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Choosing the right overhead crane involves considering a number of factors. These include your desired safe working load, radio control and building size.

To find out more about the different types of overhead crane available and how each can be of value to your business, click the link below.



The National Theatre required an overhead crane system to be installed on the scene dock for the Dorfman Theatre to assist their teams with set builds.

The crane system the NT required would need to maximise their operational space and to achieve this a low headroom solution would be the best choice. The work space’s ceiling where the crane is to be installed was not entirely level, so our engineers would need to plan and agree a suitable suspension method for the crane.

Overhead Crane System for the scene dock at the National Theatres Dorfman Theatre


This busy manufacturing plant needed a bespoke overhead crane system to be designed, manufactured and installed with minimal disruption to their operation.

Works had recently been completed at the plant and due to the tight production schedule, there was no scope to move machinery, ducting or conveyor equipment. Our installations team had to plan working around the existing machinery and would also need to complete installation had to be completed and satisfactorily tested during a very brief shutdown and maintenance window.



The Royal Opera House approached Hoist UK to commission a bespoke overhead crane lifting system for their storage facility. The carefully planned system required input from our team of skilled design engineers to ensure maximum coverage and appropriate lifting capacities spread amongst multiple cranes for effective handling.

To ensure there were no space restrictions within the storage facility we needed to design the system to be completely in the warehouse roof with no mounted steelwork, as this would inhibit the building of large set pieces in this large workspace.


Our Products

Overhead cranes, also known as overhead gantry cranes or bridge cranes, play a vital role in modern industrial operations. These powerful lifting devices provide a multitude of benefits, making them indispensable in various industries.

In partnership with Verlinde, a renowned name in the lifting equipment industry and part of the largest crane component manufacturer in the world, our company, Hoist UK offers high-quality and economically priced overhead cranes designed to meet diverse needs and delivers exceptional performance for your particular lifting application.

In this online guide, we will delve into the applications, advantages, types, lifting capacity, key features, and safety considerations associated with overhead cranes, as well as provide insights on selecting the ideal overhead crane for your specific requirements.

Applications and Advantages of Overhead Cranes

Overhead cranes are widely utilised in various industries, including manufacturing, construction, warehouses, and logistics. They are the ideal choice for handling heavy loads with ease, enhancing productivity and efficiency. The key advantages of overhead cranes include:

Increased productivity: Overhead cranes expedite the movement of heavy materials and equipment, reducing downtime and boosting overall productivity in your factory.

Space utilisation: As they are mounted overhead, these cranes maximize floor space, allowing for efficient storage and movement of goods.

Precise positioning: Overhead cranes offer precise control and positioning of loads, minimising the risk of damage and accidents.

Enhanced safety: When operated correctly, overhead cranes ensure a safer working environment by reducing the need for manual handling and minimising human errors.

Types of Overhead Cranes

There are several types of overhead cranes, each tailored to specific applications:

Single Girder Overhead Cranes

Ideal for light to medium duty lifting, these cranes are cost-effective and suitable for various industrial settings.

Double Girder Overhead Cranes

Known for their high lifting capacity, these cranes are perfect for heavy-duty applications and can handle larger loads with ease. Double girder cranes are also able to have higher lifting heights with limited available headroom due to their construction with the hoist unit sitting on top of the bridge girders that span the room.

Underslung Cranes

Perfect for light to medium-duty applications where the crane can be suspended from its support structure. Underslung cranes have the benefit of being able to be supplied with cantilevers to gain more hook coverage in the working area.

Underslung or suspended cranes are ideal for large manufacturing sites, which have host roof structures which can have large, imposed loads applied on them from their overhead cranes.

The benefit of this configuration is that there is little to no impact at floor level with support steelwork needed to transfer crane loads to the floor, which means the floor area is freed up for manufacturing rather than being obstructed with gantry steelwork to support the overhead crane.

Gantry Cranes

Gantry cranes, also referred to as overhead gantry cranes, are versatile and can be used both indoors and outdoors. They provide efficient lifting solutions in shipyards, construction sites, and warehouses.

