Construction and manufacturing industries are the pillar of many economies. But for these sectors to maximise productivity and increase overall efficiency, the correct equipment needs to be used. And gantry cranes form part of this. But cranes aren’t a one-size-fits all. There are different cranes available with each type responsible for a specific task.
If you happen to be part of the above mentioned industries and specialise in lifting heavy materials you need a gantry crane. We’ll discuss all you need to know about gantry cranes including why they must be present on your job site, so you can make smart business decisions in future.
Uses of Gantry Cranes
Gantry cranes have varying uses depending on the type you pick. Generally, these machines can be used to weigh, carry or rotate loads. The most common uses of these cranes include:
- Shipbuilding: Here you use the cranes to transport the different components used in the ship’s installation such as the engine.
- Automotive workshops: Car workshops will usually find the need to use gantry cranes—particularly the smaller ones. In this case, the crane can be used when lifting automobile engines out of vehicles.
- Warehouses: There’s always some kind of lifting or rotating of heavy objects happening at most construction warehouses. Rotating heavy loads without damaging them is only possible if you use the correct equipment such as gantry cranes.
- Production units: Production units are known to carry bulk goods from one location to the next.
Factors to Consider Before Picking a Gantry Crane
Just how big is the gantry crane? Gantry cranes are available in different sizes—ranging from small to large. The smaller cranes are suitable for minor tasks while the larger ones are designed for the more complex tasks. You want to determine the nature of the task at hand before committing to your purchase. This way you avoid buying the wrong size which may render it useless for the task.
Still on the subject of size, the dimensions and weight of the gantry crane affect portability. Do you want a small crane that you can easily move from one place to the next? A portable gantry crane can be assembled on different sites as and when it’s required. But note that it’s ideally suited for small loads only.
We can’t discuss the size of a gantry crane without mentioning its capacity. These units have different holding capabilities. Large warehouses will require cranes with a higher capacity to effectively transport bulky and heavy material.
A large gantry crane is considered to have a capacity of almost four tons.
Closely related to portability is whether the gantry crane has wheels. If you’re going to be moving the machine from one place to the next, then a gantry crane with wheels is ideal. This makes transportation of the unit hassle free.
Nature of Task
Earlier on we hinted at the different tasks you can use the gantry crane for. Generally, gantry cranes can either be used to transport large objects from one location to another or within the same construction area.
Transporting loads from one location to the next usually requires the use of a large gantry crane for efficiency. Transporting small loads one at a time will do nothing for your turnaround time and productivity.
Usually, when you’re transporting loads from the assembly point to the workstation, a small crane will suffice.
Gantry cranes are available in different types as outlined below:
- Adjustable: Not all gantry cranes can be adjusted. Some gantry cranes have an adjustable height feature while some are fixed. On many units you can adjust the base, height and width of the unit depending on your load.
- Full: This type consists of two supporting legs that are designed to move across fixed rails in a straight line. Full gantry cranes are mostly designed for motorised equipment such as forklifts.
- Semi: With this type, one leg runs along a rail while the other one is fixed. This is the type to pick if you have limited floor space.
What is it Made of?
What exactly is the crane made of? The material used in the construction of the machine largely affects performance and durability. If you want a long-lasting product then consider one that’s made of aluminium.
Aluminium is known for being extremely durable but surprisingly lightweight. As a result, a product made of aluminium won’t only last you long, but it’ll be easy to move around.
Who is Selling it?
Buying a gantry crane from the first manufacturer you come across isn’t wise. You risk buying sub-standard products that can malfunction prematurely. The situation is made even worse if the manufacturers offer no warranty whatsoever on their products.
Remember that purchasing gantry cranes is a sizeable investment. Your best bet is to purchase the product from reputable manufacturers who have an excellent track record.
Regardless of the type you pick, it’s important to find a professional to install and assemble the unit for you. Also, the same contractor should train your workers on how to use the machines correctly including how to maintain them.
It’s important that you conduct regular maintenance on the machine to ensure your workers’ safety. But above all, knowing the different types including their applications will help you pick the right one for your needs.
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