Handling Steel Applications Part 1: Steel Plates

Steel is produced in many shapes and sizes requiring different ways to handle the material. Rubber tired gantry cranes (RTG) have quickly become one of the preferred methods for the handling of steel material by eliminating complicated load charts and increasing the efficiency of your operation while saving you time and money. Shuttlelift offers four different models of industrial gantry cranes to ensure the right fit for your specific application.

Steel plates often run 20-40’ in length and can be anywhere from 3/8ths to 2 inches thick.  Shuttlelift’s Double Beam (DB) Series gantry crane has proven to be a very effective method to stack and transport steel material. The DB series provides the versatility to use a magnet package or a chain clamp system in order to adapt to different customer needs, providing flexibility and maximum efficiency.

There are many different steel applications for which rubber-tired gantry cranes are used and this blog will break down just a couple of the main uses. The two-part series will include the following:

  • Steel Plate
  • Steel Coil

Steel Plates

Magnet Package:

Whether a customer wants to lift multiple plates when loading and unloading railcars and trucks or just a single plate when staging for production, the most common systems used for steel plates or sheet is with a magnet package.

A longitudinal spreader is used on the DB style mobile gantry crane to hold the magnets at a specified distance apart. The number of magnets used will vary depending on the size and alloy makeup of the plate, and a Shuttlelift representative can help determine this. The magnets are powered by a diesel generator which mounts to the lower side beam of the gantry crane and only requires the operator to perform all tasks.  This helps to cut manpower needed and keeps a minimum amount of people on the ground, making the mobile gantry crane a safer way to operate.

The operator has full control of the power being channeled to each of the magnets at any one time, giving him the ability to lift one sheet at a time or multiple sheets.  In the event you would need to carry multiple sheets and offload one at a time, known as “fanning” or “dribbling”, the operator can slowly lower the power output to the magnets until the desired number of plates are offloaded in their designated areas.  This method can significantly cut down on the number of trips you would need to make if only carrying one sheet at a time.

Chain and Clamp System:

The chain and clamp style system can be used on the DB style gantry cranes but is more commonly used on the SL Series in lower duty cycle applications. This application still uses a spreader, or spreaders, to dictate spacing of the clamps and could still lift multiple plates or sheets at once but “fanning” is no longer an option. Also in contrast to the magnet system, ground personnel may be required to connect and disconnect the clamps. Although the radio remote control option can be added allowing the operator to essentially become a rigger as well.

With our custom configurations and available options, Shuttlelift can ensure that lifting and transporting steel plates and sheets will be accomplished safely and effectively.  We engineer and manufacture custom spreader assemblies that integrate the crane to your specific application, allowing you to make a wide variety of lifts.

Our complete lineup of rubber-tired gantry cranes offers customers a broad spectrum of performance across all industries and applications. Looking for a more cost-effective way of transporting your product? Contact us today and let us show you why customers from around the world are choosing Shuttlelift for their innovative lifting needs.