The Best Kind Of Lifting Gear For Builders.

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Published: 24th November 2014
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This post examines some of the mostly utilised pieces of lifting equipment inside the construction industry.

There is no doubt that the majority of builders and employees in the construction business will utilize some form of lifting equipment to assist the building process. There are numerous types of apparatus which will go well with certain tasks in this industrial area, and this article aims to briefly highlight the most effective and most often utilised equipment in construction today.

Working from heights is inevitable if working on a construction site, thus your primary piece of kit should be the safety harness; there are varieties which catch you if you fall, (the fall arrest type) and kinds that restrain you and prevent the fall in the first place, (the fall restraint system). The latter does restrict your movement somewhat, and so it'll depend on what you have to do as to which kind will work best, it might be a good idea to keep both systems in your tool box so you are equipped for all scenarios.

Almost certainly the next most widespread lifting tool used within the construction industry is the scaffold hoist. As its name suggests this is a powered hoist that fits to a scaffold pole. This style of hoist is fitted with a small swing jib arm to allow the hoist to be swung out from the scaffold to freely lift and lower loads. These hoists offer a very quick and cost efficient solution to get your materials wherever you will need them, safely, and with minimal risk to employees, unlike if they have to carry heavy materials or equipment up the scaffold tower by hand. You can also get supplementary accessories to further enhance the scaffold hoist; for example: a wheel barrow sling, which can lift a fully loaded wheelbarrow, and large specially designed buckets for transportation mortar and so on.

If you don't have any scaffold but nevertheless need to lift up to higher levels then a gantry hoist system could possibly be the answer, as they permit the hoist to hang over the edge of the structure level to lift materials up, however on account of their rear fitted counterbalance boxes they won't tip over.

Scaffold hoists, gantry hoists and safety harnesses are undoubtedly the most well utilised pieces of equipment in the construction and building industries, but there are other devices which can be enormously practical too. There are differing styles of hoists available that can be utilized in different areas, such as a lever hoist or chain block, which are excellent where there isn't any power, but can't be safely attached to a scaffold tower, so therefore will need a strong structure suitable for hanging the hoist from, like a steel beam perhaps; all these hoists are available in a vast choice of capacities so there should be one to suit your needs.

Any kind of hoist needs an anchoring point to suspend from, this should be capable of taking the weight of the load to be lifted and secure. Steel beams are the norm, where a beam clamp or trolley system can be utilised to enable fitting and using the hoist even easier. Hoists could also be hung from other appropriate areas, for instance a sling wrapped around a beam or joist or a secure, fixed hook, although all must be more than capable of taking the strain.

There are a variety of kinds of slings available to further aid lifting loads within the building site; a sling either wraps around or fixes on to the load and then hooked into the lifting device (i.e. a scaffold hoist); chain slings are very popular within construction because they are very robust, and with the wide variety of models available that may be used in numerous hitch types, there is something suitable for most types of loads; however the softer web type slings are perfect for items which can be more delicate or easily marked.

A mobile lifting gantry arrangement is sometimes used within the building industry, they can be very valuable to have on site, because they are able to be easily moved about to where required, and offer a great supporting frame to attach a hoist thus lift a load wherever you need too. Level ground is required for stability, although parking jacks may be attached to regulate the height of every leg slightly to make them stable in areas where the floor is slightly un-even.

In wrapping up, it is safe to say that the use of the appropriate lifting devices is extremely advantageous to the construction industry, in particular the use of a scaffold hoist; saving precious time and money, and also providing a safer environment for the employees, who will not have to haul materials up to elevated places.

Nikki Dale works for the Lifting Gear Direct group which incorporates Lifting Equipment ltd and wire-rope-direct.com
We have been supplying many types of lifting equipment to trade and industry for many years and our team are highly knowledgeable and experienced where lifting gear products are concerned.

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