Different Davit Cranes and Their Uses
This blog provides guidance on selecting and using davit cranes, sometimes called just davits or even davit arms. They are often associated with use at workstations to eliminate the requirement for manual handling, but they are more versatile than that and can even be found working offshore or high above the street on top of building rooftops.
Jib crane or davit crane?
It’s important to differentiate between a davit crane and a jib crane. The two products are similar in appearance but portable davits tend to be more cost effective and versatile, hence they are the more popular choice in many applications. Installing and mounting a davit crane is also much easier; only a small amount of reinforced concrete or material is required for a floor-mounted option (see below).
Jib cranes are more permanent fixtures. Telescoping features further enhance the versatility of davits. Whether a manual or electric winch version is chosen, davits are also easier to operate, versus a jib crane that will commonly combine with a chain hoist.
The industries that regularly use davit cranes include:
- Oil and gas
- Water and wastewater
- Order fulfilment
- E-commerce and omni-channel fulfillment
- Order packing and packaging
- Third-party logistics (3PL)
In each instance, it is important to choose the right type of davit crane for the work at hand. This decision will involve selecting a desired material the product is made from as well as the usual capacity, reach and other features.
Composite, steel and other davits
A steel davit might be suitable, while aluminum and composite materials will be preferable depending on the end use application and environment. We recently sold a composite davit for use on a vessel, while a water treatment team highlighted the composite properties that are corrosion resistant and approx. 40% lighter than steel.
It’s worth going into more detail about the properties of composite materials, given their increasing popularity. A composite material, by definition, is one that is made from two (or more) materials that have different chemical or physical properties but combine to create a material with properties unlike the individual elements. Practically, this means that cranes can be lighter, stronger, and less vulnerable to the elements.
A composite davit setup might be exposed to the elements 365-days-a-year. End users demand that they are operational whenever they need them, so there isn’t really an alternative, cost-effective option to perform such work.
The popular 1,200-lb. capacity OZ Lifting CompOZite davit crane, for example, is available as a manual or electric winch version. The manual version is supplied with an electric drill adaptor. It has a four-position boom and mast made of advanced composite material. The ratchet screw jack adjusts the boom under the load, giving users infinite range of lift.
Other features include 360-degree rotation of the crane on sleeve bearing and no tools required for installation. The composite (CompOZite)-Elite crane, meanwhile, offers even greater strength-to-weight ratio—weighing just 37 lbs., also with a maximum lifting capacity of 1,200 lbs.
However, steel davits prove equally portable and popular at the point of use. OZ Lifting’s steel davits are available in 500 lbs, 1,000 lbs. and 2,500 lbs capacities. Its new Tele-Pro model (also available in those three capacities) allows users to leverage the benefits of other lifting technologies in its range, while telescoping the boom in and out under load.
It’s all about the base
Whether the crane is permanent, static or frequently moved are of course other considerations. Then you must choose an appropriate base; without one, a davit crane is not usable. This will typically be a choice between three:
The pedestal base is commonly used on rooftops, where davit cranes might be utilized for maintenance or bolted to the floor in a facility. Users just mount the base where they need to make a lift and move the crane from base to base.
Socket bases are used mainly in the back of trucks or used in an area where the installer will pour cement around the base to keep the surface area flat and offer high mounting strength.
The wall-mount base allows a davit crane to be attached to the wall of a facility to save floorspace, perhaps on a production line or at a workstation. Each base comes with a mounting template.
In all cases, it is important to check the capacity of the mount and its compatibility with the crane/s selected. One wall-mount will not work for all davit cranes, for example.
Davit crane case study
A davit crane, manufactured by OZ Lifting, was recently installed on the rooftop of a major regional teaching hospital.
The 1,200-lb. capacity crane is one component in an overall, ongoing roof access safety and maintenance project. It proved to be a user-friendly, easy-to-install solution. While the crane was installed as a permanent fixture, the end user enjoys the luxury of being able to remove it for storage away from the elements. The crane was fitted towards the corner of the rooftop, where it can add the most material handling capability and coverage to the user.
The crane is made from a composite material, which means it does not rust, while the steel components are zinc plated. In this case, the crane is mounted on a socket base that was covered with sheet metal. The total weight of the crane is just 80 lbs., with the heaviest component weighing it at only 43 lbs.
Socket bases are used mainly in the back of trucks or in an area where the installer would pour cement around the base to keep the surface area flat. Most of the time a pedestal base would be used on rooftops, but this is another example of the diversity and flexibility of our product and the install options.
Buy a davit crane
If you are confronted by a material handling problem, indoors or outdoors, onshore or offshore, a davit crane is likely to provide the lifting capacity and versatility you require. Shop our range of products here. Remember, they require no tools to assemble and disassemble.