What to look for in a shop crane

So you are in the market for a crane and do not know which way to turn.  You try a Google search, but your search terms aren't turning up anything relevant in regards to your search.  In fact, many times your search terms are much different than the terminology used by manufacturers of overhead cranes.  This creates a communication gap between you the consumer and the manufacturer of overhead cranes.  Google has done a great job by having images associated with searches so if you cannot find exactly for what you are looking, many times you can find an image that represents what you are searching, then you are able to search similar items.  

Factors to Consider with a Shop Crane

The trick to this is getting close enough to find someone that can help you evaluate your needs.  Gone are the days of phone books and library searches, but the good news is you have an endless amount of information at your finger tips just waiting for you. Let's jump forward now and assume that you have found a couple of manufacturers or distributors that represent for what you are looking... now what?  What is the formula for figuring out what you need ahead of time?  Most of the time a distributor will ask you a few key questions about your project or application.  For a typical overhead application you may here questions like; How wide is your area?, How long would you like to cover?, What is the hook height you are looking for? and What is the capacity you need?  I am sure you get this, but you ask yourself do I really need a shop crane or can I continue to plug along and do without.  There is a simple formula to figure out if you need some help...

1 job
2 people lifting
3 times a day
40 lbs or more

While keeping this in mind, evaluate if the need is there.  Now do you need an overhead crane, shop crane, workstation crane, bridge crane, steel gantry crane, aluminum gantry crane or even an ergonomic lift assist.  This is where more specific questions help you evaluate your needs and will help you to locate the right product for your job.

Conclusion

Whatever approach you take or whatever equipment you may purchase please keep in mind that what you are about to buy is not only going to keep your employees safer, happier, more energetic, but more productive and in the long run a company is nothing more than a group of people coming together for a common goal.  Good people = Good company!