Choosing The Right Overhead Crane

Few pieces of equipment in your facility are as important as your overhead crane. It literally does most of the heavy lifting in your facility, and that means you want to have the equipment that will do the best job for what you need it to do. Choosing an overhead crane is a matter of more than your budget and size of your facility. There are many factors you need to consider — not only in terms of your facility, but also the applications for which you will need it — so it is important to choose wisely.

Here are some basic tips to help you select the overhead crane equipment that is best for your operation.

Think About Your Facility

Before you start looking into individual cranes, you’ll need to take a close look at your facility and determine what size and type of cranes will fit best into the space.

This includes:     

  • Measuring the workspace the crane will cover. In addition to the width and length of your building, you will need to measure any height restrictions or any obstructions on the ceiling that may impact the crane’s operation or come into conflict with OSHA regulations.
  • Determining any obstacles that could limit the crane’s mobility. OSHA mandates at least 3 inches of clearance overhead and 2 inches of clearance laterally around crane equipment, so it’s essential to examine your facility and understand where there may be obstructions that could get in the way of proper and safe operation.
  • Understanding how the crane can be installed in the facility. Depending on your applications and the structure of your facility, you may be able to use a portable system that doesn’t require any installation. If you need a permanent system installed, however, pay close attention to whether or not your facility has the foundation and/or structure necessary for safe installation.

Think About the Applications
Once you’ve determined how a crane might fit into your facility, the other most important factor in choosing a crane is the application for which you’ll need it. These are the factors you should consider when reviewing your crane choices:

  • Capacity and service rating. Pay close attention to how much weight a crane can carry and compare it to your needs. Operating a crane even slightly above its capacity can be extremely dangerous. In addition, the service rating determines how frequently the crane can be used safely, so determine if your crane will need to be pressed into daily use.
  • Structural elements. Cranes can be made from steel or aluminum, with steel being stronger and more durable. Heavier-duty applications generally require steel-construction cranes.
  • Mechanical and electrical systems. You also need to think about what the crane is capable of doing and whether or not that fits the application. Systems such as a telescoping bridge may enable your crane to offer greater reach and more flexibility around obstacles, for example. Operator controls may allow your employees to multitask or operate the crane from a distance, if necessary.

When it comes to selecting the right overhead crane system for your needs, there are more than a few factors that come into play. Selecting the right overhead crane equipment for your facility and your application can be daunting, but knowing your needs ahead of time can save you a lot of confusion. Crane 1 has expertise in helping customers choose the craneshoists and structures they need to succeed.

If you’re in the market for a new overhead crane system, contact Crane 1 and find out what we can do to help you decide.