Lets talk portable gantry cranes
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Midwestern MN/Wi USA
    Posts
    1,164
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    68
    Likes (Received)
    312

    Default Lets talk portable gantry cranes

    Seeing these things pop up all over our local advertisements for northern tool and in the ads I see on the internet. The typical A frame gantry crane structure looks marginal but they look like a quick solution to putting in a base for a jib style crane. I priced out a 2ton and came to about $7K after festoon, motorized trolley and 2ton motorized hoist. It looks like about the same cost as a jib crane with the foundation (cost of concrete). What are you experiences with them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Olympia, Wa
    Posts
    511
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    268
    Likes (Received)
    146

    Default

    I have a 3 ton Wallace that is height and width adjustable. I use manual hoists but would like an electric one as well. For lifting stuff in my shop it works great.

    The downsides are it is a pain to move and takes up a fair amount of space. I had to totally rearrange all my machines to make room for the gantry and to give access to the shop door if I need to move the crane outside for a higher lift. I also had to arrange the machines so the crane can reach them.

    I use the forklift 90% of the time. I only use the gantry if its too heavy for the forklift, or somewhere the forklift won't get to.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    7,360
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1962

    Default

    A frame portable gantry crane where they are used you
    .
    1) got good smooth floor like concrete or thick steel plates on "soft floor"
    .
    2) you cannot get fork truck in there
    .
    3) often take apart bring pieces through door way and reassemble. a 200 to 2000 lb motor you bring over pallet pick up motor, wheel the gantry crane to position and set down on motor base
    .
    if you got 10 guys and a big pipe and nylon strap they can do the same but gantry crane never gets tired and rarely people get hurt so safer to use

  4. Likes bryan_machine liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Petaluma CA 94952
    Posts
    361
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    34

    Default

    Ive got a Spanco portable rolling aluminum 1 ton gantry crane. One person can setup and move. Its wide enough that my Isuzu flatbed can roll under it. Saved me a lot on forklift rentals for lighter loads. All spring pin connections. Clist purchase otherwise expensive, I think around 5K.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    3,989
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2371
    Likes (Received)
    1236

    Default

    I've got a 3T 10' beam, Vestil adjustable height gantry on casters (AHS-6-10-12, I believe). Steel frame with aluminum beam-to-upright clamps. Not having another crane nor a forklift at the install location, I needed a small team of helpers and some 2x6 blocking to assemble the thing. Catalog says it weighs 927lb, so not the sort of thing you assemble single-handed while standing on a ladder, especially if you are forced to put the casters on the A-frame before assembly. Once assembled, I can change the height on it by myself with a couple of come-alongs, but mostly it stays with the top of the beam just under the 12x12 overhead door clearance.

    Rolls nicely on smooth shop floor, but moving it is a task in dodging and relocating all the stuff in its path. When it's where I need it, it's very handy. Right now, it's across the doorway, for unloading stuff from the rear of open truckbeds. Often, it's over my large mill, moving heavy rotabs or angle tables between the mill table and the storage carts.

    Manual Jet 3T chain hoist with 10' lift on a CM low-profile trolley, and another 1/4T trolley for light load stuff. Cost way, WAY less than $7000.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Western ,Oh ,usa
    Posts
    464
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    172
    Likes (Received)
    20

    Default

    I have made three, the most usefull by far for me is the 2 ton one one......... that the floor caster rails swivel....360 degrees, the downside is the safety factor , one caster rail must always be at right angle to the main long overhead beam or the whole thing would fall over.

    However it is totally manuverable I ve gotten it in behind very close to wall machines , and by swiveling the caster rails paralell to the top bar ONE AT AT A TIME through a narrow doorway.

    Should be made with padlock hasps so unauthorized ppl couldnt swivel the caster rails around though

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    8,079
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4156
    Likes (Received)
    3608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedie View Post
    Seeing these things pop up all over our local advertisements for northern tool and in the ads I see on the internet. The typical A frame gantry crane structure looks marginal but they look like a quick solution to putting in a base for a jib style crane.
    I'm reading "compared to" putting in the base for a jib (style) crane.

    There exists another option. Nowhere near as flexible as a rollable gantry, but perhaps more affordable than a fixed jib crane.

    Stiff-leg derrick. Right out of US Army Corps of Engineers "junior woodchuck" manual. Shovels, telly poles, hemp rope, buried truck wheels, tire-on, human muscle, we lifted 5-Ton LWB GI trucks just for practice. Doesn't have to be wood and hemp. Can be electric hoist equipped.

    Advantage is the anchor is way simpler than a jib crane because cable backstays to deadmen take the tilt strain, not the anchor. I could bury a pair of deadmen, build a socket, drag the post, boom, and cordage out to set up for a load, tear down and stow when done. Hardly any "evidence" left showing between uses.

    Old age as it is, I just rent a forklift now and then for truck unloading, use skates, engine hoist, beam trolleys, chainfalls and electric hoists instead.

    If a gantry cannot REPLACE all or most of that other stuff most of the time in YOUR real-world medium/long-term use?

    Is it really a wise use of funds and storage nuisance?

