Choosing the right hoist

When you need a hoist it is important to let us know the following:

  • What is the load you are lifting?
  • How often you will be using the hoist?
  • Describe the load
  • What is the height of lift?
  • Will the hoist be fixed suspension or will it travel along a beam?
  • Do you need single or two speeds?
  • What controls - pendant or remote?
  • What will be the power supply?
  • What is the environment like?
  • Are there any special requirements?
  • The make of the hoist

These days most European hoists are safe and they don’t break down unless you abuse them. However when you buy a hoist make sure that it is a well proven make with excellent local spares and service backup as a guarantee may be of little use to you if the spares have to be brought in from another country.

The Load

The Safe Working Load is the maximum load which can be lifted safely by the hoist. Tell us the actual load you are lifting and do not round it up yourself. Also tell us how often you will lift the load. We will then be able to propose the most appropriate hoist type and model to suit your particular needs.

Hoist Duty

Duty rates range from light to very heavy and we are best able to advise on this after carefully considering all of the other information you let us have.

Nature of the Load

Tell us as much as possible about the load, its size, shape and what it consists of.

Height of Lift

This is measured from the hook in its lowest position up to its highest position. If possible tell us the exact height of lift required.


This is the distance between the hoist suspension point (top hook or runway beam bottom flange) and the load hook in its highest position. Some hoists are designed to be low/close headroom so that you can maximise the height of lift.

Speed of Lift

Many applications only call for single speed hoists but a two speed hoist (fast/main and slow/creep) is essential where precise load positioning is required or where the load is such that it is safer to avoid the initial “snatch” which you get with main/fast speed. Some manufacturers now offer variable speed hoists.

Hoist Suspension

Hoists can be supplied with a top hook or eye for a fixed position suspension but if the hoist is to travel along a beam then the options are push/pull travel, hand chain geared travel or power travel. The cheapest option is push/pull travel but this is not recommended over 1.5 tonnes and also the trolley tends to travel in ‘jerks” of one or two feet at a time so accurate load positioning is difficult. Hand chain geared travel is smooth and easy but you will have hand chains hanging down from the hoist and they may get in the way of things. Power travel is best because the hoist travels with the simple push of a button and you can have either single speed or two speed operation.

Hoist Control

Most hoists are supplied with a low voltage pendant control which is a push button box suspended from the hoist on a cable. The pendant can be any length to suit the job. Alternatively, the push button box can be wall mounted in a fixed position. Another option is remote control by either radio or infra-red. Radio control is the more versatile but bear in mind that the operator does not need to be in sight of the hoist to operate it so care should be taken to ensure that the handset is only used by responsible people and with great care. Infra-red requires line of sight between the handset and the receiver on the hoist and this can be a safety feature but the receivers on the hoist have to be cleaned regularly otherwise they get dusty and will not function. All controls can be supplied with a key operated isolator switch for security and safety. We recommend that all remote control hoists are equipped with a plug in pendant as a backup for when the remote control fails.

Safety Features

Most hoists these days are fitted with overload protection preventing the hoist from lifting in excess of its safe working load. Slipping clutches are sometimes used for this purpose and they also prevent over hoisting and over lowering. Limit switches also prevent over hoisting and over lowering. Where hoists travel along a beam under power they can be fitted with travel limits so that they can be prevented from colliding with obstructions or with runway beam end stops.


Indoor, warm and dry or outdoor, cold and wet. Is the atmosphere hazardous requiring explosion or fire resistant measures. Is there a lot of dust or other contaminants.

Enclosure Protection

Most hoists are protected to at least IP54 as standard covering most normal environments but you may wish to consider additional protection for hoists which are permanently outdoors. An outdoor hoist should also be fitted with a weather protection canopy.

Electric Power Supplies

In the UK it is normal to use 400volt 3 phase supplies but some hoists are available for use with 110volt or 220volt single phase.

Pneumatic Power Supplies

Most pneumatic hoists operate on a pressure of approx. 90psi or 6 bar but it is important to realise that they need a reasonable volume of air supply to operate properly. Typically hoists up to 2 tonnes capacity consume air at approx. 22 litres/second.

Chain Hoists / Wire Rope Hoists

Chain hoists are cheaper and usually preferred up to 2 tonne. Wire rope hoists tend to be quieter, smoother and are generally preferred at 2 tonne and over especially for long lifting heights and for heavy duty use. There are other advantages and disadvantages and we will advise on these according to your specific requirements.

Getting in touch

Ian Watson from Linian head shot

Linian never close and are ready to help supply, fit, or service the equipment you need.

01744 736330

“Whatever your lifting application the chances are that LINIAN have done it before and forty years experience combined with a bang up to date understanding of modern engineering principles, materials and techniques guarantees the best and most cost effective hoisting solutions.”

The Linian advantage

Prompt attention

Personal service

Tailored solutions

Standard compliant

Proud members of…

ISO 9001

LEEA logo

St Helens Chamber

UK Trade and Investment