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Wired vs. Wireless ATB Systems—Which One to Choose?


A crane arm visible in the dark


Improving crane equipment safety should be every crane operator’s top priority. However, to do so, you must understand the key challenges and risks associated with crane operations. Two-blocking is a common safety hazard that can compromise crane operator and material safety. It happens if a load being lifted with a crane collides with the boom or hoist rope. Two-blocking often occurs when operators and riggers exceed their equipment’s lifting capacity or don’t position a load correctly.

So what can be done to mitigate anti-two blocking risk during crane operations? Our crane safety experts and OSHA both recommend crane owners install a cutting-edge Anti-Two Blocking device, ATB, or A2B warning indicators. These devices are designed to improve the safety of crane operations. They come in wired and wireless configurations, so let’s explore them in detail and learn which is better.

How Does an ATB System Work?

Before we delve into the ABCs of wired and wireless anti-two blocking systems, here’s a quick refresher on how these devices work to improve a crane’s safety;

An ATB system provides a warning to the crane operator when the hook gets too close to the boom tip. Wired ATB systems feature a wired connection that transmits the signal, keeping operators informed about possible two-blocking risks. Wireless ATB systems use a wireless connection between the display and A2B switch. Usually, a GHz spread spectrum frequency for a strong signal with less chance of interference.

Check out this blog for a detailed explanation of ATB working and applications: Everything You Need To Know About Anti-Two-Block Warning System

Key Differences Between a Wired and Wireless ATB System

The following are the main distinguishing features and operational capabilities in wired and wireless ATB systems:

Wired ATB Systems

A wired ATB system is connected via wire. Hence, it’s less affected by external factors such as radio frequency variations. But due to hardware component design, wired ATB systems may require more frequent repairs and inspections. In particular, telescopic boom cranes require a reeling drum which is expensive and has moving parts that wear. Some experts also argue that installing a wired ATB system is more labor-intensive.

Wireless ATB Systems

Unlike wired ATB systems, a wireless anti-two blocking device may be affected by radio frequency interference from cell phone towers, airport radar, and two-way radios. They also require batteries in the A2B switch that normally need replacing annually. However, they tend to be less expensive and easier to install than wired systems. They are the least expensive safety device you can put on a crane that has the highest return in avoiding costly accidents.

Wired vs. Wireless ATB Systems: Which One to Choose?

There’s never a cookie-cutter formula when it comes to buying and installing crane warning devices. The type, design, and configuration of a device depend on each crane’s unique requirements. In general, wireless A2B systems are best for telescopic boom cranes of all types. Hardwired A2B systems are best if you lift personnel or work near a known high RF interference area such as an airport.

Buy Quality Crane Warning Indicators at Crane Warning Systems Atlanta!

Crane Warning Systems Atlanta is a leading crane warning indicators distributor in the US. We have successfully catered to multiple crane businesses nationwide and have helped them choose the right type of crane safety device.



RaycoWylie wireless ATB system


Our product range includes durable crane safety devices such as Anti two block switch, crane capacity indicators, crane capacity systems, crane a2b systems, and crane scale. You can also check out our RaycoWylie crane safety products or call our team for more details.




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