February 16 2020 0Comment
Pillar Jib Crane

What is a Jib Crane – A Complete Guide to its Design, Types, and Components

Do you see your workers are unable to meet production quotas? Missing that final piece that can pace up and simplify your production process? If you are looking forward to achieving all these targets, a Jib Crane can help amazingly.

A Jib crane is a kind of overhead lifting machine that is frequently used in smaller industries where there are repetitive and unique lifting tasks. These cranes are highly flexible and can also be coupled with overhead bridge cranes to increase production.

These cranes are moderately simple in design but can have good lifting capacities from 125 kgs to 15 tons in some applications. Their ergonomic design gives them to appeal in a production environment because they can maximize worker productivity, minimize workplace injuries, and enhance safety.

In this article, you’ll find different kinds of jib cranes and the different components and designs available. We want to help you understand what sort of jib crane configuration will be most useful for the needs of your operation.

Jib Crane Design and Components

A fundamental design and construction lay in most parts of Jib Cranes. When compared to a bridge or gantry cranes and workstation cranes, they easy to operate and need less maintenance as they contain fewer parts that could potentially breakdown.

Below listed are some of the terms related to Jib Crane, and you’ll come across these terms throughout this article:

  • Reach/Boom – the horizontal beam on which the trolley moves back and forth on.
  • Mast/Pillar – the vertical beam added to support the boom on freestanding and mast systems
  • Movable Hoist – the Hoist is utilized for lifting, lowering and holding a load.
  • Travelling Trolley – the motion of the trolley can be pneumatic, manual, or motorized. The trolley carries the wire rope or chain, Hoist, and the hook along the whole length of the boom.
  • Rotation – on freestanding and mast type jib cranes, the boom rotation can be 360°—180-200 ° of rotation for on wall and column-mounted jib cranes.
  • Electrification/Pneumatic Power – pneumatic airlines or electric collector rings can be added to the top or bottom of the mast to give rotation assistance and enable for continuous 360° boom rotation.
  • Controls – on air-powered or motorized jib systems, you can utilize a push-button controller to handle the up-down motion of Hoist, cross travel motion of trolley and the rotation of the boom. Multi-speed or variable speed controls are also available for the Hoist and trolley.
  • Hook Height – This determines the height you can go or want to go with your lifts. You’ll have to know the lowest overhead impediment to know how tall your jib crane can be.
  • Rotation Stopper – if the crane is placed near to a wall or other barrier, a rotation stopper will limit the crane’s motion before it collides with a nearby object.
  • Environmental Considerations – the jib system’s components can be galvanized to defend corrosion for outdoor applications. Also, special control enclosures can be made for explosion-proof applications and other environments where dust and dirt, heat, or moisture may be a factor.

Different Types of Jib Crane Systems

  1. Freestanding Jib Cranes
  2. Foundationless Jib Cranes
  3. Mast Type Jib Cranes
  4. Wall-Mounted Jib Cranes
  5. Articulating Jib Cranes

Here are different types of jib cranes available, as well as their range of capabilities, advantages and disadvantages, and available design options for each system are available.

Freestanding Jib Cranes

Freestanding Jib Cranes are the most common ones as they can be installed virtually at any place, be it indoors or outdoors. These systems can be employed in open areas where they can support individual work cells or under large bridge crane systems. They can be used outdoors at loading docks or marinas, and indoors for assembly operations and machining where numerous jibs can be utilized along with staged operation.

Usually, freestanding jib crane systems can include:

  • Spans up to 15 Mtr
  • Capacities up to 15 tons
  • 360° of rotation
  • Boom heights up to 12 Mtr

There are three major designs for freestanding jib cranes, in terms of their mounting and installation-

  1. Base-Plate Mounted– These plates are the easiest to install and have the most famous design. The mast is protected by bolting a base plate on top of an unbreakable concrete foundation and then reinforcing the mast with gussets.
  2. Foundation/Insert Mounted– These mounts have a welded steel plate at the bottom of the mast anchored throughout the first-pour concrete footing. A second concrete pour fives support to the mast—removing the need for gussets.
  3. Sleeve-Insert Mounted– A sleeve is welded to a steel plate, and used to place the sleeve by anchoring it to a first-pour in concrete footing. A second pour then gives support to the sleeve and the mast is placed inside the sleeve, levelled, and then welded in place. This design enables relocation of the jib system, if required, without damaging the mast.

On comparison with other jib crane systems, the freestanding cranes proffer the highest capacities, maximum rotation and the longest spans. Though, these cranes fall in the most expensive systems and the most permanent setup due to the special foundation that is needed to anchor and protect the crane and support the load during a lift.

Foundationless Jib Cranes

Foundationless jib cranes are freestanding jib crane type that is slab-mounted and bolted to 150mm unbreakable concrete for indoor use. These sorts of jib crane systems don’t need a special poured foundation, and their installation can be done almost at any place in a facility as long as the area meets the requisites of the manufacturer.

