The Jib Boom: Basics and Applications

The Jib Boom

The term Jib Boom originated in ship building and now can refer to equipment with important industrial applications. A tool for extending length, the jib boom today often serves to augment the reach of cranes and lifts where once it increased the length of the bow of sailing vessels.


Jib booms were originally spars, or more commonly, poles attached to the bowsprit at the front-most spot on the deck of a sailing ship. Attached by iron fittings and lashing cords to the bowsprit as well as cables (known as stays) linking it to the forward mast, the original jib boom is familiar to anyone who has admired the beauty of an old sailing vessel with its narrow bow cutting through the waves led by the bowsprit and jib boom above.

Today, jib boom more frequently refers to an extension for a crane or industrial lift used to move heavy loads and equipment. These booms come in a multitude of shapes and configurations to meet the needs of specific applications but in general serve to extend the reach of lifting equipment.

Industrial Jib Booms and Their Uses

Two of the most common jib booms used in industry work with large cranes and fork lifts. Crane booms are generally reinforced arm sections attached at the toe-end of the main boom of the crane extending its reach. The crane’s hoist line runs from the body of the crane below along the boom and jib boom to the hook or block used to secure the load. Cranes of this type are used in heavy construction around the world and can rise to great heights for high-rise and other building applications.

Forklift booms are designed to fit the forks of specific lifts and both extend their reach and add lifting equipment. This can be a highly versatile arrangement allowing for very mobile delivery of lifting capacity in small areas of warehouses, factories and similar facilities. The forklift boom is a relatively simple design with two pockets to receive the forks attached to a body and boom bar. A shackle and hook assembly sits at the tip of the bar to secure loads to be lifted. Forklift booms can be used to move all manner of equipment, inventory and other loads ranging in weight up to 6,000 pounds.

Contact Medlin Ramps today or call 877-4-MEDLIN to speak to an expert about our Jib Booms today!

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