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When is a Foundationless Jib Crane Suitable?

When is a Foundationless Jib Crane Suitable?

This article is about foundationless jib cranes. It explains that these types of jibs are not set to replace all traditional jib cranes, with foundations, but in ½-ton and 1-ton capacities especially, they are proving their suitability in a number of applications. This equipment store’s foundationless jib crane provider, The Caldwell Group, here helps us to explain why.

We remember a time when every conversation about a jib crane purchase centered on the problems that might be encountered during installation. Structural engineers and architects would have been put on red alert to check if foundations could be dug and how deep they’d need to be. Downtime would be inevitable, even if an installation could be completed relatively quickly, and a plant’s facility manager would need to prepare for cranes to be permanently installed into the workshop floor. Today, in many instances, these conversations and resulting stress can be avoided.

Foundationless jib crane

Foundationless jib cranes are growing in popularity for many reasons.

What is a jib crane?

The first thing to consider is that foundationless jib cranes, like this, have many of the same features as other jib cranes, and, as we know, jib cranes are a type of overhead lifting device. They are frequently found in workstations for repeat production line tasks and can be fitted with tooling and attachments for specialist manufacturing. It’s true to say that jib cranes are versatile and fit well into wider material handling situations; they often combine with electric overhead traveling (EOT) cranes that transport product the length and breadth of a building.

Because jib cranes are commonly installed for use by a single person throughout the day, perhaps to eliminate the need for manual handling, they are often credited for making individuals more productive and enhancing safety. If a person is using a jib crane, they are less likely to get injured than if they are lifting and turning objects by hand or using other solutions.

Compared to many other material handling technologies, jib cranes are straightforward to use and very easy to maintain. Regular jib cranes have a large capacity range—we’ve seen them as low as 250 lbs. and over 15 tons—and are represented by a wide variety of types and styles. Probably the most common one is a freestanding jib that has various mounting options. These cranes go up to the highest capacities, spans, and height under boom or height of lift. We say, ‘HUB’ when talking about height under boom.

What makes it a foundationless jib crane?

Foundationless jib cranes are actually a type of freestanding jib, but the major difference is that they don’t need special poured foundations. And they can be put anywhere in a facility for that reason. As long as the experts advise that it’s ok, a foundationless jib crane can be put anywhere that it adds safety and productivity to the production or other industrial process.

Foundationless jib crane

Foundationless jib cranes have a larger diameter base plate.

A facilities manager doesn’t need to phone those structural engineers and architects, asking if he or she can arrange for 3 ft.- or 4 ft.-deep reinforced foundations to be dug that are nearly always required with other jib cranes. That’s down to the fact that foundationless jibs have a larger diameter base plate. Also think of them as having more ‘upright material’ to help relocate the forces created during lifting. If you’re picturing a foundationless jib crane in your mind, it’ll already be apparent why they are only available in lower capacities; we stock ½-ton and 1-ton versions at this store.

There is still scope for different heights and spans, though. You might want a 10 ft.-high jib in ½-ton capacity, which you can choose with an 8 ft., 10 ft., or 12 ft. span. Our largest foundationless jib, meanwhile, is 1-ton capacity and has a height of 12 ft. Again, 8 ft., 10 ft., or 12 ft. spans are available.

  • Contact us to discuss larger cranes with longer spans and greater heights.

Foundationless jib crane

Foundationless jib cranes are shipped with everything required to complete installation.

Consider the volume of tasks that can be completed in the industrial sector within these capacities, spans, and heights. It’s literally hundreds—or more. And it’s all possible without the need to dig foundations and make a commitment to a permanent position. This is the reason a lot of people are choosing foundationless options now because warehouses, distribution centers, production lines, etc. are changing all the time. A jib crane isn’t always required for a number of years in the same place, and the ability to install one that can be later moved with relative ease is a luxury. You can saw the bolts and move the crane to a new spot.

Everything you need

One of our customers told us recently that the reason they started using foundationless jib cranes is that they are now available with everything they need in the box upon delivery. Years ago, this person had to look for separate parts to install the base plate and it added complexity. Now, stores like this can send out the crane, tag line kit, special anchoring bolts, two-part epoxy—and even an epoxy gun. You can take the crane at the door, open it, and get on with installation that same morning.

Given that reputable manufacturers like Caldwell are now driving this upsurge in popularity, end users have great peace of mind that they’re easy and safe to use. With Caldwell, you know that the solution has been designed, engineered, and sold, by the leading authorities in the land. Further, it’s backed-up by people that know more about material handling than anybody else.

An easy choice

So, it’s obvious why foundationless jib cranes aren’t set to replace all traditional jib cranes, with foundations, but in ½-ton and 1-ton capacities especially, they are proving their worth in many applications. We are seeing most people buy them in single units, which isn’t surprising, given the capacity and applications we’ve written about, but we have had orders where someone is outfitting a new plant or new portion of a facility and foundationless jib cranes are at the top of their shopping list.

We’re not out to say that these cranes are the best option every time. The traditional jib cranes referenced earlier will always have their place in industry. And so they should: there are thousands of occasions where a 10 ft. high jib in ½-ton capacity, with an 8 ft., 10 ft., or 12 ft. span, just isn’t sufficient. But equally, there are just as many applications where digging foundations isn’t necessary, or there’s no need for a 4-ton crane when much less will do.

Foundationless jib crane

Foundationless jib cranes remove the need to dig foundations and make a commitment to a permanent position.

Frequently asked questions

We can judge the popularity of a product by the volume of questions we get, and foundationless jib cranes definitely make people inquisitive. Here are a few FAQs:

  • Do you stock different capacities / heights of foundationless crane? Yes: start at Caldwell’s product page to look for many different sizes. We stock other jib cranes throughout the store too.
  • Can I order multiple units? Yes.
  • What is a foundationless jib crane? It is a type of freestanding jib, but it doesn’t require a special poured foundation.
  • Can I relocate my jib crane once it is installed? Yes: faster installation combines with easier relocation. You can saw the bolts and move the crane to a new spot.
  • Do you advise on a minimum embedment of anchor bolts? Yes: anchor bolts must have a 4-1⁄2 in. minimum embedment.

Store recommendation

It is recommended that foundationless jib cranes be mounted on reinforced concrete with a minimum depth of 6 in., avoiding any gaps, cracks, or expansion joints within a given area. The size of area is to be determined by a qualified engineer. Anchor bolts must have a 4-1⁄2 in. minimum embedment. It is not our responsibility or that of manufacturers like The Caldwell Group to verify the suitability of a floor or structure to which the product is mounted. Prior to mounting, it is required that the customer / end user seek advice from a qualified engineer.

Buy your first, or next, foundationless jib crane here.

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