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6 Things About Electric Hoists Your Boss Wants to Know

Choosing equipment such as electric chain hoists for your project isn’t necessarily as simple as just point and order. There are many considerations to contemplate before you can place an order and a lot of them are going to be things your boss wants to know. To prepare you for that, we put together a guide to help answer some of the questions your boss might have when it comes to choosing your next electric chain hoists.

Your boss might ask…

pg15-ElectricHoist.jpgDo we know and understand what constant voltage and amps are required for use of this hoist?

This is a very common challenge to solve when it comes to most of electric equipment such as electric chain hoists. They draw quite a bit of amperage and you can’t have voltage or amp draws when you’re using these types of products. So this is a question you have to ask yourself and you have to make sure the jobsite of the project you’re working on will be able to provide you that consistently in order for the hoist to work as intended.

Do we know what minimum gauge we need based on the length of the extension cord?

Generally speaking, the thinner the gauge cord, the thicker the cord actually becomes which will allow you to carry the intended voltage to the hoist to make sure it’s powered sufficiently. This is akin to the flow of water through a garden hose. If you had a 25 ft. hose and you turned on the spicket, then it would flow out pretty well. However, if you added 300 ft. of hose onto it, it would merely trickle out by the time it got to the end. Electricity and other forms of power such as air are very similar in that regard. The further you’re away from a power source, the more you will need a shorter extension cord and the smallest gauge cord you can find. For another example, if you have a hoist that draws 20 amps with 110 volts, you only need cord of up to 25 feet and a gauge of 14. If you have an 80-foot length cord, you’d probably require more or less an 8 gauge, which is a very thick industrial-type cord that you won’t find at a Home Depot. You will find it an industrial supply store.

Are we using in for an angular pull? If so, have we considered the increase in capacity required for that lift?

By angular pull, we mean the hoists can be used at angular pulls for inline loading or you’re simply off 90-degrees. That being said, regardless if it’s a sling or any type of rigging, once you go off that 90 degrees and have any kind of angular pull, it induces and increases the tension going through that hoist. If you have a 1-ton hoist and you use it an incline or an angle of 60 degrees, the hoist itself now is only rated for 86.6% of it’s rated capacity at that point. So you want to make sure that if you’re using it at an angle, that you consider that you have the right capacity hoist in the first place. If you had a 1-ton hoist and you use it at a significant angle, you might need a 2-ton for example.

Are we confident that the structure and rigging is appropriate for our application?

Should this be hung off a beam of some type, you’ll need to consider that there’s lot of force that’s going to be encouraged as a result. As you know, for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. If you’re lifting up 1-ton, then that beam is going to be holding that weight. You need to make sure that the beam or whatever structure you’re mounting that the electric hoist is stout enough and possessed the integrity to hold it. You won’t want the weak-link to be something as simple as a beam.

Most electric hoists have a 25% duty cycle (or 15-minute use per hour.) Does this fit with our application or should we consider another type of hoist?

The 25% duty cycle is really just designed to keep itself from overheating. One of the ways you can do that is by running it consistently. If you were to run a hoist and have one of the buttons of the hoist engaged for 15 straight minutes, it would eventually shut itself down. The other occasion in which this occurs is how many times you hit the pendant up or down 360 times within that hour. It’ll do the same thing and shut down. The latter is similar to starting a car. The time in which you use the most energy to operate a car is when you initially turn on the ignition to the engine. You need a lot of electricity, voltage, and gas to supply to the engine in order to get it running. You want to make sure that this type of powered hoist fits with your application and if not, you should consider another hoist. For example, if you are doing a consistent job that requires you to hoist materials up, throughout the day, based on that type of duty cycle, you may want to consider a hand chain hoist or an air-operated one. Neither features a duty cycle and is designed for heavy duty usage such as this.

What voltage do we have access to? 110, 220 or 440? And have we fully confirmed that the hoist we will be using is consistent with our electrical source?

This is an important question your boss will likely ask. Based on the type of hoist and capacity, its generally consistent that the higher you go in capacity, the more likely you will need a higher voltage hoist. For example, 1 and 2 ton electric hoists run off of 110 and 115 volts and they’ll draw 20 – 23 amps at full load, but you may not be able to use that 1 ton based on your requirements. You may need to go up to a 5 ton and in that case, many of our electric hoists require a higher voltage like a 220 or 440. We can wire them and we can customize the voltage based on whatever your requirements are or whatever voltage you have available at your facility or if you rent a separate, individualized generator that will produce that amount of electricity. Either way, you will need to know what voltage it requires. The higher the voltage, the lower the amps required for it, but it’s very important to ask yourselves what you confidently know you have available on site to ensure the product is running to ensure it’s working up to its potential. You will not want to rent a hoist and then have voltage drops or lack the proper circuitry. For example, some of these hoists that draw 20 or 23-amps can’t be run inside of an office building. Most office buildings circuitry only runs off a 15 or maybe a 20-amp circuit. If you try to run something higher, it’ll just trip the breaker because it doesn’t have enough power. So, you want to confirm that the hoist that you are using has that consistent electrical source. In addition, once you order it and inform us that it’s a 220 voltage-required hoist and we wire it as such, you once again will have to make sure that you have that voltage on site because if you were to make a mistake and hook to a 440 volt, you’re going to cause significant damage to the hoist and it’ll cost you severely for the replacement of the hoist.

LGH stocks a wide variety of electric chain hoists models with capacities from 1 to 10 tons, voltages of 115V, 230V, 460V, and are designed for all-round material-handling operations. Each hoist is tested and certified prior to rental and are ensured for maximum safety, efficiency, durability, and economy.


To view an troubleshooting video on electric hoists, please visit

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Matt Kral

Matt Kral

A graduate of Lewis University’s award-winning journalism team in 2010 as both section editor and copy editor, current active member of the Lifting Gear Hire sales force. Matt Kral brings his experience in the heavy equipment rental industry and insight into what information is desired in the field to this blog to provide relevant content to the customers of the largest lifting equipment rental company in the United States.

Categories: Electric Chain Hoist

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