Category Icon Hoists

What Are Hoists Used For? (15 Industries)

Short Answer

Hoists are used for lifting and lowering all manner of objects. Hoists are used in various industries, such as construction, manufacturing, automotive, and many more. The lifting force of a hoist is supplied by its drum (or wheel) on which wraps a rope (wire or fiber) or a chain.

what are hoists used for?

Initial Thoughts

Generally speaking, hoists are used for lifting things. But the question is, what kinds of things do people usually lift with the use of hoists? The truth is, when it comes to lifting with hoists, you’re only limited by your imagination (and your hoists’ lifting capacity). With that said, let’s concisely answer the question of what hoists are used for, then we’ll review 15 common use cases for hoists.

1. Construction

Perhaps the most common use of hoists is in the field of construction. In the construction industry, you can find hoists attached to large construction cranes, hoists embedded in construction elevators, and hoists used for transferring and placing materials within the construction site.

What Types of Hoists are Used In Construction?

The types of hoists used in the construction industry vary greatly depending on the type of construction and the use case. The weight capacity of these hoists ranges from only a few tons to over 10 tons. Here are a few hoists that may be suitable for your construction needs.

2. Food Processing

Another very common use of hoists is in meat processing facilities. Hoists are used to hang and transfer cattle from location to location. These hoists are sometimes attached to cranes or conveyor belts which allow the cattle (or other food) to be transferred quickly and efficiently.

What Types of Hoists are Used In Food Processing Facilities?

The types of hoists used in slaughterhouses and other food-based industries are typically food-grade hoists. Food-safe options are available on many hoists, although electric chain hoists are commonly recommended due to the fact that chain is easier to properly clean than wire rope. Food-grade hoists and lubricants often have special features that offer a safe and hygienic operation. The weight capacity of hoists within the slaughterhouse industry typically falls within the range of 1/2 ton to 1 ton.

3. Automotive

Hoists are also commonly used within the automotive industry. Hoists are typically attached to a gantry crane and then used to lift heavier car parts (such as the engine) out of the vehicle. However, there are some hoist devices available that are capable of lifting entire vehicles.

What Types of Hoists are Used In The Automotive Industry?

There are a few different types of hoists that are used within the automotive industry. The first type is full vehicle lifts which have a capacity of up to 10 tons (and higher for trucks). Another type is smaller hoists with a capacity of around 1-2 tons which are attached to gantry cranes and used for lifting parts out of a vehicle.

4. Mining

Hoists have been used in the mining industry for over 100 years. However, the hoists modern-day mining hoists are a bit more advanced than their predecessors. Historically, these hoists are used to lift mining ore and extracts out of the mine and to lift and lower the miners themselves.

What Types of Hoists are Used In Mining?

There are a variety of hoists that have been used in the mining industry. However, most mines produce massive quantities of ore which must be extracted quickly and safely. This means that reliable, large, specialized hoists with extremely large lifting capacities of up to 60 tons are necessary.

5. Aerospace

The space industry has seen a recent resurgence and organizations such as NASA are innovating now more than ever. One of the main tools used to assemble their rockets is… you guessed it: hoists. Rockets are assembled in stages, each stacked on top of each other, and hoists are used to lift and lower these stages onto each other.

What Types of Hoists are Used In Aerospace?

Similar to the hoists used in the mining industry, those used in assembling rockets are specialized machines with enormous lifting capacity. Lifting and lowering speed is less of a concern here, as precision is a much higher priority.

6. Metal Fabrication

Metal fabrication is the process of building machines and structures from raw metal materials. Some of these items are small, such as the manufacture of nuts and bolts, while other items are large, such as architectural and structural metals. The metal fabrication industry often uses hoists to move the larger raw materials and machined parts around the warehouse.

What Types of Hoists are Used In Metal Fabrication?

The types of hoists used in metal fabrication range in terms of capacity but typically fall somewhere between 2 tons to 10 tons. Smaller capacity hoists are typically attached to a gantry crane while the larger capacity hoists are attached to a more heavy-duty crane such as an overhead bridge crane.

7. Manufacturing

Manufacturing simply refers to the creation of things, usually on a large scale. Not every manufacturer uses hoists within their process, but many do. Also, hoists are often necessary to shuttle bulk items around warehouses.

What Types of Hoists are Used In Manufacturing?

There are several types of hoists that can be used in manufacturing. Small capacity electric chain hoists ranging from 1/2 ton to 2 tons can be used to shuttle around the raw materials of the manufacturing process. However, larger capacity hoists can be used to move completed products in bulk.

