Portable & Stationary Gantries – Whats The Difference

The most obvious difference is that one stays put and the other is mobile. While there are differences between the two, both types of gantry cranes fulfil similar purposes: they lift and move heavy loads. They are both efficient in that they improve workflow at lower costs. They also offer more safety in the workplace by moving loads too heavy or dangerous for human workers. A gantry crane can also reduce workplace injuries and damage to the loads they move.

A Stationary Gantry Crane

A stationary gantry crane is a semi-permanent fixture with wheels or rails that allow fixed, limited amounts of movement. 

One example of stationary gantry cranes is the large, very visible structures found in shipyards. These gantries are used to load and unload containers from international container transport ships. 

Due to the growing size of container ships and their loads, some dockyards use stationary gantry cranes in pairs to maximise efficiency and profitability. In some ports unloading berths can be found where ship-to-shore gantry cranes unload from both sides. These berths allow for more gantry cranes and faster unloading. Stationary gantry cranes often work together with overhead bridge cranes. 

Choosing A Stationary Gantry Crane

Stationary gantry cranes are designed to fit the environment in which they are to work. So if you are thinking about installing one, it would be good to consider the points below.

  • Is the crane going to be indoors or outdoors?
  • What will be the motion of the crane’s structure
  • What will be the load – its weight and the type of material?
  • What will be the capacity required?
  • How often will the crane be used?
  • What will be the span or length of the crane

Portable Gantry Cranes

A portable gantry crane can be easily dismantled and taken from place to place, often required for work in confined spaces.  

A portable gantry crane consists of two supports and a crossways beam. They can be mounted on castors or wheels, allowing for easy movement or with freestanding feet that require dismantling before moving.

The design of portable gantry cranes allows them to lift and move heavy items and delicate, often costly equipment and machinery, like hospital scanners. In addition, you can easily manoeuvre these cranes in tight, often awkward spaces, where a stationary gantry crane would not be feasible.

Portable gantries allow work on heavy pieces of equipment. Equipment that is often not a simple shape, like an aeroplane engine. While you might not need to move the equipment around the facility. The portable gantry crane can hold equipment while being assembled, fabricated or repaired. Portable gantries are versatile and allow for a greater range of jobs to be undertaken.

Portable gantries may only be required infrequently. If you are buying for a one-off use, it is not cost-effective. For most of these jobs, renting a portable gantry crane is the answer. At Heavy Lifts, we are the experts to talk to about your requirements regarding gantry cranes. Call and speak to us. Email or use our online contact form.