What Types of Cranes Are Gantry Cranes?

Blog, Crane Operator, Cranes

What Types of Cranes Are Gantry Cranes?

All tools are designed with a specific purpose, and heavy machinery is no exception. A great example of this is the gantry crane, one of the many types of cranes used across thousands of worksites throughout the country. Despite their wide usage, they’re only really known within the industries that utilize them. As dedicated educators in the heavy equipment world, West Coast Training in Washington spends a lot of time breaking down the details of the machines our students may go on to use. As such, we’re more than happy to give you a crash course on the subject. Here are a few you need to know about gantry cranes.

Gantry Cranes: Defined

Before we dive into the different types of gantry cranes, let’s establish what they are. A crane, as you most likely already know, is a type of heavy machinery used to hoist and move very heavy materials. Whereas the most commonly imagined types of cranes have a single, long arm that does this, a gantry crane is built on top of a sturdy structure (the gantry) that straddles a designated workspace. The machinery house runs along two horizontal rails, each side supported by free-standing legs. These legs offer the necessary support for lifting incredibly heavy loads.

Full Gantry Cranes

Full gantry cranes are some of the most frequently seen types of cranes. The gantry legs run along a set of rails, allowing it to move back and forth within a specific area. These are typically larger structures, with enough room for vehicles or other heavy machinery to pass under the crane.

Semi-Gantry Cranes

A semi-gantry crane shares a lot in common with a full one, save for one of the gantry legs. Instead of being firmly planted, one side of the crane is supported by a railway system built into an existing wall or structure. Semi-gantry cranes are typically used where floor space is at a premium, due to a cramped warehouse design or the presence of other necessary machinery.

Portable Gantry Cranes

A portable gantry crane brings the benefits of the style to a smaller scale, allowing for a more flexible and movable crane. While these types of cranes cannot be used for the heavy-duty lifting that a full gantry crane would be, their design allows the operator to wheel it anywhere that it might be needed. And, when it isn’t being used, a portable gantry crane can be broken down and stored to save on workspace real estate.

Adjustable Gantry Cranes

If flexibility is a concern, an adjustable gantry crane might be the right machine for the job. These types of cranes are designed with both a changeable height as well as span. This allows for the crane to be altered to best suit the work at hand. Adjustable gantry cranes can also be either fixed or portable, making them a great all-around option in workplaces where heavy machinery needs to change frequently.

Curious to learn more? Our classes cover everything you’ll need to know about operating a crane—and get you your NCCCO certification to boot. Enroll today, and take your first steps toward a long and successful career. We can’t wait to see you in our classroom.