Lifting Chains – Your Helping Hand

Lifting Chains – Your Helping Hand

Hoisting and lifting machinery is difficult due to the fact that the parts are so heavy. To lift heavy equipment, you should consider using lifting chains or a chain hoist. A chain hoist is made from a combination of different pulleys and strong lifting chains that help you raise an item above the ground level.

The chain must be strong enough to handle the load. Continue reading to find out more about lifting chains and what they are used for. Having the correct equipment is essential for getting the job done quickly and safely.

Know The Chain’s Capacity

There are two different types of chain hoists: manual and electric hoists. The first thing to consider is how much tension the chain has. Each type of chain will have a different breaking point. To operate a chain hoist safely, you need to know how much weight the chain can handle without breaking.

It’s important to consider safety first when selecting the chain for the job. Most chains come in increments of 125kg, 250kg, 500kg, 1000kg and 2000kg. These chains are ideal to use on small cranes.

For larger cranes use chains that can handle up to 100t. if the item you need to lift is heavier than 500kg then opt for the chain capacity of 1000kg.

The Lifting Speed is Important

The next item to consider is the lifting speed. If you have to lift a lot of heavy items and time is of the essence, then you may require a faster lifting speed to finish tasks faster. If you don’t require speed and only need to use the chain hoist occasionally, then a slower lifting speed will be sufficient.

The speed the hoist operates at is determined by factors including the gearbox ratio, motor power and chain reeving.

How High Do You Need to Lift?

Finally consider how high the item needs to be lifted. The chain will need to be long enough to reach the top of your destination. If you have any concerns or questions, ask an expert to point you in the right direction.

A rule of thumb is to be prepared for the future. Rather invest in the highest chain capacity you can afford. This means you won’t need to purchase additional chains when you need to lift a heavier item.

What Will You be Lifting?

Some items are easy to lift and using a chain hoist to accomplish the task is the perfect solution. But what happens if your load is irregularly shaped or hazardous? Some items will need rigorous planning and may require more than one hoisting system.

Again, it’s advisable to contact a professional for advice.

Consider the Benefits of Chain Blocks

A chain block is made from a high-quality grade steel. Benefits of chain blocks include:

  • Cost-effectiveness: They don’t need to be replaced often and are known for their durability
  • Level of Strength: Made of high-quality alloy steel they are strong and able to hoist heavy loads with ease. There are different strengths available
  • Easy to use: Chain blocks are lightweight and easy to move
  • Simple in Design: It’s easy to construct a chain block. If it breaks it’s also easy to repair
  • Takes the hard work out of lifting: With a chain block you don’t need to have strength because you can lift heavy items at the touch of a button

Use the Correct Chain

Not all chains were created equal. You can’t go to your local hardware store and simply purchase any chain. Only a chain made from alloy steel, grade 80 or 100, should ever be used to lift items higher than your head.

Other types of steel chains could break without any warning and cause damage, injuries and even death. That’s why choosing the correct chain is so important.


  • The chain must be permanently affixed, in good condition and have the correct chain capacity to handle the job
  • An inspection of every link of the chain should be done daily. Damage to the chain must be done immediately
  • The sling should be proof-tested to verify construction and workmanship
  • Don’t use the chain if the temperature drops below 20-degrees Fahrenheit

Safety First

When performing the daily safety inspection, the chain sling should be replaced if:

  • There is no identification tag
  • You find any damage such as cracks
  • Excessive wear and tear is detected
  • The chain is twisted, bent or there are missing links
  • Visible corrosion
  • There is visible stretching

Practice safe lifting by:

  • Reading the manufactures lifting instructions
  • Keeping the chain straight and avoid kinks
  • Avoid shock loading by lifting at a slower pace
  • Use lubrication to aid in smooth lifting
  • Make sure everything is installed correctly and in working order
  • Always test the chain before using it

Final Thoughts

Lifting chains were designed to help you lift heavy objects off the ground or even to help you load items onto trucks or ships. If you need to move heavy items and hoist them above your head, then a chain hoist is an ideal option. Always remember safety first and never use a chain before inspecting it first.


Written by Addison Taylor

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