Understanding Crane Classifications

November 23, 2021


Muhjir Shajahan

Buying a new overhead crane depends a lot on how you intend to use the crane day in and day out. The classification needs to match its intended use. In this blog post, we’re going to explain each crane classification so that the buying process will be easier.

There are six different classifications of cranes. Each has its own set of capabilities and durability. The CMAA Specification has categorized the cranes based on their respective load spectrum (how much they can lift).

Here’s how they go, starting with the least used category:

Class A: Infrequent Service or Standby

A Class A crane is generally used for powerhouses, public utilities, transformer stations, turbine rooms, and other services with infrequent use. This crane is considered the lightest crane option. It handles jobs at a slow speed and may sit idle for long periods.  

Class B: Light Service

Similar to a Class A, the Class B crane also operates at a slow speed and is not intended for long duration loads. Generally, it can operate for two to five lifts per hour and an average of 10 foot per lift. Services for a Class B crane include light assembly operations, service buildings, and other light service jobs like warehousing.   

Class C: Moderate Use

Class C is considered the middle-ground of crans. It is able to handle moderate loads with an average of 5 to 10 lifts per hour and 15 feet. This class is crane is ideal for paper mill machine rooms and machine shops.

Class D: Heavy Use

If you need heavy lifting and more frequency use, then consider the Class D crane. This classification of crane is able to operate at high speeds and more often. On average it can lift 10 to 20 lifts per hour with an average of 15 feet. Class D cranes are suited for steel warehouses, machine shops, foundries, fabricating plants, and other heavy duty services.

Class E: Severe Service

The Class E crane can lift 20 or more lifts per hour at near rated capacity. It is mostly found in lumber mills, fertilizer plants, container shops, cement mills, and other environments with the need for a severe service crane.  

Class F: Daily Severe Use

If you plan on using your crane on a daily basis then you need a Class F crane. With its capacity to handle heavy-duty services, the Class F crane is also ideal for continual use. It also had the highest reliability.  

Learn More by Contacting Southwestern Industrial Contractors

As a mobile and overhead crane inspector, we’re familiar with all classifications of cranes. Our experience with this equipment is also beneficial to you when you have questions regarding maintenance and purchasing a new crane. No matter what classification of crane you have, you will need reliable inspections.