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Overhead Crane and Hoist FAQs

How to Set an Overhead Crane with a Forklift

At Hoosier Crane we build and install a lot of overhead crane systems.  We also sell a lot of overhead crane kits to customers who may never have built or installed a crane system before.  One of our crane kit customers called us today looking for guidance in regards to installing the new overhead crane which he had just assembled from one of our crane kits.  He wanted to specifically know how to set an overhead crane with a forklift. We thought that it would be a good idea to share with our other crane kit customers a few brief points on how to install a top running overhead crane with a forklift, so we put together this video of us installing a single girder overhead crane with a forklift.

Video of How to Set an Overhead Crane with a Forklift

Steps to Install an Overhead Crane with a Forklift

This job requires a trained forklift operator and at least one spotter, a scissor lift is also recommended for the spotter to safely be able to direct and position the crane onto the runway.

  1. Secure any dangling festoon wires that could become tangled or caught during installation with zip ties.
  2. Position your forklift on the beam side (opposite the festoon) of the overhead crane. Also be sure that you have the crane positioned with the collector staff towards the runway where your power bar will be.
  3. When positioning the forks they should be set as wide as possible.
  4. Begin near the center of the beam finding the center of gravity moving left or right as necessary. Slowly lift the forks once you have found the center of gravity so that the overhead crane balances evenly on the forks a few feet off the ground. Be careful that your hoist, hook or any other components of the crane are not in the way of the forks.
  5. With the overhead crane lifted a few feet off the ground with your forklift, have your spotter secure the beam to the forks with large C-clamps.
  6. With the crane secured to the forks, position the bridge crane diagonally between the runways such that the end trucks will clear the inside edges of the runway.
  7. Slowly lift the overhead crane with the forklift until the bottom of the endtrucks are above the rail of the runway system, with the spotter watching and directing to ensure clearance of runway and avoiding any other obstructions. Be aware of any overhead obstructions above the crane such as lights or sprinkler heads.
  8. Have the spotter direct the forklift driver to position the overhead crane moving it from diagonal to perpendicular to the runway system.
  9. From an elevated position the spotter should ensure the wheels of the endtrucks are parallel and are aligned with the rail of the runway.
  10. Once aligned, slowly lower the overhead crane with your forklift so that it just touches the rails of the runway.
  11. Have your spotter remove the C-clamps securing the forklift to the bridge beam and finish lowering the forks to the ground.

You are now ready to continue the installation of your overhead crane system. 

If you have any questions about installing a crane system you purchased from Hoosier Crane or would prefer that our team of experienced professionals perform your installion, please call us today at 800-509-6131.

If you would like to get a quote on an R&M overhead crane like the one pictured in this install then please visit our overhead crane request for quote page today.

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Limitation of Liability Disclaimer

Use of this video  and guide is at the user's own risk. The information contained in this video and any related media is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. The article and video's materials may be changed, improved, or updated without notice. Hoosier Crane Service Company, Inc. is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the content of this video or its related content or for damages arising from the use of any information provided in this video and its related content under any circumstances.

Trained professionals are featured in our videos and are the target audience of this how to guide. The men and women featured in our video have years of experience, professional safety training and have been certified to operate special equipment where appropriate. Do not attempt any of our how to guides without first referencing any manuals provided by the equipment manufacturer. Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with industrial equipment per OSHA guidelines.

Installing an Overhead Crane with a Forklift

What are the key components of a fall protection system?

Nearly all fall protection equipment is made of 4 key parts.

  1. The anchorage and anchorage connector - The anchorage is usually referred to as the tie-off point. An example of an anchorage would be an I-beam or an engineered fall protection system like a Gorbel Tether Track System.
  2. The anchorage connector - The anchorage connector is used to pair the connecting device to the anchorage.
  3. The connecting device - The connecting device is the link that joins the body wear to the anchorage connector. Examples are a retractable lifeline or a shock-absorbing lanyard (shown above).
  4. The body wear - The body wear is the protective equipment worn by the worker also known as a fall protection harness.

For more information contact our sales staff at 800-509-6131 or visit http://www.hoosiercrane.com/fall-protection

What are the requirements for hot metal hoists?

Hot Metal Hoists: Everything you Need to Know...

Hot Metal Handling hoists are held to different specifications than any standard duty hoist. If your crane is carrying hot or molten metal, it may be subject to additional safety standards per OSHA and ASTM.