Since there’s no special foundation needed, these systems can be installed quicker because there is no requirement of a poured concrete foundation to cure. Their relocation within a facility can be done very easily if needed.

Usually, foundationless jib cranes can contain-

  • 3-5Meter spans
  • Capacities up to 500 kgs.
  • 360° rotation
  • Boom heights up to 6 Meter

The features like portability, easy installation and cost-effectiveness make freestanding jib cranes attractive for specific applications.

Mast Type Jib Cranes

Mast type jib cranes are a commercial alternative to freestanding jib cranes as they don’t need a special foundation. These cranes only require 150mm of unbreakable concrete to support the crane because they need added support from an already built overhead support beam or structure.

Typically mast type jib cranes can accommodate:

  • 3-12 Mtr spans
  • Capacities up to 10 tons
  • 360° rotation
  • Boom heights up to 12 Mtr (distance from the floor to top overhead support)

There are two sorts of cantilever design options based on the overhead obstruction types that may or may not be present-

  1. Full Cantilever– These cantilevers can be utilized when there are no overhead obstructions. Mounting of the boom is done to the top of the mast, which gives the highest lifting capability and extreme clearance underneath.
  2. Drop Cantilever– Side-plate connections enable the boom to be “drop mounted” at a particular height to allow the clearance for overhead obstructions situated below the top of the mast.

Mast type jib cranes are same as freestanding cranes and can be utilized for the similar type of heavy-duty/high-productivity applications. Though, they do need an overhead beam or support structure to give support along with the foundation.

Wall-Mounted Jib Cranes

Wall-mounted jib cranes can be used in individual bays, along building support columns or structurally appropriate walls, or as a supplement to an already built monorail or overhead bridge crane. The major benefit of utilizing a wall-mounted system is that it saves space that it proffers. They don’t need any type of floor support or foundation support, and their installation can be done very close to the bottom of the lowest ceiling obstruction, offering most clearance both under and above the boom.

Layouts of these crane systems can be made to swing around objects, under any overhead crane, or fold out to clear the way of overhead cranes to make sure no disruption of production.

Wall or column-mounted jib cranes can include-

  • Spans ranging from 2 – 9 Mtr
  • Capacities up to 5 tons
  • 180°-200° rotation

These jib cranes can be structured to mount to a wall or building support column in two diverse ways-

  1. Cantilever– Jib cranes with wall-mounted cantilever proffer the maximum clearance, above and below the boom, and have a full-cantilever layout.
  2. Tie-Rod Supported– This is the best economical means of offering hoist coverage along building columns or walls. A single tie-rod and wall bracket support the boom to enable the Hoist for full movement down the length of the beam.

These types of jib systems are one of the most economical cranes in terms of price and design, the major drawback of utilizing a column-mounted jib crane or a wall-mounted jib crane is that the design does not permit for full 360° movement. They also need a column or support capable of withstanding the loads, which typically needs a structural engineering survey and approval before installing the crane.

Articulating Jib Cranes

In comparison to traditional jib cranes containing one boom, these cranes offer two swivel arms that are able to lift loads around corners and columns and reach under or into machinery and containers. The elementary boom arm enables it for 200° swivel, and the outer arm allows for up to 360° movement. Then these actions provide a maximum coverage area and more movement closer to the mast or column.

These systems can be wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted, floor-mounted, or mounted on a track system or bridge. The wide range of configurations allows for accurate load placing and marking loads around obstructions, through rotating in close to the mast or open doors, or building column—an area where it can be more tedious to manoeuvre traditional jibs.

Articulating jib cranes can include-

  • Spans up to 5 Mtr
  • Capacities up to 1 ton
  • 360° rotation for freestanding and ceiling-mounted systems
  • 180° inner arm and 360° outer arm for wall-mounted systems

For heavier duty and more often lifts, the crane might not be apt. Their layout won’t allow for greater capacity lifts, and their span is rather limited.


If you’re installing a series of jib cranes or just a jib crane, it can maximize production and enhance workplace safety at your working place & minimize workplace injuries. Jib cranes have a perfect layout to handle maximum numbers of lifts and give an ergonomic means of moving material in combination with an existing overhead crane system or a work cell.

Keep these following features in mind to ensure that you design a jib crane which is the most economical, suitable and most productive for your application-

  • Duty Cycle/Classification- Picking the right duty cycle or service classification will help in knowing that “are components are durable enough to survive the load and usage needs or not”.
  • Area of rotation- Freestanding and mast-style jib cranes proffer 360-degree movement; wall-mounted cranes give 180-degree movement.
  • Height under Boom-The distance from the floor to bottom of the boom of a jib crane is the height under the boom. Also, factor lifting height and in hoist size required.
  • Actual working span needed- The working (or hook) distance is approximately the length of the boom minus ½ trolley length at each end.

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