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What Is a Jib Hoist?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A jib hoist is more commonly known as a jib crane, and it uses a boom and pulley system to lift and move heavy objects. The boom, sometimes known as a jib, can vary in size according to the weight of the objects most commonly lifted by the system. The jib hoist features a pulley system that is run with metal cables in most cases, though sometimes chains or belts can be used as well, depending on the size and function of the unit. These lifting devices are commonly seen used for industrial applications and even for home use in some cases.

A vertical beam is secured at its base to provide stability for the jib hoist system. A horizontal beam, or jib, is affixed to the vertical beam; it is sometimes welded, while in other cases it may be bolted or even hinged. This jib will help distribute the load of the item being lifted, and it will also allow for movement of the item beneath the jib hoist system. A pulley is usually affixed to the end of the horizontal jib, and a cable is strung through this pulley and wrapped around it numerous times. The other end of the cable is secured to the vertical beam or even to the ground behind the jib hoist.


Once the cable has been wrapped around the pulley numerous times, the cable will drop from the jib toward the ground. A hook or other securing system is attached to the end of the cable, and it is secured to the item to be lifted. Once the item is secured, a motor mounted on the top pulley of the jib hoist will activate, and the cable will retract as the pulley turns. To help distribute even more of the load being lifted, an additional pulley or pulleys may be attached to the length of cable just above the item itself. The weight that can be distributed will depend on how many pulleys are placed in the system.

Sometimes smaller versions of these hoists are mounted to the beds of pickup trucks. They can be used to lift heavy objects into the truck bed, and they are popular among motorcycle owners as well as businesses that routinely deliver exceptionally heavy objects to customers. Larger jib hoists may be seen in factories, warehouses, or even at construction sites, as these places are likely to require the lifting and moving of heavy materials routinely.

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