Our guide to different types of overhead cranes

January 14, 2022 at 5:00 AM
An under-running crane, one of several different types of overhead crane.

An overhead crane is a great addition to your worksite. But which one should you choose?

Overhead cranes can cover a lot of different industrial applications, ranging from manufacturing to shipping and more. For that same reason, though, there’s a wide variety of different types of overhead cranes for you to pick from. Not all will effectively meet your business’ needs to the same degree.

That’s why this blog post will help give you a guide to the different kinds of overhead cranes available to you. We’ll explain in greater detail why exactly this kind of crane may be a worthwhile investment and what differentiates the multitude of cranes currently on the market.

What makes an overhead crane useful?

There are a few different types of machinery you’ll often find in an industrial work setting for lifting and moving heavy objects. Forklifts, for example, allow workers to lift heavy objects with a fairly significant degree of mobility. Stationary standing cranes, while lacking that mobility, can lift heavier and higher.

An overhead crane combines the benefits of these types of solutions and adds a few more of its own. It increases the number and weight of objects that can be lifted and moved around your worksite, simultaneously decreasing the amount of occupied floor space and freeing up room for other machinery or personnel.

Overhead cranes may not necessarily replace every other piece of lifting equipment used at your worksite, but they add to your ability to move materials, inventory, and other objects wherever you need to.

Different types of overhead cranes

On a basic level, all cranes perform the same basic task: they lift, move, and lower things. These cranes come in many different shapes and have different capabilities when it comes to mobility, however, and this makes some cranes more suitable to certain settings than others.

We’ve written about three of the main categories of overhead cranes on our blog, exploring the details and advantages of top-running, gantry, and jib cranes. Here, we’ll cover four additional different types of overhead cranes: bridge, workstation, monorail, and under-running cranes.

  • Bridge cranes: These cranes come in two different forms: single-girder and double-girder. Single-girder bridge cranes can typically lift up to about 15 tons, while double-girder cranes can go up to as much as 250 tons. A bridge crane is one of the best types to invest in when you need to lift heavy. They’re used frequently in manufacturing settings, but bridge cranes are employed in a variety of industries.
  • Workstation cranes: If your heavy lifting is limited to one specific part of your worksite, you may find a workstation crane suited to your needs. These cranes can support up to several tons of weight and are often used by garage mechanics.
  • Monorail cranes: These cranes can only lift objects up and lower them down, lacking the ability to move them directionally like many other cranes can. They do, however, run on a rail that can run through much of your worksite and curve in different directions as needed. These cranes are used frequently on assembly lines.
  • Under-running cranes: If you don’t have much ceiling height to work with, under-running cranes may be your best bet. They’re fairly similar to top-running cranes in appearance and function, but typically take up less space.


Find the right overhead solution with T&M Cranes

Work with T&M Cranes to find the right custom, high-quality crane for your industrial needs. Ranging from Class A to Class F solutions, every one of our cranes is designed to meet CMAA specifications, and we have over 20 service vehicles ready to handle any issues our customers may encounter. Request a quote or get in touch with us to learn more.