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Cranes

A "hoist" normally is used for lifting (near vertical) and a winch is normally used for pulling (near horizontal).

A crane is a type of machine, generally equipped with a hoist, wire ropes or chains, and sheaves, that can be used both to lift and lower materials and to move them horizontally. It is mainly used for lifting heavy things and transporting them to other places. It uses one or more simple machines to create mechanical advantage and thus move loads beyond the normal capability of a man.

Cranes are commonly employed in the transport industry for the loading and unloading of freight, in the construction industry for the movement of materials and in the manufacturing industry for the assembling of heavy equipment.

A hoist is a device used for lifting or lowering a load by means of a drum or lift-wheel around which rope or chain wraps. It may be manually operated, electrically or pneumatically driven and may use chain, fiber or wire rope as its lifting medium. The load is attached to the hoist by means of a lifting hook.

The basic hoist has two important characteristics to define it: Lifting medium and power type. The lifting medium is either wire rope, wrapped around a drum, or load-chain, raised by a pulley with a special profile to engage the chain. The power can be provided by different means. Common means are hydraulics, electrical and air driven motors.

Both the wire rope hoist and chain hoist have been in common use since the 1800s. however; Mass production of an electric hoist did not start until the early 1900's and was first adapted by Germany.

A hoist can be built as one integral-package unit, designed for cost-effective purchasing and moderate use, or it can be built as a built-up custom unit, designed for durability and performance. The built-up hoist will be much more expensive, but will also be easier to repair and more durable.

Package units where once regarded as being designed for light to moderate usage, but since the 60's this has changed. Built-up units are designed for heavy to severe service, but over the years that market has decreased in size since the advent of the more durable packaged hoist.

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