The term "gantry crane" can be confusing. Many people with limited experience in the crane industry refer to gantry cranes and bridge cranes interchangeably, but these two types of cranes have some very unique and distinctive differences.
While both are types of overhead cranes, a gantry crane is a freestanding piece of equipment that does not require the installation of an overhead runway system. The freestanding legs of the gantry crane are equipped with wheels that move along a track system that can be removed once your project is complete.
Gantry cranes can offer a number of benefits that other cranes cannot. If you are looking to rent a gantry crane, be sure that you consider the following three factors so that you end up with a crane whose construction design is equipped to meet your specific needs.
1. Nearby Traffic
Many of the gantry cranes available for rent are portable. This feature allows you to move the crane throughout your work site as your project evolves.
Portability can become a concern when you fail to take into account any nearby traffic that might affect your ability to safely move a gantry crane from one location to another. Be sure that you limit the size of your gantry crane if you will need to maneuver the crane through tight spaces.
Gantry cranes can actually help eliminate problems caused by foot traffic on a work site. The support columns that are required for bridge cranes can take up valuable floor space, limiting the mobility of your workers. Gantry cranes free up floor space and allow both workers and smaller pieces of equipment (like a forklift) to move freely through your work area.
2. Indoor versus Outdoor
Another factor that can affect the construction design of the gantry crane you should rent is the environment in which your crane will be used. Gantry cranes that operate indoors face very little exposure to potentially corrosive elements.
If you will be using your gantry crane outdoors, you want to rent a machine that is finished with a durable paint. Outdoor gantry cranes should be made from stainless or galvanized steel. These types of metals are resistant to UV exposure, saltwater damage, and moisture damage that might affect the safety and performance of your gantry crane.
It can also be helpful to invest in the rental of a gantry crane with motor heaters and insulated electrical panels if you will be working outdoors during the cold winter months.
3. Electrical Access
A gantry crane needs access to electrical currents to function properly. The portable nature of most gantry cranes can make staying close to an electrical outlet challenging as you move the crane throughout your work site. For a crane that will be used in multiple areas, rent a machine that is equipped with a cable reel.
Opt for a swivel-base reel whenever possible, as this type of cable reel allows electrical cable to be released from multiple angles and directions. If a swivel-base reel isn't available, then a stationarymounted reel will suffice. Any type of cable reel will give you the additional cable length that you need to safely reach a power source, no matter where your crane might be stationed.
If you plan to keep your gantry crane in a single location for the duration of your rental period, then you can request a crane with a longer extension cord to make electrical access more convenient.The right crane can help streamline any project that requires heavy lifting or the transportation of heavy loads from one area to another. Contact General Steel Crane and Rigging to determine if a gantry crane can help you safely complete your next project.