How to choose the best jib crane


Optimize material handling

Guide to the selection, placement and use
of jib cranes

Jib cranes (slewing cranes) are an efficient and versatile solution for lifting and moving materials in confined spaces. However, to maximize their effectiveness, it is necessary to select the right equipment, position it correctly and use it safely.
This guide addresses some of these critical issues, so that selecting and using a jib crane correctly can improve your operations.


Selection of the
optimal jib crane


Assess the weight capacity required

It is important to determine the maximum weight that needs to be lifted.
Jib cranes are available with capacities ranging from a few hundred pounds to several tons.
In addition to the weight of the material, the weight of the hoist and the gripping equipment (suction cup assembly with its structure, tipping accessories, etc.) must be taken into account.
It is important to provide an adequate safety margin (at least 15-20%) to avoid any possibility of overloading, with potential safety hazards for equipment and personnel.

Assess the range of action

Carefully consider the crane’s outreach (radius), the horizontal coverage space and the vertical excursion needed to operate easily in relation to the equipment and vehicles to be served. Measure the distances and heights required to easily lift and manoeuvre the load over pallets and above the floor of the transport equipment, calculating the overall dimensions of the hoist, hook and vacuum devices. Ensure that the crane selected provides adequate maneuverability and coverage.

Selection of the type of jib crane

Freestanding Jib Cranes:
are permanently mounted to the floor and come with their own column. These cranes offer superior stability and operational flexibility compared to other solutions, such as full 360 degree rotation (and more with double outreach) for maximum coverage of the area where they are installed.

Wall-mounted jib crane:
Ideal in a workshop or production line where floor space is limited. These cranes usually have a shorter outreach, but thanks to their nominal 180° rotation, they still offer sufficient coverage in these specific and particular situations.
For a more accurate assessment of the coverage, consider the footprint – relative to the wall – of the mobile crew and the material being moved.
In some cases, however, it is necessary to consider an articulated jib crane, which, due to its configuration, can easily go around a corner as well as over a gantry.

Cantilever (shelf-mounted) jib cranes:
Hooked and anchored to a building column or pre-existing fixed structure, these cranes offer flexibility in positioning; they can be designed and manufactured with different jib lengths to meet specific requirements.

Manual or electric rotation and translation

In addition to manual rotation and traslation, many jib crane models offer the option of electric handling, both for rotation of the jib and for travel along the trolley arm to which the hoist and vacuum gripping system are attached.
These systems further reduce operator fatigue and allow particularly “smooth” and fluid handling of materials in the presence of large inertial masses. They are also useful when handling particularly fragile materials to avoid manual pulling..

Hoist selection

The hoist plays a key role in lifting and vertical load handling. It must have a capacity at least equal to that of the crane and provide sufficient travel to meet the requirements of the work environment.
Electric hoists, also available with two speeds and possible drive ramps, are the most popular choice due to their convenience and ease of use.

Positioning and use
of slewing cranes (jib cranes)

Site Preparation
Ensure that the floor (for self-supporting cranes), wall (for wall-mounted cranes), column or existing support structure (for shelf cranes) can safely support the combined weight of the crane, hoist, suction cup system and the maximum expected load for the material being handled.
A structural engineer should be consulted for proper anchorage and weight distribution analysis.

Proper Installation and Assembly
For correct and safe installation, the manufacturer’s instructions must be strictly followed.
Depending on the complexity of the jib crane, it may be necessary to rely on certified professionals to ensure optimal performance and full compliance with safety regulations.

Personnel Training
Only personnel who have received appropriate training should be allowed to use cranes.
Skills to be taught include the necessary checks before using the equipment, full compliance with load capacities, safe lifting techniques, correct load handling procedures and knowledge of emergency protocols.
Personnel must have a thorough knowledge and awareness of the necessary operational precautions, including never passing the load over people, considering inertia during movement, and never leaving the load “hanging”.



Best practices to ensure
efficient and safe operations

Preliminary Checks
Before each use, carefully inspect the crane, hoist and suction lift for signs of damage or wear. Check that all safety and warning devices are in working order.

Use suitable vacuum hoists and lifting accessories
designed and tested for the materials and load to be lifted.

Make sure the load is properly gripped.
Ensure that the grip is stable and secure, by checking the vacuum gauge,
to prevent the load from disengaging or slipping during movement.

Select a well-balanced gripping point,
well centered, respecting the shape and dimensions so that the load is properly balanced.

To reduce the risk of accidents and ensure smooth operation, make sure, before starting work, that the handling path is free of obstacles, both for the rotation of the crane jib and for the movement of the load.

Respect capacity limits
Never overload the crane or the hoist. Always respect the weight limits of the materials
to be handled to ensure the safety of personnel and to prevent damage to equipment and materials.

Smooth, controlled lifting and handling
Avoid jerky or involuntary movements when lifting, lowering or moving the load.
Remember that jerks, pulls, thrusts and inertia dynamically increase the load.
For optimum safety, use smooth and controlled movements.

Clear and Accurate Signals
When multiple operators are involved in lifting and handling operations, it is important to maintain clear and consistent communication. To avoid misunderstandings and potential accidents, gestural and vocal codes for mutual signaling should be established in advance.

In order to choose the right model, the optimal location, a perfect installation and to get the most out of your jib cranes and vacuum lifters, you can follow the given guidelines, but above all you can ask the DAL FORNO experts for advice.
An efficient and safe handling system will definitely improve your work in many ways.


Take advantage of our qualified
• consultancy services •

verification of compliance with standards,
security testing and related certifications,
MUST ALWAYS be delegated 
to the correct and specific authorities.

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two or three pad in-line vacuum lifters

VL series

compact pneumatic tilting vacuum lifters

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