Updated Specifications For Overhead Cranes In Development

Reaffirming their commitment to safety in the design and use of overhead traveling crane technology, the members of the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) have been diligently working to update the organization’s technical specifications and standards publications. The documents synthesize the combined experience of many leading industry experts and offer the end-user confidence when specifying, buying, installing, operating and maintaining overhead crane equipment.

Responsible for the updates is CMAA’s engineering committee. The group is comprised of more than 50 experts divided across three sub-committees — structural, electrical and mechanical — each dedicated to the safe design and use of overhead cranes. More than 50 volunteers from CMAA’s 45-plus member companies have spent countless hours researching and debating the finer points of crane design to ensure that end users receive a technical specification that is thoroughly vetted and backed by the leading manufacturers in North America.

Available CMAA Specifications

There are currently four specification publications:

  • CMAA Specification 70 – Specifications for Top Running Bridge & Gantry Type Multiple Girder Electric Overhead Traveling Cranes
  • CMAA Specification 74 – Specifications for Top Running & Under Running Single Girder Electric Traveling Cranes Utilizing Under Running Trolley Hoist
  • CMAA Specification 78 – Standards and Guidelines for Professional Services Performed On Overhead and Traveling Cranes and Associated Hoisting Equipment
  • CMAA Specification 79 – Crane Operator’s Manual

Of the documents, Specifications 70 and 74 will be updated with new technical standards for multiple and single girder cranes, respectively. The mechanical section of Specification 70 will feature a restructuring of the hoisting ropes section to include references to more types of rope, as well as a new keys and keyways section to address allowable stresses. In both Specifications 70 and 74, the structural committee is adding a section on wind restraints. Further, the electrical sections in both Specifications are being revised. These modifications represent the first substantial changes to the publications since 2015. The updated documents are slated for release throughout 2020.

Additionally, the CMAA engineering committee is in the process of developing a new standard, Specification 80 – Below-The-Hook Lifting Device Operator’s Manual, with publication anticipated for fall 2020. The committee is also working on a brand-new specification for jib cranes, a document that has not previously existed. This specification is targeting a fall 2021 release.

CMAA members represent the industry’s leading suppliers of overhead crane systems. They design, manufacture, assemble, install and service overhead cranes and components. CMAA members, with the combined experience of more than 30,000 crane installations in North America in the last decade, are committed to providing products which focus on safety and innovation. The organization offers a variety of resources—including buyers’ guides, engineering specifications, OSHA Alliance safety tip and fact sheets, inspection and maintenance checklists, safety seminars and more—via its website at

Want to learn more about the CMAA Specification update process? MHI Solutions magazine recently published an article, “CMAA: Substantial Changes to Technical Standards Coming Soon,” with more details.