Gantry cranes are common lifting solutions that are preferred across various industries for their portability, lightweight construction, and versatility. With a sturdy A-frame design and numerous features such as height and span adjustment and heavy-duty casters, gantries have become an essential piece of equipment for many operations.
However, it is essential to use them safely and correctly to prevent accidents and damage to the equipment. In this article, we will discuss the top five misuses of gantries and how to avoid them. By following these guidelines, you can avoid common issues to help ensure that your gantry crane operates safely and efficiently, reducing downtime and increasing productivity.
1. Never side load a gantry
When using a gantry, avoid applying a perpendicular force to the plane of the beam. Some may use it as a temporary setup to replace a permanent overhead beam where there is none. However, it’s important to ensure that the structural beam can take on tension from angles not in the plane.
2. Don’t forget to set the load pin
Always use the load pin when using the vertical inserts. Although it may be tempting to use the inserts without the pin when headroom is limited, it is unsafe as the inserts may be unsupported.
3. Adjust the height equally
When adjusting the height of the beam, do so at the same speed to keep the beam level. Never hoist one end higher than 12” ahead of the other side to avoid binding the posts.
4. Don’t crane the crane
Once the gantry is fully assembled, avoid hoisting it with a crane or other machinery to another location. If you cannot safely roll the gantry, disassemble it first before relocating.
5. Keep the casters installed
Never use the gantry without the casters installed. Some may remove the casters to save on headroom or for more surface contact from the bottom plate. This is not recommended, and it may cause the equipment to lose its certification.
Gantry cranes can be an excellent addition to your job site, but it’s crucial to use them safely and correctly. By avoiding the five common misuses we discussed in this article and following the manufacturer’s guidelines, you can ensure the safe and efficient operation of your gantry crane.
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