Are Cranes And Hoists The Same Thing?

Posted on: 22 December 2014

If you aren't in the construction business you may use the words "crane" and "hoist" interchangeably. The machines are similar to each other, but they do have some key differences. 


Hoists are machines that are able to lift loads straight up and down. They can't move the load from side to side at all. They tend to run cables that are known as hoist ways. Hoists are much simpler than cranes are because they only have the one direction of movement. The more directions an object can move a load, the more complex it gets. 

Hoists are found in many places. They are used heavily in the construction industry. Something like a construction elevator to get builders up into the tall buildings they are working on would be a hoist. Hoists can also be found in auto repair shops. In that setting, they are used to lift heavy things like engines out of vehicles. The workers wouldn't be able to lift those things on their own, a manual hoist takes the energy that the works have and multiplies it enough to pull the engine out. 


Cranes are a much more complex affair. That's because cranes can do a lot more than moving a load straight up and down. They can also move the load side to side and back and forth. In some cases, the entire crane can rotate as well, this is typically found in truck cranes. This makes a crane much more flexible. That means that it is much more useful on construction sites, as well as other places. You may see hoists and cranes working together in some construction settings. For example, a hoist may get the load up to a certain level of a skyscraper under construction. Then the crane will take over and get the load to where it needs to be. 

Cranes can also be found in places like factories. You may look at an overhead crane and think that it's also a hoist because it goes straight up and down, but they aren't. That's because the overhead cranes can also move the load side to side. 

Cranes and hoists offered by companies like Winslow Crane Service Co are very similar. They do similar jobs. But just because they are similar and do very similar things doesn't mean that they don't have their differences. They are both very good at what they do. Without both machines , constructing just about anything higher than one story would be very difficult.