Overhead Crane

An overhead crane, also known as a bridge cane, is a crane commonly used on industrial work sites. It is made up of two runways with a travelling bridge across the gap. It lifts objects by a hoist which can move horizontally on a rail. They are typically used for maintenance applications or manufacturing, where efficiency is extremely important. The first ever electric overhead crane was designed and created in 1876.


One of the leading suppliers of overhead cranes is Konecranes. As a company, Konecranes is committed to providing engineering excellence and each of its cranes is equipped with the most significant innovations. P&H is another popular crane manufacturing company. They built their first crane in 1887, and still produce excellent cranes today. They promise the lowest overall cost per lift, and maximize the value of your crane investment. Other popular brands include CMS, Shepard Niles and Cleveland.

overhead crane1Purpose/How to

Not just anyone can operate a crane. Becoming a crane driver is usually a career choice, although some people who work in construction can get a licence to operate a crane when they need to. Almost all contractors require a crane operator to have a CPCS (Construction Plant Competency Scheme) licence. You can get one by attending a two-week training course, where you will learn the ins and outs of cranes. You will also learn how to operate a crane efficiently and safely, and will have a chance for hands-on experience. After receiving this licence, you need to complete your NVQ in plant operations. Both of these licences will need to be renewed every so often.

Safety Features & Guidelines

Crane safety is extremely important. They are large machines often transporting or carrying hundreds of tons of material, and can be incredibly dangerous if they are not operated properly. Conduct a safety check of the crane’s interior controls before doing anything. Make sure they are all labelled properly and are in working order. Also make sure you check the tires. A flat tire on a crane can be very dangerous. Check the hooks and wire rope to make sure they are in working order as well. Make sure you have safety boots on, work gloves, a hard hat and safety glasses. When lifting the loads, try to lift straight up to prevent the load from swinging out of control, and follow the directions of a crane supervisor. Always make sure you have communication with people on the ground so you know where any obstacles are and where exactly to set the load down.

Pros & Cons

There are multiple pros and cons of becoming a crane operator. The annual salary of a crane operator was $45,430 in 2008, and the earnings are strongly connected to work experience.

The working conditions vary, especially depending on the quality of the crane you are working in. Some cranes may be extremely hot, especially if you work during the summer in warm climates. Most modern cranes have cabins that ensure protection and comfort, however. There are some safety risks when working on any construction site, although taking the proper precautions can help alleviate some of that risk. Crane operators may also work long hours starting early in the morning, especially if the job site is behind schedule.