Hot Metal Hoist Required Features:

  • Power Circuit Upper Limit Switch that cuts the power to the entire hoist, opening up a disconnect switch. Most standard limit switches only cut power to the control circuit on the hoist.
  • 8:1 Safety Factor on the hoist wire ropes. Standard safety factor is 5:1. Hot Metal Handlers require a greater safety factor due to the “loss of strength” from the heat.
  • Secondary Holding Brake on the hoist load is required. Hoists typically come standard with one holding brake and oftentimes a control braking means. The secondary holding brake is a fail safe measure that maintains the load if the first holding brake fails.
  • Trolley Safety Lugs are required to minimize the drop and hold the trolley in event of axle or wheel failure. Standard cranes only require safety lugs on the end trucks.
  • External Locking Device on load-supporting bolts are required, such as cotter pins. Standard applications use lock washers and/or lock nuts.
  • (3) Wraps of Rope are to remain on the rope drum when the hook has reached its lower limit. Standard hoists require only two wraps of rope.
  • Warning Device such as bells, horns, sirens, or flashing lights are required to be activated when the crane is in motion. Any one or combination of these devices satisfy the requirements.

Note that Chain Hoists designed for Hot Metal Handling applications are left to the interpretation of these standards by the manufacturer. In our experience, it is typically not recommended to use Chain Hoists in a Hot Metal Handling application due to the exposure of the chain to high temperatures. The high temperatures can “re-temper” the steel load chain causing failure. In Wire Rope applications deformation in the rope occurs before failure, allowing preventative safety measures to be taken.

Please don't hesitate to give us a call or email us. We are happy to answer any of your questions or concerns regarding your hot metal carrying operations.

Wire Rope Hot Metal Hoist with an Aux hoist for pouring at Foundry

Hoosier Crane has all of the answers for your questions on Hot or Molten Metal Handling hoists. Give us a call!


Do I have to be certified to maintain or repair overhead cranes and monorails?

Yes. According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standard,B30.11 you need to have your maintenance and repair personnel certified to work on overhead cranes and monorails.

Revised in 2010, the most apparent change to the B30.11 standard is the addition of Chapter 11 – 4, “Maintenance Training and Maintenance.”   B30.11-4.1 states, “Maintenance training shall be provided to promote proficient adjustments, repairs, and replacements on crane and monorail systems….”

This added chapter includes requirements for not only underhung crane and monorail maintenance training, but for certification as an underhung crane and monorail maintenance person.  Certification is required for all persons who maintain and / or service monorails and underhung cranes. 

Are you and your underhung crane and monorail maintenance personnel trained and certified?

If your answer is “no” and you are interested in becoming certified, please look at our crane school for more information on training.

What OSHA standard applies to Lifelines and Lanyards?

Lifelines and Lanyards for fall protection are covered by OSHA standard number 1926.104.

Part Number:    1926
Part Title:    Safety and Health Regulations for Construction
Subpart:    E
Subpart Title:    Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment
Standard Number:    1926.104
Title:    Safety belts, lifelines, and lanyards.


Lifelines, safety belts, and lanyards shall be used only for employee safeguarding. Any lifeline, safety belt, or lanyard actually subjected to in-service loading, as distinguished from static load testing, shall be immediately removed from service and shall not be used again for employee safeguarding.


Lifelines shall be secured above the point of operation to an anchorage or structural member capable of supporting a minimum dead weight of 5,400 pounds.


Lifelines used on rock-scaling operations, or in areas where the lifeline may be subjected to cutting or abrasion, shall be a minimum of 7/8-inch wire core manila rope. For all other lifeline applications, a minimum of 3/4-inch manila or equivalent, with a minimum breaking strength of 5,400 pounds, shall be used.


Safety belt lanyard shall be a minimum of 1/2-inch nylon, or equivalent, with a maximum length to provide for a fall of no greater than 6 feet. The rope shall have a nominal breaking strength of 5,400 pounds.



All safety belt and lanyard hardware shall be drop forged or pressed steel, cadmium plated in accordance with type 1, Class B plating specified in Federal Specification QQ-P-416. Surface shall be smooth and free of sharp edges.


All safety belt and lanyard hardware, except rivets, shall be capable of withstanding a tensile loading of 4,000 pounds without cracking, breaking, or taking a permanent deformation.


[59 FR 40729, Aug. 9, 1994; 60 FR 5131, Jan. 26, 1995; 60 FR 39254, Aug. 2, 1995]

Why & When you need a Load Arrestor

Material load arrestors are redundant braking systems to the lifting apparatus. They are designed to prevent the lifted item from falling in the event of a failure in any part of a primary-lifting device. Load arrestors prevent damage to tools, equipment and products. Most importantly, load arrestors prevent employee injuries and fatalities.

Hoosier Crane is an advocate of load arrestors. We have designed, tested and installed systems in many manufacturing facilities and have seen them work time and time again.

We install two types of load arrestors. The simpler unit is a self-contained wire rope or synthetic web material reel with a spring driven realer and a speed-sensing device. It works like the seat belt in your vehicle. These units are typically used in capacities up to 500 pounds.

