Jib Crane Forklift Attachments: Choosing the Right Model for Your Application

Jib crane forklift attachments (or jib booms) are incredibly useful for addressing a wide variety of needs. Jib Cranes can accommodate loads that aren’t appropriate for pallets and allow for flexibility; operators can utilize jib cranes to handle materials on construction sites, in warehouses, and in any other indoor or outdoor environment where heavy-duty lifting is required.

Few attachments enhance a forklift’s capabilities so dramatically, but as is the case with any new equipment, quality matters. Jib crane attachments need to be capable of handling a given task in an efficient, reliable, and — most importantly — safe manner. When evaluating jib booms, keep the following factors in mind:

What jib crane capacity do I need?

Many jib booms are capable of handling loads of several thousand pounds, but the capacity of the attachment lowers as the crane arm extends. For freight handling, heavy equipment manufacturing, automotive, and other heavy-duty applications, jib crane attachments should be capable of lifting at least 3,000 pounds, and higher capacity attachments may be appropriate for certain tasks. Ensure that personnel understand the limits of the attachment, particularly when extending the boom.

Choose a jib boom manufactured with pure welded steel and pay attention to capacity ratings. BHS Jib Booms feature powder-coat finishes, which help to protect against rust, chemicals, and scratches.

Should I opt for a manual or powered jib boom?

When loads need to be lifted into set positions, manual jib crane attachments are an excellent solution. The BHS Manual Pivoting Jib Boom (MJB) features a pivoting base for extending lifting height, and its low-maintenance manual operation is both practical and ergonomic. Load capacities of up to 6,000 pounds ensure safe operation in a variety of applications.

Powered jib crane forklift attachments offer more flexibility for lifting and lowering loads. The BHS Powered Jib Boom (PJB) uses a closed hydraulic circuit, and features like velocity fuses, braided hydraulic lines, and thermal overload protections ensure safe, dependable operation. The standard model is capable of lifting loads up to 3,000 pounds, and custom options are available.

Will the jib crane attachment serve a specific purpose — and can it be customized?

While they’re attachments, jib cranes aren’t afterthoughts. Most buyers have a specific purpose in mind, and customizability can play a major role in determining the success of the purchase. A custom jib crane can greatly extend throughput, particularly when other products on the market don’t directly address the needs of a particular application.

BHS offers full customization options for material handling equipment. Both powered and manual jib cranes can be built to our customers’ specifications for extended height, increased capacity, or to meet the needs of any industry-specific task.

Would a gantry crane provide a better return on investment?

Most buyers will know outright whether or not a gantry crane makes sense for their operation. With that said, standalone gantry cranes have several advantages over jib crane attachments for handling certain tasks.

BHS Gantry Cranes can lift loads 10 feet or more vertically and up to 20 feet horizontally at a time. The systems can be moved with optional heavy-duty phenolic casters, and they’re ergonomically designed to improve productivity in a variety of applications. Both powered and non-powered options are available with capacity ratings of up to 6,000 pounds.

If work tends to stay within a set physical area, gantries may be preferable to jib booms, but jib crane attachments are a superior choice when loads need to be lifted occasionally or across different parts of a work site, or when components need to be transported from one elevation to another. Many operations can treat a jib boom as a single-point solution for indoor and outdoor lifting. When the attachment is properly engineered — and personnel are properly trained to use it — a jib boom can offer extraordinary value.