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Port Crane Types Handling the Heavy Lifting

Kenneth Moore

Port cranes are known for their strong lifting abilities and versatile movement for transporting heavy loads. Various types of port cranes are installed in ports, shipyards, harbors and bulk handling operations for safe and efficient container handling. With technology advancing in the crane industry, it is easy to find a perfect match for your needs in the extensive line of port cranes available.

Port Crane Types

Gantry Cranes

Gantry cranes accomplish lifting capabilities with hoist assistance. The hoist is situated within a trolley, and the trolleys may be either the rotating or non-rotating type. Potential movements are also selected based on the company’s needs. Transitioning horizontally across a single rail or a pair of rails, these cranes give companies the option of no outreach or outreach on opposing sides for added grabbing optimization.

The rail mounted gantry (RMG) cranes range from smaller sizes for limited working areas to large cranes suitable for shipyard operations handling sea-going containers. Rail mounted gantry cranes for ship-to-shore ( STS ) lifting are specially designed with a supporting beam and rails jutting out over the water and handle any common shipping containers. Newer automated rail mounted gantry cranes are capable of gantry travel at over 900 feet per minute.

Rubber tire gantries (RTG) are used extensively in the port for unloading jockey trucks, loading over the road trucks, and servicing intermodal containers at the rail yard. Diesel and electric versions are available with fuel saving and energy saving features to help reduce operating costs. Eight and sixteen wheel versions are available. With the advent of automated RTG's, the RTG future looks bright.

Features to look for in a gantry crane are quick movement, swaying prevention, precise positioning and speedy accuracy. These abilities create a safer workspace, decrease downtime and reduce maintenance requirements.

Straddle Carriers

Straddle carriers transfers loads with smooth and agile performance and serve as the link between the ship-to-shore cranes and yard stacking cranes.

Straddle carriers lift containers, move them to identified locations and stack them up to four containers high. As the name suggests, the carriers straddle the containers and can lift up to 60 tons. The operator sits high and in the middle. Visibility is very important to the drivers and their heads are on a constant swivel looking in front of them and behind them. When purchasing a straddle carrier, features to look for include minimal blind spots, a maneuverable control system and additional stability to give drivers added confidence.

A rigid structure and an independent suspension for each wheel also improve stability. Finally, a reliable spreader is as an important component to review on a straddle carrier. The spreader locks onto the four corners on a container and provides a secure latch to the cargo.

Container Lift Trucks

Straddle carriers are not the only working horses in the yard. Container lift trucks are rounding up stray containers and transporting, lifting and stacking them between endpoints. Some cargo is weighted and needs a dependable structure that can manage the lifting and exact placement. Container lift trucks also must be able to keep a tight grip on empty containers whose movements can be less predictable.

The total life cycle cost is especially important to research when considering the purchase of a truck. Just like any vehicle, you need to think about fuel costs, inevitable maintenance costs and possible repairs. Efficiency and matching the vehicle to your needs are other issues to think about. How many loads are you expecting to lift? How much weight are you anticipating will be lifted?

These three types of port equipment are the most commonly used but are not the only machinery or innovations in the shipyard environment. Konecranes® continues to bring new innovations to these port cranes and the other equipment that keep the port working efficiently. In recent years, for example, we have lowered emissions for the environment and responded to the operators’ needs for a more comfortable and safer working environment. Contact Konecranes and find out more about our port cranes and their unbeatable innovations.

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