Tag: low headroom hoist

Chester Hoist Develops Hand Chain Hoist for Demanding Customer Application

Chester Hoist Develops Hand Chain Hoist for Demanding Customer Application

Chester Hoist application

Chester Hoist, a Columbus McKinnon brand, specializes in the design and manufacture of high-quality, custom-made hoists for unique and challenging applications. So, when our customer came to us with a special need for a hand chain hoist to raise and move large rolls, Chester Hoist was put to the task.

The customer had a long list of specific requirements that the hoist needed to meet. Requirements included:

  • 4-point pickup hand chain hoist with an incorporated hand geared trolley to run inside of 5” channels
  • Hook spacing that had to be 12” perpendicular to the runway and spaced to accommodate the 12” diameter roll parallel to the runway
  • 42” hand wheel extensions on the trolley and hoist mechanism
  • The ability to time all four hooks to raise simultaneously
  • Chain containers
  • 13” maximum headroom

To meet these requirements, our Chester Hoist engineering team started with a standard 4-plate low head and severely modified the unit. The real challenge the team faced was coming up with suitable hook spacing and to run the hooks in opposite directions with a single hoist mechanism.

Chester Hoist application

The trolley and hoist hand wheels were mounted on a separate support trolley located 30.5” outside the hoist trolley channels.

Special gearing and sheave arrangements were added to the modified low-headroom hoist. Because of low operating height, the customer also required special guards over the gearing. The Chester team fabricated special shields to fit between the outboard and inboard side plates to guard the gearing arrangement.

To achieve the 13” headroom within the compact design, a special roller chain trolley drive was incorporated into the unit.

When the custom engineering was complete, the team provided the customer with a hoist that met all of their requirements and could be used to raise and move large rolls for their application.

Chester Hoist specializes in developing specially engineered products for unique applications ranging from low headroom manual hoists for military applications to spark-resistant hoist and trolley combinations for use on offshore oil platforms. Let us know how we can help you with your application!


How to Choose Hoists & Cranes for Offshore Applications

How to Choose Hoists & Cranes for Offshore Applications

Proper selection and specification of hoists, cranes and rigging hardware is always essential to safe overhead lifting, but in no environment is this more critical than on offshore oil and gas facilities.

In offshore oil and gas applications, there is a higher potential for flammable gases to be present. Therefore it is extremely important that proper safety precautions are taken to protect workers aboard these vessels and prevent equipment damage. It is important that the individuals responsible for specifying and purchasing material handling equipment for use in these environments can properly identify any hazardous locations or areas per the U.S. National Electric Code (NFPA 70), IEC Standard 60079, and other applicable local, national and international standards to ensure compliance with these regulations and safe operation. Additionally, the use of mechanically spark-resistant materials should be strongly considered, although these materials are not specifically addressed within many of the referenced standards.

In the absence of a definitive industry standard specifying what constitutes spark-resistant construction for hoists and cranes, it is frequently left to the knowledge and discretion of the seller to determine what materials will be used unless the purchaser designates specific requirements. If not clearly defined in the bid specification, the product and spark-resistant features provided often depend on the sourcing channels utilized by the end user.

Columbus McKinnon manufactures many products specifically designed for applications that require spark-resistant features. Our diverse, made in-America portfolio of hoists and trolleys are built to suit, rather than a mass produced “one size fits all” approach. Many of the products lend themselves to modification and substitution of materials that allows us to configure our hoists and trolleys to the specific application.

