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In The Market for a Chain Hoist? What You Need to Know before You Buy One

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There are many reasons you may be switching from a wire rope hoist to a chain hoist. The weather, the type of items you are lifting, and the cost factor may all be weighing in your decision. However, the factors you need to consider when buying a chain hoist vary from the factors you needed to consider when you bought your wire rope hoist. Here are a few of the factors to consider if you are in the market for a chain hoist for your overhead crane.

How Often the Hoist Will Be Running Per Day

One of the most important factors to consider when buying a chain hoist is how many hours you will actually be using the crane and hoist per day. This affects what hoist duty classification you need to purchase. The lowest classification is an H1. An H1 classification means that the hoist is designed to be used relatively lightly. It should only be used for about 7.5 minutes for every hour with a maximum number of stops and starts of 75 per hour. An H5 classification, the highest, is designed to be used for 60 minutes out of a 60-minute time frame at a maximum of 600 starts and stops. Ultimately, you need to figure out how often the crane and hoist will be used on an hourly basis and then find the hoist classification that fits within your needs. If you select a classification that is too low for your needs, your hoist won't last as long as it is designed to. If you select one that is higher than your needs, you will spend more money on a heavy-duty chain hoist than you need to.

What the Weather is Like Where the Chain Hoist Will Be Used

Another factor that you need to consider when buying a chain hoist is what the weather will be like in the area where your crane will primarily be used. Many factors can affect a chain hoist and crane. Hot temperatures can cause electric hoists to overheat. Freezing temperatures can cause the oil in motors and lubricants in pulleys to freeze. And humidity can cause any kind of metal to rust. Because of this, there are many different components that can be changed on the chain hoist to customize it to your needs. The hoist can be made with cold-temperature steel to prevent contraction in the freezing temperature that can cause the chain to break. A gear box heater and arctic-duty motors can be used to prevent the crane from malfunctioning in freezing temperatures. Low-temperature lubricants and oils can be used to prevent these items from freezing in cold temperatures. And load-bearing welds can be made to prevent the metal from expanding or contracting in hot or cold temperatures, causing the metal to break or deform.

How High Your Crane Lifts

The last factor you need to consider when buying a chain hoist is how high your crane lifts and what length of chain hoist you need. Generally, you want about the length your crane lifts, but four feet shorter. So if your crane arm hangs 20 feet above the ground, your chain hoist should be 16 feet in length. This is because you don't want your chain so long that it drags on the ground when it is hanging downward and because the chain gets wound into a storage box as it lifts. The more chain you have, the larger the storage box needs to be, which takes up space on the crane while also increasing the amount of weight the crane uses just to hold the hoist. However, if you frequently lift items that aren't very tall with the crane, you may need a longer chain hoist.

Buying a chain hoist is different from buying a wire rope hoist, and there are different factors you need to consider when buying this type of hoist. Familiarizing yourself with these factors will help you select the chain hoist that makes the most sense for your business. To learn more about hoists and overhead cranes, visit a website like