Lifting extremely heavy items safely requires the use of an electric hoist. Choosing the right hoist is primarily a matter of understanding what application it will be used for and deciding on specifications based on that information. Follow the steps below to find the rope and chain electric hoists most appropriate for just about any use.
Step One: Understanding Capacity
The capacity for electric hoists must be rounded up to the nearest ¼ ton, ½ ton, or ton. It’s important to realize that ¼ ton and ½ ton increments are usually only offered up to three tons of capacity, meaning that a load that was just over three tons would require a four-ton chain hoist.
Step Two: Determining Lift
First, calculate the height where the chain hoist will hang. Next, determine where the load will be picked up in relation to the hoist. Then simply subtract the pickup location from the hanging location to get the lift. It’s a good idea to add an extra foot or two of lift since extra chain cannot be added after the fact.
Step Three: Determine Speed
It’s usually a good idea to confer with an expert prior to making this decision. Traditional speeds range from two or three feet per minute to 32 feet per minute, although some higher-end hoists can lift as much as 100 feet per minute. The primary concern when determining speed should always be safety.
Step Four: Determine Power Source
Most homes operate at 115 volts, while small machine and carpentry shops typically use 230 volts. Larger factories or industrial shops may run on phase three power, which can range from 208 to 575 volts. It’s important to choose the right voltage, as failure to do so can fry the hoist.
Step Five: Set Pendant Control Cable Length
Known by industry experts as the push button drop, the pendant control cable length describes how high the hand control hangs in the air. Standard height is equal to the lift minus four feet.
Step Six: Decide on Suspension, Trolley, and Beams
Deciding what type of suspension and trolley to employ is partially a matter of knowing which type of beam it will be hung from. Most beams are either I-beams, S-beams, or WF-beams, although patented track beams are also used in some situations where precision and consistency are particularly important.