Which Type Of Crane Should You Use?

Posted on: 26 February 2015

When approaching a construction or factory contract, it can be confusing to know which type of overhead lift system is appropriate for the particular task at hand. If you are new to the construction industry, you may be wondering which crane offers the best solution to a given problem. After all, every project has a financial budget and time constraints.

So which type of crane should you use to maximize your time and money? Below are the four main types of cranes available today and their key characteristics:


Perhaps the most popular crane variety, the monorail is a specialized system that is effective in the factory context. It only allows for bi-directional hooking, meaning that you can either go up or down. What it lacks in choice, however, it makes up for in efficiency. When properly implemented in a factory setting, a monorail can effortlessly transport materials from one section of production to another.

Jib Crane

This crane has a boom assembly and a head that pivots. The boom supports a trolley unit and a hoist, while a mast (mounted to the floor) supports the pivoting head and allows for full 360 degree rotation. The versatility in movement makes the jib perfectly suited for specific tasks where accuracy is more important than power, such as layering small boxes of materials in a tight space to prepare for upward construction of tall structures.

Traveling Bridge Crane (Overhead)

The overhead traveling bridge crane operates on a system of runways of varying levels. The multiple vectors allow this crane to have up to 3 axes of motion for flexible, or "floating", hooks. For this reason, this type of crane is often most useful in factories, in which multiple, light loads of valuable product must be placed with the utmost precision in a coordinated, gentle manner. 

Gantry Crane

While similar to the bridge family of cranes, the gantry runs along the floor as opposed to above the work level. Sturdy steel legs give support to the bridge (which is responsible for carrying the trolley and hoisting mechanisms), and the legs are supported by two or more trucks (strong rectangular bases with wheels for fluid movement) that run along the floor. The gantry crane is useful in many of the same situations as the bridge crane, with the defining difference being the height needed to complete your project.

Most construction and factory professionals understand that cranes are an invaluable part of performing a successful operation, but few people know exactly which crane to use in each situation. Hopefully, by reviewing the information above about the unique characteristics of the four most common types of cranes, you can better select the perfect fit for your project.

To learn more, contact a company like A C Jones Trucking Inc. with any questions or concerns you have.