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Difference between Hoists and Cranes

Although a hoist and an overhead crane serve practically the same function (lifting heavy materials) there are major differences between the two types of machines. Because the two machines share similarities, it is not uncommon for individuals to get confused between the two (this is especially the case for those who have no background in construction or material handling).

Both machines are used in construction, mining, and industrial fields, and allow for the easy lifting and transporting of heavy/awkward materials. Both machines utilize systems of ropes and pulleys in order to accomplish their tasks.

The differences between the two machines makes it so hoists and cranes can't be used interchangeably. A hoist is simply designed, with few moving parts, and the machine can only lift items vertically. Cranes are built with more intricate systems that are able to move in all directions. A crane is built on tracks that go throughout a workspace, and so it is possible to move heavy items easily over a great distance. A hoist can pick things up and put them down again, without moving far. A crane can even be designed to spin lifted objects, which make cranes even more versatile.

It is important to not confuse hoists and overhead cranes.

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