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Doing the heavy lifting - your guide to hoist and transport platforms

Posted: Wednesday 31 October 2018



Doing the heavy lifting - your guide to hoist and transport platforms

Whether it's a renovation, extension, house painting or guttering replacement, you should consider renting scaffolding to help complete the job. Working at height on a ladder can be a challenge, and will add time onto any project. Using a ladder will mean climbing to the bottom and then moving it each time an area is completed.

However, it also means that it's very difficult to lift equipment and materials to where they need to be. It's hard enough working two or three floors up to begin with, but add something heavy to carry and working on a ladder becomes downright dangerous. In this post, we take a look at your options when it comes to heavy lifting.

The differences

A hoist platform takes advantage of an age-old technology. It offers a versatility, so that builders and other construction professionals can pull material and equipment up to the working level. In essence, it is a wire rope hoist - sometimes fitted with a bracket to allow for a pivot. This means the load being raised can be moved from side to side or even through a 360 degree angle.

A transport platform is for heavy duty lifting, probably during a construction project, or a commercial enterprise. They're designed to lift all manner of materials, equipment and people to the level they need to be at, and can do so with great efficiency. What makes a transport platform stand out is its weight capacity, with some platforms able to lift over 2,000 kilograms in one trip. This could be the materials and equipment needed for a day's work, all transported at once.

Both types of hoist can come fitted with fail-safe brakes, to prevent the material being hoisted from falling all the way back down to earth. This could cause an accident, especially given the weight of equipment and the costs to repair or replace broken items.

Working at height

In commercial builds, it is often necessary to mix concrete on the floor it's to be used on—particularly in the case of apartment buildings or offices. For this reason, it's probably best to go with a transport platform, since you'll need to bring a cement/concrete mixer, as well as all of the raw materials for mixing, up 20 or even 30 floors. A hoist would be unsuitable, since at those heights it might be susceptible to swinging and hitting the side of the building. Additionally, you'd be constrained by the weight limits of the hoist.

Scaffolding needs may dictate whether a hoist or transport platform is suitable, since scaffolds do take up some space. In locations where room is at a premium, it may be necessary to stick with a hoist and lose time on a project to get it right.

If you're unsure of whether you need a hoist or transport platform, you should get in touch with a scaffolding professional. They will know exactly which solution is suitable for your needs and what extra precautions you'll need to take, including issues around workers' safety and protecting the public.

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