Gantry Cranes vs Overhead Cranes

Gantry and overhead cranes are one of the most popular lifting solutions for various industries across the world and provided by almost all crane rentals. Even though they might look the same, there is a significant difference between the two. We are going to discuss both types in detail to help you pick the best option for your needs.

Overhead Cranes

An overhead crane is exactly what the term suggests. It is a type of crane that consists of runways that run parallel to the bridge connecting the gap. Also, called the bridge crane, the bridge travels with the help of the runways on the sides that move it backward and forward. Plus, it also comes with a hoist that travels along the bridge and moves in three dimensions.

Types Of Overhead Cranes

Types of overhead cranes are: top-running, underhung, and single girder cranes. Each type is different from another in terms of design and purpose. For instance, top-running cranes are meant for lifting heavier weights and can handle greater load capacity.

Meanwhile, underhung cranes come with a bridge that gets support from the bottom flange of the runway beams. These cranes are used at locations with either limited space or low headroom.

And finally, single-girder cranes come with a single bridge girder that controls the hoist. The purpose of this machine is to provide cost-effective lifting solutions.

Advantages Of Overhead Cranes

Overhead cranes are usually installed in industries that deal with the lifting and shifting of extremely heavy loads. In other words, these are mostly permanent installations. The biggest advantage of overhead cranes is that they can lift and shift extremely heavy loads which is not possible with other types.

Furthermore, since overhead cranes are installed or mounted on existing structures, you do not have to compromise your available floor space. And plus, they are installed high up in the air, which means there is little to no interference with the operations being carried out on the floor.

Finally, overhead cranes can be custom-built to meet the needs and preferences of different industries. In most cases, the transportation industry utilizes the heaviest cranes to deal with extremely heavy cargo on a daily basis.

Disadvantages Of Overhead Cranes

While there are some advantages, overhead cranes tend to possess some disadvantages as well. Overhead cranes can be installed on the existing structures but require modifications. These modifications are costly along with the installation itself.

Additionally, overhead cranes can only perform in a limited amount of space. Since these machines do not come with wheels and cannot outrun parallel runways, it could be difficult for them to adapt to the changing needs. So, before choosing overhead cranes, you should also check out gantry cranes.

Gantry Cranes

Gantry cranes are mostly installed in the open and consist of two or more supporting legs that help the gantry lift heavy loads. The supporting legs are fixed on either wheels or rails depending on the type of industry and the loads being lifted. It also comes with a hoist that moves with the gantry for lifting.

Types Of Gantry Cranes

Similar to overhead cranes, gantry cranes come in different forms too. Some of the most common types tend to be full gantry, semi-gantry, portable gantry, and adjustable gantry cranes. Full-gantry cranes are identified by two legs and a rail that offer a stable lifting solution.

On the other hand, semi-gantry cranes have one left running on rails, while the other is supported by an existing structure. Not only does this provide a cost-effective solution but also helps with limited space.

Portable gantry cranes are both mobile and lightweight and are meant for temporary lifting tasks. And finally, adjustable gantry cranes can be customized and equipped with a variety of features and specs to meet the lifting needs of the client.

Advantages Of Gantry Cranes

When compared to overhead cranes, gantry cranes tend to offer better mobility. The reason is that gantry cranes can easily be disassembled and reassembled if required. However, overhead cranes due to having parallel runaways being mounted on existing structures makes it relatively difficult to move around.

In addition to that, gantry cranes can be easily modified to lift heavier loads or cater to different lifting requirements. And most importantly, the installation costs with gantry cranes are comparatively lower than overhead cranes since extensive modifications to the existing structures are not required. So, many people prefer gantry cranes when they visit a crane for rent DC company.

Disadvantages Of Gantry Cranes

The only disadvantage associated with gantry cranes is that they take up quite a bit of floor space due to the supporting legs. This could become a problem for locations that are limited in space.

Comparison: Overhead Cranes vs Gantry Cranes

Industrial Applications

Overhead cranes are mostly suited to industries dealing with the manufacturing of steel, automobiles, etc. These are heavy-duty machines made for heavy-duty applications. Gantry cranes on the other hand are relatively more versatile and can be used in industries dealing with shipping, construction, and warehousing.


As mentioned earlier, when it comes to costs such as installations, gantry cranes are comparatively cheaper than overhead cranes. However, overhead cranes tend to offer a better return on investment.

Therefore, when it comes to choosing the best option, you need to keep certain factors such as the amount of space available and associated costs in mind.

Mobility And Installation

Overhead cranes are installed on existing structures, which makes them difficult to transfer from one place to another. Meanwhile, gantry cranes are both mobile and easy to disassemble, making them available for different types of lifting tasks.

Safety & Maintenance

Both gantry and overhead cranes require regular maintenance. Heavy machines meant for lifting extremely heavy loads need regular attention to prevent accidents and mishaps. Due to lifting and shifting heavy loads, the hydraulics and other components wear out with time.

Therefore, it is the job of the operator and the management to look after the machine both pre and post-lifting.

Do Gantry and Overhead Cranes Require a Professional to Operate?

Both gantry and overhead cranes are and should only be operated by licensed professionals. In fact, some states have strict laws that overlook such operations. Moreover, the maintenance of the cranes is also crucial. It is not only the company’s duty but also the operators’ duty as well to perform an inspection both pre and post-lifting.

The rules state that the company should record all the maintenance details along with other relevant data and submit it to the regulatory authority.

