Raising Your Hoist IQ: The Terms You Need to Know in 2023

Navigating the technical language and concepts involved in hoisting can be overwhelming, especially for those who are new to the field. That’s why we have created a comprehensive guide to the essential hoist terms you should know in 2023. Whether you are working with a chain hoist or a wire rope hoist, it’s important to understand terms like sheaves, reeving, and lifting speeds to ensure safe and efficient operation.

Our guide covers a range of key terms, from the load to the control panel, providing you with a solid foundation for navigating the world of hoists. We believe that this guide will be an invaluable resource for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of hoisting and advance their material handling career. Without further ado, here is a list of the key terms related to hoists.

Manual chain hoist: Popularly known as chain pully block uses a chain to lift the load and is typically operated manually. Chain hoist due to its straightforward use, broad applicability, and durable design are often used in various material handling sectors.

Wire rope hoist: The hoist that uses a wire rope to lift the load and is operated electrically. Wire rope hoists are often used in heavy-duty applications that require high lifting capacities and precise control.

Electric chain Hoist: An  uses an electric motor to power the lifting mechanism and is often mounted on a fixed or movable frame. These hoists find application in a range of engineering industry.

Load: In the context of hoists, “load” refers to the object or material being lifted. The load can vary greatly in size and weight, from small items to large machinery and equipment. Hoists are designed to handle different types of loads, and it is important to select the appropriate hoist for the specific load being lifted to ensure safe and efficient operation.

Capacity: This refers to the maximum weight that a hoist can lift safely. In order to prevent accidents and damage to the hoist, it is important to ensure that the hoist’s capacity corresponds to the weight of the load which is being lifted.

Hook: It is a critical component of the hoist system that attaches to the load being lifted. Hooks come in different shapes and sizes depending on the type of hoist being used and the nature of the load. The selection of an appropriate hook ensures that it can handle the load safely and effectively.

Chain: The chain is composed of a series of interlocking metal links and is usually connected to the hoist mechanism and the hook and used to lift and move loads in a chain hoist. The chain is attached to the hook and hoist mechanism and is driven by the motor to lift the load, or it can be driven manually, in case of CPBs. Thus, when selecting a chain hoist, it must be capable of supporting the weight of the load and withstand the stress of regular use.

Trolley: This is the device that moves along the runway or track and supports the hoist as it moves. It can be manually or electrically operated, serving to transport the load and hoist horizontally.

Runway: This is the elevated track or beam that the hoist moves along. Typically installed on the ceiling or walls of a building, the runway is specifically designed to support the hoist’s weight and allow for its smooth and efficient movement.

Control panel: The device used to control and keep an eye on the hoist is the control panel. It is used to manage the motions of the hoist, monitor the load, and engage safety features. It is typically located near the hoist.

Duty cycle: This refers to the duration for which a hoist can be operated without encountering any performance issues such as overheating or wear and tear. The duty cycle may vary depending on factors such as the hoist’s design, load capacity, and operating environment.

Fall: This describes how a load is lifted and moved using wire ropes or chains. A hoist may have one fall, in which the load is fastened to the machine with a single chain or rope, or numerous falls, wherein the load is attached to the hoist using a number of chains or wire ropes.

Pendant: This is the handheld device used to control the hoist. Normally, it has levers or buttons that regulate movement and direction as well as emergency stop buttons for security.

Motor: The electric or pneumatic power source that drives the hoist. The motor is typically located on the hoist itself or on a separate motor drive unit that is connected to the hoist.

Brake: The mechanism that controls the movement of the weight and keeps it from falling is known as the brake. The brake is intended to retain the weight in place when the hoist is not in use and is normally activated by the pendant or control panel.

Headroom: It is the height above the load that must be provided for the hoist to operate safely. It is important that there is sufficient headroom so the weight can be lifted by the hoist without running into anything or becoming damaged.

Lifting speed or Hoisting Speed: It refers to the velocity at which a hoist can raise a load and is typically measured in units such as feet per minute (FPM) or meters per minute (MPM). The lifting speed of a hoist is influenced by various factors, including the power source, gear ratio, and drum diameter. Moreover, the lifting speed must be balanced against other factors such as load stability, safety, and precision.

Overload protection: The safety features that prevent the hoist from lifting loads that exceed its capacity. Overload protection can include limit switches, load cells, or other sensors that detect when the load is too heavy and stop the hoist from lifting it.

Lift height: This is the maximum distance that the hoist can lift the load. Lift height is usually expressed in feet or metres and varies according to the capacity and design of the hoist.

Travel speed: The rate at which the hoist moves along the runway or track. Travel speed is typically measured in FPM or MPM and varies depending on the hoist’s design and capacity.

Suspension: This refers to the method used to suspend the hoist from the runway or track. Depending on the hoist’s design and application, suspension can be fixed or flexible. It can be fix suspension, hook suspension, eye suspension or trolley suspension.

Runway length: The runway length is the distance covered by the hoist as it moves along the elevated track or beam. The length of the runway is a crucial consideration in any material handling operation, as it determines the maximum distance the hoist can travel and the load capacity it can handle.

Sheave: The sheave is a component of the hoist system that helps guide the wire rope or chain and change its direction. Like a pulley, the sheave is designed to reduce friction and wear on the lifting mechanism and is typically located on the hoist mechanism or trolley.

Reeving: It is the process of threading the chain or wire rope through the hoist mechanism and sheaves. Reeving can be single, double, or multiple, depending on the hoist’s design and the load being lifted.

Power source: This is the source of energy used to drive the hoist’s motor. Power sources can include electricity, pneumatic power, or hydraulic power.

Pendant cable: A cable that connects the pendant to the hoist’s control system. It can be retractable or fixed.

Working load limit (WLL)/Safe Working Load (SWL): The maximum weight that a hoist is designed to lift and move safely under normal working conditions.

Control voltage: This is the voltage used to operate the hoist’s control system. Control voltage is typically lower than the power voltage used to drive the motor and is designed to provide a safer and more reliable control system.

Lift control: This refers to the method used to control the hoist’s lifting and lowering movements. Lift control can be manual or automatic and can include a variety of safety features, such as emergency stop buttons, limit switches, or load cells.

Fall arrest system: The safety system that is designed to protect workers from falling at heights. A fall arrest system can include harnesses, lanyards, and anchorage points that prevent workers from falling if they lose their balance or slip.

Load Cell: A load cell is a tool used in hoists to measure the weight or load of the object being raised. It offers an accurate measurement of the force applied by the load and is often positioned between the lifting mechanism and the load. By using load cells in hoists, operators can ensure that the load being lifted remains within safe working limits and prevent overloading.

Limit Switch: To provide clear limitations or boundaries for the lifting process, limit switches are a popular safety mechanism found in hoists. Limit switches are often employed in the context of a hoist to define upper and lower travel limits for the lifting mechanism. The limit switch is activated when the hoist exceeds specified limits, causing the hoist to halt or change direction and stopping any additional movement that would result in hazardous situations or equipment damage.

To Wrap Up:

We hope that our guide to the essential hoist terms you should know in 2023 has been informative and helpful for you. As you work with hoists and other material-handling equipment, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the technical language and concepts involved.

By using our guide as a reference, you can expand your knowledge of hoist terminology and become more confident in your material handling skills. You can even visit our website or write us at enquire@indef.com for information on various types of hoists, cranes, and related offerings of ours.