Hoists are mechanical devices that use force to lift, lower, pull, and move heavy loads. Hoists are commonly attached to or suspended from structures by hooks or trolley mounts, and are used in the transportation, construction, manufacturing, mining, and material handling industries, among others. There are two main types of hoists: power hoists and manual hoists. Power hoists rely on a motor to generate the force, while manual hoists use a hand-exerted force.
Power hoists transfer motor-generated force across a series of gears that multiply the force into one that is large enough to lift the designated load. A hook that is attached to a chain, rope, or wire lifts the load. They can be powered by electricity or compressed air. Power hoists are suitable for vertical lifting and lowering. They generally require less manual labor, and can lift and lower loads faster over greater distances than manual hoists. Power hoists include air hoists (also called pneumatic hoists) and electric hoists.
Manual hoists transfer hand-exerted force either across a series of gears to multiply the force into one large enough to lift the designated load, or over a pulley, drum, or sheave to leverage the force into one strong enough to lift the load. This makes it possible for an operator to manage heavy loads. The manual force is usually applied using a hand chain, lever, or lever and ratchet, lifting the load by a hook attached to a chain, rope, or wire. Manual hoists are portable, do not have a motor, and do not require an external power source. Manual hoists include hand chain hoists, lever hoists, and ratchet puller hoists.
Hoist accessories are supplemental or replacement parts used with hoists, and include trolleys, hooks, clamps, chain containers, carrying cases, and related hardware.