Gantry cranes are normally similar to the other types of cranes such as single girder, double girder and underslung however they are normally fitted with legs and have end carriage units which run at floor level to create a motorised goal post / gantry type crane arrangement.

Jib Cranes

Jib cranes are a popular choice for smaller work areas and for low to medium lifting duties. Jib cranes offer rotational movement of an arm fitted with a hoist and fitted to a stanchion or column to handle loads in your working area. The jib arm is easy to rotate and jib cranes offer a value for money solution for lifting applications which need to cover a relatively small working area.

Light Crane Systems

Light crane systems optimise efficiency and productivity in material handling operations. These types of light overhead cranes are supplied with tracks manufactured from steel or aluminium with a range of components and fittings to allow them to be installed quickly on site and normally cover loads up to 2000kg (2 tonnes).

Light crane systems, also known as LCS can be supplied as a push / pull type system or with electrical motions which makes them an economical solution for the lower end of the lifting capacity range needed in your production or manufacturing facility.

Lifting Capacity

Runout Crane

Overhead cranes come in a wide range of lifting capacities, from a few hundred kilograms to loads up to 80,000kg (80 tonnes).

The appropriate lifting capacity depends on the specific industry and the weight of the loads needing to be handled on the overhead crane.

It is crucial to select a crane that meets your lifting requirements with sufficient capacity to allow for your future needs and our technical team at Hoist UK can assist you with this process if required.

Key Features and Benefits

Modern overhead cranes are equipped with various features to enhance performance and safety:

Wireless controls

Advanced control systems allow operators to handle the crane remotely, providing better visibility and safety. Radio control is the most common type of wireless control, however, we are also able to provide infrared control for working locations the emission of radio signals is not permitted.

Variable speed options

Overhead cranes with variable speed controls enable precise and smooth movements, reducing the risk of load swinging. Overhead cranes can be fitted with variable speed drives (VSD), however, Hoist UK can also supply cranes with simple contactor control for dual speed lifting and travelling where this is needed.

Intelligent lifting systems

Some cranes come with intelligent lifting systems that monitor and adjust load distribution, enhancing safety and load stability. The Hoist UK technical team are an invaluable source of assistance to help discuss intelligent features required for your lifting application.

Durability and reliability

High-quality materials and construction ensure that overhead cranes can withstand demanding industrial environments and deliver long-lasting performance.

Choosing an Overhead Crane

Selecting the right overhead crane involves considering several crucial factors:

a. Lifting Capacity: Assess the heaviest load you will handle regularly to determine the appropriate lifting capacity of the crane.

b. Working Conditions: Consider the environment in which the crane will operate, including temperature, humidity, and exposure to chemicals or corrosive substances.

c. Span and Height Requirements: Evaluate the distance the crane needs to cover and the height at which loads must be lifted.

d. Speed and Control Options: Depending on the precision required and the speed of operations, choose the suitable speed and control features for your crane.

e. Safety Features: Ensure the overhead crane is equipped with safety mechanisms, such as overload protection, emergency stop buttons, and collision avoidance systems. Overhead cranes from Hoist UK can also be fitted with predictive maintenance tools to monitor the crane and make data available to teams who need to ensure the crane remains serviceable and safe to use.

ST Lightweight - Monorail Crane (Steel)

Safety Considerations

Safety is paramount when operating overhead cranes. Proper operator training and certification are essential to minimise the risk of accidents.

Hoist UK can offer a statutory inspection of the overhead crane under The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and have a training course for your operators to help them gain competency to use the lifting equipment available to them for daily operations. Regular maintenance and inspections should be conducted to identify and address potential issues promptly.

We can provide pre-planned maintenance services for your overhead crane as well as all your lifting equipment on site. Additionally, operators must adhere to all safety precautions, including wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and following a safe system of work for all their lifting practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can an overhead crane be customised to fit my workspace?

