Rigging hoists simplify the process of lifting and lowering heavy loads in construction sites and warehouses. When renting or buying rigging equipment for your applications, you will come across two configurations: manual and electric hoists. Manual chains have levers that are operated manually by the worker. Conversely, electric chains lift loads with the help of an electric motor and a controller. If you are torn between choosing the best configuration for your project, here are a few factors to consider.

Rigging specifications

The nature of the rigging operations is a key guiding factor when choosing the right hoists for the job. The following factors should determine the best choice between manual and electric chains:

  • Weight of the load 
  • Type of rig
  • Timeline for the project

Electric chains are ideal for rigging heavier loads. Since the chains use a motor for rigging, less work is required to rig heavy loads. This is unlike manual chains, which require manual force to lift and lower loads. Electric hoists are also faster than their manual counterparts. If you need to complete your project fast, electric hoists are your best bet. 

Manual hoisting chains are excellent for lighter applications with no tight schedules. They are also cheaper than electric hoists, which makes them a great option if you are trying to cut project costs. On the downside, manual chains only perform lifting and lowering loads. You cannot use them for pulling, as is the case with electric chains.

Availability of power supply

Electric chains need electrical power to execute rigging jobs. Therefore, the availability of power can be a limiting factor on construction sites. If you don't have a reliable power supply, you may face unexpected downtime when using electric rigging equipment. To increase project efficiency, go for manual chains. Alternatively, you can avail backup power to cater to any unforeseen electrical outages throughout the project.

Operating environment

When using electric chains, be wary of factors that may affect the effectiveness of the components. Electric hoists have motors, hydraulic systems and electrical systems, which can be affected by moisture, chemicals and high salinity. If you are operating under such conditions, you risk exposing the components to damage. Manual hoists do not have complex systems and mechanisms. They are usable in various environments without an increased risk of premature failure.

Ease of maintenance

Maintenance processes and expenses can affect the efficiency of rigging equipment. Manual chains are the easiest to maintain due to their simplicity. All you need to do is inspect them periodically for damage. Manual hoists are also easy to repair. Conversely, electric chains have complex systems that increase their maintenance needs. Parts such as the electrical systems, hydraulic system and motor can be costly to repair.

Consider the above factors when comparing manual and electric rigging hoists for your project. For help, consult a rigging professional.