A (Quick) Comparison Guide to Hand, Electric, and Air Hoists
It can be a little challenging to decide which chain hoist is most appropriate to use in certain circumstances. This guide will direct you through the benefits that hand, electric, and air hoist options have to offer.
Pros and Cons of Hand Chain Hoists
Hand Chain Hoists: With varying models designed to lift up to a maximum weight of 50 tons, hand chain hoists are essentially what they sound like! The lifting capacity greatly depends on your effort, time, and ability to properly hoist. Often times, hoists are required in settings where no external power source is readily available. This means that the only power that can be generated is from the worker themselves. It may appear as a daunting task, especially when you’re lifting up to 50 tons, but hand-chain hoists are lighter, more portable, and easier to maintain. However, they are at the mercy of eventual fatigue and are limited to your ability to use the controls. Hand-operated hoists are most ideal for shorter heights 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.
Pros and Cons of Electric Chain Hoists
Electric Chain Hoists: In many settings, an electric hoist is your best option. Although electric hoists can only lift a capacity of up to 10 tons (less than that of a hand chain hoist), it’s faster and can provide you longer heights of lift. Using an electromagnetic braking system, an electric hoist provides no drifting. You can operate the controls from any angle. Since the hoist is powered by electricity, constant voltage is flowing through it. This results in less physical demand and a great reduction of strain and fatigue on the worker’s body. 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. In these scenarios, a power source is always readily available and electric hoists invoke the use of an overload protection system. The 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.
Pros and Cons of Air Chain Hoists
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.
Not every hoist is best suited for every operation. Hand chain hoists are ideal for when no alternative power sources are available. They’re the most practical to use in most situations. Electric relies on electricity to power it, so hoisting becomes less demanding on your body. It is also faster than a hand chain ordinary hoist. Air hoists can run practically forever and can bear the most weight of all three.
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