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Sean Libbey
Operations Manager, Intermodal Services

When rail mounted gantry cranes are preferred over rubber-tired gantry cranes and vice versa

Two primary types of gantry cranes handle shipping containers in container yards—rail mounted gantry (RMG) cranes and rubber tired gantry (RTG) cranes.

Which is the better option? That depends on the layout, size and operation of your yard. Each type has its advantages, depending on your application.

The rubber tires of RTG cranes allow them to move freely through a container yard—to travel where the work is. But the rubber tires can be limiting. They limit the size and lifting capacity of RTGs.

In contrast, RMG cranes are limited to travelling on rails (they can’t move about container yards between stacks like RTGs). But that limitation is also the RMG’s strength. RMGs ride on steel wheels that are capable of supporting far more weight than an RTG and its rubber tires.

Capacity and Flexibility

And because of the higher weight-bearing capacity of steel wheels, RMG cranes offer greater flexibility in design. They can be built to accommodate a wide range of rail configurations, to expand the versatility that a single RMG can provide an intermodal container yard.

An RMG with steel wheels can span 300 feet or more. With an average distance of 150 feet between legs, and cantilevers that can extend an RMG’s range, one RMG can cover 300 feet—stretching across as many as eight rail tracks plus container stacking areas. They can even cover drive lanes for trucks.

And RMGs are capable of covering larger areas, without the travel lanes that RTGs require between stacks.

However, because of the comprehensive and central role an RMG crane plays in an intermodal facility, it requires immediate attention in the event of a breakdown. The machine sits right in middle of the productive container handling environment, which operates 24/7/365. So, a responsive maintenance service provider such as Konecranes is needed to provide immediate coverage when an outage occurs.

Green technology

Besides economizing on space, RMGs operate more efficiently and cleanly than RTGs. They run entirely on electricity, so they’re good for the environment.

However, Konecranes offers a Hybrid Power Pack that turns a diesel RTG into a diesel-electric hybrid to reduce power consumption and emissions. This technology converts kinetic energy generated from braking into electricity.

To learn more about the benefits of RMG cranes or RTG cranes for your container yards, contact a Konecranes sales representative today.

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