Hydraulic Gantry Cranes are one of those things that nearly every rigging and moving company needs in stock. On the flip side, they many not be used all of the time. The fastest way around that is to rent the gantry system out to other riggers or companies. Generally, it’s a good idea to have your company name and contact info on the lifting beams, power unit and each jack. Frequently, companies take pictures of their projects and post them online. This will give you a little bit of free advertising. After all, you never know who might be looking at the picture. One of the biggest hurdles to ownership is the up front cost to buy a system. You may want to consider buying a used hydraulic gantry system.
In speaking with David Dimond of Affordable Machinery, LLC in Michigan, he says a used machine can cost 50% less than buying new. However, he also reminded us that, 50% off new would likely be an older machine. A newer locking system in good shape may run you 65% to 70% of new cost. Still, that can equate to a huge discount.
(Do you want to contact Affordable Machinery? affordable-machinery.com/)
There are several brands out there; J&R Engineering, Riggers Manufacturing, Lift Systems, Enerpac and even a few shop made systems. They basically break down into two categories; exposed cylinder and locking system type. The most desirable hydraulic gantry systems are the locking system type. This also means they are harder to find used and much more expensive when you find one. The open or exposed hydraulic cylinder type are more common and are therefore less money.
When looking a buying a used gantry, don’t be surprised if each tower has banged up and chipped paint. Often times chains and lifting equipment get banged up against them. While it doesn’t look good, chipped paint isn’t an indication of the units overall quality. Of course, you may want to paint your gantry so it looks good when out on a job.
Be sure to get the specifications. Make sure it will lift as high as you need and what weights at what heights. You may also want to consider a dead section. This will allow you to lift heavier loads higher by not having the gantry fully extended. Or simply lift higher in total by having the dead section. Also think about if it’s self powered. Older units maybe fixed or need to be pushed or pulled by another vehicle. This can make for a herky-jerky, if not stressful, procedure. Some older units use a hydraulic push pull system to move the towers. The most desirable are systems that each jack can move themselves.
Well, there it is. Hopefully that gives you a little insight on buying a used hydraulic gantry system.