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Overhead Crane Terminology

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As a leader in the lifting and handling industry, we recognize the importance of clear and consistent communication. This comprehensive crane related terminology guide provieds the essential terms and descriptions associated with safe crane operations.

To purchase crane parts and components, click our overhead crane parts page.

Glossary of Crane Related Terms

Anti-Sway System

What is an anti-sway system in crane operations? An anti-sway system is a technological feature designed to prevent or reduce the swinging motion of a load when it's being lifted or moved. This system ensures smoother, safer operations by automatically adjusting the crane's movements to minimize oscillations, enhancing load control.

Bumpers or End Stops

What purpose do bumpers serve in crane systems? Bumpers, often called end stops, are safety devices placed at the end of crane runways or on trolley tracks to prevent the crane or trolley from over-traveling. These components absorb impact, protecting the crane and the structure from potential damage and ensuring the safety of operations.

Crane Duty Cycle

What does the crane duty cycle indicate? The crane duty cycle represents the number and duration of the crane’s operations in a specified period. It is an essential factor in determining the wear and tear the crane will experience. A higher duty cycle signifies frequent use, necessitating robust and durable components to handle repetitive operations.

Crane Lift Speed​

Crane lift speed defines the rate at which the bridge or trolley travels, or at which the hoist lifts, usually in feet per minute or FPM. Crane lift speed is variable with a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD). This also provides the capability to overspeed the hoist to decrease cycle times when the host is lightly loaded.

Crane Runway Alignment

Crane runway alignment refers to the precise configuration and leveling of the crane runway beams. Proper alignment ensures that the crane travels smoothly along its path without any binding or skewing. This contributes to the longevity of the crane's wheels and the runway, as well as for safe and efficient crane operations. Misalignment can lead to increased wear and tear, operational inefficiencies, and increased safety risks.

End Trucks or End Carriages

End trucks - also referred to as end carriages - are the components situated at either end of a crane bridge. They house the wheels that travel on the crane runway, enabling the horizontal movement of the bridge. The design and capacity of end trucks play a pivotal role in the overall efficiency and stability of a crane.

Hoist Brake

What is a hoist brake in crane operations? The hoist brake is a critical safety component in crane hoists, designed to hold the hoist's load securely when lifting operations are not active. The hoist brake prevents unintended lowering of the load, and thereby ensuring safety and stability. Hoist brakes are typically fail-safe and engage automatically in case of power loss.

Hook Height or Height of Lift​

The hook height represents the required dimensions from the crane hook to the floor when the crane hook is at its highest position. This vital measurement determines how high the runway must be from the floor and directly related to the clear interior height of the building or structure.

Lift, Trolley, and Bridge Speeds

These speeds are typically represented in FPM (feet per minute) and indicate the rate at which the bridge, trolley, and hook travel at. The speeds can be pre-set at a single speed or two speeds - high and low. Another option to control the motions of your crane is to use a VFD (variable frequency drive) which allows for the customization of speeds while also creating a soft start and stop.

Load Moment Indicator (LMI)

LMI is a critical safety feature found in modern cranes. It provides real-time data on the weight of the load and its distance from the crane's center of rotation. If a load approaches or exceeds the crane's capacity, the LMI will alert the operator and prevent potential overloading and ensuring safe operations.

Overhead Crane Capacity

Overhead crane capacity is the pre-determined maximum weight that an overhead crane is designed to lift. The rated capacity of a crane is typically displayed on both the hook block and on the bridge.

Overhead Crane Span​

What is meant by the span of an overhead crane? Overhead cranes typically travel on rails that are fastened to a runway system. The span or overhead crane span is defined as the horizontal distance between the rails.​

Rail Sweepers

What are rail sweepers in crane systems? Rail sweepers are devices attached to the front of crane end trucks or trolleys. Their primary function is to clear debris from the crane rails before the wheels pass over them. Rail sweepers maintain smooth and safe crane operations, as debris on the rails can cause derailment or uneven movement.

To purchase crane parts and components, click our overhead crane parts page.

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