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Overhead Crane vs Gantry Crane

When it comes to lifting and moving heavy loads, overhead and gantry cranes play a crucial role in various industries. Although they may appear similar, there are key differences between the two that can impact their suitability for certain applications. In this article, we'll explore the distinctions between overhead and gantry cranes, their advantages and disadvantages, and how to choose the best option for your needs.

Overhead Cranes

overhead crane


An overhead crane, also known as a bridge crane, is a type of crane that consists of parallel runways with a bridge spanning the gap. The hoist, which lifts and moves the load, travels along the bridge, allowing for movement in three dimensions.

Types of Overhead Cranes

There are several types of overhead cranes, including:

  1. Top-running cranes: These cranes have their bridge supported by the top of the runway beams, allowing for greater load capacity and higher lifting heights.
  2. Underhung cranes: The bridge of these cranes is supported by the bottom flange of the runway beams, making them suitable for facilities with low headroom or limited space.
  3. Single girder cranes: These cranes have one bridge girder that supports the hoist, providing a cost-effective solution for lighter loads.
  4. Double girder cranes: With two bridge girders, these cranes can handle heavier loads and offer greater stability.

Advantages of Overhead Cranes

  1. High load capacity: Overhead cranes can handle heavy loads, making them ideal for various industrial applications.
  2. Efficient use of space: Since they're mounted on existing structures, overhead cranes don't require additional floor space.
  3. Versatility: Overhead cranes can be customized to suit specific requirements, such as lifting height, load capacity, and span.

Disadvantages of Overhead Cranes

  1. Costly installation: Installing overhead cranes can be expensive due to the need for structural modifications.
  2. Limited mobility: Overhead cranes are fixed in place, limiting their flexibility in adapting to changing needs.

Gantry Cranes

gantry crane


A gantry crane is a type of crane that consists of a horizontal beam (gantry) supported by two or more legs running on fixed rails or wheels. The hoist moves along the gantry to lift and transport loads.

Types of Gantry Cranes

Gantry cranes come in several varieties, such as:

  1. Full gantry cranes: These cranes have two legs and run on rails, offering a stable lifting platform for heavy loads.
  2. Semi-gantry cranes: These cranes have one leg running on rails and one leg supported by an existing structure, providing a cost-effective solution for facilities with limited space.
  3. Portable gantry cranes: These cranes are lightweight and mobile, making them ideal for temporary lifting applications.
  4. Adjustable gantry cranes: With adjustable heights and spans, these cranes can be customized to suit various lifting requirements.

Advantages of Gantry Cranes

  1. Mobility: Gantry cranes offer greater mobility than overhead cranes, as they can be relocated to different locations within a facility or even transported to different sites.
  2. Flexibility: Gantry cranes can be easily modified to accommodate changes in lifting requirements, such as load capacity or lifting height.
  3. Lower installation costs: Gantry cranes generally have lower installation costs than overhead cranes, as they do not require modifications to existing structures.

Disadvantages of Gantry Cranes

  1. Occupied floor space: Gantry cranes take up more floor space due to their supporting legs, which may limit the available working area.

Comparison: Overhead Cranes vs Gantry Cranes


Overhead cranes are better suited for heavy-duty applications in industries such as manufacturing, steel production, and automotive assembly. Gantry cranes, on the other hand, are more versatile and can be used in a wider range of industries, including construction, shipping, and warehousing.


Gantry cranes generally have lower installation costs than overhead cranes. However, overhead cranes may offer a higher return on investment in the long run due to their greater load capacity and space efficiency.

Installation and Mobility

Overhead cranes require structural modifications and are fixed in place, while gantry cranes can be easily relocated or even transported to different sites. This makes gantry cranes more adaptable to changing needs and applications.

Maintenance and Safety

Both overhead and gantry cranes require regular maintenance to ensure safe and efficient operation. However, gantry cranes may require more frequent inspections due to their increased mobility and exposure to different environments.


The choice between an overhead crane and a gantry crane depends on your specific lifting requirements, available space, and budget. Overhead cranes are ideal for heavy-duty applications in industries where high load capacity and space efficiency are essential. Gantry cranes offer greater mobility and flexibility, making them suitable for a wide range of applications. By understanding the key differences between these two types of cranes, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs.


  1. Can both overhead and gantry cranes be used outdoors?

Yes, both types of cranes can be used outdoors, but gantry cranes are typically more adaptable to outdoor environments due to their mobility.

  1. Which type of crane is better for small workshops?

Portable or adjustable gantry cranes are often more suitable for small workshops due to their mobility and flexibility.

  1. Can the load capacity of a gantry crane be increased?

Yes, some adjustable gantry cranes allow for changes in load capacity by modifying their structural components.

  1. Do overhead cranes require specialized operators?

Yes, both overhead and gantry cranes require trained and certified operators to ensure safe and efficient operation.

  1. Are there any safety regulations for operating cranes?

Yes, safety regulations for crane operation vary by location but generally include requirements for operator training, regular maintenance, and adherence to load capacity limits.

To ensure you select the most suitable crane for your specific needs, we recommend consulting with experienced professionals who can help you assess your lifting requirements, available space, and budget. By partnering with experts in the field, you can make a well-informed decision that maximizes the efficiency, safety, and productivity of your operations. Fill in the information below to get a free quotation and solution.



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