Shannahan Crane & Hoist

6 Types of Industrial Hoists & Why You Need Them

Hoists are specialized equipment used to lower, lift, and transport large or heavy objects. They’re typically used in large-scale production industries, such as construction, aerospace, automotive, mining, food processing, steel and foundry, and more. Industrial hoists have the ability to handle high-capacity loads quickly and easily, making them invaluable additions to these industries that require heavy output levels to move products. Explore these different types of industrial hoists and how they can help improve your operations.

Types of Industrial Hoists

1. Electric Chain

In an electric chain hoist, an electric motor pulls a load chain that is attached to the load to lift it. The motor of an electric chain hoist can be found within its heat-blocking base, which is usually made of aluminum. Electric chain hoists don’t require an air compressor, so they tend to be more quiet as well as energy-efficient. They are generally easier to operate and may also be less expensive than other types of industrial hoists, making them an ideal choice for most industries.

2. Monorail

On a monorail hoist system, a trolley that has the hoist runs on a stationary track or beam, carrying loads from one location of the warehouse to another. Monorail hoists are ideal for overhead and linear material handling processes, maximizing efficiency and safety in-house by transporting heavy materials in a direct path free from obstructions.

3. Double Girder

A double girder hoist has two adjacently positioned bridge beams with an end truck on both sides of each bridge. With the support of the two beams, a double girder hoist provides more support and allows for effective material handling of heavier objects. Double girder hoists can also lift loads off the floor at an increased height compared to other types of industrial hoists.

4. Manual

A manual hoist system relies on manual power. Simply put, it is an industrial hoist that is operated by hand. During use, the operator either pulls or gradually releases the chain on the device to either lift or lower a load. Although, at first glance, manual hoists seem to be less efficient when compared to electrical systems, they are still in use today as they perform certain tasks that are not always easy for electric hoist systems to accomplish. For example, many operators prefer to use manual hoists for more of a “feel” of control while lifting or moving objects, especially within tight or confined spaces.

5. Pneumatic

A pneumatic or air hoist is similar to chain or wire hoisting systems, except that it uses power from an air compressor. A pneumatic hoist is more compact compared to other industrial hoist systems; however, it features higher duty cycles and increased speed control, as well as safety from electrical shock. Pneumatic hoists may also be used outdoors as they are self-cooling and can be used in hotter settings.

6. Custom Fabrications

To keep up with industry standards and the global demand for more efficient products, custom fabrications are now available for industrial hoists and cranes. Many industries require specialized operations that may not be available from standard retail solutions. With customized hoists, operators can enjoy the benefits of efficient material handling built especially for the task at hand without all the fuss.

The Importance of Hoists


Industrial hoists are primarily used to provide safer working conditions in industries that work with a lot of heavy machinery, equipment, or products. Safety regulations and requirements are usually tighter within these industries, and for many of them, employing the use of industrial hoists and cranes is non-negotiable. Moreover, not only do hoists help prevent workplace injuries from carrying or moving loads, but they also play a critical role in preserving the integrity and quality of the product during relocation.


By optimizing the speed and ease of transporting loads, industrial hoists can provide more operational efficiency for businesses. Industrial hoists increase productivity levels as they help to reduce human error during operations. Furthermore, as hoists move loads in direct paths free from obstructions, production can run on schedule with less risk of product damage or loss.

Maximize Space

Because industrial hoists can be installed overhead, they can help high-capacity production facilities conserve or make the most of operational space. More sections of the warehouse can be utilized for administrative departments, product storage, or additional production processes. For ground-based industrial hoists, there is still plenty of space to be saved as the transportation of the goods still occurs over operations in an unobstructed path.

Larger Material Handling Capacity

Businesses can expand operations to accommodate larger material volumes, driving productivity and growth at all levels. With shorter turnaround times for product movement, businesses can make the most of their resources and shift priorities toward other important aspects of production. 

How to Choose the Right Hoist System

Before purchasing a new industrial hoist system, be sure to consider all important factors that help to determine a successful outcome:

  1. Type of Hoist – Be sure to select the correct type of hoist; some industry regulations require certain types of equipment for specific applications.
  2. Safety Features – Ensure that your new hoist system meets safety requirements in your particular industry.
  3. Lift Height – Confirm that you have enough clearance in your business operations to operate the hoist. Conversely, ensure that the hoist system you choose adequately meets your lift height requirements.
  4. Load Capacity – For your hoist system to be effective, it must be able to handle a range of loads required in daily operations.
  5. Power Source – Consider energy-efficient solutions such as pneumatic or manual hoist systems. When using electric hoist systems, be aware of safety precautions.
  6. Speed – Finally, ensure that the speed of your industrial hoist system meets production demands in your facility.

Custom Industrial Hoists in Kansas City, MO

Shannahan Crane & Hoist is the top provider of both standard and custom industrial hoists in Kansas City, MO. We provide everything to meet your material handling needs, from sales and engineering to parts and repairs or maintenance services. Browse our catalog of industrial hoists or contact us today to learn more about our full range of material handling equipment and services. 

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