The basics of crane jibs

Forklift crane jib attachments combine a forklift’s compactness and mobility with a crane’s weight-lifting capacity and reach. Crane jib attachments quickly convert most forklifts into mobile cranes. It features hooks, safety latches, and safety chains for attaching to the forklift.

These forklift attachments are generally available as telescoping, pivot telescoping, single and double hook beam attachments.

What is a crane jib?

A crane jib lets you lift loads that are too large for pallets or have unusual dimensions. Crane jibs are very common in the construction industry and are appropriate for a wide range of forklifts. In addition, crane jibs are common attachments that, when attached to a forklift, allow it to be used as a multi-purpose lifting machine.

The attachment is designed to easily slide and secure to forklift tines, allowing loads to be quickly attached to the hook at the end of the jib.

What Is a crane jib attachment used for?

Crane jib and hook attachments make it simple and inexpensive to hang loads from a forklift’s tines safely. Businesses can benefit from crane jib attachments because they no longer need to hire or purchase costly additional cranes or hoists to supplement their forklift fleet. Furthermore, crane jibs can be used to handle repetitive lifting tasks in warehouses, workshops, and factories.

Common types of crane jibs

The three most common types of crane jib attachments are:

  • Fixed crane jib designed to complete repetitive lifting tasks where jib length adjustments are not required.
  • Extendable crane jib has a telescopic design that allows the jib’s length to be adjusted to accommodate loads of various sizes safely. To keep the forklift stable, each extension length will have a different safe lifting capacity.
  • Adjustable crane jib allows the jib’s end to be raised and lowered to accommodate different sized loads. As a result, the crane jib’s safe lifting capacity varies depending on the jib’s angle.

It is critical to note that when the crane jib is extended or positioned at an angle, its maximum safe lifting weight limit decreases. Under no circumstances should the maximum load limit of the crane jib be exceeded.

Attempting to lift loads heavier than the forklift and attachment are rated to lift can cause dangerous unit instability, increasing the risk of the load and forklift tipping over and causing serious injury, fatalities, or damage to the product or equipment.

Crane jib inspection, maintenance, and testing

Crane jib attachments, like the forklift to which they are attached, should be inspected and load tested regularly by a qualified inspection officer to ensure the attachment is in safe operational order.

Inspecting a crane jib properly entails the following steps:

  • Inspect the entire crane jib for wear and tear or damage, paying particular attention to critical points.
  • Check that the hook and shackle are in good working order.
  • Check that the forklift tines on which the crane jib slides are not worn or damaged.

All forklift operators must be retrained to operate any new crane jib attachment safely. This is because the added weight of a crane jib may overload a forklift, causing it to tip over due to a shift in the unit’s centre of gravity.

Safety recommendations for crane jibs

Consider the following safety tips when using crane jib to help ensure operator safety:

  • Before use, inspect the crane jib and beams to ensure that the jib is securely attached to the forklift’s tines and will not come loose during operation.
  • When attaching the crane jib to a forklift, the tines should always be level or slightly tilted upwards to reduce the likelihood of the forklift tipping over.
  • Crane jibs are only intended to lift loads vertically and should not be used to pull or swing loads. Tag lines can help to reduce swinging.
  • Crane jib attachments should only be used when the forklift is working on level ground and never when working on an incline.
  • Before operating a forklift with a crane jib attached, the operator must be adequately trained and certified in the operation of the forklift and the attachment.

Contact Micron Engineering for details

If you’re looking to buy or replace a crane jib, contact Micron Engineering today. Our material handling specialists can help you choose the most suitable solution.

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