Lift it up

Agriculture.com Staff 11/01/2007 @ 8:45am

For Joel Jakobs, Milledgeville, Illinois, the hoist in his shop has become an integral part of his operation. "The versatility of it is great. There's not much we don't use it for,” says Jakobs.

His electric chain hoist from Budgit can lift 3 tons. The frame is a homemade unit with legs that telescope up and down.

"We wanted the frame to be wide enough to clear any piece of equipment we have," he says.

The amount and type of equipment you have will determine whether or not a hoist is an investment worth making. Hoists range in capacities. As you consider a hoist purchase, take into account capacity, lift, suspension, and the type of trolley that works best.

Capacity. Determine the maximum load to be lifted. If the load falls between a standard rated capacity, always go with the higher capacity. For example, if the largest piece of equipment you will lift has a weight of 4,000 pounds, buy a hoist with a 3-ton (6,000-pound) capacity.

Lift. The lift of the hoist is the height needed to raise a piece of machinery. To determine total lift, measure the distance from the bottom of the overhead beam to the lowest point on the floor to be reached.

Suspension. There are two types of suspensions for a hoist. A hook-type suspension allows the hoist to be hung just about anywhere and is used when a hoist needs to be moved easily to other locations. The lug-type saves headroom and is used with rigid-mount trolleys or when you want to permanently mount a hoist in a fixed location.

Trolley. There are three standard trolley types that can be used to suspend hoists.

1. A push trolley is best for light capacities and lifts below 20 feet.

2. For higher capacities, a hand-geared trolley is a good choice. It offers the most precise control for load spotting and is recommended where lifts are above 20 feet.

3. A motor-driven trolley is the most widely used method of suspension, especially with capacities over two tons. Jakobs says that for under $1,000 (his cost includes the used hoist and a self-built frame), it’s been well worth the investment.

On the following page is a list of companies that offer hoists with 2-ton lifting capabilities.

For Joel Jakobs, Milledgeville, Illinois, the hoist in his shop has become an integral part of his operation. "The versatility of it is great. There's not much we don't use it for,” says Jakobs.

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