MMA FAQs


What is Patented Track?

Patented Track is a technology designed specifically for use as an underhung crane or monorail. It takes a familiar beam shape but is different from I-beam in a major way. The bottom flange of a patented track beam is made from a specially hardened, high carbon, steel and often includes a raised tread rolling surface. – Rob Beightol

What are the benefits of Patented Track as compared to a wide flange beam?

When compared to a typical wide-flange beam, patented track will have a number of advantages including greater longevity, a higher duty cycle rating, less weight per ft to reduce loads on building structures, and more exacting tolerances that will improve overall performance and installation. – Rob Beightol

How is Patented Track used in monorails?

Patented Track is the ideal product for heavy overhead monorails. Patented Track rail and beams are uniquely suited for bending allowing curved sections of track at many different radii. It is also suited for use in more complex components like track switches and interlocks that allow for the greatest flexibility in overhead handling layouts and material flows, even transferring parts across bays or between buildings. – Rob Beightol

What information do I need to know to have a crane or monorail properly sized for me?

There are many things that must be known to properly size a system and the more information that can be supplied with the initial inquiry, the better. Clearly the required capacity or the weight of the item being moved is critical when sizing a system. Also it must be known that the working envelope or the complete area in which the system must operate is clearly defined. Additionally, any information that would be crucial for the system supplier to know for instance any environmental situations that might affect the operation of the equipment should be communicated at the start of the process.

Can I put multiple cranes on the same runway system?

Yes it is definitely possible to put more than one crane on the same runway system but care must be taken to not overload the runway hangers and therefore bridges should not be added to an existing crane system without first checking with the crane manufacturer to verify that the system can safely handle the additional crane. (add information on buffers and the building)

Why would I use aluminum track over steel track and vice versa?

While there could be multiple reasons why an application may be better suited for aluminum or steel track, the main arguments are fairly simple. Aluminum track is lighter per foot than comparable steel track so if you have a manual system, it would be easier for the operator to move the load. Also on the same topic of ease of movement, since the aluminum track is unpainted, the trolleys tend to have must less rolling resistance and reduces the amount of force required to move the load. The major advantage of steel track is that it is stronger meaning that it can handle more weight with fewer suspension points. This will allow you to span greater distances without having extra hangers or in the case of freestanding system additional support columns.

How do I decide how many hangers I need?

Every crane manufacturer has their own calculation to determine how many and where the hangers must be for a safely operating system. Always consult with the crane manufacturer before moving or removing any of hangers as shown on the approval drawings.

How much force does it take to move a manual workstation crane bridge while under load?

The amount of force required to move a manual enclosed track workstation crane under load is about 1% but may vary slightly by manufacturer. In all cases it will be much less than traditional I beam overhead traveling cranes or other types of cranes. This is one of the major advantages of enclosed track workstation cranes for users seeking an easy-to-move ergonomic solution offered b MMA member companies. For heavy loads or long spans, motorization may be desirable, but for lesser loads and normal spans, the force required to move the load is so minimal that motorization is not required.

Can I extend the load outside of the runways on the bridge of a workstation crane?

Typically, you would want to keep the work area inside the runways of the crane system but if certain operations cannot be maintained within that area then the crane manufacturer will have to determine whether or not it is possible to safely use the system. Additional components or special designs may be required to reach these areas.

How much side pull is acceptable with a crane or monorail system?

Side pull is never acceptable and should always be avoided. The system should be designed to handle of all the required movements within working envelope of the system.

MMA has been around a long time. What are the primary reasons for its longstanding existence?

MMA members are the experts in the industry and provide current information to the market and assist in proper product selection and use. Members are leaders from the industry and provide products that meet the latest standards. Users can turn to members of the MMA for advice in a variety of areas including ergonomic benefits, specific designs based on the environment, incorporating lifting devices into a crane system, and expected life of a system. Member companies also keep abreast of the latest developments in material handling and determine how the association must evolve in order to satisfy the changing landscape.

What is so special about my crane/monorail supplier being “MMA Certified”? Can any crane builder sign up and claim that they are “Certified”?

There are numerous steps that manufacturers must take to become MMA certified and thus be permitted to feature the MMA-Certified label on items ranging from bid packages to the product itself. At a minimum, the select group of manufacturers who are MMA-Certified must:

  • Products must meet the primary industry standards (ANSI MH27.1 and 27.2) and a declaration of conformity to these standards be issued by a qualified Professional Engineer (PE).
  • Complete service and support must be readily available including product training, technical support, and adequate product liability insurance.
  • All portions of the program must be reaffirmed every five years.

The MMA-certified program is designed to provide additional value to both the manufacturers who earn the certification and to those users who require that their suppliers meet stringent requirements for design, service, and support.