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What Are The Most Common Types Of Factory Cranes?

Types Of Overhead Or Gantry Cranes?

If your business needs to lift heavy or awkward loads you may be wondering what type of crane kind of lifting equipment you need to fit inside your workshop. Deciding which piece of expensive capital equipment will best suit your lifting requirements isn’t a 5 minute snap decision. It needs to be thought about and discussed with fully trained crane engineers. There are a number of very common but different types of overhead factory cranes. Never be afraid to ask “what are the most common types of factory cranes?” Here we will try to simplify it for you.

The are a number types of indoor factory cranes for lifting, lowering, positioning and handling. Even though there are only five “main types of factory crane” many have different names or terminology which are actually for the same crane. Example; jib cranes, swing jib cranes and pillar jib cranes are all exactly the same thing.

What are the most common types of factory cranes?

1 tonne SWL jib cranes in a factory in Yorkshire

Typically the five main types of cranage for factory use are called overhead traveling cranes, A-Frames cranes, jib cranes, monorail cranes, goalpost cranes and light crane systems. The most common of all, and the cheapest is the pillar jib crane, or swing jib. A frames gantries, or mobile wheeled gantries are also common and each has their own advantages and disadvantages. We will aim to cover them all on here, or link to a full page on each for a full in depth description.

Electric overhead travelling cranes are the most versatile type of factory workshop crane and user friendly and cover the biggest areas of all, they do however cost more especially as supporting steelwork is often required for them to run on.

Single girder crane, often called an EOTC.


Below are common terminology’s for types of overhead cranes.
  • Jib crane, pillar cranes, or swing jib cranes: A pillar bolted to the floor or building column with an arm that swings, left and right.
  • Pedistall crane, or post crane: Others terms for jib cranes.
  • Overhead cranes: The main type of crane used overhead in the UK for indoor factory use, in all three axis.
  • EOTC’s: Another term for overhead cranes.
  • Bridge crane: Another term for overhead cranes.
  • Single girder bridge crane: Another term for overhead cranes.
  • Double girder bridge crane: Another term for overhead cranes.
  • XYZ crane: Another term for overhead cranes.
  • Gantry crane: Another term for overhead cranes
  • Box beam Crane: Another term for overhead cranes.
  • Goliath cranes: Similar to an overhead crane but the end carriages run on the floor not on steelwork in the air.
  • Semi goliath crane. Similar to a goliath crane but one end carriage run on the floor and one  on the support steelwork in the air.
  • Overhead gantry crane: Another term for overhead cranes, often confused with A-Frame gantries.
  • Top-Running beam or bridge cranes: Another term for overhead cranes, that run on top of the supporting horizontal steel.
  • Under-slung cranes: Another term for overhead cranes, that run on the bottom flange of the supporting hormonal steel.
  • Portal Cranes: often in our industry these are often mixed up goliath cranes, wheeled A-Frames or even dockside cranes.
  • A-Frame gantries; 2 x A’s often on wheels, with a beam between them from which a hoist is suspended.
  • Wheeled gantry cranes; another term for an A frame gantry.
  • Light crane system, or LCS: Often push pull lighter cranes, made from a profiled formed track rather than universal beams.
  • Workstation Crane: Usually push pull crane for lighter safe working loads.
  • Monorail Crane System: Usually a straight piece off steel with a hoist running on it. Only useful in 2 axis.
  • Goal post crane: 2 or more goalposts with a single beam supported from it for the hoist to run on. Only useful in 2 axis.
  • A used crane: any of the above can be supplied new or used, or even a combination of both.


free standing crane support steelwork

free standing crane steelwork covering 18 meters, 4 columns per side.

More Crane Help and Advise.

Hopefully this page has been useful, and has helped to explain some of the types and differences of overhead cranes used daily across the UK and Europe. If you need anymore help please call us on 01527 894925 we are always happy to help.

Lastly, visit our YouTube channel for many more crane type examples.