What are aluminum gantries?

An aluminum gantry crane is a lightweight, portable, and often adjustable crane system, characterized by two upright beams and a cross beam, designed for lifting and moving heavy objects in a variety of environments, including those that require frequent relocation or setup in challenging spaces.

Aluminum gantry cranes are also called aluminum gantries, portable gantries, portable gantry cranes, mobile gantry cranes, adjustable height gantry cranes, rolling gantry cranes, and aluminum beam cranes.

What are aluminum gantries used for?

Aluminum gantry cranes are versatile, lightweight, and mobile lifting devices that are used across various industries for a wide range of applications. Here are some common uses:

  • Warehousing and Storage: Aluminum gantry cranes are often used in warehouses and storage facilities to lift and move heavy items such as crates, pallets, or other materials. They can be used for loading and unloading goods, stacking items, or moving them to different locations within the facility.
  • Manufacturing and Assembly Lines: In manufacturing and assembly environments, aluminum gantry cranes can be used to move parts or finished products from one station to another. They can also assist with tasks that require precise positioning or careful handling.
  • Construction Sites: At construction sites, these cranes can be used to lift and move building materials, machinery, or other heavy equipment. Their mobility allows them to be easily moved to where they are needed on the site.
  • Workshops and Garages: In workshops, garages, or other maintenance facilities, aluminum gantry cranes can be used to lift and move heavy parts or equipment. They can also assist with installation or repair tasks, such as lifting engines or other heavy components.
  • Outdoor Events and Exhibitions: Thanks to their lightweight and easy assembly, aluminum gantry cranes can be used at outdoor events or exhibitions to move and position heavy equipment or exhibits.

How aluminum gantries work

An enclosed monorail track is attached to a wheeled A-frame, which is in turn attached to the trolley and hoist. Met-Track gantries are easy to assemble and the industrial casters allow the gantry to be rolled to any location as long as you have a hard and level surface.

The enclosed track of an aluminum gantry crane makes it extremely safe and ergonomic, meaning it requires very little force to move. This simple yet effective design has made aluminum cranes essential products for applications where you don’t want to install a permanent structure, like auto shops, or environments where headroom is at a premium.


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Advantages of aluminum gantries

Aluminum gantry cranes have a number of key advantages:

  • Mobility: Aluminum gantry cranes can be disassembled, transported to another location, and then reassembled as needed for different projects. This makes them ideal for tasks that require a crane to be moved frequently or used in multiple locations​​.
  • Versatility: These cranes can be customized and tailored to meet the specific needs of the job at hand. This makes them highly versatile and able to accommodate a variety of applications, including construction sites and HVAC projects, where the crane may need to be moved up stairways, placed on a roof, or used in other challenging situations​​.
  • Durability and Stability: Despite their lightweight aluminum construction, these cranes are very durable and stable. They can lift up to 6,000 pounds, and their height and span can be easily adjusted to accommodate different lifting operations or navigate through narrow areas. They also have safety features that allow them to be locked in place to prevent unexpected movements​​.
  • Cost-effectiveness and Ease of Use: Aluminum gantry cranes are generally more cost-effective than their all-steel counterparts, and their lightweight construction means they can often be loaded and unloaded by a single person. This makes them a practical choice for a wide range of projects​1​.
  • Suitability for Special Environments: The aluminum construction of these cranes makes them corrosion-resistant, which means they can be used in clean rooms, refrigerated areas, and other climate-sensitive environments. This further extends their versatility and range of potential applications​​.

What is the difference between an aluminum gantry crane, a workstation crane, a workstation jib crane, and an overhead crane?

