Understanding the Many Types of Overhead Crane Attachments

October 26, 2023 at 4:00 AM
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Overhead cranes are machines that are primarily used in industrial environments for lifting and transporting heavy loads. These machines allow workers to move large and heavy loads safely and with ease. However, sometimes the load being lifted requires more than just the hooks or magnets that are on the end of the crane itself. That's where overhead crane attachments come in handy.

Why are overhead crane attachments helpful?

Overhead crane attachments increase the safety and efficiency of the lifting process. By using the appropriate attachment for the load, workers can reduce the likelihood of accidents, such as dropping the load or damaging the load during transport. Additionally, these types of attachments make it possible to lift and transport loads that would otherwise be too heavy or too wide for the crane to handle on its own.

Crane attachments also reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a job. By using the appropriate attachment for the load, workers can lift and transport the load more quickly and efficiently, allowing them to move onto the next task sooner. However, to ensure you’re choosing the right attachment for your project, you need to understand what each one specializes in.

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Types of overhead crane attachments

Spreader bars.

Spreader bars are a common type of crane attachment. They are used to lift loads that are too wide or long for the crane's hook to handle. The spreader bar is attached to the crane hook and has multiple attachment points for chains or cables. These chains or cables are then connected to the load, allowing it to be lifted safely and securely.

Lifting beams.

Lifting beams are similar to spreader bars in that they are used for lifting loads that are too long or wide for the crane's hook. However, lifting beams are designed to distribute the weight of the load evenly across the beam, making it a more stable and secure lifting solution.


C-hooks are designed to lift and transport coils of steel or other materials. The hook is shaped like the letter "C," and it fits around the outside of the coil. This allows the coil to be lifted and transported safely and efficiently.


Grabs are used to lift and transport loose materials, such as sand, gravel, or scrap metal. The grab attachment opens and closes around the load, allowing it to be lifted and transported safely and efficiently.


Magnets are used to lift and transport ferrous metals. The attachment is placed on the crane hook and has a magnetic surface that attracts and holds onto the metal load, making it easier to move a large piece of material.

Vacuum lifters.

Vacuum lifters are used to lift and transport materials that are not solid, such as bags of powder or soft materials like cloth or paper. The attachment uses a vacuum suction cup to hold onto the load, allowing it to be lifted and transported safely and efficiently.

Container spreaders.

Container spreaders are used to lift and transport shipping containers. The spreader bars are designed to fit perfectly around the container and hold it securely. This allows the container to be transported safely and efficiently.

Do you know what type of overhead crane attachment you need?

Whether you’re confident in your needs or would like an expert opinion, contact the experts at T&M Cranes. Family owned and operated since 1974, our team specializes in overhead cranes, hoists, parts, and ongoing service. With our decades of experience and great selection of crane attachments, we’re confident we can match you with the perfect accessory to get the job done right the first time.