When there’s work to be done, an overhead crane does the heavy lifting. Bridge, gantry, monorail, and jib cranes all share something in common — a reliance on crane hoists.
Engineers, operators, and purchasing agents who work with crane equipment have probably heard of hoists. But what exactly are crane hoists, and what types of crane hoists are there?
What Does a Crane Hoist Do?
A hoist is easily the most critical part of an overhead crane. While steel beams and other structures provide stability to cranes, the hoist is the only part that performs the lowering and lifting of loads.
There are two main parts to hoists: the power source and the lifting medium. The power source options include pressurized air or electric power.
Hand-powered hoists can lift lighter loads. The lifting medium is typically a chain or wire.
Chain hoists rely on metal chains to lift loads. The chain often runs through sprockets. As a result, many crane operators consider chain hoists to be relatively low-maintenance and more cost-effective than wire ropes.
Benefits of using a chain-based hoist include:
- The option of adjusting the height by changing the chain
- A more compact size that doesn’t require a drum
- Capacity (up to several tons of lifting power)
Chain hoists are more limited on lifting speed than wire hoists, and they may not be reliable at heights greater than 20 feet. Still, many crane operators consider chain ropes an economical and reliable lifting mechanism for many jobs.
As the name suggests, wire hoists rely on steel wires to lift loads. Operators release the wire from a grooved drum. The hoists can be powered pneumatically, electrically, or manually.
Wire hoists have several advantages over chain alternatives. Wires allow loads to be lifted more quickly. Other advantages include:
- The ability to lift loads to higher heights than chain hoists
- Severe duty classification options (class D, E, and F)
- Smooth and quieter operations
- The ability to lift 10 tons and above
For heavy jobs, a wire hoist will lift heavier jobs to greater heights than chain hoists. Wire hoists require more space than most chain hoists, though the wire options are generally more expensive to buy. Crane maintenance is often similarly more costly.
Which Option Is Right for Me?
A chain hoist is cost-effective and highly durable. If your company plans on taking projects that require higher and heavier lifting, an investment in a wire hoist may save you from having to upgrade your crane system. To view all our crane-related products, visit our product page.
Hoist Suspension Systems
Both chain and wire hoists can be mounted in several ways. A hook-mounted system uses a hook that is built into the top of a hoist. An operator attaches the hook to the top of a crane system.
A lug-mounted system can glide using rollers. Trolly-mounted systems use a motorized engine to move the hoist latterly slowly.
Upgrade Your Overhead Crane Hoist Today
Picking the right crane hoist for your lifting needs is one of the most critical decisions overhead crane operators and engineers can make.
We’ll help you find what you need at a competitive price. So contact us today to let one of our experts equip you with a suitable hoist for your job.