The second type is used for higher capacity loads up to 6,600 pounds. These load arrestors utilize an over speed device: a wire rope is attached at the top and a special type of speed-sensing/load-arresting device is attached to the item being lifted. A Blocstop Overspeed measures the speed of the wire rope as it passes through the load arrestor. Any speed over a pre-determined value will engage the load arrestor.

If a load arrestor engages once and prevents damage to equipment and products, the savings will pay for load arrestors for all your equipment. We can’t begin to calculate the value of protecting an employee from a falling load, but we are certain that it is more than the cost of a few load arrestors.  If you are building a material lift, work platform or any of the other uses we have outlined in this article and have questions about load arrestors please contact us.  One of our experience experts can help optimize your project for safety.

Our Customer's Load Arrestors Testimonials

We strive to meet or exceed OSHA guidelines and the installation of load arrestors helped us achieve our goal. Hoosier Crane has been our partner in installing load arrestors in all 21 of our local and remote plants. They were responsible for every aspect of the project from concept and design to fabrication and installation. Hoosier Crane did a great job for us.
Senior Manufacturing Engineer RV & Mobile Home Manufacturer
Hoosier Crane has installed 366 Tractel Blocstop 1020 load arrestors in 23 of our manufacturing facilities. Hands down, Forest River, Hoosier Crane and Tractel are a winning team.
Forest River Inc. Cargo Trailer & RV Manufacturer

This load arrestor has a Blocstop Overspeed that measures the speed of its wire rope as it passes through the load arrestor. Detection of a speed over the predetermined value will engage the load arrestor and the load is stopped smoothly within a short distance. This load arrestor has a Blocstop Overspeed that measures the speed of its wire rope as it passes through the load arrestor. Detection of a speed over the predetermined value will engage the load arrestor and the load is stopped smoothly within a short distance.

Used in conjunction with lifting equipment such as cranes and hoists, a load arrestor provides independent protection that will arrest the fall of a load in the event of the primary system failing.Used in conjunction with lifting equipment such as cranes and hoists, a load arrestor provides independent protection that will arrest the fall of a load in the event of the primary system failing.

Load Arrestors are ideal for:

  • Suspension Scaffolds
  • Material Lifts
  • Below-Hook Attachments
  • Theatrical Equipment
  • Sports Arenas
  • Anywhere there is the potential of a load falling to the ground

How can I save money by buying an overhead crane kit?

  1. You get your overhead crane components for less than your local crane company pays.  We build a lot of motorized overhead cranes, our purchasing power means you save.
  2. Use your labor force to build a motorized overhead crane kit and you have control of your labor rates.
  3. You control installation and production schedule.
  4. Save big on freight! Buy your steel locally and save cost of shipping a fully assemble crane system across the country.
  5. Free expert support from our experienced staff to support you as you build your crane
  6. Gain valuable knowledge on how to service your crane in the future
  7. Great warranty support and top prices on options, accessories, and spare parts kits save money and improve efficiency
  8. Improved material handling saves you money by improving efficiency and output.

More About Overhead Crane Kits

Why are the Free Standing Jibs that Hoosier Crane sells better than the competitors?

We have 3 reasons why our free standing jib cranes are better than the competition's.


1. Full gusset base plates

Other manufacturers typically utilize open gussets which can cause a warped effect.

Benefits of using full gussets:

  • Stronger base to support the crane
  • Less deflection at the tip of the boom


2. Large head size

Other manufacturers utilize a smaller head that can disfigure and damage the crane components leading to difficulty with the operation of the crane.

Benefits of larger head:

  • Eliminates crushing of trunnion rollers
  • Decreases deflection


3. Unique design of trunnion rollers

Prevents cutting into the mast, eliminating the need for a wear band. Other manufacturers use smaller trunnion rollers or cams that may actually carve into the pipe during rotation.


Benefits of these trunnion rollers:

  • Ease of rotation
  • No need for a wear band

Two types of trunnion roller assemblies are used:

  • Type 1 - single formed channel and two rollers for mast diameters of 16" or less
  • Type 2 - four rollers used for mast diameters of 18" or more


What considerations should I make before selecting a jib crane?

There are many factors to consider before selecting a jib crane.

  • Know what type and the extent of structural supports you have available.
  • Any current or future need for powered operation of the hoist or crane.
  • The characteristic and design of each crane type.
  • The overall height and height under boom offered.
  • The relative cost of each jib crane type.
  • The overall cost of installation.

When should I test my hoist?

Any new, used, or repaired hoist that has gone 12 months without use should be tested.

Make sure you test the hoist with no load, a regular load, and maximum load.

Testing Overhead Crane Capacity