What Is an Electric Hoist And Why Use It

February 14, 2014

What is an electric hoist?

It is an electrically powered appliance that is used to lift, lower and even move heavy or awkward objects. They are mainly used to alleviate potential strain and injury on any person who needs to lift a heavy object or where the object is just much too heavy for a human to lift unaided.

Electric hoists are found in abundance across many different types of working areas, they are commonly used on construction sites, in warehouses, workshops, car maintenance garages, dockyards and large ships but there are numerous other places that they are utilised that you would not expect, for example, lifting large tree stumps out, or lowering a chandelier for maintenance and cleaning.

European Type Overhead Crane

Next we look at the workings of an electric hoist.

Initially the hoist is attached to a solid load bearing structure, such as a mobile gantry, jib crane or steel beam, or even just a robust, solidly anchored hook /eye. When secured the hoist's chain system may be lowered using the powered control pad, close to the item which is to be lifted, this is then either fixed directly to the load if appropriate, but a further chain sling or web sling is often utilised as these can be located around the load about its centre of gravity, this is to ensure a balanced lift that will not tip. The sling is then attached to the hoists chain hook and then you are ready to lift, slowly at first until you are certain of its stability.

Most electric hoists will incorporate some kind of safety mechanism to prevent loads slipping and overloading, which can be extremely dangerous. Hoists usually work with a clutch system, this allows the chain to slip at a preset torque which prevents any overloading. Some electric hoists the overload limit is operated via the chain mechanically engaging with a switch mechanism. Most modern hoists have safety cut out switches so that power can be cut instantly if there is a problem with the lift.

Why use an electric hoist?

There are a variety of reasons, the main issue is probably safety, as there use can hugely lower the risk of injuries; this is due to the fact that the hoist takes all the weight, not the individual, we all know how easy it is to strain your neck or back by incorrectly lifting even the lightest object. This brings us to the next advantage of cost efficiency, electric hoists are cost efficient because firstly they do the lift of what would have possible taken 3 or 4 men or more to lift, therefore reducing manpower needed, secondly as they greatly reduce injuries there will be less time off sick and so no reduction in manpower and no sick pay to provide. If your electric hoist is looked after then it should last a long time, any problems can usually be easily repaired, and a 6 or 12 monthly test and inspection should be carried out by a qualified engineer to certify its safety for use.

So it seems like an electric hoist is a cost-effective and much safer way to lift all types of objects, big or large, light or heavy, in all areas.

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