Types of cranes - basic design

Overhead travelling cranes are cranes (a group of lifting and handling devices used to move loads vertically/horizontally). They operate in intermittent motion and are equipped with hoists or winches for lifting and lowering.

They are designed to move loads in vertical and horizontal planes within a space corresponding to the length of the travel path and the design of the device, which influences the width of the bridge and the lifting and lowering height.

There are three basic designs of cranes:

  • overhead travelling crane
  • overhead crane
  • gantry crane

The overhead travelling crane, which is also known as a track crane, is most often installed in industrial halls. It consists of a trussed girder mounted on rails. The crane girder is placed on rails and a hoist moves on the platform. The overhead travelling crane can be operated from ground level or it can be equipped with an operator's cabin. Some crane models can also be operated wirelessly.

Suspended cranes usually consist of a single rail. Thanks to their modular design, they can be adapted to the installation location under the roof structure. Thanks to their design, overhead travelling cranes take up little space in halls and enable optimum use of the room height. They have a lower installation height than overhead travelling cranes.

Gantry cranes, referred to as gantry cranes, are most commonly installed outdoors, including on shipyard storage yards and slipways. They are constructed with a platform suspended from side bridges. These cranes may have two or more gates. The gantries may be wheeled or rail-mounted. The gantry crane is powered by a traction hoist.

In order to operate overhead cranes, it is necessary to have the appropriate qualifications. These may be obtained by UDT training - crane course comprehensively prepares to work as an operator. The obtained gantry qualifications confirm the knowledge and skills in operating this device.

We invite you to take part in UDT courses on cranes in our Ergon Centre of Staff Development!

More information:

Operator approval


Types of cranes


Operating overhead cranes


Overhead crane authorisations


Crane Performance Check


Handling of hazardous situations


Overhead crane course