On top of that, crane operators undergo extensive training and certifications to be able to operate heavy machinery. If not followed, the company can be heavily fined or temporarily shut down as part of the legal proceedings. To avoid fines and shut downs, make sure to hire certified operators for your gantry and overhead cranes.


Both gantry and overhead cranes offer effective and efficient lifting solutions. However, considering the different types along with capability and other features, you need to make sure your needs and preferences are set and defined. This will help you avoid confusion and pick the best option for your lifting needs. Get more details from cranes services VA before renting any crane.

Everything you should know about cranes

All types of cranes are different from each other in many aspects. On the most basic level, there is no external power or machinery required for cranes to function properly. You learn more about this by contacting rigging companies near you also.

On the other hand, other machinery such as the tractor, excavator, and bulldozers require power to operate. This could either come from oil and/or gas.

And in the 1900s, the construction industry used many different equipment. However, cranes were invented later down the line.

What are cranes?

Cranes are machines that are used for heavy load lifting and moving. This could be done for a big number of purposes. For instance, cranes are used in many different industries that include material loading, ship building, manufacturing, and construction.

Nowadays, you can note that cranes are very commonly found along the skylines. This is because they are very necessary for building skyscrapers that we find in our cities.

What are the basic components of cranes?

There are many different types of cranes. However, there are several components that we believe you should know about. The parts that you can mainly find in a crane include the following:

The crane boom

This may be the most obvious part of the crane. A boom is a lengthy arm that can either be fixed or telescopic in nature.

These carry out a wide range of tasks depending on what the purpose of the crane is. Furthermore, booms are considered to be a main/major component of cranes.

Typically, booms are used for lifting, moving, and positioning purposes. Since they life most of the load, they are made of a very sturdy material and can also determine the crane’s reach.


The Jibs are a crystal like lattice structure that you can see at the end of each boom. This type of build helps in the reduction of weight in the front of the boom.

The jobs have are typically fixed in spot. This means that you can neither retract them nor extend them further. Though, some mobile versions tend to have a jib at the end of the boom also for lifting and moving materials.

The main purpose of the jib is to keep the material away from the main support so that it does not hit it while moving.

While Jibs are not always important, they are extra pieces that can further improve the efficiency and working of a crane greatly.

Rotex gear

This refers to the mechanism of gears that are included below the crane cab. These gears help the crane in rotating right and left. While this movement is a simple one, it is very important for the correct working of a crane.

The hook

Lastly, we have the hook. This is the material that attaches itself to the objects that are required to be moved. For instance, hooks would often be attached with containers in shipyards and docks, where they have to be transported around.

Hooks are typically made of either wrought iron or steel. Furthermore, when it comes to heavy duty cranes, these hooks are often forged and treated with heat for strength and durability.


We hope that the above-mentioned information has enriched your knowledge of cranes. Now, if you want to hire or rent a crane service for heavy load moving, start looking for contractors around you today.

Before getting crane truck rentals DC, make sure that the company is fully certified and that the operator has enough experienced. Never hire an unlicensed company because it is against the law to operate cranes without having a proper license or certification.

All about overhead ranes

A number of operations that involve metal fabricating involve the use of overhead cranes. However, a big number of companies do not use them simply because they are unaware of their exact capabilities. So, whenever they get a crane for rent, they end up choosing the wrong crane due to a lack of knowledge. In a big number of instances, overhead cranes are extremely useful and can actually get the work done much quicker.

What is overhead crane?

The overhead bridge crane is the most common type that is used in manufacturing plants and such industries. This is primarily because overhead bridge cranes offer a hook motion along three different axes. For instance, they can not only move up and down, but they also move back and forth, along with side to side motion. As a result of this, these cranes are extremely useful.

Now that we are talking about overhead bridge cranes, let us also briefly discuss gantry cranes. Gantry cranes tend to work in a similar way with one big difference. Gantry cranes are supported on floor unlike overhead cranes.

Where are gantry cranes used?

Gantry cranes are primarily used in industries where transportation of loads is required from one building to another. Furthermore, they are also used when a manufacturer does not have intentions to stay in a single spot for long.

How are cranes classified in the USA?

Well the classification of cranes in the United States may be a little complex for a layman to understand. Basically, the cranes are classified by the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA). This entity classifies crane into five different categories that include Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, Class E, and Class F.

In general, Class A covers all the maintenance and installation cranes which require movement of equipment at considerably low speeds. In comparison, Class F, which lies on the other end of the spectrum covers gantry type cranes. These class of cranes handle loads that are significantly heavier.

All the other classes of crane tend to lie in between these major classes.

The safety precautions with overhead cranes

With overhead cranes, there is one biggest safety precaution which says that never ever dare to bring a load on top of anybody’s head. This golden rule is a big concern due to the fact that many companies do not really train their crane operators properly. Usually, crane operators happen to be the lowest paid of the lot.

If at such a site, you will ask any crane operator about the crane’s rated capacity, they will have no answer. This is because they are usually not trained properly. Hence the biggest safety precaution is to let the cranes be operated by trained individuals only.

With that, another safety precaution is for everybody on the site to be wearing helmets along with other personal protective gear. This also applies to the operator of the crane himself, and everybody else.


When it comes to overhead cranes, they are quite complex. Hence, they need a certified operator for their proper operation. Yet a big number of companies do not hire trained operators in order to save their costs. This may even be illegal to some extent. So, security and safety of everybody on the site should be the first priority. In case you are looking to rent a crane for your business/work, reach out to small crane rentals DC near you. However, before you rent the crane, it is very important to do all your homework. Essentially, you should know exactly what your requirements are and what you need the crane for.