Cranes hold a long line of industrial history, technical advances and great progression throughout time. During the industrial revolution, cranes became an integral part of the modern world, and today they are used in construction projects across the globe. With many options available and lots of new special features involved, this can lead to confusion as to which crane suits your business best. Choosing the wrong crane can also lead to delays in production and financial drawbacks, so it’s important to do your research and choose the most fitting one.
Types of Cranes:
A jib crane is permanently installed over a workstation or an area that requires repeated work. These cranes are most commonly mounted on either a wall or floor-mounted pillar and have been crafted with an adjustable hoist to offer easy movement.
The main advantage of a jib crane is its lightweight construction. Usually present in production lines, this type of cranes features safe working loads, but can also come with advanced custom features for larger projects.
Workstation cranes are industrial cranes involving a moving bridge, parallel runway and lifting devices for heavy produce. Typically referred to as a bridge crane, these cranes cover a rectangular area of a workplace and can come in the form of a free-standing bridge, ceiling mount, monorail or hybrid work crane.
Free-Standing Bridge Crane:
Intended to be bolted to the floor, a free-standing bridge crane works to support loads being moved both vertically and horizontally. These cranes work best in an area with limited headroom or weak ceiling structure.
Ceiling-Mounted Bridge Crane:
Working best in a building with a concrete, steel or aluminium frame covering, a ceiling-mounted crane can hold up to 4,000 pounds.
Ideal if you’re operating an assembly line, a monorail involves the movement of a partly-assembled product and takes it through its manufacturing process. A monorail can be adjusted with extra tracks, curves, switches and interlocks.
Hybrid Work Station Crane:
Utilising the strength of a patented track, this type of crane offers a lightweight advantage and can offer easy installation and flexibility.
Mobile cranes are mounted on crawlers or tyres in order to offer optimum mobility. A mobile crane has the ability to easily navigate around a job site, carrying heavyweight items and sometimes operating on public roads. This type of crane is extremely popular due to its flexibility and the range of options available.
Carry Deck Crane:
One of the newest forms of mobile crane is the carry deck crane. Manufactured in a small, four-wheel construction, these convenient cranes operate with a 360-degree rotation and offer maximum portability.
Operating as a track vehicle, a crawler crane is built on an undercarriage rubber track, making it possible for usage on soft ground. The main advantage that a crawler crane offers is its highly-adaptable features and usage for long-term projects.
Sometimes recognised as a crane vessel or ship, a floating crane is typically used for projects at sea or in a port and oil rig. There are several types of floating cranes available, each undergoing continuous advancements to keep up with modern-day needs.
Rough Terrain Crane:
A rough terrain crane is used for pick and carry operations, both on-road and rough ground. Constructed with four large tyres, this type of crane is fitted with telescopic booms, outriggers and easy mobility.
Truck-mounted cranes are made up of two parts - the truck and the arm. This type of crane is able to travel easily and can get from A to B with no extra equipment or transport needs. Outfitted with counterweights and outriggers, these cranes provide efficient stabilisation and adaptability.
A variation of an overhead crane, a gantry crane is supported by two steel legs and is normally built on a track. Gantry cranes are typically seen at shipping docks, ports, cargos and ship works. These types of cranes are also mostly used for outdoor applications or used below an overhead bridge crane.
Choosing a crane for a warehouse or factory
Just like most elements of a business, doing your research is key. The last thing you want is to spend and invest in a large piece of equipment that doesn’t do the correct job or get the best results. Making a note of what the crane will be used for, where it’ll be placed and the weight it'll be handling, will make a decision easier.
About the author:
Simon Cullingworth, Managing Director, Metreel.
Simon has been managing the UK operations at Metreel for a long time now. Serving some of the biggest brands in the UK such as the BBC, BMW, Rolls Royce and more, the Metreel team are one of the biggest lifting and safety equipment manufacturers on a global scale.
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