As the title of this article states, we are going to be discussing the difference between hoisting and lifting. 

Many people actually use the term hoist and lift interchangeably when in fact, they are very different terms of movement. 

Using lifting and hoisting interchangeably is basically saying that apples and oranges are the same. Do they have similar functions (apples and oranges are both fruits/hoists and lifts raise things)? Yes, but that’s about as similar as they get. The process and reason for hoisting and lifting are different and that’s why there are two names!

Lift is a word people use to describe moving things upwards to an elevated area, but actually in this case you should be using the word “raise” or “raising”. This is important to remember so as not to confuse lifting and hoisting. 

Let’s discuss what hoisting and lifting actually mean and the key difference between them. 

What Is Lifting? 

A lift is a tool that uses extensions to raise objects and move materials from one place to another. Lifts are usually powered by electricity and use hydraulic pressure. 

There are many different types of lifts for different purposes. 

There are: 

  • Bucket lifts
    • Think of cherry pickers or the lifts that firemen use
  • Boom lifts
    • Fixed height keeping the basket or load level at all times
  • Telescopic lifts
    • Extends like a telescope for precision
  • Scissor lifts
    • You’ve seen these in hardware stores
  • Forklifts 
    • Often used to move palettes 
  • Personnel lifts 
    • Used only to move people and not materials

Lifts can be used to either raise, lower, or horizontally move people or immensely heavy loads around a job site.

difference between hoisting and lifting

What Is Hoisting?

Hoisting involves using a pulley system to raise and lower an object, person, or materials. 

Hoists use ropes, chains, or braided wires connected to a drum, rollers, or another turning tool to raise and lower objects in a bucket, or sling. 

They can be manual or electrical and are sometimes called construction elevators. 

They make moving materials and people up and down extremely easy and efficient. 

You’ll see these pieces of rigging equipment used at construction sites in cities that are building tall structures. This ensures that materials and people are moved safely through the different levels of the project. 

Examples Of Hoisting And Lifting

A good way of noting the difference between hoisting and lifting is by looking at how a flag is raised! 

When you see a flag being raised what is the flag attached to? A rope! This is a classic example of a hoist system. 

The rope is attached as a loop to a pulley system at the top and bottom of the flag pole which allows you to raise and lower the flag. 

As you pull one side of the rope down the other side moves upwards and allows the flag to rise. 

The flag can’t go anywhere but up or down. This is a key difference between hoisting and lifting. 

Now let’s look at how a flag is raised using a lifting system. 

Say the flag is attached to an extendable pole. When the pole is engaged it will telescope (telescoping boom) upwards and allow the flag to rise. 

However, with the flag being attached to a pole, it can be moved around in a circle and change angles along with just moving up and down. 

Just like a piece of material attached to a lift, you can move the material around where it needs to be, allowing you to maneuver the lift in hard to reach places on the construction site. 

Both hoists and lifts are majorly used equipment on job sites and both have extreme importance and purpose. This is why you can’t compare one to the other or use the titles of the equipment interchangeably. 

Need More Information About Hoisting And Lifting? See BOSS Crane

If you need to learn more about the difference between hoisting and lifting and any other materials or heavy equipment needed for a job, contact our team at BOSS Crane today! 

With over 80 years of combined experience, we have been serving Texas companies by providing them with top-of-the-line heavy equipment and experienced and dedicated operators to run them. 

We have experience moving drilling rigs and working in the wind energy, oil and gas, construction, and many other industries. 

We also service businesses and job sites in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana! To learn more about how to utilize our services, call today to get a quote!