American Made Hoists Versus Imported Hoists

American Made Hoists Versus Imported Hoists

Andrew T. Litecky12/30/16
Welcome to The Hoist Guy's Blog, where our resident Hoist Guy, Andrew T. Litecky, shares his knowledge and experience of many years in the overhead material handling industry.

After a year when so much was said about the importance of American manufacturing, yet US companies still faced the reality of budget crunches, understanding the differences between American-made hoists and foreign brands is key.

A Changing Marketplace
While a number of long-time domestically manufactured hoists brands remain on the market, such as CM, Coffing, Chester, Yale, Harrington, ACCO, and Electrolift, the market has been gradually but immensely changed by the emergence of European hoist brands over the last 40 years. And more recently, the strong US dollar in exchange rates has made Euro imports even cheaper.

On European Brands
European-made hoist brands traverse the quality spectrum (we recommend R&M, Demag and Street Crane), but they share a few commonalities. They’re manufactured in Europe with final assembly and testing Stateside, and they’re built to metric standards, with all metric internal hardware. Euro wire rope hoists generally come standard with a rope guide (so any side pull by the operator is particularly destructive) and use a 2-speed motor instead of a standard single speed motor. Meanwhile, I’ve observed that Euro brand hoists often undergo a redesign about every 5-10 years or so. This renders the older versions obsolete and puts a finite lifespan on them.

American-made hoists for longer usage
Meanwhile, more American-made hoists are built for the long-term, and it’s not uncommon to find a 20-30 year old hoist still in use. Domestic brands are built to ANSI and HMI standards (versus the Euro brands adapted to the standard on import) and are fabricated in our commonly used English units (aka Imperial units) system of measurement. And American electric hoists are made with a variable frequency drive for flexible programming in the field. Certainly, American-made hoists run the gamut of quality, so be sure to speak with an experienced distributor while making a purchase.

Here are my favorite American-made wire rope hoists:

  • Yale–The Yale Cable King hoist is the most versatile and customizable wire rope hoist on the market. With numerous options and adders related to sizes, trolley type, drum length, power, and not to mention a broad range of capacities, this hoist can be designed and manufactured to suit very specific needs.

  • Electrolift– These American-made hoists are best characterized as durable and “trouble free”. We have long-time customers that use this brand exclusively and swear by it.

  •  ACCO – ACCO-Wright hoists offer a more economical price point yet still represent excellent quality. Since the company manufactures the cable drums internally, they’re easily regrooved and customized for dimensions. In higher capacities, the drum is parallel mounted for better side clearance, and the hoist offers both single-reeved and true vertical lift for more precise lowering and lifting.
Hoists are manufactured all over the world, and in this global economy, buyers have numerous choices. When reviewing the options, the old adage “you get what you pay for” certainly applies to hoists, and most importantly, selecting a hoist that will hold up to the expected duty cycle of the application is key.

Shupper-Brickle Equipment offers both American-made and imported hoists.
Contact us for questions about the best equipment for your budget and application.