Are Custom Hoist Solutions The Right Fit For You?

Are Custom Hoist Solutions The Right Fit For You?


When you are considering such a serious investment for your company, deciding between a pre-packaged hoist system and a hoist that is custom engineered for your business can seem like a tough call. In reality, there are a few characteristics that will determine which solution is the best one for your application.

Pre-packaged Hoist Systems

Pre-packaged hoist systems are made for specific crane systems and are generally created for lower duty cycle applications.  The pre-packaged hoist will be spec’d out to support the lower end of the crane’s average lifecycle and capacity.  Sometimes called cataloged hoists, this type of equipment is pre-engineered to support light duty cycle, lighter weight, slower speed applications. They will be fit to the lifting medium and support the lifting configuration of your choice. Pre-packaged hoist systems are generally considered more cost effective, at least on the front end.

Custom Hoist Systems

Custom hoist systems are a different class altogether.  Because they are designed specifically for your application, they can incorporate flexibility that a pre-packaged hoist is by definition lacking. Custom hoist systems will be created to perform a specific task really well, and do it for a really long time. If you need a hoist to support a long life cycle, it is possible to achieve multiple decades of use with a well-designed custom hoist. In general, custom hoists are also engineered with more thought to maintenance and inspections, as they are anticipated to be in use for longer periods. Custom hoists cost more to put into service.

Which Hoist Is Best For You?

When deciding between the custom and pre-packaged hoist solutions, the easiest point to consider is how long the hoist is anticipated to be in service. If replacing the equipment in up to ten years is satisfactory, the pre-packaged hoist is worth considering. If a longer life-span is required for this hoist application, a custom hoist could easily pay for its higher cost of entry over time.

A second point to think about is the capacity and duty cycle requirement. If the pre-packaged hoist will accommodate the outer limits of your application, you should continue to think about it as an option. However, if you think you could exceed the duty cycle or lift limitations of the pre-packaged hoist, it is probably not worth the lower up-front cost. The reason is simple: the pre-packaged hoist will not be built to withstand stretch capacity goals. The risks to equipment and safety are not worth the lower cost to entry.

Finally, consider your maintenance program. Pre-packaged hoists are designed to require less maintenance as long as they are used within their strict limitations.  However, their components are also designed with less capacity ad flexibility, which could lead to more frequent repairs or replacement.

Depending on your plans and needs, a pre-packaged hoist system could be a better solution for your business. Understanding the options is crucial, since the hoist is easily the most important part of your crane design and purchase.