Hand, Electric, and Air! Oh, My!
From hand to electric to air, it can be a little challenging to decide which chain hoist is appropriate to use in certain circumstances. Hopefully, this little guide can direct you accordingly for each hoist has its own benefits.
Hand Chain Hoists: With varying models designed to lift up to a maximum weight of 50 tons, hand chain hoists are pretty much exactly what they sound like. The lifting greatly depends on the effort, time and energy on the hands of the worker to properly hoist. Often times, hoists are required in settings where no external power source is readily available which means the only power that can be generated is from the worker her/himself. It may appear as a daunting task, especially when you’re lifting anywhere from 1 to 50 tons, but hand-chain hoists are lighter, easier to maintenance and a lower head room profile makes them more portable. Although they’re at the mercy of the worker’s eventual fatigue and they’re limited to how you can use the controls, hand-operated hoists are most ideal for shorter heights of lift and where other power sources are not available. These are the most commonly used, purchased and rented hoists, but in other circumstances, there are more appropriate types of hoists available to use such as –
Electric Chain Hoists: In many settings, an electric hoist is your best option. Although electric hoists can only bare the capacity of up to 10 tons, less than that of a hand chain hoist, it’s faster and can provide longer heights of lift. Using an electromagnetic braking system, an electric hoist provides no drifting and you can operate the controls from any angle. Being powered by electricity, constant voltage is flowing through it, and therefore it’s less physically demanding and greatly reduces strain and fatigue on the worker’s body. For example, electric hoists are best suited for elevator lifts. Whether you’re switching out the rails on the car or lifting the car upwards, these projects don’t always demand constant productivity or constant hoisting, which is ideal for electric. In those settings, a power source is always readily available and electric hoists invoke the use of an overload protection system, which is standard on all models. This protective system will shut the hoist down before it’s overloaded to ensure it doesn’t break. Only select higher-grade hand-chain hoists provide this feature.
Air Chain Hoists: An ability to lift up to 60 tons makes these air-powered hoists pretty darn handy. Using compressed air to power them, these hoists are lighter and require less head room to the hand chain. With zero loss of productivity, you can run it practically non-stop with little to no maintenance. Although, air chain hoists are not always practical in every situation. A proper source of air is not always available or accessible and if/when it is, it demands more time and energy of the worker to properly pump air into it and give it regular maintenance to ensure it operates at optimum levels. It’s ideally used for boiler projects for outages inside of power plants where boiler contractors need to replace tubes or panels. An air chain hoist can bring up panels all day long and no down time is required for the hoist.
It’s important to know which hoist is the right one to use for your type of project. Not every hoist is best suited for every operation. Hand chain hoists are ideal for when no alternative power sources are available and they’re the most practical to use in most situations. Electric relies on electricity to power it, so hoisting becomes less demanding on the body and it’s faster than your ordinary hoist. Air hoists can run practically forever and it can bare the most weight of all three.