An Overhead Bridge Crane (also called an Overhead Traveling Crane) is a crane that is permanently fixed in place for the purpose of maneuvering extremely large and heavy objects that would be unfeasible, if not impossible, to move manually. This type of crane system is constructed by relying on a beam (rail) that is permanently attached to a support structure. Via a cable or wire rope that is fed through the trolley-mounted mechanism, heavy objects can be moved vertically (raised or lowered), while at the same time moved horizontally along the rail, thereby moving the object for new placement. Smaller overhead cranes might be used to move heavy tools, products, or equipment back and forth between workshops or from a workshop to a loading dock.
Bridge – This is the main component of the bridge system and extends the full length of the intended distance for travel along the two girders (between two end trucks).
End Trucks – Located on either side of the bridge crane, the end trucks house the wheels that carry the crane as they glide along the runway beam.
Bridge Girder – This is the primary beam of the bridge crane, which supports the trolley. Bridge girders are supported by end trucks. Click here to see Bridge Girder Configurations.
Because overhead bridge cranes are fixed in place, the crane is more stable and capable of effectively carrying and controlling the movement of very heavy loads. Heavy industries that use overhead cranes and overhead bridge cranes involve the handling of heavy weighted items in steel working and overseas cargo shipping.
Steel mills use overhead cranes to grip steel during manufacturing of fabricated parts. Overhead cranes are also used in ports all over the world. By positioning the ships (“container ships”) near the crane, the overhead crane operator controls the crane system to send or bring goods and containers between the ship and a train or flatbed truck. Overhead cranes can be built quite large and are capable of moving massive volumes of materials.
Overhead cranes can be constructed in various ways to accommodate more specific functions or physical spatial needs. Some of the most common types of overhead cranes can include industrial cranes, process cranes, automated industrial cranes, stackers, and others. The load capacity of overhead cranes can be from as low as 2 or 3 tons to as high as 500 tons or more. With today's flexible needs in the industry, it has become an indispensable tool in the modern world.