  • Chester Hoist products utilize solid spark-resistant materials such as bronze hooks, trolley wheels and brake ratchets as well as stainless steel load chain, hand chain and hook latches. In some cases it is necessary to use nickel-diffused chains or copper-plated hooks due to headroom constraints or to reduce costs for equipment that will be used infrequently or in temporary applications. In these cases, Chester also can provide plated components to reduce costs. For equipment that is relied on heavily and is required to maintain spark and corrosion-resistant qualities for the life of the equipment, we actively promote the lasting protection of solid spark and corrosion-resistant materials rather than plated components. 
Explosion Proof Cable King Hoist
Explosion Proof Global King Hoist



  • Yale Cable King wire rope hoists can be supplied in a wide range of capacities, lifting speeds and configurations with both spark and explosion resistance. The Cable King is  available in a spark-resistant pneumatic model and an explosion-proof electric model, for Class 1, Division 1 or 2, Group C & D; and Class 2, Division 1 or 2, Group E, F & G.

Special consideration should also be given to the environmental conditions at the work site, including temperature extremes, humidity, corrosive atmospheres and the potential for dynamic loading due to vessel motion. Special materials, testing, material certifications and design modifications may be required to ensure safe operation and minimal down time of lifting equipment. Additional factors such as headroom clearance, end approach, frequency of use and the availability of utilities (electricity, compressed air) must also be considered.

Reading and understanding applicable safety standards and consulting with experienced and reputable manufacturers are two important steps in ensuring operator and facility safety when selecting hoists, cranes and rigging hardware for offshore applications.

Interested in learning more about Explosion Proof vs. Spark Resistant Hoists?
Check out our recent Safety Webinar.

Columbus McKinnon is a leading designer and manufacturer of hoists, cranes and rigging hardware for offshore environments. With a long history in the industry, we have years of experience working on offshore applications, their unique challenges  and specifying the best products suited to harsh environments. Our Chester and Yale products have been used in these applications for decades and are relied on by end users around the world.

Low Headroom Hoist Solution for Baby Formula Maker

Low Headroom Hoist Solution for Baby Formula Maker

Producing baby formula is no easy task especially when considering equipment maintenance in a clean room environment.  This baby formula maker in Malaysia had some tough requirements. They needed a hoist/trolley combination for 2200 lbs. capacity with a very low headroom profile (less than 8″).  In addition, this producer needed a hoist that would allow the operator to stand clear of the processing equipment, more than 24″ to the outside of the centerline of the monorail beam, when operating the hoist.

In a facility producing baby formula, maintaining a clean and sterile environment is top priority. The hoist had to be corrosion resistant and suitable for wash-down.

Our Chester Hoist facility had the opportunity to design and manufacture an ultra-low headroom manual chain hoist with a special extended hand chain wheel mechanism which addressed their concerns. The hoist was equipped with the following stainless steel components: lifting hook, hook block, load chain, hand chain, hand chain & load chain wheels, chain container, trolley wheels, hand chain guides, and brake ratchet. It was also equipped with food grade lubricant and food grade epoxy paint on the hoist body.

The end result was a perfect low headroom solution for this critical lifting application.

Ultra-low Headroom Hoist Solution for Nuclear Power Plant

Ultra-low Headroom Hoist Solution for Nuclear Power Plant

16 Ton Swivel Hoist The project engineer thought that he had an impossible task. When contacting virtually every hoist manufacturer he could find, this project engineer at an East Coast (U.S.) nuclear power plant was repeatedly told that his application requirements were “unworkable”.

The project required a 16-ton capacity hoist and trolley that could be operated manually by one person. The trolley had to operate on a circular track having a curve radius of only 132”. The minimum headroom could not exceed 14-1/4”. The unit also had to be designed to permit installation from directly under the monorail beam, with the minimum amount of disassembly and reassembly required for installation.

Before giving up on this project, this engineer was encouraged to contact an Applications Engineer at Chester Hoist, a CMCO hoist brand.  Lucky us.

Numerous other requirements existed including a high minimum design factor, compliance with applicable standards (ASME B30.16 in addition to specifications set forth by the project engineer at the site), and training and support prior to commissioning of the hoist.

One of our Chester application engineers worked closely with the project engineer, to identify the critical requirements. It was determined that by making some design modifications, the “Zephyr” low headroom hoist could be tailored to fit the application. The hoist was engineered and built to order. The “unworkable” problem was solved.