The main objectives of a chain hoists are to move items quickly, efficiently and safely, the holy trinity of lifting, if you will. You will have to consider what is going to maximise your results, manual or electric? Hopefully, you’ll have a better idea on what is best suited to your application form my points. 

I like to compare the manual and electric with the car analogy, a Dacia and a BMW both have four wheels and do the same job, but the BMW does it much better, and the after service you get with BMW is much easier and supportive than Dacia. Anyways, I’ll stop 'pulling your chain' and get down to it.

Throughout this, keep in mind that manual hoists are nothing to turn your nose up at. In some instances a manual chain hoist is going to be more effective for lifting and lowering than that of electric, it really can depend on your application. For example, an electric hoist with an electric trolley needs a beam to run along with an electrical supply (Festoon system), both factors you don’t need to consider when using a manual hoist. We’ll get more into what's best and why soon enough. 

The first thing you will need to consider is your budget, and understanding there is a reason to why there is a price jump between them.

Know your lift

Is it precision you’re after? If precision is a factor in your lift, consider the ease of use in an electric hoist by going back and forth with a simple push of a button. And the ability to have a two-speed motion that will only enhance your precision. 

Is speed on your production line something you need to keep things running efficiently? Is the investment in a hoist that will speed up production going to offer a huge return on the initial investment.  We can offer hoists that can lift up to 16m per minute. 

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How long is your runway beam? Pushing and pulling your manual hoist with the load on can be quite tiring and even more so at a heavier weight. Are you comfortable with using two of your employee’s or even yourself pushing the load along the beam? Or would you prefer to utilise the art of electrics to cut out all of those noticeable disadvantages that have been slowly picking away at you and your employee’s nerves and potentially resulting in repetitive strain injury? If this isn’t a problem and doesn’t affect the practicality or the speed of production, we can offer an electric hoist with a manual push trolley suspension. You can consider this option when you’re wishing to lower the costs when purchasing an electric hoist.

Lifting hazardous material -  Stand Back! 

Lifting something that is so wide that you physically can’t stand close enough to the chain to use the mechanics correctly - incorrect use can lead to malfunctions and wearing issues within the manual unit. If you're handling hazardous materials like molten metal, then it's best to stand back and consider a wireless radio control option.

Height of lift - e.g. if you’re trying to manually hoist a load of 3 tonnes with a 20m height of lift:

  1. You may potentially have to consider a higher capacity hoist (more money) to accommodate the strain it putting on the chain and you will either have to get it de-rated in capacity or if you have already been stung with this you’ll have to pay a competent person to get the hoist de-rated. 
  2. All of that load chain dangling around - that's enough to drive anyone crazy!
  3. The third reason is quite simple, you’ll be there a while- pulling a 20m hand chain with the desire to lift 20m can take a very long amount of time.


Don’t be a cowboy lifter!

When using manual chain hoists, pull the hand chain at the right angle, ignoring to do so will cause additional stress on your hoist and will ultimately wear out critical components of your hoist quicker such as chain guides and operation chains. In this instance, we do have a solution- the Yalelift 360, which allows hand chain operation from 360-degrees. Also, note that the hand chain is not there to be used to pull the hoist along the traverse, that's what the load chain and hook is for. This can cause the structural integrity of the hand chain and associated components to become compromised. The same lazy lifting methods can be said for electric hoists too. If you start to condone the method of inching (pushing pendant control buttons for a split second constantly), you will wear out the hoist electronics in the hoist, especially the motor. 


Know the angle of your dangle- always start the lift from the vertical position, never sideload your hoist, unless the hoist has been specifically designed for cross hauling or fleeting, in addition- some of your capacity is lost from lifting past 90 degrees. Always have a competent person to inspect your hoist every 6 months, conduct regular servicing every year to highlight any underlying problems that could become a bigger and more expensive one in the near future.