Yes, one of the significant advantages of overhead cranes is their flexibility and adaptability to various workspaces.

Leading manufacturers like Hoist UK, in partnership with Verlinde who are a global supplier of crane components, offer a wide range of overhead crane configurations that can be tailored to suit your specific workspace requirements and lifting applications.

Their expert engineering teams can design and manufacture cranes to fit tight spaces, accommodate specific lifting capacities, and adhere to safety regulations, ensuring seamless integration into your facility.

How often should an overhead crane be inspected and serviced?

Regular inspections and maintenance are essential to ensure the safe and optimal performance of your overhead crane. Industry standards typically recommend inspections at least once a year.

However, high-frequency use or heavy-duty applications may necessitate more frequent inspections. Overhead cranes also need to be annually inspected under The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER), which are statutory in the United Kingdom. In addition to yearly inspections, it is crucial to conduct daily pre-shift checks to identify any visible issues or abnormalities.

When it comes to servicing, manufacturers like Hoist UK provide comprehensive maintenance plans and can offer guidance on the ideal servicing intervals based on your crane's usage and environment.

What training or qualifications are required to operate an overhead crane?

Operating an overhead crane requires specialised training and certification to ensure safe and proficient handling. The specific training and qualifications needed depend on the type and complexity of the crane, as well as regional regulations.

Generally, operators must undergo comprehensive training that covers crane operations, load handling, safety protocols, and emergency procedures. Hoist UK can provide operator training courses and certifications, ensuring that operators are competent and fully compliant with safety standards.

Can an overhead crane be operated remotely?

Yes, many modern overhead cranes can be operated remotely using advanced control systems. Wireless remote controls enable operators to control the crane from a safe distance, providing better visibility and precision during lifting and positioning operations.

Remote operation enhances safety by allowing operators to monitor the load and surroundings closely. We, in collaboration with Verlinde, offer overhead cranes equipped with state-of-the-art remote-control technology, further improving operational efficiency and safety on your overhead crane.

What should I do if my overhead crane develops a mechanical issue?

In the event of a mechanical issue with your overhead crane, it is crucial to prioritise safety and take immediate action. The first step is to ensure that the crane is not operated until the problem is resolved.

Next, contact a qualified crane service provider, such as Hoist UK, to assess the issue and provide necessary repairs. Regular maintenance and inspections can help identify potential issues before they escalate, reducing the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns.

Promptly addressing mechanical problems will not only enhance safety but also prevent prolonged downtime in your lifting operations. Modern overhead cranes from Hoist UK can also be fitted with predictive maintenance tools to help identify problems before they occur and can even alert specialist maintenance teams by SMS or email if it is starting to develop a problem or issue.

How do overhead cranes contribute to workplace safety?

Overhead cranes play a pivotal role in enhancing workplace safety. By minimising the need for manual handling of heavy loads, they reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries to workers. Additionally, overhead cranes are equipped with various safety features, such as overload protection, emergency stop buttons, and collision avoidance systems, ensuring safe operations.

Partnering with leading manufacturers like Hoist UK ensures access to high-quality cranes designed with safety as a top priority, which are economical and fit for purpose. We are also a proud British manufacturer of cranes and lifting equipment, so purchasing from us will help the UK economy as a whole.

Can overhead gantry cranes or overhead cranes be used in outdoor applications?

Yes, overhead gantry cranes and some overhead cranes are suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. Their robust construction and weather-resistant features make them ideal for various outdoor settings, such as shipyards, construction sites, and material yards.

When choosing an overhead gantry crane or overhead crane for outdoor use, it is essential to consider factors like exposure to weather conditions and the required lifting capacity to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

As always, when considering the purchase, maintenance, or operation of overhead cranes, it is recommended to consult with experts from reputable manufacturers like Hoist UK, who have extensive experience and expertise in providing reliable and safe lifting solutions in partnership with leading a manufacturer like Verlinde to give you the ultimate peace of mind on your capital purchase.