Cranes Direct Glossary of Terms

Main Glossary

Abnormal Operating Conditionsabnormal operating conditions are environments that can cause harm or unfavourable damage to your crane and lifting equipment. This may be due to too high or low temperatures or corrosive substances in the area.

Aluminium Gantryan aluminium gantry, also known as an ‘A frame’, is a crane that is raised on side supports, that can be both mobile or in a fixed position. The aluminium version is much lighter than its steel counterpart. They are similar to an overhead crane, but smaller.

aluminium folding gantryThere are many different types of cranes within the lifting industry

Automatic Craneautomatic cranes are cranes which will run through a pre-set cycle when activated.

Brinell Hardness Numberalso called BHN, this is used to measure the hardness of a material.

Bridgefound on an overhead crane, this is the part of the crane that consists of girders, walkways, and mechanisms to allow for the lifting accessory to run back and forth.

Bumperalso called a buffer, this is a device which will reduce the impact of a crane reaching the end of its permitted route of travel.

Cab-Operated Crane a cab-operated crane is a crane which is controlled by an operator, as opposed to an automatic crane.

Capacitythe capacity is the maximum load (usually in tonnes or kilograms) that a crane is able to lift, lower and move.

Clearancethis is the minimum distance from a crane to the nearest possible obstruction, whatever this may be.

Crane Accessoriescrane accessories are the parts that are utilised with the crane to conduct lifting and lowering tasks.

Dead Loadsloads which remain within a fixed position on a crane.

Electrical Braking Systemthis is a method for controlling the speed at which your crane motor is running, without having to use friction braking.

Fail-safea safety measure that has been put in place to safely stop or control a fault or malfunction that may occur within a piece of equipment.

Floor Cranea floor crane is a much smaller type of crane, typically found in workshops and is used for lighter loads. Also called a ‘floor-operated crane’.

Hoista lifting accessory which is used for lifting and lowering.

Jib Crane a jib crane is a crane which has an arm at a fixed angle, attached to a rotating mast. Our jib cranes can round at 360 degrees, and the arm can either swing or be fixed into place.

column - wall mounted jib crane

An example of one of our wall-mounted jib cranes

Kipa measurement of force, which is equivalent to 1000 pounds.

Lift Cyclea singular lifting and lowering motion, which may or may not have a load.

Lifting Equipmentlifting equipment is any equipment which is used for lifting and lowering loads, whether this is the cranes themselves, or the lifting accessories that are used to do the actual lifting.

Limit Switchthis will cut the power to the crane off automatically if the equipment is near its lifting limit.

Material Handlingmaterial handling is the moving, protecting, storing and control of any materials.

Mean Effective Loadthis is a durability calculation which is used to determine maximum and minimum loads.

Mobile Lifting Gantrya mobile lifting gantry, also known as an ‘A frame’ is a crane that is raised on side supports. They can be both mobile or in a fixed position.

Overhead Cranean overhead crane, also referred to as a bridge crane, is a larger crane that is more often than not found in industrial environments. They generally feature parallel runways with a gap in the middle, along which the lifting accessory itself travels.


We hope you have learned some new terms from this glossary and if you would like any more specific terms added please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to add to our brief glossary.


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