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How to Use a Chain Hoist

by Sarah Silverman

Archimedes developed a more primitive pulley in 3 BCE, but that early pulley system has lead to the technology we have today. A chain hoist is a device used for lifting very heavy objects. It can be either mechanical or electric. It uses a pulley enclosed in a sealed chain. The chain is like a big loop and this renders it simple to work by hand. Learning how to use a chain hoist correctly can save you time and energy.

Attach a connection hook to hold the hoist mechanism to the support system. Most chain hoists will come with this piece so check your tool first.

Move the chain hoist directly below the connection hook and lift up by the hook on top of it. Set the hoist hook onto the connection hook and let it hang down.

Place the load being hoisted under the chain hoist and straighten it out as much as possible. The more off center it is, the more twisting and straining will be put on the hoist chain.

Wrap the hoist's lower chains around the load below it and secure them as tightly as possible by slipping the hooked end of the chains into the furthest link on the other end of the chains. Removing this slack will make lifting the load easier and more efficient.

Pull the hoisting chain on the front side of the hoist towards yourself with long, straight movements. Keep pulling until you have hoisted the load as far as you need and slowly let go of the chain.

Lower the load again by pulling the chain from the opposite direction until it has safely landed on the floor.

Tip

  • You can find electric hoists that will raise and lower your load for you.

Warning

  • Never use a chain hoist to lift loads that are heavier than it is rated for as you can injure yourself in the event of a hoist malfunction.

About the Author

Based in West Windsor, N.J., Sarah Silverman has been writing computer- and electronics-related articles since 1990. Her articles have appeared in “Wired” and “Ericsson” magazines. She received the Kim Swiss Award in 2006. Silverman holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Rochester in New York.

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