Understanding the Differences between Gantry Cranes and Jib Cranes
If you want the job done properly, you need to make sure you have access to the right equipment. When it comes to cranes, each type is designed with a specific purpose in mind; using the wrong crane for a specific job is not only inefficient, but could also create a dangerous situation for workers. If you're considering the use of a gantry crane or jib crane, it's important to understand the differences between the two machines and the recommended usage of each.
The primary difference between a jib cranes and a gantry cranes is the number of points of contact with the anchor surface. A jib crane has one point of contact from which the crane extends. A gantry crane however is anchored on both ends, with a horizontal Ibeam existing between two opposite supports (think of a swing set frame). Gantry cranes are generally mounted on wheels allowing them to be easily be rolled to different locations. Jib cranes are often attached to the ground or a wall that acts as the anchor to balance the crane. Portable jib cranes also exist. There are generally two types of portable jibs; the first type has very heavy base that acts as a counter weight and can be moved via a forklift. The second type features a crane that is detachable from a mounted base and may be moved to other locations and re-attached to mounted bases in those locations.
For the most part, gantry cranes are used when loads need to be lifted straight up and moved in a straight line along the length of the horizontal I-beam using a trolley and a chain hoist. It is possible to use a jib crane for some of the same tasks however, they are 1) not as easily portable, 2) better suited for tight work spaces, and 3) in addition to lifting and moving loads in a straight line along the I-beam, they often can also pivot the load 360 degrees. Additionally, when jib cranes are used with a power winch, they can lift loads from the ground to higher locations such as roofs, loading docks, and truck beds.
While both types of cranes can be a great investment, it is important to choose a crane that provides the best solution for your application. The Vestil Steel Gantry Crane, for example, isn't necessarily a better crane than a Jib Crane however; one will clearly be a better fit for a specific application.