Lifting gear is designed to lift large loads and heavy objects. From cranes to forklifts, lifting gear saves time and increases worker safety by improving material handling processes. Material handling involves the movement of heavy items. The right types of lifting equipment can help staff deal with large materials while speeding up productivity.
Material handling is also the most frequent cause of workplace injuries, typically due to improper equipment or training. Accidents are most likely to occur on construction sites and in the manufacturing industry.
Lifting equipment minimizes accidents by providing a better way to lift, lower, pull, push, hold, or carry materials. While people often think of large cranes, lifting equipment comes in various sizes and designs. You can find equipment for lifting everything from heavy building supplies to warehouse inventory. You can even use lifts to move people.
You may use lifting equipment to move items horizontally or vertically. Each piece of equipment is suited for different tasks and loads. Due to the variety of options, business owners may struggle to choose the right equipment for the job.
The following guide covers the most common types of lifting gear. Learn more about the use of each option and how the best equipment can make material handling easier in your building.
What Is Lifting Equipment Used For?
Lifting equipment is defined as any equipment capable of lifting loads. It is a broad category of equipment that includes dozens of different machines and accessories. Most lifting equipment is used to lift or lower a load, which may include any type of material, people, or animals. Common examples of items that you may need to lift include:
- Building materials
- Pallets, bags, and sacks
- Equipment or tools
Most types of lifting equipment are designed for specific types of material handling processes. They also have different weight capacities. Some of the more complex machines may even require specialized training.
A variety of industries rely on lifting gear. However, these machines are commonly associated with construction sites. Scaffolding, bricklaying, and processing plasterboard often requires the use of lifting gear.
Industrial lifting equipment is also frequently used in manufacturing facilities, factories, warehouses, shipping facilities, docks, and retail locations. Lifting machinery is available for any environment, including indoor and outdoor work sites.
Along with lifting equipment, lifting accessories are available to accommodate specific types of materials or increase the security of the load. For example, you may use hooks or chains to secure supplies before lifting.
What Are the Types of Lifting Equipment?
Different types of lifting equipment are suited for different tasks. You may use one piece of machinery for lifting heavy supplies and another for transporting goods. Some of the most common types of lifting equipment and accessories include:
- Forklifts Accessories
- Lifting hoists
- Overhead cranes
- Lifting jacks & Pallet trucks
- Crane attachments
- Chain Blocks
1. Forklift Attachments
Forklift attachments are available to extend the functionality of forklifts. Compared to other types of lifting equipment, forklifts are among the most used. Attachments include various clamps, hooks, and jibs. A forklift jib is used to secure heavy loads from overhead using a hook instead of sliding the forklift tines into a pallet.
2. Lifting Hoists
Lifting hoists are designed to lift or lower heavy loads. A hoist consists of a motorized drum with a chain or rope for lifting or lowering objects. The hoist is often mounted overhead and can only transport a load vertically. The most common example is an elevator.
3. Overhead Cranes
Overhead cranes also lift or lower heavy loads. However, unlike most types of lifting equipment, overhead cranes allow you to move objects vertically or horizontally. The increased range of motion makes cranes suitable for a wider range of tasks. You often see overhead cranes used at construction sites to move heavy supplies and materials to upper floors.
4. Lifting Jacks and Pallet Trucks
Lifting jacks and pallet trucks are types of lifting equipment with hydraulic lifts. Unlike forklifts, hoists, and cranes, the lifting jack is often hand operated via a plunger. The operator plunges a pump to create pressure and lift the platform. The load can then be wheeled to its intended destination.
A winch provides a powered solution for moving heavy loads vertically or horizontally. A typical winch consists of a spool of rope or wire attached to gears and a drive system. The operator can wind or unwind the cable to pull or lift items across a pulley or a conveyor belt.
6. Crane Attachments
Crane attachments are used to grab objects of varying dimensions. Depending on the size and shape of the object, you may need a crane attachment with tongs or hooks. Common crane attachments include C-hooks, J-hooks, spreader beams, and tongs. The attachments may be powered using motorized, pneumatic, hydraulic, or automatic lifting equipment.
7. Chain Blocks
Chain blocks are hand operated hoists that contain a chain wound around two wheels. When the worker pulls the chain, it begins to wind around the wheels, which lifts the load attached to the end of the chain. Compared to electric or hydraulic hoists, chain blocks are often more affordable and easier to maintain.
How to Make Material Handling Easier in Your Building
Selecting the right types of lifting equipment can improve the efficiency and safety of your material handling processes. Manual lifting is a common cause of workplace injuries. When workers need to lift or carry large loads, they face an increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders and accidents.
Lifting equipment provides a safer way to move heavy objects. You can limit the need to move unstable loads or loads that are too heavy. To select the right equipment, consider the lifting operations and type of load. You may need to move loose materials, heavy supplies, or workers.
For moving heavy loads around the floor of a factory or storeroom, consider using a pallet truck. They are small and easy to maneuver around tighter indoor spaces. Forklifts, overhead cranes, and winches are often used on construction sites and industrial settings.
For increased productivity and safety, browse our inventory. We have many types of lifting equipment, gear, and accessories. We offer a wide selection of equipment to suit any task and are the UK's Leading Lifting Gear Supplier.
Our lifting equipment and accessories meet industry standards, providing a reliable solution for better material handling. With the right equipment, your workers can safely lift or transport heavy loads with increased efficiency and less risk of accidents.
Lifting365 can help you select the best types of lifting equipment and accessories for your material handling processes. Browse our site or contact us to discuss your lifting needs.