Don’t know your aluminium from your steel? Unsure of the difference between a gantry and a jib crane? And just how should you use this handy piece of equipment? To answer any questions that are racking your brain and solve any problems that you have, we’ve put together this complete aluminium gantry guide.
What is aluminium?
First, let’s start with the basics and have a quick science lesson by exploring aluminium itself. If you want to just jump straight to the information about cranes, please head on to the section below.
Aluminium is a popular, shiny metal
- It is a low density, meaning that it is lightweight in nature
- Despite being a lighter metal, it is still strong
- Its strength increases at lower temperatures, but lowers at higher temperatures
- It enjoys a high level of corrosion resistance
There are other properties of aluminium too, such as its good level of electrical conductivity and its malleability, but these aren’t relevant to its uses as a gantry crane. We have explored the above features as benefits, and how this compares to steel, in the section ‘The benefits of an aluminium gantry crane’ below.
What is a gantry crane?
What is a gantry crane, we hear you ask? The clue is in the name with this piece of equipment; it is a crane that is built atop a gantry. Essentially, it is comprised of a horizontal beam, supported by vertical legs. The size and structure of this often varies, and you can have smaller pieces, such as the aluminium gantry crane that we’ll be covering here, or much large pieces, also known as overhead cranes.
The benefits of an aluminium gantry crane
So, how do the features that we looked at above relate to benefits for this equipment? The first area to focus on is its lightweight nature. Given this lighter structure, it is a great piece of gear to work with, and is easily handled. And, as both of our aluminium products come with wheels attached, their level of portability is enhanced even further.
But, as we covered above, it loses nothing in terms of strength. With safe working loads ranging up to 2000Kg, our equipment is still more than capable of handling heavy operations.
Aluminium has a good level of corrosion resistance, so it won’t end up looking like this!
And, its other important feature is its resistance to corrosion. This means that it is the perfect piece of lifting equipment to be used outdoors, where it may be subject to moisture, or hazardous environments, where harmful chemicals may be present.
So, how do these benefits compare to our other steel-based cranes? It’s worth noting from the outset that steel is a stronger metal, and so by comparison enjoys safe working loads of up to 5000Kg. So, if you’re looking for a more heavy-duty crane for heavier lifting, then steel is probably your best bet.
But, steel is a heavier metal and more likely to corrode. So, if you’re looking for a gantry that is easier to move around and can be used outdoors, then we would recommend our aluminium gantry cranes.
The do’s and don’ts with this lifting equipment
Here we want to lay out some brief information for how to use your handy piece of equipment properly.
- While they may have wheels attached to the bottom, this is for portability reasons, and you should not move the equipment while it has a load attached
- While it has a higher resistance to things such as corrosion, it’s important that you continue to regularly inspect your equipment for any damages or faults
- Please never exceed the safe working load of your crane. This information will be provided to you by your manufacturer
- Ensure that you are familiar with all relevant industry guidelines and laws. You can find the primary one of these here: Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
- Some of our models are compact and foldable, so if you plan to make use of these feature, please ensure that you do so in the correct way, and then store the pieces properly!
- If you notice any problems, please get in touch with us straight away!
Looking for more information that's not in this aluminium gantry guide?
We put this comprehensive aluminium gantry guide to help explain to you everything that you need to know about aluminium gantry cranes, and we hope that it has done just that! However, if you still have more questions, or are ready to purchase your very own piece of equipment, then we would love to help. Please get in contact with us here.