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What’s the Difference Between Beam Trolleys?

July 5, 2023

For applications that require a load to be lifted or suspended overhead, hoists are most commonly used for the job. However, when load-bearing beams are present, attaching a hoist to a beam is a challenge.  

Instead, beam trolleys offer the perfect solution. How a beam trolley works is that wheeled clamps lock onto I beams, allowing loads to run along them horizontally. Used in conjunction with chain hoists, beam trolleys are a valuable piece of equipment on any construction site, along with most engineering or manufacturing environments. 

Once you know your site is in need of a beam trolley, the only thing left to decide is whether a manual or geared beam trolley is most suited to your needs. 

Manual Beam Trolleys

Manual beam trolleys are also known as manual push-type beam trolleys. As the name suggests, manual beam trolleys work by physically pushing them across beams. The side plates have internal wheels to allow for a smooth transit for as far as the load needs to be pushed. 

While they do have excellent load capabilities, with some models able to carry up to 10 tonnes, manual beam trolleys are not considered the safest way of moving ultra-heavy loads.

Plus, the grip of the wheels can also cause issues if not maintained regularly and checked properly when loading. For instance, if the wheels are too tight then the load will not move along the beam, and if the wheels are loose, the trolley and the entire load could cause serious injury. 

Also, if the accuracy of positioning is not of high importance, then a manual beam is appropriate to use. However, in most cases, accuracy is crucial, which is why manual trolleys don’t cater for all load scenarios. 

Geared Beam Trolleys 

Geared beam trolleys are operated by gears and chains. When the chain is pulled, this activates the gears which control the movement of the wheels and the trolley along the beam. 

A key difference with a geared beam trolley is that it is capable of carrying much heavier loads, which would be simply too difficult and even dangerous to manually push. Also, the gears and chains allow for more control over the movement of the load making it a much safer method. There’s even the option of moving at a slow controlled speed or even taking breaks during the movement of the load with a geared beam trolley.

Geared beam trolley types include pneumatic, electrical or chain-operated. 

Metreel Handling Systems 

Are you in search of a beam trolley for your business operations? Metreel is a leading manufacturer of mechanical handling in the UK. As both manual beam trolleys and geared beam trolleys are vastly different, we advise you to speak to us so we can advise you on the right products for your needs. 

Based in Derbyshire, we operate not just across the East Midlands but on a global scale. So, if you are in search of the perfect material handling solutions for your business, or if you have any questions about beam trolleys in general, you’re in the right place.

You can also download our free brochure to discover more about our product specifications by visiting our product brochure page. If you’re ready to place an order or have any questions, please give us a call on 0115 932 7010 or email us at [email protected].