Selecting the Right Electric Chain Hoists for Your Needs

Part One

Buying an electric chain hoist to lift heavy loads requires thoughtful consideration. This is especially true if it must do so in close quarters to equipment and personnel. Electric chain hoists are heavy duty equipment, and many factors go into choosing one. Here, we will lay out the most crucial items to factor into your decision.

The rated capacity of the chain hoist should be at least as high as the capacity of the heaviest load. In fact, going slightly higher is usually worth it, as well.

Electric Chain Hoist Capacity

When selecting an electric chain hoist, the capacity should be as high as the weight of the heaviest load. Additionally, the rated capacity should be no higher than that of the following:

  • Pad eye
  • Monorail system
  • Overhead structure carrying the hoist

As well as this, you must also consider the Mean Effective Load of the electric chain hoists you need. This is also known as the MEL.

Choosing Suspension Type

An electric chain hoist can suspend in a fixed location, or they can be trolley mounted. This is either through a top hook or a mounting lug. Trolleys can also be plain, hand-geared, or motor driven. Raytoko can assist you with selecting the right suspension type for your needs.

Lift, Reach, and Headroom

These specifications are closely related. Lift length is the distance the hook can travel between its lowered and raised positions. Reach is the elevation difference between the hoist suspension point and the hook saddle’s lowest position. Headroom is the distance from the hoist suspension point and the raised hook saddle. You must determine these parameters when choosing electric chain hoists.

Do You Need an Electric Chain Hoist?

Sometimes electric chain hoists are not necessary. To determine this, you must figure out the operation type you need. “Operation type” refers to the method that drives the hoisting motion. Operation types include:

  • Manual
  • Electric
  • Pneumatic

Manual Hoists

These have the lowest price, typically. This makes them ideal for tasks involving temporary or infrequent use. They are also idea for low capacities and short lift heights. If the site has no power source, manual hoists are the preferred choice.

Chain Hoist

Before going for an electric chain hoist, evaluate whether you actually need one or not. Sometimes you may just need a manual hoist.

Pneumatic Hoists

These hoist types need a large volume of compressed air for operation. They are most useful for tasks that need long lifts or high duty cycles. They’re also useful in areas where an electric chain hoist is impractical. Air motors are effective at self-cooling, providing almost limitless run time potential.

Unlike electric chain hoists, pneumatic hoists don’t run the risk of electrical arcing. As such, you can use them in hazardous areas containing dust, or even flammable gases. A downside is that air hoists are much louder when operating. This is especially true when compared to electric or manual hoists.

Electric Hoists

Electric hoists are often less expensive to buy than pneumatic hoists. They don’t need you to buy and install an air compressor. And, they are usually quieter than air hoists to operate. When electrical power is available, electric hoists get used more often than pneumatic. This holds true for general lifting applications, as well. You can also equip an electric chain hoist accordingly for the application. E.g., special motors and controls make them suitable for use in hazardous areas and the like.

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