Cranky is a tall, grumpy dockyard crane who lives and works at Brendam Docks.
When Brendam Docks' shipping company was expanding, they needed another crane, so Cranky was brought to Sodor to help. However, the dockside crane immediately felt hot, bothered and claustrophobic in the busy dockyard, so he took out his anger on the other engines, namely Thomas and Percy who were helping out from the branch line. When a storm arrived, Cranky managed to save Gordon, James, Duck, and Henry, who were kept in a freight shed until further notice when the roof caved in, but not before Cranky toppled over onto the tracks in front of Thomas and Percy! The little engines helped the crane to be up righted again, but Percy accidentally caused Cranky to topple over again when the crane seemed ungrateful for the little engines' actions. Since then, Cranky has been careful not to make fun of Thomas and Percy or call them "bugs", but is still cranky all the same!
Cranky is grumpy because he is initially kept working day and night without rest. Although nowadays he is able to sleep properly, he still maintains his cranky attitude. Cranky loves teasing the engines and has an intense dislike for Salty's stories. He rarely pays attention to tact due to his perpetual bad temper. According to Big Mickey, throughout all the years he has been at the docks, Cranky has never said a single word to him.
However, Cranky has at times shown a bit of kindness, such as when he sympathised for Percy after Thomas went missing on Misty Island, and also when he used a large reflective mirror to show Henry his glowing paint. He has started to become friends with the engines working at the docks.
Cranky is painted olive with black and brown pulleys amongst his mechanism. He also has two nameplates on his sides that display his name in yellow lettering.
- Season 1 - Geoffrey's Real, Splatter and Dodge, Edward Tries His Best, Harvey's Goods Train (does not speak), Scottish Engines (cameo), Salty's Secret Story, Big Strong Murdoch (cameo), and Bill and Ben
- Season 2 - Haunted Henry's Forest, The New Controller, Long Lost Twins (cameo), The Ghostly Tale of Timothy (cameo), Timothy and the Aquarium, and Ministry
- Cranky can be dismantled and shifted to different locations, despite it never being mentioned or shown in the show; however, there are some cases where Cranky has not been seen at Brendam.
- Cranky was the first non-Awdry character introduced to the TV series who was not Railway Series-related.