What is a forklift jib?
A forklift jib is a common forklift attachment that expands a forklift’s capabilities to become a multipurpose lifting machine. It is engineered to slide and secure to forklift tynes so that loads can be quickly attached to hook at the end the jib.
Forklift jibs provide a simple and cost-effective way to safely move loads using forklift tynes, removing the need for expensive crane and hoist equipment. They can be used in construction, warehouses, workshops and factories.
Effect of a jib attachment on a forklift
Forklifts are rated for a specific maximum load capacity, which is the highest weight your forklift can lift safely. You can find the maximum load capacity for your specific vehicle listed on a plate installed in a highly visible area — usually on the mast at eye level to the driver.
Attempting to lift a payload that is higher than your rated maximum lift capacity, isn’t safe and it could put the driver, pedestrians, and the materials you’re lifting at risk if there is a failure. It may also damage your forklift’s motor, hydraulics, and other costly parts.
Put simply, when you use a jib attachment on a forklift, the load capacity will be reduced and the centre of gravity of the forklift will be affected, making it less stable than it would be without the attachment. This is because you are putting weight in front of the fulcrum point (the point or support on which a lever pivots) of the forklift prior to picking up your load. It is therefore necessary to drive the forklift as if it were partially loaded, even prior to picking up the load.
Impact of forklift jib attachments on the forklift load capacity
Each type of forklift jib is engineered with a specific working load limit (WLL) the jib is able to safely handle (e.g. 2 tonne), and the weight of the load must not exceed this working load limit. The WLL should be clearly displayed on the forklift jib.
It is important to understand that the maximum safe lifting weight limit of a jib will decrease when the jib is extended or positioned at an angle.
Attempting to lift loads heavier than a forklift and jib attachment are rated to lift can lead to dangerous instability, increasing the risk of the load and forklift tipping over, potentially causing serious injury or even fatalities. It can also result in product and equipment damage.
Types of Forklift Jibs
Economy jibs are an affordable way to transform a forklift into a small crane for lifting and transporting heavy or awkward items.
Fixed and adjustable swing jibs
Improve productivity and make manoeuvring loads simpler with fixed and adjustable forklift swing jibs.
Fixed jibs are designed to complete repetitive lifting tasks where adjustments to the length of the jib aren’t necessary.
Adjustable jibs allow the end of the jib to be raised and lowered to different angles to accommodate different sized loads. The safe lifting capacity of the jib will vary depending on the angle of the jib.
Heavy duty forklift jibs
For yards, workshops and factories requiring a dedicated solution, heavy duty forklift jib attachments are built tough to withstand hard use in the harshest conditions.
Forklift tow ball jibs
A tow ball attachment for your forklift jib provides a simple way to lift, pull and manoeuvre trailers that would otherwise be awkward or difficult to move.
Forklift Jib Maintenance
Forklift jibs should be periodically load tested and inspected by a qualified worksite officer to ensure the forklift and jib are in safe working order. Forklift license holders must be trained to operate a forklift jib, as the added weight of a forklift jib can potentially overload a forklift, or cause tipping due to a change in the centre of gravity.
An inspection should include:
- Inspect for wear and tear or damage, with particular attention being paid to critical points.
- Ensure the hook and shackle are in safe working order.
- Ensure the forklift tynes are not worn or damaged.
- Ensure all location and locking pins are in good condition
Forklift operators must be trained to safely operate any new jib attachment being used, including the working load limit implications of jib attachments. This also includes other attachments for forklift drum handling or equipment such as forklift container ramps.
Forklift Jib Safety Tips
Consider the following safety tips when operating your forklift with a jib attachment:
- Ensure the jib is fitted securely to the forklift tynes and will not come loose during operation.
- Ensure the forklift tynes and level or tilted upwards when the jib is attached to decrease the chances of the forklift tipping over.
- Never use forklift jib attachments when the forklift is on an incline; they are only designed to be used on level ground.
- Travel at slow speeds and make slow and gentle turns
- Ensure forklift operators are fully trained to competently manage all aspects of the operation
- Ensure the jib attachment is suitable for your forklift and the load you are lifting
- The data plate on your forklift allows for the use of the jib attachment.
When used correctly, forklift jib attachments (just like a forklift extension slipper) turn a forklift into a highly useful and versatile machine. However, operators need to understand the impact of usage and load capacities and have appropriate training for the operation of a forklift with the attachment and load.
Bremco Metal Products is a Brisbane-based materials handling equipment fabricator who manufactures quality forklift jib attachments that are full welded and made in Australia to strict Australian Standards.
Contact the Bremco team today for a fast quote.