Best Jib Crane For Efficient Material Handling In Industrial Facilities (2024 Top Picks)

best jib crane guide

In industrial settings, efficient material handling is crucial for maintaining productivity and ensuring safety. Jib cranes, known for their versatility and effectiveness, have become an essential component in many facilities. This article explores the different types of jib cranes available and provides reviews of the top picks for 2024, helping you find the best choice for your material handling needs.

 

What Is A Jib Crane? 

jib boom overhead crane

A jib crane is a type of overhead lifting device that is often used in industrial settings to hoist and move materials within a limited area. It consists of a horizontal jib or boom, which supports a moveable hoist. Crane jib systems are particularly useful in workstations, manufacturing floors, construction sites, and loading docks. The main purpose of jib cranes is to enhance productivity by reducing manual handling of materials, thus minimizing the risk of injury and increasing efficiency in operations.

 

Types Of Jib Cranes

There are several types of jib crane systems, each designed to cater to specific needs, requirements, and limitations. Here is a brief overview of the different types of jib crane systems:

Freestanding Jib Cranes

Freestanding or floor mounted jib cranes are standalone units that are bolted securely to a concrete foundation. This type of crane is designed to handle heavy loads and provide a full 360-degree rotation, allowing it to cover a wide circular area around its base. These cranes are commonly used in large, open spaces such as manufacturing plants, warehouses, and outdoor loading areas. Their robust design and full rotational capability make them ideal for heavy-duty lifting and moving operations where flexibility and strength are paramount.

Wall-Mounted Jib Cranes

Wall-mounted jib cranes are attached to an existing wall or structural column. They typically offer a rotation range of 180 to 200 degrees, making them suitable for use in areas where there is limited space. These cranes are ideal in settings where the crane needs to be close to the work being performed. They are often used in processes where materials need to be moved along a line or to adjacent workstations.

Mast-Type Jib Cranes

Mast-type jib cranes are supported by both the floor and an overhead support structure. This dual support system allows them to handle heavier loads than wall-mounted cranes while occupying less floor space than freestanding models. They offer a rotation range typically around 360 degrees.

Articulating Jib Cranes

Articulating jib cranes feature an arm with two swivel points, allowing the arm to bend and move in multiple directions. This flexibility enables the crane to lift and maneuver loads around obstacles and corners. These cranes are perfect for complex work environments where lifting around machinery, workstations, or other obstacles is necessary.

Portable Jib Cranes

Portable jib cranes are mobile units that can be moved around the facility as needed. They are typically smaller and designed for lighter loads. These cranes often come with a trolley with wheels or casters for easy mobility. This type of industrial jib crane is ideal for temporary tasks or operations that require frequent movement.

Type of Jib Crane  Pros Cons
Freestanding Jib Crane High load capacity; Full rotational capabilities; More versatile placement options Requires substantial floor space; Installation involves significant groundwork and special foundation
Wall-mounted Jib Crane Saves floor space; Easy to install and integrate to existing structures; Cost effective Limited rotational range; Load capacity dependent on the strength and stability of the mounting surface
Mast-type Jib Crane High load capacity with less floor space; Full rotational capability; Increased stability Requires both floor and overhead support structures; Complex installation process
Articulating Jib Crane Versatile and flexible; Can reach around obstacles and into confined spaces Typically lower load capacity; More expensive due to complex design
Portable Jib Crane Highly mobile and flexible; Quick and easy to set up; Cost-effective for lighter loads Lower load capacity; Limited range of motion

 

7 Best Industrial Jib Crane Hoist

Gorbel Wall Bracket I-Beam Jib Crane

The Gorbel Wall Bracket I-Beam Jib Crane is a robust and efficient solution for material handling in industrial settings. Designed for wall-mounted installation, this jib crane offers a high load capacity of 1 ton and a 24-foot span, making it suitable for a wide range of lifting tasks.

A limitation of the Gorbel Wall Bracket I-Beam Jib Crane is that it requires a strong and stable wall or column for mounting, which may not be feasible in all facilities. Aside from that, being wall-mounted, it lacks the flexibility and portability of freestanding or portable jib cranes.

Key Features:

  • High load capacity of 1 ton, suitable for lifting substantial loads and heavy-duty applications
  • Space-saving wall mounted design frees up valuable floor space
  • I-beam design provides excellent strength and stability

 

Abell-Howe J904B Base Plate Mounted Jib Crane

With a remarkable lifting capacity of 10,000 pounds, the Abell-Howe J904B Base Plate Mounted Heavy Duty Pillar Jib Crane is engineered to handle the most demanding material handling tasks with ease and efficiency. Featuring a robust floor-mounted jib design, this jib crane offers flexibility in terms of coverage and reliability in its lifting capabilities.

Its heavy-duty design involves a complex installation process, typically requiring professional help, and can be costly and time-consuming. Furthermore, the base plate and pillar design necessitate significant floor space, which may not be suitable for smaller work areas.

