Cranes 101

Invented by the ancient Greeks in the late 6th century BC, today cranes exist in an enormous
variety of forms, each tailored to a specific use. Learn more about what a crane is:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a crane?
A crane is a lifting structure that consists of a hoist, trolley, and bridge on a runway. Click here for more definitions on components of cranes.
Why would I want a crane?
Cranes are beneficial equipment for material handling. They allow you to move material in confined spaces that a fork lift may not be able to access. Cranes are also able to lift heavier loads and are considered more for precision handling.
How do I lay out a crane in my shop?
Several things need to be known before you install a crane system in an area. Ask yourself the following questions:
What would you like the system to do and where are you moving the material to and from?
  • » How high are you lifting the material?
  • » What is the clear height?
  • » How heavy is the material you are lifting?
  • » How many work cells would you like to cover?
  • » What power supply do you have close to the area?
  • » Contact us for pricing!

Important definitions according to MIOSHA R408.11803

  • » Bridge: that part of a crane consisting of girder, trucks, end—ties, footwalks, and the driving mechanism which carries the trolley or trolleys
  • » Bumper: an energy–absorbing device for reducing impact when a moving crane or trolley reaches the end of its permitted travel, or when two moving cranes or trolleys come in contact
  • » Cab: an operator compartment located on a crane bridge or trolley
  • » Catwalk: a walkway with handrail and toeboards which are attached to the bridge or trolley, or both, for access purposes
  • » Collector Shoe: a contacting device for collecting current from runway or bridge conductors
  • » Competent Person: a person who has the necessary experience of the crane and equipment used in the lifting operation to carry out the function satisfactorily, who is capable of identifying an existing or potential hazard in surroundings, or under working conditions, that are hazardous or dangerous to an employee, and who has the authority and knowledge to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate the hazards
  • » Conductors Bridge/Runway: the electrical conductors located along the bridge/runway to provide power to the crane/trolley
  • » Crane: a top running overhead crane
  • » Gantry Crane: a crane similar to an overhead crane, except that the bridge for carrying the trolley or trolleys is rigidly supported by one or more legs running on a fixed rail or other runway
  • » Hoist: a system of power-driven drums, gears, cables, chains, or hydraulic cylinders capable of lifting and lowering a load
  • » Jib Crane: a crane with a horizontal arm (jib) designed to rotate around a vertical member
  • » Load: the total superimposed weight on a load block or hook
  • » Load Block: the assembly of hook and shackle, swivel bearing, sheaves, pins, and frame, suspended by the hoisting ropes or chain
  • » Main Switch: a switch on a crane controlling the entire power supply to the crane, except that a magnet and convenience outlet circuit may bypass the main switch
  • » Monorail System: an overhead track from which hoisting equipment travels to transport loads and includes curves, switches, transfer devices, drop sections, hangers, and related equipment
  • » Overhead Crane: a top running crane that has a movable bridge carrying a movable or fixed hoisting mechanism for lifting and lowering, moving horizontally and traveling on an overhead fixed runway
  • » Qualified Person: a person who, through attainment of a recognized degree or certificate of professional standing or by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems relating the subject matter and work
  • » Rail Stop: a device attached to a rail to stop the movement of a crane beyond a fixed point
  • » Rated Load: the maximum load for which a crane or individual hoist is designed and built by the manufacturer and shown on the equipment nameplate or nameplates
  • » Remote–Operated Crane: a crane controlled by an operator not in a pulpit or in the cab attached to the crane, by any method other than pendant or rope control
  • » Runway: an assembly of rails, beams, girders, brackets, and framework on which a crane or trolley travels
  • » Safety Factor: the ratio of the breaking strength of a piece of material or object to the actual load or stress when in use
  • » Side Pull: to pull a load with a hoist, chain or cable other than vertically
  • » Trolley: a unit that travels on the bridge rails and carries the hoisting mechanism
  • » Truck: the unit consisting of a frame, wheels, bearing and axles that supports the bridge girders or trolleys
  • » Underhung Crane: a crane with a traveling bridge which is suspended under its runway track system. A hoist trolley may be under hung or top running
Contact Us For Pricing
One Crane Source is your best resource when it comes to all of your crane needs. Click the plus sign at the right to contact us about cranes.
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