What is a Jib Crane?
For all those of you who are new to the industry, or are simply interested in the subject of material handling equipment – let’s start with the basics. A jib crane is one of the most dynamic instruments for material handling one can find. It is used to move loads in cases where tools such as forklifts cannot be used. This versatile instrument gives you lateral and protracted handling options, along with mobility within the circumference of the hoist, depending on the kind of movement required. The best part is that it can be customized according to your requirements and standards, in terms of size, load capacity, and movement. Oh, and it doesn’t take up much space either.
Using a jib crane is a smart move – whether your requirements are fixed or mobile, unidirectional or multidirectional, and whether you want them indoors or outdoors. It is incredible how much this single instrument can actually help with material handling, without really getting in anyone’s way. The relative ease of operation can enable the crane to be used by an employee without restrictions on the basis of rank or seniority in an organization. Equal opportunities are important, and so is the safety of employees. Jib cranes help with both these things and many others.
How It Works
Essentially, a jib crane includes a mobile hoist, which is attached to a horizontal member (akin to a metallic beam) called the “jib” or “boom.” This member may then be attached to a vertical staff or “mast,” especially if the crane is required to be mobile – although many people tend to get the mast fixed to the ground as well. Either way, consider a horizontal beam at a certain height attached to either a vertical one or the wall, for that matter, which can move in an arc from the point of attachment and which carries a hoist that can move along its length. This means you can lift loads not only in a lateral manner but also anywhere within the span covered by the potential arc created by the boom. Thus, while you would usually have to compromise either on the size of the handling equipment or the direction it can carry the load in, with jib cranes, this is no longer necessary.
Well, that’s the description of the equipment. Now, we come to the functional bit. Why are they functionally versatile, you may ask? The great part about jib cranes is that even if they are in a fixed position, they can lift loads within the area they cover, but better still is the possibility of customizing them to be not only laterally mobile but also vertically flexible. This means you can ascertain the height at or to which you would like to lift the load and use it accordingly. They are excellent for use at more than one level, quite literally.
Meeka Fact File: One of the world’s largest jib cranes is the Terex CTL 1600 tower crane, with its height reaching 89 m and the jib spanning 75 m in length. Its load capacity is 65 tonnes.
What should I consider while buying a Jib Crane?
Nature of the load: The size and weight of the material you are planning to use the jib crane for is a matter of grave consideration. After all, there is no point buying a crane that doesn’t cover all your handling needs in one go, is there? On the other hand, make sure to consider the dimensions for any larger loads in the future as well; in case the general size and weight increases with time. Buying a jib crane is a major investment, and we’d like to make sure you don’t end up buying one, only to use it short-term.
Path of Travel: Define the exact requirements that you have from the jib crane before you buy one, so that you are fully aware of its movement capacity. Keep in mind that larger loads and distances would require sturdier equipment.
The Installation Process and Maintenance: The overall cost not only involves that of the crane itself but also its installation. There is much to take into account here other than finance, as well; you must ensure that the dimensions of the crane ordered are correct and that the installation – including the additional costs, occurs according to local and national standards. On the other hand, maintenance costs and consistent recalibration are also things to be considered.
Safety Precautions: This is the last point, but the first and foremost consideration – the safety of your employees while working with the jib crane. Make sure the equipment you buy is from an established supplier, and that it is installed correctly. There have been cases where the structural inferiority of the equipment or incomplete and incorrect installation has claimed limbs, if not lives.
In essence, we can only say that while buying a jib crane is a good idea depending on your functional requirements from it, it is probably best to consult your supplier every step of the way, just to be on the safer side. Once it’s installed, though, it will certainly lift a great weight off your shoulders.