Key Features:

  • Simplified installation process because of its base-mounted design
  • 10,000 pounds lifting capacity ideal for heavy-duty industrial applications
  • 360-degree rotation provide wide coverage area

 

Vestil Cantilever Floor Mounted Jib Crane CJIB-3

The Vestil Cantilever Floor Mounted Jib Crane CJIB-3 is designed primarily for light-duty material handling needs. With a lifting capacity of 300 pounds, this jib crane offers reliable performance in various industrial and commercial settings. It features a cantilever arm that extends out from a sturdy floor-mounted base, providing a clear and unobstructed work area. This jib crane is ideal for applications where space is limited, and precision lifting is required.

On the flip side, with a maximum capacity of just 300 pounds, the Vestil CJIB-3 is not suitable for heavy-duty lifting applications. Also, its cantilever design may limit the range of motion compared to other jib crane types with full 360-degree rotation.

Key features:

  • Space-saving cantilever design provides an unobstructed work area beneath the crane
  • Easy set up and installation with its floor-mounted design
  • Budget-friendly option for light-duty lifting tasks without compromising on quality

 

Caldwell Foundationless Jib Crane

The Caldwell Foundationless Jib Crane offers a versatile solution for material handling in various industrial environments. With a height of 12 feet and a lifting capacity of 2,000 pounds, this jib crane is designed to provide robust performance without the need for a permanent foundation, making it highly versatile and easy to install.

While the foundationless design offers installation flexibility, the crane itself is fixed once installed and cannot be easily moved. Aside from that, the crane requires sufficient floor space to operate effectively, which may not be suitable for smaller or more confined areas.

Key Features:

  • Foundationless design eliminates the need for a concrete foundation, reducing installation time and cost
  • Capable of lifting up to 2,000 pounds
  • Made from high-quality steel, ensuring long-term durability and reliable performance in demanding environments

 

Global Industrial™ Folding Floor Crane with Telescopic Boom

The Global Industrial™ Folding Floor Crane stands out due to its telescopic boom, which allows for adjustable reach and height, making it adaptable to different lifting tasks. The crane's folding capability is a significant advantage, as it can be easily stored when not in use, saving valuable floor space. Constructed from durable steel, this crane ensures long-lasting reliability and stability during operations.

While the crane is portable, its size and weight may still make it challenging to move around frequently without adequate space. Also, folding and unfolding the crane for use can take some time, which may not be ideal for quick, on-the-spot lifting needs.

Key Features:

  • Telescopic boom offers adjustable reach and height for various applications
  • Foldable design for compact storage
  • Relatively high load capacity suitable for a wide range of lifting tasks

 

Conco Articulating Jib Boom Crane

The Conco Articulating Jib Arm features a dual-arm design, which allows for greater maneuverability compared to standard jib cranes. Constructed from high-quality materials, it offers a lifting capacity of up to 1,250 pounds and a reach of 16 feet, making it suitable for a wide range of applications

However, the crane requires substantial installation support, including a sturdy mounting surface, which may not be feasible in all locations. Also, due to its advanced features and construction, the Conco Articulating Jib Arm may be more expensive than simpler jib crane models

Key Features:

  • Dual-articulating arm provides exceptional maneuverability and reach.
  • Capable of lifting up to 1,250 pounds, suitable for a wide range of material handling applications
  • Durable material ensures reliability and longevity in both indoor and outdoor demanding industrial environments

 

HSI 1 Ton Mast Type Jib Crane

The HSI 1 Ton Mast Type Jib Crane is designed for industrial applications requiring substantial load capacities and extended reach. Its mast-type design combines the benefits of both freestanding and wall-mounted cranes, making it suitable for environments where overhead support is available. With a 20-foot span and a 10-foot height, this jib boom crane offers robust performance and flexibility for various material handling tasks.

One factor to consider is that the overhead crane requires both floor and overhead support, which can complicate the installation process and require additional structural assessments. Aside from that , its size and support requirements make it not suitable for smaller or more confined spaces.

Key Features:

  • 1 ton (2000 lbs) carrying capacity well-suited for heavy-duty material handling tasks.
  • Extended 20-foot span offers broad coverage area
  • Provides superior stability and support by utilizing both floor and overhead structures.

 

Factors To Consider When Purchasing An Overhead Crane System

jib crane carrying materials

Choosing the right type of overhead crane system for the job can be complex. There are several different factors that are important to consider before purchasing a jib crane - from how it is supposed to be installed up to the area where the overhead crane is supposed to be operated. The appropriate system can enhance productivity, ensure safety, and reduce operational costs. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the system meets your specific needs and integrates into your operations.

Foundation and Mounting

Different jib crane types have varying foundation and mounting requirements. Freestanding jib cranes require a concrete foundation that can support the crane's weight and the loads it will lift. Proper anchoring and leveling are crucial to ensure stability and safety. Wall-Mounted jib cranes, while space saving, must be attached to a strong and stable wall or column. The mounting surface must be capable of handling the crane’s operational stresses, often leading to structural reinforcements.

