What Are the Different Types of Overhead Cranes?


Overhead cranes, also known as bridge cranes or overhead traveling cranes, are essential lifting equipment used in various industries for material handling and heavy lifting tasks. These versatile cranes are characterized by their overhead runway system, which allows them to move horizontally along a track while lifting and lowering loads vertically. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the different types of overhead cranes commonly used in industrial settings and answer key questions such as “are there different types of overhead cranes?” and “what is an overhead crane used for?”

Understanding the Function of Overhead Cranes

Before we explore the different types of overhead cranes, let’s first understand their primary function and applications. Overhead cranes are utilized for:

1. Heavy Lifting

Overhead cranes are designed to lift and move heavy loads vertically and horizontally with precision and efficiency. They are capable of handling materials of various shapes, sizes, and weights, making them ideal for tasks that require lifting capacities beyond the capabilities of manual or other types of lifting equipment.

2. Material Handling

Overhead cranes are used for transporting materials within industrial facilities, warehouses, manufacturing plants, and construction sites. They facilitate the movement of raw materials, finished products, machinery, and equipment, allowing for efficient material flow and production processes.

3. Safety and Ergonomics

Overhead cranes enhance workplace safety by minimizing manual handling and reducing the risk of injuries associated with heavy lifting and repetitive tasks. They also improve ergonomic conditions for operators by providing ergonomic controls, adjustable features, and enhanced visibility during lifting operations.

Exploring Different Types of Overhead Cranes

There are several types of overhead cranes designed to meet specific lifting requirements and operational needs. Let’s examine some of the most common types:

1. Single Girder Overhead Crane

Single girder overhead cranes feature a single bridge girder supported by end trucks on either side of the runway beam. They are cost-effective and versatile cranes suitable for light to moderate lifting applications in workshops, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities. Single girder cranes are known for their compact design, ease of installation, and ability to navigate tight spaces.

2. Double Girder Overhead Crane

Double girder overhead cranes consist of two bridge girders positioned parallel to each other on top of runway beams. These cranes offer higher lifting capacities and greater spans compared to single girder cranes, making them suitable for heavy-duty lifting tasks in steel mills, foundries, shipyards, and other industrial environments. Double girder cranes provide enhanced stability, durability, and precision for handling large and bulky loads.

3. Gantry Crane

Gantry cranes are similar to overhead cranes but feature supporting legs or gantries instead of a fixed runway system. They are versatile lifting solutions used in outdoor settings, construction sites, shipping yards, and ports for lifting and moving materials in open spaces. Gantry cranes can be configured as single or double girder cranes and are available in various configurations, including rail-mounted, rubber-tired, and semi-gantry designs.

4. Jib Crane

Jib cranes are specialized lifting devices that feature a horizontal boom or jib mounted to a vertical mast or pillar. They are used for localized lifting and maneuvering of materials within a specific area or workstation. Jib cranes come in different configurations, including wall-mounted, floor-mounted, and ceiling-mounted designs, offering flexibility and versatility for handling loads in confined spaces or areas with limited access.


Overhead cranes play a vital role in industrial operations, providing efficient and reliable lifting solutions for material handling and heavy lifting tasks. Understanding the different types of overhead cranes and their respective features and applications is essential for selecting the right crane for your specific needs. Whether you require a single girder crane for light-duty lifting or a double girder crane for heavy-duty applications, there is a wide range of overhead crane options available to meet your lifting requirements. By choosing the appropriate overhead crane and partnering with a reputable crane manufacturer or supplier, you can enhance productivity, safety, and efficiency in your workplace while optimizing material handling processes.

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