8. Assembly

Assembly is largely related to manufacturing but has notable differences. While manufacturing turns raw materials into individual parts, assembly takes individual parts and assembles them to form a complete market-ready product.

What Types of Hoists are Used In Assembly?

The assembly process varies greatly depending on what’s being assembled. Therefore, the types of hoists used in assembly, as well as the lifting capacity of the hoists, will vary as well. With that said, electric chain hoists are perhaps the most common with lifting capacities ranging from 1/2 ton to 5 tons.

9. Freight Yards

Freight yards consist of equipment and structures for the shipping, receiving, sorting, and storage of cargo. Naturally, this cargo would weigh a ton (if not more)! Therefore, lifting, moving, and lowering said cargo would require more than just manpower, it would require machine power in the form of a hoist and crane system.

What Types of Hoists are Used In Freight Yards?

The types of hoists used in freight yards are electric power with high lifting capacity. Shipping containers weigh roughly 7,000 pounds and have a max payload capacity of nearly 70,000 lbs. Therefore, the specific hoist capacity would be no less than 4 tons but are more likely to be closer to 35 tons. The hoists are typically mounted on some form of gantry crane which is then mounted on a rail system for additional mobility.

10. Lumber Yards

Similar to freight yards, hoists are commonly used in lumber lards. Instead of storing shipping containers, lumber yards are used to store the lumber used for various construction projects. Given the massive weight of these lumber loads, hoists and other powerful lifting equipment is a must.

What Types of Hoists are Used In Lumber Yards?

When lumber is bundled in large quantities, as is in the case of lumber yards, these quantities can weigh up to several tons. Therefore, the weight capacity of the hoists needed to carry such a load must be at least equal but the standard is to have a capacity that exceeds the load.

11. Oil Extraction

Oil extraction is the process of drilling into the Earth in order to extract crude oil from deep underground. The drills used in this process must consistently be raised and lowered into the ground in order to begin and cease drilling.

What Types of Hoists are Used In Oil Extraction?

The drills used in these oil extraction rigs are massive and weigh several tons. Therefore, the lifting capacity must be at least the weight of the drill, whatever that weight may be. Also, these hoists are typically electric-powered and used heavy-duty wire ropes.

12. Tow Trucks

Most people have witnessed the dangling hoist on the back of standard tow trucks. This hoist is commonly used to load a broken-down vehicle onto the tow truck so it can be hauled to a mechanic or a junkyard. However, many tow trucks are also capable of using this hoist system to lift vehicles that have driven off cliffs.

What Types of Hoists are Used In Tow Trucks?

The hoists used in tow trucks are mounted to the back of the truck, are electric-powered, and use a wire-rope as opposed to a chain. The lifting capacity must be greater than any vehicle that it lifts. Therefore, the capacity is usually no less than 5 tons.

13. Entertainment

The entertainment industry is broad in scope and may refer to many different venues. However, large outdoor venues are often set up relatively quickly and dismantled just as fast. When setting up these venues, there can be a lot of heavy staging equipment that requires the use of hoists and other lifting equipment.

What Types of Hoists are Used In Entertainment?

The types of hoists used for the entertainment industry are typically electric chain hoists with a capacity of up to 2 tons. However, they usually also require a high lift height to accommodate the lifting of stage equipment such as lighting and speakers to the top of the stage.

14. Power and Utilities

Power plants and utility companies generate electric power from primary energy in the form of coal, natural gas, and uranium. These power generating facilities are absolutely massive in scale. In order to construct and maintain these facilities, enormous cranes and hoists are required.

What Types of Hoists are Used In Power and Utilities?

The types of hoists used in power plants and utility companies are extremely durable in order to handle the continuous use after periods of non-use. Also, they must have a large lifting capacity to accommodate the raising and placing of SCR blocks, a lift-height of up to 100 ft., and typically offer variable lifting speeds.

15. Personal Projects

There are countless industries that require the use of hoists but many people use hoists for personal projects as well. Want to add a personal elevator to your treehouse? A hoist would be a perfect solution for that! When it comes to using hoists for personal projects, you’re only limited by your imagination!

What Types of Hoists are Used In Personal Projects?

This really depends on the project that you have in mind. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you’re using your hoist outdoors, it’s important to weatherproof your hoists. It’s also good practice to use a lifting capacity and height that exceeds your project requirements for safety purposes. Happy hoisting!

Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, hoists are used to lift and lower items. However, they have a large variety of uses in many different industries that extends even beyond this list. If you are considering purchasing a hoist, we highly recommend you check out our Ultimate Hoist Buyer’s Guide.