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Overhead Cranes: Understanding Your Options

Before you choose an overhead crane there are important factors to consider, including your desired load capacity, service rating, mechanical and electrical components, remote/radio control, as well as pivotal factors and limitations of your facility which includes building size, obstructions, installation, inspection and preventative maintenance.

First of all, let's explore each of the 4 types of overhead cranes Hoist UK supply; monorail cranes, workstation bridge cranes, gantry cranes and jib cranes. Each crane has it's own key features so it's important to understand the capabilities of each and also how it's designed. We are a full solutions provider and are able to modify any standard equipment, design bespoke lifting solutions, fabricate steel and aluminium (i.e. gantry steel work), install complete systems, test and commission the cranes before they are put into service.

The 4 Types of Overhead Cranes

Monorail Cranes: Eurosystem

If your operation involves routine/fixed processes like a factory line or processing plant and you require a lifting solution to lift loads and move them forwards/backwards along a beam, then our Eurosystem hollow profile lightweight overhead crane system in a monorail configuration would be an ideal solution.

We offer both Steel Monorail and Lightweight Aluminium Monorail's can be configured with Electric Chain Hoists, Electric Wire Rope Hoists and Manual Chain Hoists and trolleys. These monorail crane systems offer a lifting capacity of 60kg to 2,000kg and are fully scalable so at a later date if you decide to upscale the system to cover a larger area you can simply add to it at any time.

Monorail Crane
Steel and Aluminium Monorail Crane
Gantry Cranes Overhead Cranes

Gantry Cranes

For an operation like car manufacturing where lifting heavy parts like car batteries and engine components is a necessity but there are limitations for a fixed overhead crane installation, a Gantry Crane can be an ideal solution. Our gantries offer a lifting capacity from 250kg to 5 tonnes and our Steel Workshop Portable Gantry Cranes are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and can be configured with Electric Chain Hoists, Electric Wire Rope Hoists and Manual Chain Hoists. We also offer a Steel Mobile Powered Gantry which is motorised, can run by mains through a cable reeling drum or be battery powered, and provides a lifting capacity of up to 6,300kg. Some of our Workshop Gantry Cranes are movable under load, which includes our Powered Gantry, and we also offer an Aluminium Portable Gantry Crane which can be adjusted to suit your operational needs and folded for easy storage.

Gantry Cranes

Jib Cranes

Jib Cranes are an incredibly versatile solution available in three different configurations including Wall Mounted, Column Mounted (Pillar), and Ceiling Mounted, with articulated options for operations that require lifting around corners/structural obstacles. Your application would determine the type of Jib Crane best suited to your operation, for example a working environment with multiple workstations and no suitable supporting structure for a Monorail Crane or Workstation Bridge Crane. Our range of Jib Cranes can accommodate loads of up to 10 tonnes with spans of up to 8 meters, and we are also able to design and manufacture bespoke jib cranes to meet your exact specifications.

Jib Cranes
Jib Cranes Overhead Cranes

Workstation Bridge Cranes

Steel and Aluminium Single Girder Workstation Bridge Cranes

Eurosystem Bridge Cranes

Typically, of Single Girder configuration a workstation bridge crane gives the operator the ability to manoeuvre the single girder bridge beam forwards and backwards as well as moving the hoist left and right on the bridge. Due to the system’s modular design it can be upscaled at a later date to grow in-line with your business.

Available in both Aluminium and Steel, this system is also available in a Double Girder configuration. The Workstation Bridge Crane provides a lifting capacity of 125kg to 2000kg and is suited well for use in low headroom environments.

Eurosystem Bridge Cranes

Crane Kits

If your operation already has the crane support structure in place and you simply require a Crane Kits we are able to supply this. Our overhead crane kits generally consist of:

  • A pair of end carriages (top running or underslung)
  • Travelling motors (if motorised travel is required and recommended if the load capacity is greater than 500kg)
  • Hoisting unit including electric chain hoists, electric wire rope hoists and manual chain hoists
  • Crane panel (power goes in and disburses out into each component of the crane kit)
  • Power feed system (cable management system) includes flat cable festoon
  • Enclosed busbar (for powering multiple trolleys)
  • Energy chain (sits inside the bridge and moves along with the crane)
Workstation Bridge Crane Kits
Overhead Crane Kits End Carriages, Power Supply, Hoists

A Turnkey Lifting Solutions Provider

Sometimes supplying the right lifting equipment simply isn't enough. We understand that our customers require an end-to-end solution and for over 10 years Hoist UK has established itself as a turnkey provider of quality, innovative lifting solutions including; design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing, commissioning and preventative maintenance.

Our range of services has been designed with our customers in mind so that we are able to fulfil any projects requirements. We understand that not every customer wants or needs an 'out of the box' product and often there are elements of the solution that need to be tailored to each customer's operation and unique application. Equally their are challenges to overcome whether it's the operating environment i.e. cleanroom or explosion proof, facility obstructions i.e. low headroom working environment or structural support challenges, which is why our technical teams of designers and engineers apply their knowledge and experience to each project so we can deliver a robust, innovative solution with a lifting solution that is not only fit for purpose but is safe and technically correct.

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Before you choose an Overhead Crane solution you need to assess your applications needs and then consider the structural and environmental limitations of your working facility.

Set out below there are a variety of factors to be considered, including equipment, application, facility and safety:

Load Capacity

What is the maximum load weight you plan to lift and handle using your overhead crane system? It is extremely dangerous to operate a crane above its rated load capacity and can cause serious damage to your lifting system. When you decide on the load capacity of your crane ensure that it's greater than the maximum load weight you anticipate lifting with your crane to lengthen and preserve its serviceable life.

Service Rating

Consider the load capacity along with the anticipated frequency of operation to ensure the solution you choose is correct for your hoist for safety, operational efficiency and to represent value for money. Read our 'FEM Hoist Duty Classifications Explained' focus piece for more information and understand how the load capacity and operating time determine the duty required.

Mechanical & Electric Components

There are multiple mechanical and electrical component options available for any overhead crane systems including inverters, control panels and drive shafts, etc. If you are unsure of the options available and how they can benefit your operation you can discuss this with our technical sales team who will make suggestions based on your requirements to enhance operational performance.

Remote & Radio Control

A remote control system allows you to manipulate bridge and trolley motions for increased precision and safe, controlled lifting. A remote control solution is useful for applications where workers need to work at a distance or need to operate multiple crane systems safely. Our push-button pendants allow your crane operator to control the hoist travel on the crane system from a safe distance.

Building Size

The size of your building will intrinsically affect the size of your crane span and thus dictate the solutions available for your operation. Dependent on your application and the space available for the operation you will need to consider the overhead crane systems that can suitably provide the solution required for your application within the space permitted in the working environment.


Support structures, walls and equipment are all potentially disruptive obstructions and will impact the choices you have for an overhead crane system in your facility. There are different options available that can help mitigate the disruption caused by structural obstructions. For help choosing the best solution for your application taking into account any structural challenges our sales team will be able to assist you.


Dependent on your chosen overhead crane system a structural analysis of the support or ground structure will need to be undertaken to determine its safety and suitability for the proposed application. Similarly, the lifting system may need to be installed and/or be tested before being put into service. Hoist UK have a team of qualified and experienced lifting engineers on hand to complete your project.

Inspection & Preventative Maintenance

Once the Overhead Crane System has been installed and put into service as the owner you will have obligations for its safe and proper use and ongoing maintenance, which will include LOLER inspections. For more information on this speak to our technical sales team who can advise and schedule inspections and preventative maintenance by our lifting engineers.

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