When purchasing an electric chain hoist or other expensive machinery that you may have little experience with yourself, you can easily be tricked into purchasing something more expensive and unnecessary. I will show you how to avoid this and purchase only an electric chain hoist that is suitable for the job at hand.
You will need to know the following information before contacting your lifting equipment supplier. Height of lift; this is the distance from the load level to the underside of the lifting beam that the hoist is fixed to. Safe working load; this is the maximum capacity the hoist will be required to lift (usually measured in kilograms). You should ensure that your beam that the hoist will be fixed to has been correctly inspected and is fit for the purpose of lifting up to that maximum rated capacity. Method of suspension; this is how you will suspend your electric chain hoist from the beam, the hoist can be fitted in a fixed position using a beam clamp (static) or in a variable position with the use of a horizontally travelling beam trolley. This allows for horizontal travel of the ‘I’ beam.
The voltage of your electric chain hoist is also a necessary requirement to know before contacting all lifting supplier. The voltages used are usually 110, 230 or 400 on single or three-phase connections. Single phase units tend to be more expensive as they have specially machined motors to transfer power more efficiently when the power supply voltage is lower.
Head room can be an issue when lifting with an electric chain hoist, if you have a low head room this can be combatted with a low headroom hoist to ensure you have maximum hook path distance and room to pick up and manage loads below. Some manufacturers even offer an ultra low head room option.
An added bonus of most electric chain hoists that most people are not aware of is the ability to turn a one tonne hoist into a two tonne hoist by a process called double reeving. This is where an additional bottom block is purchased and the load chain is attached back to the hoisting unit to create two falls of load chain, each fall now supports one tonne, there for you can lift two tonnes using the bottom hook and two falls. This is a perfectly acceptable rigging method and is practised on electric chain hoists every day, worldwide.