Hoist vs Crane
If you are not from a construction company, you are probably not aware of the differences between a hoist and a crane as both perform similar functions of lifting loads up and down. In any case, these are devices or contraptions used in construction activities or mining activities where loads are taken from one place to another. The concept of a crane is not new, and even a hoist is a very old system. Hoist has been in use since ancient times when high buildings necessitated the use of pulley and rope to send construction material up while also providing a way for transport of men up and down. However, there are many differences between hoist and crane that will be discussed in this article.
What is a Hoist?
A hoist is a piece of machinery that is used to lift and lower loads vertically. It cannot move in any other direction like moving horizontally. Just like an elevator that can move only up from down and down from up along the same line, a hoist can only move up and down along the same line vertically. A hoist can only be used for this purpose of lifting and lowering loads. That means, a hoist is not a multi-purpose machinery. A hoist may be an independent machine, or it may be used as a subsystem in a crane. This implies that cranes are much more complex devices than hoists that have one known function, and that is to raise and lower a load.
What is a Crane?
Have you heard the phrase crane out your neck? You must have seen a crane standing for long hours in water and stretching out its neck to pick up fish from under the water. A crane in industrial and construction setting does just that as it sticks out a beam ahead of its arm that picks up a load from down and can move it in all directions whether it is left, right or in the vertical direction. A crane proves very helpful in a construction site or even a quarry where mineral or rocks are mined and hauled up the surface of the earth with the help of a crane. This is why it is said that cranes have three degrees of freedom. If you have played the famous game where you operate the arm of the crane to place the hook under a toy to pick it up and to bring it to a certain point to win the toy, you know how a crane operates. The arm of the crane is hydraulic and the operator sitting inside a cabin uses this arm to pick up a load and move it either horizontally or to move this load vertically up to a certain point. Cranes have a great flexibility in moving a load from one place to another. If one replaces the crane with a hoist in the game, all flexibility to move the toy once it is captured by the claw in horizontal directions is gone.
While a hoist can pick a load and move it vertically only, a crane can be used for demolition purposes too. This is done by hanging a big iron ball through the crane and banging this ball by bringing it from behind and moving it at a great speed to hit the structure to be brought down or razed to the ground.
What is the difference between Hoist and Crane?
• Direction of Movement:
Both hoists and cranes are used to raise and lower loads.
• Cranes can move loads in horizontal direction too, in addition to moving them vertically.
• Hoists can only move loads in a vertical line. Horizontal movement of loads is not possible with hoists.
• Cranes are complex machines that have mutipurposes.
• Hoists are simpler in design than cranes and are often a subsystem in a crane.
• A crane is used to move loads.
• A crane can be used for demolishing by attaching a wrecking ball to it.
• A crane can also be used to remove waste material from a site by attaching a scoop to it.
• A hoist is used to just lower and raise loads vertically. It has no other use.
- Builder’s hoist, with small gasoline engine via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
- Crane by Eli Duke (CC BY-SA 2.0)