How to calculate the load capacity of a jib crane

Written by l.p. klages
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How to calculate the load capacity of a jib crane
Jib cranes have a horizontal member called a jib or boom that holds the hoisting mechanism. (crane image by John Sandoy from

A jib crane is a type of crane with a horizontal arm that supports a hoisting mechanism, and is bolted to the ground or wall by a support pillar. These cranes are used for everything from loading docks to heavy-duty pickup trucks. It is very important not to overload a jib crane because if the crane mechanism breaks, it will most likely damage or destroy the cargo as well, and any people standing near the apparatus.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Determine what the model number of your crane is. You can find the model number on smaller cranes on the vertical pillar, often on a label near the bottom of the pillar. On larger cranes, the model number is in the control cockpit, on or under the control panel.

  2. 2

    Contact the manufacturer of the crane to request the operation manual for your model of crane.

  3. 3

    Consult the manual for your model of crane for the load capacity rating, which will probably be in pounds for small cranes, and tons for larger cranes.

Tips and warnings

  • Even though most cranes are overengineered, do not, under any circumstances, place more load on the crane than it's rated to handle.

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