Before hoists, you would be left trying to figure out how to lift an engine block from your vehicle by hand. Hoists work by utilizing rope or chain and are operated by hand or with an electric motor. Incredibly important in machine shops, electric chain hoists help make the mechanic’s life easier as they lift and move heavy equipment and automotive parts. If you are working in a dirty, or flammable, environment, it is wisest to utilize an air chain hoist. Included here are a few things you need to know about hoists in order to use them properly.
Know the Difference
The differences between manual and electric hoists are vast and these tools are often utilized in very different scenarios. The term “powered hoist” encompasses all hoists that are powered electrically, hydraulically or with a pneumatic motor. All “manual” hoists are either ratcheted, hand cranked or levered. Understanding the difference between these two hoists can help offer you success in your work by utilizing the correct one.
Know Your Run Time
Have you ever heard the term, “right tool for the job”? When it comes to hoists, it is incredibly important you purchase one that fits your needs. Hoists are rated based on the maximum amount of time they can be run in one hour. This means their numbers equate to how many times they can be started, as well as how many minutes they can run, per hour.
It is obvious why understanding the run time is critical to success with your hoist. Most hoists are rated in one of two standard categories, H2 and H4. H2 hoists are considered light duty and will run for roughly 15% of the work time, with a maximum of 75 starts per hour. The H4 standard hoists are industrial standard and should run for 50% of the work time, with a maximum of roughly 300 starts per hour.
Know the Limit
Many people begin to have functionality issues when they overuse their hoists. A second big problem can arise if you underestimate the weight of your objects, or you overextend the hoist. Premature damage can occur when you use an undersized hoist for a big job. The third important factor to consider, is that environment will affect your hoist. The ratings for “optimal performance” for your hoist usually exist within a set temperature limit.
Know Your Maintenance Requirements
As with any equipment, proper maintenance is critical to keeping your hoist in optimal condition. A great way to ensure no breaks occur is to carefully inspect the hoist before using it. Any fraying, breaks or kinks in the rope or chain mean they should be replaced immediately. Keep all areas of the hoist clean to prevent grime build up damaging the hoist.