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Top 5 Misuses of Hand Chain Hoists

One of the most commonly-used pieces of lifting equipment is the hand chain hoist. Notable for it’s versatile use in a variety of industries, modern hand chain hoists have managed to keep the durability and ruggedness needed while minimizing the pulling effort, so that the operator doesn’t need to overstrain. However, that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. In fact, it can be easy to misuse or damage a hand chain hoist if proper technique is not employed during a lift. Here are the Top 5 Ways to Misuse a Hand Chain Hoist.

Overloading The Hoist: Not surprisingly, the single most common way to potentially damage or misuse a chainfall is to overload the hoist. Putting too much force on the hook or exceeding the working load limit of the hoist leads to stretched hooks, damaged equipment, damaged loads, and employee downtime. When a hook stretches, it’s basically unrepairable and unusable.

 Modifying the Hoist: Another popular way to misuse a hoist is to modify the equipment. Altering the equipment can include popping off the latches on a hoist to make picking up a load easier. Not only is this dangerous, but making any alterations or modifications to a hoist voids the manufacturer’s warranty.

Twisting the Chain: Twisting the loads or the hooks usually causes the chain itself to twist and become jammed inside in the gears of the hoist. Flipping the hook on a double-parted chain hoist will twist the chain, and therefore, run the chain up into the hoist and jam the chain into the gears, causing many internal issues.

Pulling the Chain Too Hard: Another misuse is to pull on the chain too hard. Applying too much force on the chain will sometimes cause the chain to come off the sprocket or pull out of the hoist completely. Consequently, pulling too hard can also spread or stretch the chain links themselves, too. Loosen your grip, basically.

Running the Chainfall into the Load: It’s also somewhat common to accidentally run the chainfall into the load, which can dent the housing or cause the chain to jam up and run slower. When it comes to hand chain hoists, slow and steady wins the race.



Twisting the Hoist: A special bonus misuse is allowing the hoist to twist or spin as your lifting a load. Don’t let the hoist move aimlessly like this because that’ll cause the chain to fall off the sprocket as well or allow nearby objects to come into contact with the load or the hoist even.



So now that you know how mistakes are made, here’s how you can avoid them.

  • Pull the hoist nice and steady without swinging it.
  • Always be conscientious of the hoist’s capacity or load limit.
  • Do not modify or alter the equipment in any way. This one is simple.
  • Apply the necessary amount of force when pulling. It’s not a race.
  • Keep in mind where you’re suspending it from.

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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.

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