Crane Runway

Top Running Crane Runway

Top running crane runway systems are typically used for top running single girder cranes along with top running double girder cranes.  Additionally, some specialty crane systems are also designed to utilize a top running runway system.  Generally, this runway style typically uses ASCE Rail or square bar that is affixed to the top of a structural beam as a running surface for the top running crane.  There are multiple support options for top running crane runway systems.  Being supported from a hauch (which is attached to a side of a building column) or utilizing a freestanding structure are the most common ways of supporting a top running crane runways.

Under Hung Crane Runway

Under hung crane runway systems are used for mounting under hung single girder and under hung double girder cranes.  Additionally, most specialty crane systems can also utilize an under hung runway.   Unlike top running runways, under hung runway beams typically use patented track as a running surface.  Alternatively, structural I-beams can also be used as a running surface.  AFE Crane suggests to all customers to use patented track as opposed to structural I-beams as a running surface.  Similar to the top running crane runway, the under hung crane runway can be mounted/hung in various ways.  For example, a freestanding structural system could be used or the runway could be mounted directly to the bottom of the building structure (if the building design allows for the extra loading).  Alternatively, hanger rods can be used to hang under hung runway from an existing structure to adjust elevation of the runway.

Structural Steel for Crane Runway


A freestanding structure is floor supported and can be designed to fit virtually anywhere.  These systems can be designed for top running and under hung runways along with monorail and enclosed track systems. Freestanding structural steel systems are often used if the building structure cannot support the additional load of the crane.  These freestanding systems are designed without the use of any bracing.  Freestanding systems can also be designed with column bracing which is braced back to the floor (knee braced structure) or with bracing that tie back to the building structure (semi-freestanding structure).  Both the knee braced runway and semi-freestanding runway reduce the amount of steel being used making it a more cost effective system.  In most freestanding structures, concrete footings may need to be installed to take the weight of the system.

Ceiling Mounted

In building structures that have been designed to withstand the extra forces from overhead cranes, ceiling mounted structures/runways can be used.  These systems are generally suitable for under hung crane systems with capacities of 5 tons or less.  Ceiling mounted structures are great for keeping shop floor space clear of columns and the ability to have a larger hook coverage area than a freestanding system.

Structural Steel

AFE Crane can design, engineer and fabricate custom crane runway systems and supporting structural steel to fit every customers needs.  AFE Crane is also able to have our runway and structural system stamped by a Professional Engineer licensed by the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Our fabricated steel systems can include but are not limited to:

  • Headers, hangers, beams, and truss reinforcement for underhung systems
  • Haunches and runway beams for top running systems
  • Free standing structures for top running and underhung cranes
  • General support steel for overhead material handling equipment
  • Reworking existing steel structures
  • Platforms, catwalks, structure braces, railings, safety guards, etc.

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