A hoist is an overhead lifting device that uses pulleys and either wire rope or chain to lift the load or move it horizontally. Hoists work by transferring the load from the hook to the traveling beam of the crane, allowing them to move heavy items around the work area safely. However, many different options and configurations are available to meet your specific lifting needs for the construction site, warehouse, or manufacturing facility.


To help you choose the best option for your business, the Hi-Speed Team has assembled this overview of the hoists, suspension options, and lifting mediums available.


Hoist Lifting Systems


Let’s start with the four most used hoist-lifting systems for industrial and manufacturing applications.


Manual Hoists: As the name implies, manual hoists are hand-operated without electricity or pneumatics, making them ideal for light-duty applications without a nearby power supply or air source.


Electric Wire Rope Hoist: These hoists use an electric motor to raise/lower loads using a wire rope medium. Despite requiring a power supply, they are the most common hoist today. Most models include features such as safety mechanisms and multiple speed settings.


Electric Chain Hoist: Like the electric wire rope model above, these hoists use chain instead of wire rope to lift heavier loads up to five tons, making them ideal for manufacturing or industrial lifting requirements.


Pneumatic/Air-Powered Hoist: Instead of relying on manual energy or electricity, this hoist uses compressed air to power the lifting motion and apply the brakes. Many come with variable speeds and overload protection for improved performance and safety.  Pneumatic hoists can be chain or wire rope, but normally chain.



Hoist Suspension Systems


Most hoists include a heavy-duty hook assembly that supports the hoist and its rated lifting capacity. The hoist attaches to a hook, lug, or overhead hoist trolley for most applications.


Hook Suspension:

This option minimizes pinches and binds since the hook suspension provides an additional pivot point. The hook suspension connects and disconnects quickly to the crane hooks, making it ideal for temporary and onsite applications.


Lug-Mounted Suspension:

Lug-mounted hoists are ideal for factories or manufacturing plants due to their stationary location. Lug mounting is used for permanent mountings to the structure, bolted to a hoist trolley, or typically mounted to an overhead girder.


Trolley Mounted Suspension:

Typically used together with electric or chain hoists, trollies are used if the load is to move on a horizontal plane, in addition to lifting and lowering requirements. The lifting medium gets attached to a trolley (carriage) that rides on a track, rail, or girder.


Most hoist trollies are available in 3 general configurations:


Low Headroom Hoist Trolley is generally used as a component of smaller, single girder cranes. Their low profile suits areas with low ceilings or minimal headroom.


Normal Headroom Hoist Trolley is the “standard” sized trolley commonly used with jib cranes or monorail systems, where headroom or ceiling heights are not a concern.


Double Girder Hoist Trolley utilizes two girders/bridges and two end trucks to move the hoist and girder(s) up and down the crane’s runway. These units are ideal where additional headroom and lifting capacity are vital.


If you still have questions regarding hoist trollies for your crane or physical location, you can Email the Hi-Speed Team here or call us at 1-800-713-0103.



Lifting Mediums


Available in three different options, the lifting medium used depends mainly on the types of materials you need to lift, lower, or move.


Wire Rope:

Made from wire strands wrapped around a central core to provide exceptional durability, wire rope can be customized to fit most applications.


Roller Load Chain:

Typically used with pneumatic hoists, this chain is made from small rollers to improve load capacity and weight distribution, preventing damage to the chain.


Welded Link Load Chain:

Typically used in manual hoists since they don’t require any maintenance and are easy to adjust. These chains are made from welded links to create a continuous loop for added strength.



Hoist Terminology


When comparing different hoists, it’s essential to understand the jargon used to describe their feature and limits. This list includes the term and its definition.


Lifting Capacity – the maximum load the hoist can lift without breakage.


Lift Speed – the rate at which the hoist raises or lowers a load.


Lift Height – the maximum height a hoist can raise the attached load.


Lift Material – describes the product the hoist will lift, such as steel, concrete, gas, or liquid.


Power Source – the power needed to run the hoist, typically electric, pneumatic, or manual.


Suspension Type – how the hoist will be suspended. The most common options include hook-mounted, trolley-mounted, or lug mounted.


Headroom – The amount of space needed above the hoist for proper operation.


Travel Distance – how far a hoist must travel when moving a load.


If you still have questions regarding hoists or hoist trollies for your crane or physical location, you can Email the Hi-Speed Team or call us at 1-800-713-0103.