What Is An Overhead Crane Used For?

In order to move large equipment from storage and to the assembly line, industries requiring heavy lifting must rely on overhead cranes. These devices come in a variety of styles and capacities to suit specific applications.

The rated load for a crane or hoist includes the weight of the bare load block plus any appurtenances reeved in the load ropes. Also included is the weight of the sheaves, pins and frame of the load block.


Various industries rely on overhead cranes to handle large and heavy objects. Power plants use bridge cranes to move machinery between stations and across a power station layout, while auto repair shops require smaller gantry cranes for moving parts around the shop floor.

The main component of an overhead gantry crane is its hoist, which can be either chain or wire. A chain hoist holds the load in place and lifts weights less than ten tons, while wire rope on hoists allows for more possibilities and flexibility.


Rather than relying on workers to haul bulky, heavy loads through corridors and aisles, warehouse owners can use overhead cranes. This saves time and reduces risk of injuries to employees.

Metal processing companies can also rely on cranes to handle raw materials through each step of the manufacturing process. For example, the steel industry uses an overhead crane to pour molten metal into a furnace, roll the hot metal into specific thicknesses, anneal and temper the metal, and store it for cooling.

Other manufacturers can customise an overhead crane by adding a variety of accessories such as lifting beams, spreader beams, tongs, rolling coil lifters and sheet lifters. These attachments can enhance a crane’s lifting capabilities and improve efficiency by eliminating manual handling of the load. 


For many industries, especially those involved in metal fabrication and manufacturing, overhead cranes allow them to efficiently complete tasks that would otherwise be unsafe and time consuming. Lift trucks are common in these types of facilities, but they carry the risk of imprecise stacking, dropping or crashing. Overhead cranes, on the other hand, move loads through unused space above workers to save energy and eliminate human error.

The basic components of a crane include the bridge, runway beams, trolley, and cab. The trolley contains the lifting mechanism that consists of a brake, motor, reducer, and drum. 


An overhead crane’s controls are essential for the operation of all equipment in a facility. They can be a push button pendant, remote radio console or a hydraulic and pneumatic control system with an operator station. Insulated conductor bars or festoon systems bring power to the crane from a building’s electrical system. The hook is another vital part of the hoist, as it holds the load and moves the load through the manufacturing process. This means it must be inspected regularly for signs of serious wear and tear.