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Which crane is suitable for a factory?

Customers often ask us which crane is suitable for a factory, workshop or indoor use? The best option with the most coverage, is an overhead gantry crane. This is because they can lift heavy loads up, as well as move and lower them back down in all 3 axis (X,Y, Z axis) throughout the entire workspace.  See “the crane envelope” described below, also with a diagram.

An overhead gantry crane is like the Queen in chess, able to move across, up and down and diagonally over the whole area. See photo below.

Which crane is suitable for a factory?

Which crane is suitable for a factory?

Crane Envelope: “What is the crane envelope, or hook coverage?” This question often gets missed; always ask your crane supplier.

In the crane trade we often refer to the “crane envelope” or “hook coverage“. This is the actual area the crane can operate in, without side pulling, or performing dangerous lifting and lowering practices.

If an industrial crane in a warehouse covers an area of 10 meters wide (span) by 18 meters down shop the hook typically will cover 9 x 17 meters. This can vary, and be improved by using shorter end carriages and in addition, hoist type. Chain hoists being narrower than wire rope hoists, will also help, .

We have recently sold a crane and gantry to a client with the following workspace, it was 20 metres by 12 metres. The actual area the crane could work in was 19 metres by 11.4 meters, therefore all areas we ensured all areas had full coverage.

In the image below you can see the detailed drawings we submit to the customer prior to installation, moreover, it shows the hook full coverage.

Crane Envelope

Crane envelope (Hook Coverage) is the shaded area.

Crane Hook Coverage.

The 2 diagrams above illustrate that although you can safely lift and move heavy items throughout virtually all of your factory/yard/warehouse/loading bay etc, the very outer edges are not reachable.


Which type of jib crane is suitable?

Also very popular are “Swing Jib” cranes however they are fixed in one position, typically in a loading area. Similar to a lamppost with an arm that swings through an arc of generally 240 – 290 degrees. They can only lift and move things within that arc so are a little limited. See photo below.

Jib cranes are are also known as pillar jib cranes, swing jibs, floor mounted jibs, swinging arm cranes or even boom cranes. Very occasionally client request a power slewing arm, or 360 degrees slew but the cost of these can be prohibitive.

For more information on jib cranes for sale, see here.

Jib Crane Examples

Which Crane Is Suitable?

Are Wheeled A Frame Gantries or Monorail cranes Suitable for a Factory?

A frames gantry cranes are often used inside factories, however, they cannot be moved under load. In addition, they are limited to one axis movement as are monorail or goalpost cranes.

Wheeled A frame cranes

Wheeled A frame cranes


Monorail Crane

Monorail Crane


People Also Ask; How do I choose a crane for my factory, or which crane is suitable for a factory?

Choosing a crane is an important decision and AG Cranes have many years of real-world experience helping our clients. You need to get the best crane to meet all of your needs, at the right price. Even second-hand cranes can be a major expense for your business, so it is important purchase a crane that is ideally suited for the work you need it to do.


You need to be sure that you operate within a safe working environment, hence only trained staff operate the crane.

Maximum Load

What is the maximum working weight you’ll need your crane to lift? Safety is the always the first concern when it comes to lifting heavy loads. However, there is no point going way over the top buying a crane capable of lifting 10 tonnes if you only more 3 tons.

What will the crane be lifting?

There are many things to consider based on; is the load liquid, or filled barrels, or solid items or a moveable load?

Lift Height

The height of the potential lift is as important as the max weight. How high is your factory roof is a good starter?

Area covered

What area does your crane need to cover? What size is your factory or workshop, even if it is an estimate?


After assessing all the requirements, what is the cost a crane that will meet your needs fully?  AG Cranes offers a full range of brand new and second-hand options, after all, you are the customer. We aim to help match a crane to all budgets, regardless of size.

We are happy to discuss your lifting requirements, so call us today or visit our large crane stock page.

Recent Installations.

Below are some details of the latest gantry crane installations from AG Cranes. Many of them initially asked “which crane is suitable for a factory?”

Tong Engineering Ltd

Based in Spilsby, Lincolnshire Tong engineering are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of equipment for the vegetable market. They sell new and used machinery for washing and grading potatoes, carrots, onions and broccoli.

They needed to be able to move the machinery around the warehouse quickly, equally importantly, safely and efficiently. Tong Engineering have recently purchased more EOT cranes from us.

Below are a couple of images of us undertaking the crane installation process in their new factory unit, as well as a short video.

Crane Installation

Overhead gantry crane being lifted into place.


New Factory Crane being fitted

Construction of the factory unit coming along, and crane installation nearing completion.


Tidyco Ltd Asked Us Which Crane is Suitable?

Based in Derby Tidyco Ltd founded in 1973, are Hydraulic & pneumatic suppliers for the rail industry. “We were happy with the entire process from quotation to installation, moreover, the price was excellent”.

Crane for a warehouse

Tidyco Ltd Based in Derby


Activ Design Ltd

Based in North Yorkshire, Activ specialise in the making and fitting marble, granite and quartz items into kitchens and bathrooms etc. Everything is done in-house by their own staff from surveying to fitting. As you know granite is extremely heavy and when you move the sort of quantities around that Activ Design do. They needed our help and impartial advice before deciding what type of crane suited them whereas come competitors wanted to charge for advice.

Activ Design Ltd

Activ Design Ltd


Factory Crane, Summary

If you are looking for the best type of crane to use in a factory or warehouse, we would suggest that an overhead gantry crane. They are the most versatile, productive and value for money, despite the initial outlay. We are always happy to talk to you, without obligation. You may have specific lifting requirements and we can work with you to come up with the best possible solution, within your budget. Lastly, view our large crane stock to view lots of examples.

Please call us today on 01527 894825, our advice is free of charge, even on Fridays. All areas of the United Kingdom and Ireland covered, literally all.

Lastly, visit our YouTube channel.