Top 5 Things to Know Before Buying a Jib Crane


Welcome to the Hoist Guy's blog! In the market for a jib crane? Check out our top five “Things to Know” when purchasing a jib crane.

by Andrew T. Litecky posted on December 29, 2017

Jib cranes are versatile pieces of material handling equipment, and they’re often the best solution for applications within a small area.  Jibs typically lift 100 to 10,000 pounds, operate within a radius of not more than 20 feet, and most frequently cost between $1,000 and $20,000. Before you purchase a jib crane, make sure to read our list of the “Top 5 Things to Know before Purchasing a Jib Crane.”

1.    Know how you’ll get electricity to the jib. If the jib crane has a powered hoist, electrical service must be supplied, and the jib crane motion must be considered. Base mounted jib cranes that rotate 360 degrees have a slip ring collector to facilitate rotation. For outdoor jibs, the electrical service must be fed rom the jib’s bottom, but indoor jibs can receive electricity through either the bottom or top. For column mounted jibs (or any jib that rotates less than 360 degrees) a flexible power cord is required. For all types of jib cranes with electrical service, be sure a dedicated electrical disconnect is within reach of the operator.



2.    Consider the cost of the concrete foundation. An integral part of a base-mounted jib crane is a reinforced, poured concrete foundation. The size of this foundation is supplied with the jib quote, and anchor bolts with the template for setting these bolts in concrete can be included with the jib crane. The masonry work, which includes saw cutting the concrete and excavations to the proper depth are an extra cost. This work can be provided by the jib crane supplier or a separate contractor.


3.    Be sure to account for hook coverage. Jib Cranes travel in an arc, typically from 0 to 220 degrees for column mounted jibs or 360 degrees for base mounted jibs. The distance from the center of rotation to the end of the jib boom is known as the span. The trolley hoist, however, will cover a distance from the inner stop to the outer stop. That distance, along with the trolley length and the degree of arc movement, will define hook coverage. Be sure that the jib trolley hoist hook coverage reaches all areas that need service.


4.    For outdoor use, upgrades are a must. The standard factory finish for a jib crane is industrial enamel for indoor service. If the jib crane is outdoors, an upgrade to an epoxy paint system with a urethane top coat is well worth the cost. If the jib crane is dockside, a hot-dipped galvanized finish is the best (and most expensive). Locating a jib crane outdoors or in any corrosive atmosphere without the proper finish will lead to premature failure of the equipment due to corrosion.


5.    Consider the strength of your building column. For column-mounted jib cranes, both tie rod and full cantilever, it’s extremely important that the building column is strong enough to carry the load. If the column is too light, deflection will occur, and this can lead to a catastrophic failure. A structural engineer should be consulted, because the column will carry not only the jib crane but also the loading from the building. Shupper-Brickle can recommend a licensed Professional Engineer if a building column needs to be checked for its load carrying capability.

With almost 50 years in the business, we know overhead material handling! Contact us for questions about standards jib cranes or specialty applications. Or learn more about jibs with this blog post on jib crane mounting types.

Shupper-Brickle Equipment supplies a variety of overhead lifting equipment, such as bridge cranes and hoists, along with related services. Contact us for more information.

Want more Hoist Guy? Check out some other posts about Hoist Maintenance, Crane Controls, and Overhead Crane Kits.

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