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What is a Jib Crane?

what is a jib crane

A jib crane is a type of crane that typically spans between two points and can move heavy objects. Jib cranes come in various sizes and shapes. Most commonly they are seen as an A-frame structure with a one-arm extension at an angle from the main beam. These cranes are of use for moving large pieces of machinery or equipment on construction sites. They are also commonly of use in warehouses, factories, power plants, ports, and many other places where heavy lifting needs to take place. 

What is a Jib Crane? 

A jib crane has a horizontal arm, known as the jib or boom. A jib, which is like a gantry, supports a movable hoist that may be on the wall or pillar on the ground. A jib’s primary function is in industrial settings. For example, a jib crane can lift heavy objects onto high shelves or move them across large distances. 

A jib swings in an arc or is held so that it allows for more lateral movement. The jib on the crane is a tilted strut whose function is to assist with the fixed pulley lock. In a nutshell, a jib crane is overhead lifting equipment that is of use in smaller work locations for repetitive and specific lifting tasks. 

With a basic understanding of what a jib crane is, you should also know how it’s made. In comparison to other types of cranes, such as workstation cranes or gantry cranes, the fundamental structure design of a jib crane is simpler. As a result, they are also easier to operate and do not require much maintenance. 

Jib Crane Components 

Jib systems are usually quite basic in design and construction. They are easier to operate and require less repair than workstation or bridge or gantry cranes. This is because they have fewer components that might fail or break down.  

The main components of jib cranes are: 

  • The Reach – A horizontal beam that swings back and forth on the trolley. The freestanding or mast jib crane boom can rotate 360 degrees. Whereas the rotation on a wall or column-mounted crane is between 180 and 200 degrees. 
  • Mast/Pillar – This vertical beam supports the boom on systems with either a mast or is freestanding. 
  • Movable Hoist – A hoist is a device that elevates, positions, and lowers a load. 
  • Trolley – The trolley may be hand-controlled, powered, or pneumatically operated. The trolley transfers the hoist, wire rope or chain, and hooks along the length of the boom. 
  • Electric Collector Rings: – The top of the mast can be equipped with a gearbox to provide rotation assistance and allow for round-the-clock boom rotation. Electric collector rings or pneumatic airlines may also be added to the top or bottom of the mast. This is to assist with rotation and enable continuous 360° boom rotation. 
  • Controls – The operators of the rig can control the rotation of the boom and the movement of the trolley and lifting and lowering motion of the hoist, using a push-button controller. For hoists and trolleys, multi-speed or variable speed controls are available. 
  • Hook Height – The maximum height of the hook above the base level. 
  • Rotation Stop – A rotation stop limits the crane’s motion before it collides with a neighboring object if the crane is near a wall or other obstruction. 

Each component of a jib crane must be built to the highest standards and workmanship. High-quality jib cranes are typically more expensive than other types of construction equipment. However, they are less likely to experience downtime due to malfunctioning. 

Examples of Jib Cranes in Action 

There are numerous uses for jib cranes. They can be of use for heavy lifting jobs, in addition to tasks that require precise positioning or placement. For example, a jib crane is frequently of use on construction sites when something has been broken and needs replacement. It’s also of use in warehouses where materials move from one location to another using a hoist at the end of the boom. Additionally, jib cranes are also of use on ships and offshore oil rigs to transfer cargo.

Here are several examples where a jib crane would come in handy: 

  • Lumberyard or warehouse – A jib crane can move pallets of lumber from one area in a warehouse or yard. 
  • Warehouse roof – In some cases, the top level is too high for workers to easily reach and requires the use of an aerial lift like scissor lifts or boom trucks. A jib would enable them to carry out this task without renting or buying additional equipment. 
  • Manufacturing plant – A jib crane can be of use for tasks like moving parts from workstation to workstation, transporting materials between departments of a factory, and transferring heavy tools within the facility. 
  • Hospital loading dock – In this situation, it would be difficult for employees at the front end of the dock to move heavy items from a truck or trailer. The jib crane would enable them to use the machine’s hoist and trolley, as well as its boom, to easily load these materials into the building. 
  • Construction – A jib can be of use for numerous tasks during construction that might require an aerial lift. For example, the crane could install roofing materials on a building under construction or hoist supplies onto the scaffolding. 
  • Shipyards – A jib crane can be of use for various tasks, including lifting, and moving supplies, equipment, or materials. 
  • Museums – A jib crane is often of use in lifting items to high ceilings in museums so workers do not have to use ladders or scaffolding that might damage the exhibits. 
  • Retail Stores – When it’s time to rearrange the store, a jib crane can be of use to easily move shelving units and other fixtures.

Working with Jib Cranes

Overall, using a jib crane can boost productivity and enhance workplace safety by lowering employee injuries. Jib cranes are perfect for high-volume lifts and provide an ergonomic method for transporting material within a workstation or in combination with an existing overhead crane system. 

American Equipment designs and fabricates jib cranes for industrial settings. Contact us today to start solving your heavy lifting problems.  

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