What Is a Rubber Tyred Gantry Crane?

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  • Written By: Larry Ray Palmer
  • Edited By: Amanda L. Wardle
  • Last Modified Date: 12 August 2019
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The rubber tyred Gantry crane (RTG crane) is a mobile device used to move and stack storage containers. Similar to the traditional Gantry crane, which operates on a railway system, the rubber tyred Gantry crane is commonly found in stockyards and other locations where box-shaped storage containers are used. In the U.S., the term is spelled rubber-tired Gantry crane.

A traditional Gantry crane is a fixed device that straddles a railway or roadway. The crane lowers a cable which is attached to hook-up points on a storage container. The container is then lifted by the crane and either moved to the stack of other inter modal containers or loaded onto rail cars or flatbed trailers for shipping.

The rubber tyred Gantry crane works on the same principle with the exception that the complete rig is mobile from one location to another and the crane that sits atop the rig is mobile, as well. This type of mobile gantry crane is useful in cases of emergency response or for temporary container storage yards. Due to the mobility of the rubber tyred Gantry crane, it can be moved to a remote location and used to load or unload inter modal shipping containers.


In emergency cases, a rubber tyred Gantry crane is often called upon to solve the problem. The portable rubber tyred Gantry crane can be used to remove loads from disabled trains or trucks. In some cases, the crane may be used to remove entire rail cars from railways. In natural disaster relief efforts like those that followed Hurricane Katrina, rubber tyred Gantry cranes can be used to unload emergency supplies in the areas where they are needed the most.

Container yards can make the most of their available space by using a rubber tyred Gantry crane in conjunction with inter modal shipping containers. Inter modal containers are designed in such a way that they can be stacked several pieces high. Traditional Gantry cranes require a certain amount of space to be set aside for the rails the crane operates on. The rubber tyred Gantry crane does not have this inherent space requirement because it can be moved outside of the container yard once its task is completed. With this mobile design, such a Gantry crane can be used in several container yards in close proximity to each other without the need to invest in traditional Gantry crane equipment for each yard.


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