Power hoists are devices that lift, lower, and move heavy loads. They are commonly suspended from structures by hook or trolley mounts, and are used in the transportation, construction, manufacturing, mining, and material handling industries, among others.
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 and electric hoists.
Air hoists, also called pneumatic hoists, are used for applications that require continuous or nonstop operation, for frequent and repetitive activities, or in hazardous areas where electricity is not advisable. Air-powered hoists typically run at cool temperatures, are less sensitive to dust or humidity, and are lighter in weight than electric hoists.
Electric hoists are used for loads that need precise, smooth handling. They operate more quietly and require fewer adjustments during operation than air hoists, and electric power is typically more readily available than compressed air. Because they generate heat, electric hoists require cool-down periods between operations to protect the motor and gears.
When selecting a power hoist, consider the load capacity and lift, according to the specific application. Load capacity is the weight a hoist can handle, expressed in pounds or tons. Lift is the maximum vertical distance the load hook can move a load, expressed in feet.