An aluminum gantry crane, a workstation crane, a workstation jib crane, and an overhead crane all have the essential role of lifting and moving loads in various environments, but each one possesses unique characteristics:

  • Aluminum Gantry Crane:
    • Portability: Aluminum gantry cranes are lauded for their portability. They are generally lightweight and can be effortlessly assembled, disassembled, and moved to different locations as required.
    • Support Structure: These cranes are freestanding structures, typically made up of two upright beams (legs) and a cross beam (gantry) from which the hoist is suspended. The load is typically lifted and moved beneath the gantry.
    • Area of Operation: Because of their design, gantry cranes are often used in open areas such as warehouses, construction sites, and docks. They are also suitable for outdoor applications.
    • Use Cases: These cranes are typically used in open spaces such as construction sites, warehouses, or docks, where heavy loads need to be lifted and moved over short to moderate distances. Their mobility also makes them suitable for outdoor use.
  • Workstation Crane:
    • Fixed Installation: Workstation cranes are usually installed in a fixed location and are designed to cover a specific area, often rectangular, within a workstation or assembly line. They can be either freestanding or ceiling-mounted.
    • Design and Operation: Workstation cranes usually have a bridge (or multiple bridges) that spans across the workstation. A hoist attached to a trolley moves along the bridge, facilitating the horizontal movement of the load.
    • Use Cases: Workstation cranes are commonly used in manufacturing and assembly environments, or any workspace where repetitive lifting of relatively light materials is required. They are designed for easy operation, allowing a single operator to move loads quickly and efficiently.
  • Workstation Jib Crane:
    • Design and Operation: Workstation jib cranes usually have a single beam (jib or boom) that can rotate around its central axis to cover a circular area. The hoist moves along the jib, providing a means for lifting and moving loads.
    • Fixed Installation: Like workstation cranes, workstation jib cranes are typically installed in a fixed location, often mounted to the floor or wall.
    • Use Cases: Workstation jib cranes are ideal for tasks that require lifting and moving loads within a circular area, such as around a workstation or along an assembly line. They are particularly effective in areas not efficiently served by an overhead crane.
  • Overhead Crane
    • Fixed Installation: Overhead cranes, also known as bridge cranes, are typically installed in a fixed location. They are usually mounted on a beam (the bridge) that spans the width of the workspace. The bridge is generally supported on both ends by a runway system affixed to the building structure.
    • Area of Operation: Overhead cranes are predominantly used in indoor settings such as workshops, factories, and warehouses. They are designed to move loads over a specific area, defined by the span and length of the bridge and runway system.
    • Movement: The hoist and trolley of an overhead crane can traverse the bridge, and the bridge itself can move along the runway, enabling three-dimensional movement of the load.

In summary, aluminum gantry cranes, workstation cranes, overhead cranes, and workstation jib cranes each have unique features that make them suitable for different applications. Aluminum gantry cranes offer mobility and versatility for open spaces and outdoor environments. Workstation cranes provide efficient coverage of a defined workspace, particularly in manufacturing and assembly processes. Overhead cranes offer three-dimensional load movement in indoor environments like workshops and factories. Lastly, workstation jib cranes offer flexible lifting and movement within circular areas, making them ideal for work cells and tool solution tasks. Each crane type contributes significantly to improving productivity, safety, and efficiency in a variety of industrial settings.

What is the lift capacity of aluminum gantries?

Met-Track aluminum gantry cranes can lift up to 4,000 lbs, depending on the model.

Questions to ask before you purchase an aluminum gantry crane

  • Do you have experts that will help me correctly specify my aluminum gantry crane?
  • What is the warranty?
  • What does your warranty cover?
  • Are the wheels in your track system made of metal (which lasts much longer) or plastic/rubber (which is cheaper and wears out)?
  • How long has your company been around?
  • Are your aluminum gantry cranes made in the USA?

Why choose a Met-Track aluminum gantry crane

Met-Track invented the aluminum gantry crane and is the worldwide leader in worksite safety. Our enclosed track and aluminum construction make our gantry cranes the most durable and safest in the industry. Plus, our emphasis on excellent customer service means we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Met-Track aluminum gantry cranes comply with OSHA safety standards, and enclosed track equipment is less likely to come off-track, creating a safer work environment. Additionally, by making it easier to move large loads throughout a facility, aluminum gantry cranes can boost productivity on your worksite.

Alongside the time savings comes significant cost effectiveness. Our aluminum gantry cranes are use metal wheels inside the enclosed track rather than plastic or rubber, so they don’t have to be regularly replaced. This means your purchase of an aluminum gantry crane will create job site benefits that last for years or even decades with minimal maintenance costs.

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