Is a Bridge Crane and an Overhead Crane the same thing???

Basic Crane Terminology

Bridge Crane = Overhead Crane = Overhead Bridge Crane = Electric Overhead Traveling Crane (EOT Crane)

They're all the exact same thing. 

The main structure which spans the width of the bay is the Overhead Bridge Crane. Also know as the Overhead Crane or Bridge Crane. All these terms mean exactly the same thing. In it simplest form the bridge consists of two end trucks, a hoist and a bridge beam (bridging between the two end trucks). 

A simple overhead bridge crane

End Trucks

The end trucks are located on both ends of the bridge girder. The end trucks provide the longitudinal motion of the crane as compared to the lateral traversing motion of the trolley. The crane hook coverage as measured from the longitudinal wall to the hook is called “hook end approach.” The end truck wheels ride on the runways allowing coverage of the length of the building. 

Bridge Girder

The horizontal beam of the bridge girder supports the hoist. There can be either one or two bridge beams ( single and double girder configuration). The bridge girder is either a structural shape, like an I-beam or a wide-flange, or a fabricated box.


The trolley carries the hoist across the width of the crane. It travels along the bridge girder providing lateral motion. The longitudinal travel is the bridge motion where the lateral motion is trolley motion. The side wall to crane hook is called “hook side approach.”


the hoist is mounted to the trolley and performs the lifting motion. The hoist is by far the most expensive component of the whole crane assembly.


The runways are the gray objects in the drawing. They are the rolling surface upon which the bridge cranes travel the length of the building. Several cranes can operate on a single runway, provided the runways were designed for the loadings incurred. According to a ten year study by the United States Steel Company, poor runways are the most common cause of crane problems.

These are the most basic parts of an overhead bridge crane. For a detailed Glossary of Crane Terminology, click the button below.