Workspace and Clearance

The area where the jib boom crane is going to be installed should also be enough for the machine to properly operate. Ensure that there is enough space for the jib crane to operate without obstructions. Consider the crane’s rotation range and the path of the load. Measure and check that there is sufficient headroom for the crane to move freely, and that floor space is clear of obstacles that could impede the crane’s operation.

Load Requirements

Select a jib crane that can handle the maximum load weight you need to lift. It’s important to account for not just the average load but also the heaviest load the crane will handle. Also, look into the machine’s duty cycle and consider how frequently the crane will be used. High-duty cycle applications require more robust systems that can withstand continuous use without excessive wear.

Operational Environment

Jib cranes can be installed in various locations and environmental settings. If the crane will be used outdoors, ensure it is designed to withstand weather conditions and has appropriate weatherproofing. In areas with hazardous conditions, such as flammable materials or extreme temperatures, select a jib crane with appropriate safety features and certifications.

Maintenance and Accessibility

Choose a jib crane that is easy to maintain, with accessible components and readily available spare parts. Regular maintenance is essential for long-term reliability and safety. Ensure there is enough space around the crane for technicians to perform inspections and maintenance tasks without difficulty.

Power Requirements

Another critical factor to consider when choosing a jib crane type focuses on the power requirements of each type, specifically on how to get electricity to the overhead crane hoist. For freestanding, wall-mounted, and mast-type jib cranes, the most common method is to use a festoon or conductor bar system to supply power up to the hoist and other electrical components.

The festoon system includes the use of cables and trolleys that run along a track attached to the jib arm while the conductor bar system involves a series of conductor bars installed along the jib arm, with a collector system that provides continuous electrical contact.

Articulation jib cranes, on the other hand, are a bit more complex. Because of its moving part, articulating jib cranes often use energy chains or festoon systems that can accommodate the additional articulation points. Energy chains feature flexible cable carriers that protect and guide the cable, ensuring that they can move freely without becoming tangled or damaged as the jib moves.

Standards and Regulations

Adhering to standards and regulations is essential for ensuring the safety and efficiency of jib crane operations. These maintenance, repair, and operation guidelines are established to protect workers, ensure equipment reliability, and maintain operational consistency across different industries.

  • OSHA 1910.179 - This regulation covers overhead and gantry cranes, including jib cranes. It outlines requirements for crane design, construction, installation, maintenance, and operation to ensure safety in the workplace.
  • OSHA 1910.180 - This regulation provides specific guidelines for crawler locomotive and truck cranes but also applies to general lifting operations, emphasizing inspection, maintenance, and operator training.
  • ASME B30.11 - This standard applies to monorails and underhung cranes, which include jib cranes. It details safety requirements for the design, construction, installation, maintenance, and operation of these cranes.
  • ASME B30.2 - This standard covers overhead and gantry cranes, emphasizing safety procedures and operational guidelines, which are applicable to jib cranes.


These standards and regulations also provide key compliance and implementation guidelines including the regular inspections of jib cranes to identify and address any potential safety issues, essential operator training and certification, documentation and record-keeping of operations, and the incorporation of safety features, such as overload protection, emergency stop buttons, and fail-safe brakes.

FAQs

How does a jib crane work?

A jib crane works by using a horizontal arm (jib or boom) mounted on a vertical mast or wall. The arm supports a movable hoist that lifts and moves loads within a specified radius. The jib can rotate, allowing for flexible positioning of the load.

What is the difference between a crane and a jib crane?

A crane is a general term for various types of lifting machines, while a jib crane specifically refers to a crane with a horizontal arm (jib) that pivots on a vertical axis, designed for localized lifting and material handling tasks.

What is the practical use of a jib crane?

Jib cranes are used for lifting and moving materials in confined spaces, facilitating repetitive tasks, and improving efficiency in workstations, assembly lines, and loading docks.

Where is a jib crane mostly used?

Jib cranes are commonly used in industrial settings such as manufacturing or production plants, warehouses, maintenance workshops, and loading docks, where localized lifting and precise placement of materials are required.

What are the disadvantages of a jib crane?

Jib cranes have several disadvantages, including a limited range of motion compared to other crane types and lower load capacities for certain models. They also require substantial installation support, such as a concrete foundation or wall mounting, and they can face space constraints, particularly with freestanding and wall-mounted models.


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The material provided in this article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to replace professional/legal advice or substitute government regulations, industry standards, or other requirements specific to any business/activity. While we made sure to provide accurate and reliable information, we make no representation that the details or sources are up-to-date, complete or remain available. Readers should consult with an industrial safety expert, qualified professional, or attorney for any specific concerns and questions.

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Author: Herbert Post

Born in the Philadelphia area and raised in Houston by a family who was predominately employed in heavy manufacturing. Herb took a liking to factory processes and later safety compliance where he has spent the last 13 years facilitating best practices and teaching updated regulations. He is married with two children and a St Bernard named Jose. Herb is a self-described compliance geek. When he isn’t studying safety reports and regulatory interpretations he enjoys racquetball and watching his favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys.