What is a Gantry and What is it Used For?

For a giant piece of industrial equipment that is multi-faceted and talented, a gantry is not well known among the public. Rather, the equipment is; the name is not. What is a gantry exactly and what are they used for?

Read on and find out.

Official Definition

The dictionary defines a gantry as a “bridge-like” structure with a platform to support heavy equipment such as cranes, lights, and cameras. That includes serving as a movable framework for maintaining things like rockets before they are launched.

The unofficial definition is that they are a critical tool in helping dozens of professionals complete their daily work. You can find gantries supporting all sorts of equipment in shipyards, warehouses, auto garages, hospitals, printers, etc. Anywhere something really large and heavy has to be supported and often needs to be moved into multiple positions, a gantry is used.

Different Types of Gantry

As mentioned gantries are incredibly diverse in size and scope. The most popular types of gantries are:

  • Full: This has two side legs and a cross beam. It can be run on wheels, rails, or a track to help move materials.
  • Semi: A semi gantry uses one leg and is mounted to a sidewall. It is usually used in smaller facilities, but also can be used in tandem with full gantries to allow for the continuous flow of work.
  • Portable: The portable gantry is lightweight and runs on casters or rubber wheels. It can lift a half-ton up to several tons and can be used indoors or outdoors to life large and smaller objects.
  • Single and Double Girder: As the name implies, these are gantries that have one cross beam or a second crossbeam respectively. The second cross beam provides stability and support to the main crossbeam.

What Are They Good For?

Much like the official definition, any time an employee has a need to suspend or support something to provide the framework to complete work on various pieces of equipment or with various pieces of equipment, chances are they use a gantry.

A gantry can be used to support giant pieces of equipment that help move incredibly large and heavy materials all the way down to a local garage, where they can be used to help support heavy equipment as it is being worked on. Here are a few examples:

  • Auto Engines: A gantry can be used to support an engine as well as to remove the engine from the vehicle. Once it is removed employees can work directly on the engine or work in the area the engine is occupied in the vehicle. The gantry is then used to position and lower the engine into place as well as to support it while it is being reattached to a vehicle.
  • Hospital Machinery: Many hospitals have machinery and equipment that is both immense and incredibly heavy. A gantry can help suspend it. Some of that equipment has moving parts and a gantry can help accommodate those as well.
  • Crane Support: The platform on a gantry can be used as the foundation point for a crane. These are often used in rail yards and shipyards with containers or in construction where the concrete structure is being formulated and cured.
  • Scrap Yards: Gantries can provide the base for removing parts and equipment from machinery or as a foundation for magnets that pick up scrap metal and move it.

These are just a few of the most popular applications for a gantry. If you need a gantry or an estimate for one, contact us today.