    Or could you just rent one, now and then, as with forklifts?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    On Elk Mountain, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,873
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    659
    Likes (Received)
    611

    Default

    I use a couple of rigs similar to what Monarchist describes, but not quite so labor-intensive. I call them my portable cranes

    Two 4" OD 1/8" wall tubes, 20' long. Each weighs about a hundred pounds !/2" thick cap welded on one end of each with a 3/4" diam spike 2" long welded in the middle. These are the "feet".

    Similarly cap the top ends, weld two plates on one and one on the other to make hinge leaves, parallel to the axes of the tubes. So the two poles can easily be moved separately, but are secured together at adjustable angle in use..

    Hinge pin is a 5/8 eyebolt, retained by an eye-nut. A hook attached to each eye.

    Three come-alongs.

    To use, lay the poles out, with the hinge ends near the load, feet as far apart as possible. Install hinge pin, attach a rope or come-along to the eye on the side away from the load, hook the pulley-block of a come-along, with close to 40 ft of rope on it, to the other. Manually lift the middle, flexing the hinge, until you can set it on a saw-horse or a fat piece of firewood.

    Run all the line off the come-along whose block is hooked to the eye. Secure the comealong to a choker sling around one of the poles near its bottom, and hook the free end of its cable back to the comealong. Secure the line or other come-along attached to the other eye to an anchor point at least fifteen feet from the load and on the other side of the imaginary line connecting the feet of the crane.

    Hook the third come-along between the lower ends of the two legs. I use short rope chokers.

    Pull the lower ends of the legs together with that third come-along. Hinge point/hook point will rise. Second come-along/guy will keep the rig form falling over on the load, its length being adjusted as the rig rises to maintain a safe lean. Never let the rig get too vertical lest it topple backwards, never let it lean too low over the load because the tension in the guy/compression in the legs gets too high.

    The spikes on the bottom ends of the legs dig into the ground enough that I have no trouble with them slipping.....but again, keep the feet no more than about 15ft apart lest the legs slip or buckle.

    I use this rig for loads up to around a thousand pounds. YMMV. Need nearly 20ft of headroom, and a not-too-hard but not swampy surface.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    South Central PA
    Posts
    12,228
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1392
    Likes (Received)
    2474

    Default

    For loading machines instead of a jib? The gantry is a real PITA compared to a jib crane. They take 2 people to move without making marks on everything around you, they do have to be moved to load a machine like a VMC, and are constantly in the way whether using them at the moment or not.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Midwestern MN/Wi USA
    Posts
    1,164
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    68
    Likes (Received)
    312

    Default

    Well we got 2 in and the biggest issue we have is the gantry actually moves when lifting a load so if your not centered...BAM

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    South Central PA
    Posts
    12,228
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1392
    Likes (Received)
    2474

    Default

    Oh yeah, there's that too. And the move is unpredictable, right?

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    8,079
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4156
    Likes (Received)
    3608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    For loading machines instead of a jib? The gantry is a real PITA compared to a jib crane. They take 2 people to move without making marks on everything around you, they do have to be moved to load a machine like a VMC, and are constantly in the way whether using them at the moment or not.
    Big Adam (Abom79) used his jib crane when we loaded the Quartet mill out. Serious handy critter, that was.

    Biggest drawback vs a mobile gantry or FL truck (both of which he also had - plus skates I had shipped ahead) is that the conventional jib crane can only work within the fixed arc where planted , and not to the same capacity at all points of the boom's radius, even then.

    Now . .with even HALF decent planning that is a feature not a bug, and that is why those blessed with them generally appreciate them.

    If wishes were fishes, I'd take the GI 20T rough-terrain crane I was once licensed on.

    Not only can I move the crane, it is even a better than just a half-assed 'dozer to move the Earth to carve out an improved seat for itself and related working.

    Clearly, a gantry would be far more often useful for a machine-shop. Thankfully it is only space - and MONEY - that limits our having more than one solution.

    Nothing is perfect. A GOOD gantry is a fairly righteous compromise. Were I not stuck with 8-foot ceiling, beams under, and a six-foot-nothing-much by 17 1/2 foot door?

    I'd have one. Even if I also had a jib crane, pallet jack, skates, and a forklift. "Either-or" choices they are only as far as few - or NONE - among us having stupid amounts of "spare money". Gantry now, jib crane later can work. Cost thing.

    Adam was, after all, third-generation of family machine shop, and they had plenty of experience at what was worth having handy, and why there was never, ever, only one right answer.

    When the major machine tools were moved out? Third-party heavy lift had to be called in, regardless. Documented right here on PM, too.


  14. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    8,079
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4156
    Likes (Received)
    3608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    Oh yeah, there's that too. And the move is unpredictable, right?
    Not after the first set of scars on your ass have healed, it ain't "unpredictable", no.



    Motivated person can get right expert at predicting, controlling, even putting movement to very, very advantageous use. Step-swing, step-swing... clear across the carpark with no need of anchor you haveth not for a winch your haveth not, either. Uphill is just more tedious, MUCH more tedious, but that works, too. Farm-boy 101.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •