Cranes 101: Overhead Crane Buyer’s Course

Become a More Informed Overhead Crane Buyer!

Whether you’re looking to buy your first overhead crane, or adding another crane to an existing facility, investing in the right equipment can be so critical to the success of future production, growth, and your bottom line. The more informed you are during the purchasing process, the better you’ll understand how to design and specify the right overhead crane for your business and get the best bang for your buck.

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1 | What is an Overhead Crane?

Overhead cranes can vary so much in terms of specifications and configurations. No two crane builds are exactly alike! A crane that worked in a similar building structure, or similar lifting application, may not be the best crane for your facility or your application. So, selecting the right type of crane for your business is critical to maximizing efficiency, streamlining workflow, and getting the best bang for your buck.


2 | Overhead Crane Structure and Design

While a crane manufacturer will come in to your facility and gather all of the information that they need to put a proper quote and specification together, it’s also a good idea for you as the consumer to be informed about the design and specification requirements for your new overhead crane. Understanding how a new crane will fit into your existing facility, or how the structural and design factors of an existing runway and support structure can be utilized, will help you double-check their bids. The better informed you are as a customer, the smoother the design, consultation, and quotation processes will be. Knowing the specifications and requirements for your crane system gives you more power and knowledge you can use to make an informed purchasing decision. The more informed you are, the easier it will be to select a manufacturer that will provide you with a crane system that is a long-term, safe, and efficient solution.


3 | Overhead Crane Components

A hoist could be considered the most important component of an overhead crane system because it's the device that actually performs the lifting and lowering of a load. However, when looking at the complete picture, you also need to consider the method of delivering power to a crane's bridge, trolley, and hoist—as well as how the operator will control the crane's motion, hoist positioning, and hoist lifting motions. In this lesson, we'll explore: The different methods of providing power to a crane's bridge, trolley, and hoist The different methods of providing power to a crane's bridge, trolley, and hoist The different types of hoists that are available for an overhead crane system Pendants and radios used by the operator to control the motion of the crane and hoist


4 | Overhead Crane Features and Technologies

Whether you’re considering upgrading or modernizing your older crane system, or you’re designing the specifications for a new overhead crane system, your number one goal should be to improve the safety of the overhead crane equipment and production processes at your facility. With modern technologies becoming more readily available and more affordable, the safety features available for overhead crane systems have never been better. Newer technologies now allow for: <ul> <li>Remote monitoring and diagnostic information for individual components</li> <li>Automated drives to control the speed and motion of the crane</li> <li>Collision avoidance systems</li> <li>Overload sensors and read-outs</li> </ul> In this lesson, we’ll walk you through some of the new systems and technologies that are available to help improve the safety, performance, and reliability of your overhead crane equipment.


5 | Buying a New Overhead Crane

An overhead crane is a complex and expensive piece of equipment. It's a good idea to bring in a couple of different overhead crane manufacturers to receive multiple quotes, provide a scope of work, and provide their expert opinion on the right overhead crane for your business' needs. The goal of this lesson is to help you understand: <ul> <li>What you can expect from an overhead crane consultation—from first contact with a crane manufacturer up into the installation of the overhead crane system</li> <li>The different factors that can affect the cost of an overhead crane system</li> <li>Why you should consider financing your crane equipment</li> <li>How to compare overhead crane quotes and select the right manufacturer to partner with</li> </ul>


6 | Overhead Crane Installation

Learn more about the timeline for an overhead crane installation--including what takes place between a signed purchase order and the day that the installers show up with your crane on their trucks. Whether this is your first time going through an overhead crane installation, or you’ve gone through multiple crane installations, this lesson teach you how to keep your installation on schedule, within budget, and your workers safe.


7 | Overhead Crane Ownership

Are you looking to buy an overhead crane? While you work your way through each lesson of Cranes 101, our Crane Configurator tool is helping you design the specifications and requirements for a new overhead crane system. Review the answers you provide and confirm everything is accurate. When everything looks good, simply click and submit and we'll send you along to the next lesson. Once you complete the Cranes 101 course, you can review the full configuration of your overhead crane system and email a copy to yourself to keep on hand for a future crane consultation! As you head into the final lesson of this course, it's important to understand the other costs associated with overhead crane ownership. An overhead crane can be a significant investment—it’s a piece of capital equipment that will improve your production processes, and if properly specified and maintained, can stay in service for a long time. With that being said, if it isn’t properly designed for your application, or you purchase solely based on price, you may run into problems down the road. In this lesson, we’ll help you identify some of the pitfalls and hidden costs associated with overhead crane ownership and how you can properly budget for training, inspection, and maintenance requirements down the road.