What Is a Gantry Hoist?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A gantry hoist is a hoist design with a trolley that moves along a beam to allow the operator to lift objects vertically and shift them horizontally in space as needed. Traveling gantries permit the operator to relocate the beam for more movement and flexibility. Such hoists are commonly used in warehouse, dock, and manufacturing environments. They can be rented for specific projects if a company needs a gantry hoist on a temporary basis.


One method of installation for a gantry hoist is to position a fixed beam across a workspace, or to use an existing ceiling beam. In addition to fixed beams, companies can install traveling beam systems. It is also possible to install a framework on legs that can be repositioned as necessary. Frameworks can be installed and used anywhere, including on job sites in the field and on the backs of trucks for portability.

The gantry hoist's traveling trolley moves smoothly along tracks to carry goods horizontally along the length of the beam, while rope, chain, or cable can be paid out to raise and lower items. Typically a hook or ring is fixed to the end of the hoist to allow it to connect with various objects. All components have weight and safety ratings that provide guidelines on safe and proper use. It is important that all the fitting have similar ratings, as heavy objects could damage the system even if some parts were rated for them.

Operators may sit in a booth to run the gantry hoist from a distance. They can also use wall-mounted control units, depending on the hoist and the facility. A second operator may be necessary as a spotter to control the hook or ring on the hoist. This person secures objects for lifting and also monitors the area for signs of people who could be endangered by the hoist. Personnel need to stay clear for their own safety while objects are moved.

For a very large gantry hoist, special training and certification may be necessary for the operator. Small devices can be used by people with general heavy equipment training and some specific instruction on the hoist controls. In the case of a rental, the owner may supply training or an operator, depending on the application. It is important to maintain appropriate liability insurance to help with expenses in the event of injuries, loss of property, and other issues that may arise while moving goods.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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