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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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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