Gantry Cranes: A Comprehensive Guide to Ensure Success in Your Next Project

Saad Iqbal | 🗓️Modified: February 7, 2019 | ⏳Read Time: 6 min | 👁Post Views: 129

Employing the services of a full sized crane can be one of the most costly aspects of any construction job. They’re permanent structure and they’re gigantic—That makes them pricy devices to keep in action.
What if it’s unnecessary to have a full sized crane on site? Perhaps something smaller can get the job done instead?
This is where gantry cranes come in.
These devices have the ability to do most of the smaller scale heavy lifting. Bonus: It happens at a fraction of the cost.
Gantry cranes are fast becoming the preferred solution to heavy lifting needs when on site. They’re:

In this guide we’ll break down everything you need to know before renting one of these cranes.
Not sure it’s the tool for you? Don’t be fooled by their compact size—their lifting abilities are impressive. Is this what your project (and budget) needs?

What Are They?

Let’s Define

With these devices you’ll see two parts:

  • Crane system: This operates from a bridge type structure built over an intended space. Note: They are not to be confused with bridge cranes!
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  • Barge: This is built over head. The barge allows the crane enough support to lift and move objects within the vicinity.

Gantry cranes come in a variety of different types and sizes that we will explore in a minute.

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First, it’s important to note that gantry cranes are capable of lifting some of the heaviest loads in the world even though they’re not structured the same as full sized cranes.
The ability to do this depends on the size and thickness of the overhead barge that holds the crane head up. If the barge can handle colossal weights, then the crane will be able to pick up the same colossal weight.


Some gantry cranes are actually portable. This is largely dependent on the size of the crane and its ability to be maneuvered around. But smaller gantry cranes have the ability to be built upon a wheel based system and as a result the crane can be carted around the construction area with ease.


Gantry cranes, as mentioned, come in an array of shapes, sizes and abilities. Each has its own set of uses when in the construction field. Let’s break down each gantry crane so you know which one you’re renting next.

Fixed Height

These are the non-adjustable cranes that one will find on a construction site. They are fixed at a height and can only lift objects that fall within this height limit.
Some fixed height cranes are built on wheel bases. They can then be ported around the site easily and be used for a multitude of different lifting jobs.

Adjustable Height

Adjustable height gantry cranes are the most versatile of cranes in the business. Their design allows them to be altered to different height and weight abilities. They are also always built upon wheel bases so they can be carried to any point of a construction site with ease.

Double Girder

Double girder gantry cranes have heavier lifting abilities than most cranes in the industry.
They feature two overhead beams, instead of one, so the weight they’re able to handle is much higher than your regular gantry crane. They also have higher hoisting abilities to a standard gantry crane.

Single Girder

As can be expected from the name, a single girder change is just the little brother to the afore mentioned double girder. Its lifting ability is a lot more limited as is its height allowance.
These cranes are ideal for lifting of smaller objects around smaller factories. They won’t often be seen on a giant constriction site.

Rail Mounted

These are electric or steam powered gantry cranes. They’re most commonly found in ship yards or steel manufacturing sites.
Instead of barges overhead they’re equipped with rails that allow the lifted object to move in various directions.

Safety First—Who do You Partner With?

Finding a crane rental company, you can trust is quite a simple task these days, thanks to the extensive regulations in the industry. That being said, you should always take extra precaution to confirm the reputability of the company in question, as well as safe working methods on your site:

  • Always ask for a cranes information and checklist of regulations when looking to rent one of these giants. It’s imperative to the safety of all involved that the rental company complies with basic licensing and certifications.
  • Inspection of both the construction site and the crane should be something that occurs on a regular basis. Neglect in any of these areas could result in injury and even death of those who find themselves in the wake of a faulty gantry crane.
  • A gantry crane should never be operated by an individual who isn’t fully trained and comfortable doing so. If that means hiring someone external to come in and get the job done, so be it. The safety of your site is worth the additional expense.


Take time in deciding exactly what type of crane would be most beneficial to your job and where the best place to rent it would be. A gantry crane is a helpful device but only when used correctly.
So choose wisely!
Heavy lifting is no longer that heavy now that we have machinery to do it for us. Take advantage of these colossal beasts.
Up you go!

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