Deciding which gantry crane to buy isn’t easy. There are many considerations and options. Wallace cranes, for example, has over 200 different gantry crane makes and models to choose from ranging in size from 4 to 24 feet in height and with lifting capacities from 1/2 to 15 tons.

To guide you in making the most beneficial and cost-effective choice for your business and application, we have created this document to spell out the different things you need to know and reflect upon before making your final decision.

It helps to have an overview of your options before you start. Choosing the right crane helps mitigate the risk of accidents and property damage. It can save your company time and money and improves its reputation as a safe and desireable workplace.

Wallace Gantry Product Line

Wallace Cranes offers hundreds of different gantry cranes and works with major hoist vendors to provide a broad range of lift equipment accessories so you can have a guaranteed fit. If “standard” does not work, we have an equally broad range of custom and semi-custom options.

How To Buy a Crane - Nested A-Frame Cranes | Wallace Cranes

Wallace gantry cranes come in six different models. The difference between models has to do with:

    • the material they are made of e.g. steel, aluminum, or a hybrid (steel frame with aluminum i-beam mix);
    • whether the crane is fixed or has an adjustable height, span, tread, and/or caster frame spread; and
    • the crane’s lifting capacity, span, and height.

A brief description of each of the models is provided below. While Wallace can easily modify many of the “standard” models, some parameters cannot be changed. For example, the span and the desired load lock in a given I-beam section. And while caster frames can be “adjusted”, the amount of adjustment is limited by the requirement to keep the crane stable both statically and while rolling.

Tri-Adjustable

Tri-Adjustable Product Line | Wallace Cranes

  • Steel, Aluminum, or Hybrid
  • Adjustable Height
  • 1/2 to 10 Ton Capacity
  • Spans from 10 to 35 Feet
  • Heights from 4′ 2″ to 24′ 0″

Thrifty

Thrifty product line | Wallace Cranes

  • Steel or Aluminum
  • Fixed Height or Adjustable Height
  • 1/2 to 7 1/2 Ton Capacity
  • Spans up to 35 feet (lower heights and shorter spans in Aluminum)
  • Heights from 6′ 7″ to 18′ 4″

Hippolift

Hippolift Fixed Height Cranes | Wallae Cranes

  • Fixed Height Steel
  • 1 to 5 Ton Capacity
  • Spans 10 to 35 Feet
  • Heights: Nominal 10, 13 or 16 Feet

Mighty Mite

Mighty-Mite Workstation Crane

  • Steel
  • Fixed Height
  • 500 to 1000 Pound Capacity
  • Spans from 8 to 15 Feet
  • Heights from 5′ 3″ to 12′ 0″

Wallace Made-to-Order Crane

Special Order 15-ton crane | Wallace Cranes

  • Steel
  • Fixed Height
  • 15 Ton Capacity
  • Heights from 15′ 1″ to 23′ 10″
  • Spans from 15 to 35 feet

Custom Order

Wallace Custom Cranes

  • Wallace will customize any crane
    to fit your needs
  • Fixed and Adjustable Height
  • 1/4 to 15 Ton Capacity
  • Spans 8 (or less) to 35 Feet
  • Heights: 4’2″ (or less) to 23’10”

Terminology

Next, there is a lot of specialized terminology when it comes to gantry cranes. We have defined the terms you will need to know in order to be able to narrow down your options.

Crane Terminology | Wallace Cranes

    • Capacity – The amount of weight the crane is designed to carry.
    • Caster Diameter – Outside Diameter (OD) of the caster (ranges from 6” to 12” depending on load rating).
    • Caster Frame Spread – The size of the “base” on the crane.
    • Clear Span – Distance between brace legs (if present).
    • I-Beam Depth – Height of the I-Beam, ranges between 4” and 24”, dependent on Span and Capacity.
    • I-Beam Span – Overall Length of the I-beam. While most charts show 5-foot increments, I-beams can be cut to fit.
    • Leg Clearance – Distance between the legs at the bottom of the I-beam. This tells you if a hoist can fit through the legs.
    • Overall Height – Height of the crane from the floor to the highest point.

While not a complete list, knowledge of these basic parameters will help you address the issues in getting a crane to fit your particular needs.

While Wallace offers hundreds of standard cranes (fixed height and adjustable) and can modify many of the “standard” models, some parameters cannot be changed. For example, the span and the desired load lock in a given I-beam section. And while caster frames can be “adjusted”, the amount of adjustment is limited by the requirement to keep the crane stable both statically and while rolling.

Questions To Ask Yourself

To start to narrow your options, it’s best to think through your answers to four questions:

    1. How heavy is the load you want to lift?
    2. How high do you want to lift the load?
    3. How wide does the crane have to be to span the load?
    4. Are there any special location, environmental, or power needs?

1. How Heavy is the Load?

The weight of the load you want to lift will determine the maximum lifting capacity of the crane models you can choose from. Wallace has models with capacities ranging from one-quarter to 15 tons.

2. How High do You Have to Lift the Load?

You should bear in mind whether the load will have to be lifted over equipment on the shop floor or whether there are any overhead obstructions or ceiling restrictions as this will also reduce the amount of space you have available to lift a load. The crane itself has parts and pieces that will have to be factored into your calculations.

Stacking

Stacking is an important consideration when deciding how high you have to lift the load. Stacking includes everything underneath the I-beam that effectively reduces its lifting height potential. Stacking includes the space needed for the following parts:

Trolley

Trolley by Wallace Cranes