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What are the Different Types of Overhead Crane

Overhead cranes play a vital role in various industries, facilitating the lifting and movement of heavy loads. They are essential equipment in factories, warehouses, and construction sites. In this article, we will explore different types of overhead cranes, ranging from light to heavy capacity cranes, as well as specialized cranes designed for specific applications. Understanding these various types will help businesses choose the most suitable overhead crane for their specific needs.

Overhead Cranes

If you have completed your research and determined that the overhead crane system can improve your facility’s production or material handling processes, then you may have begun to realize that there are different types of overhead cranes. Your head may be swimming trying to sort all the information that is available on overhead cranes, and you may ask yourself, “What type of overhead crane does I need for my business?”

The specifications and configurations of overhead cranes may vary greatly. No two crane design are exactly the same! A crane that work in a similar building structure, or similar lifting application, may not be the best crane for your facility or application. Therefore, choosing the right crane type for your business is essential to maximize efficiency, simplify work processes, and obtain the best benefits.

Types of Overhead Cranes

  • 1-20ton light overhead crane: The 1-20 ton light overhead crane is designed for lighter loads and smaller work environments. It is commonly used in small manufacturing units, workshops, and warehouses. This type of overhead crane offers flexibility and efficiency in handling loads ranging from 1 to 20 tons.
  • >20ton heavy overhead crane: The >20 ton heavy overhead crane is designed for lifting and moving extremely heavy loads. It is commonly used in heavy industries such as steel mills, foundries, and shipyards. These cranes are built with robust structures and powerful lifting mechanisms to handle loads exceeding 20 tons.
  • Single girder overhead crane: The single girder overhead crane features a single bridge beam supported by end trucks. It offers cost-effective solutions for light to moderate lifting requirements. Single girder cranes are suitable for various industries, including manufacturing, logistics, and automotive.
  • Double girder overhead crane: The double girder overhead crane is designed to handle heavier loads and provide enhanced stability. It features two bridge beams supported by end trucks. This type of crane is commonly used in industries where large loads or wide spans are involved, such as construction, mining, and heavy manufacturing.
  • Underhung overhead crane: The underhung overhead crane is suspended from the ceiling structure, allowing for maximum floor space utilization. It is ideal for facilities where space is limited or when a freestanding crane is not feasible. Underhung cranes are commonly used in workshops, assembly lines, and storage areas.
  • Paper making overhead crane: The paper making overhead crane is specifically designed for the paper manufacturing industry. It features specialized attachments and lifting devices suitable for handling paper rolls, pulp, and other materials involved in the paper production process. These cranes ensure efficient and safe material handling in paper mills.
  • Ladle overhead crane: The ladle overhead crane is commonly used in steel mills and foundries for handling molten metal ladles. It is designed with specialized heat-resistant materials and safety features to withstand extreme temperatures and ensure safe lifting and pouring operations.
  • Grab overhead crane: The grab overhead crane is equipped with a grab attachment for lifting and transporting bulk materials such as sand, gravel, or waste. It offers efficient loading and unloading capabilities in industries such as mining, construction, and waste management.
  • Electromagnetic crane: The electromagnetic crane utilizes an electromagnetic lifting mechanism to handle ferrous materials. It is commonly used in scrapyards, recycling centers, and steel industries. The crane's magnetic properties allow for efficient sorting and movement of ferrous materials.
  • Four girder ladle crane: The four girder ladle crane is a heavy-duty crane designed specifically for steel mills and foundries. It is used for handling large ladles containing molten metal. The four-girder configuration provides high stability and lifting capacity, ensuring safe and efficient material handling in demanding environments.
  • Explosion proof crane: The explosion-proof crane is designed for hazardous environments where the presence of flammable gases, vapors, or dust is a concern. These cranes are equipped with explosion-proof components and enhanced safety features to prevent ignition sources and ensure safe operations in potentially explosive atmospheres.
  • Energy recycling crane: The energy recycling crane incorporates innovative technologies to recover and reuse energy during the lifting and lowering process. It utilizes regenerative drives or energy storage systems to reduce energy consumption and improve overall operational efficiency. Energy recycling cranes are becoming increasingly popular in industries focused on sustainability and energy conservation.

Considerations for Choosing an Overhead Crane

  1. Load Capacity

Before selecting an overhead crane, it is essential to determine the maximum load weight it will need to handle. Consider factors such as the heaviest load to be lifted and any potential future requirements to ensure the crane's capacity meets the operational needs.

  1. Span Length

The span length refers to the distance between the runways or supports on which the crane will operate. It is crucial to consider the available space and the desired coverage area to determine the appropriate span length for the crane.

  1. Lifting Height

The lifting height requirement depends on the vertical distance the crane needs to lift the loads. Consider the height of the building or structure where the crane will be installed and ensure the crane's lifting height meets the necessary clearance requirements.

  1. Operational Environment

Different industries and work environments have varying operating conditions. Consider factors such as temperature, humidity, dust levels, and any specific safety regulations that may influence the choice of crane. For example, in hazardous or explosive environments, explosion-proof cranes may be required.

In conclusion, overhead cranes are available in various types to cater to different lifting requirements and industry-specific applications. From light capacity cranes for smaller loads to heavy-duty cranes for massive industrial operations, each type offers unique features and benefits. By understanding the different types of overhead cranes and their suitability for specific applications, businesses can make informed decisions to optimize their material handling processes.


  1. Can an overhead crane handle loads heavier than 20 tons?
    • Yes, overhead cranes are available in heavy-duty configurations that can handle loads exceeding 20 tons. These cranes are designed for heavy industries such as steel mills and shipyards.
  2. What are the advantages of using a double girder overhead crane?
    • Double girder overhead cranes provide increased lifting capacity and stability compared to single girder cranes. They are suitable for applications involving heavy loads or wide spans.
  3. Are there specialized overhead cranes for the paper manufacturing industry?
    • Yes, paper making overhead cranes are specifically designed to handle materials involved in the paper production process, such as paper rolls and pulp. These cranes ensure efficient and safe material handling in paper mills.
  4. What safety measures are incorporated in explosion-proof cranes?
    • Explosion-proof cranes are equipped with explosion-proof components, such as motors, electrical enclosures, and control systems, to prevent the ignition of flammable substances. They also have enhanced safety features to ensure safe operations in hazardous environments.
  5. How do energy recycling cranes contribute to sustainability?
    • Energy recycling cranes utilize regenerative drives or energy storage systems to recover and reuse energy during lifting operations, reducing energy consumption. By conserving energy, these cranes contribute to sustainability efforts and lower operational costs.

For expert advice on selecting the right overhead crane for your specific needs, please feel free to contact us. Our team of professionals will be happy to assist you.



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