They can range from enormous “full” gantry cranes, capable of lifting some of the heaviest loads in the world, to small shop cranes, used for tasks such as lifting automobile engines out of vehicles. They are also called portal cranes, the “portal” being the empty space straddled by the gantry.
A gantry crane is typically used for outdoor applications or for lifting capability below existing overhead bridge crane systems. Gantry cranes are often used in manufacturing facilities, shipyards, scrap yards, railyards, special construction sites, steel mills, and other applications. 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.
Heights can go up to 24 feet, 3 inches for the all steel and up to 22 feet with the aluminum beam. Spans are up to 40 feet for the all steel and up to 15 feet with the aluminum beam
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.
Most powered gantry cranes run on a v-groove track or ASCE rail. Both can be installed directly onto a smooth concrete surface or recessed into the floor to eliminate tripping hazards. A powered gantry is motorized by either one or two drives (depending on the span and capacity). Powered gantry cranes are usually equipped with electric chain or wire rope hoists. These gantry cranes are usually used in heavier capacity applications or with increased spans.
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.
A Semi-Gantry Crane has one leg that runs on an elevated runway and one leg that runs on the ground. It is half overhead crane and half gantry crane. This allows for more usable floor space by utilizing an elevated runway located next to building columns. It also allows the crane to span only a portion of the bay.
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