Cranes Verses Hoists

construction hoistsA lot of discussion has gone on in the online world regarding using cranes versus hoists for construction purposes on high rise structures. There are many variables that an individual with authority has to consider with regards to vertical transportation of personnel and materials. For one thing, there are safety issues to consider, and naturally any kind of safety issue is likely to turn into a legal and insurance issue at some point. As well, an individual has to consider the monetary implications and the efficiency of lifting personnel and supplies with one type of device versus another.


There is a significant safety issue that makes the choice of cranes versus hoists a very simple one. Simply put, a cranes are not allowed to lift human beings at any time. For moving materials, there is an increased likelihood of injury resulting from the speed of acceleration and deceleration during the lift for workers on the ground or an upper landing. Moving materials with a hoist is much safer. Besides, cranes can’t lift and lower personnel like they can materials. In the choice of cranes versus hoists, the fact that there is a chance of the crane failing spontaneously means that people underneath the crane’s load can be accidentally hit with materials which increases the risk of serious injury or even death. While a crane will serve its purpose for the initial building of the structure’s frame, it’s much safer and faster to move materials (along with personnel) once the hoist can take care of 100% of the building’s vertical transportation needs. Obviously, the legal ramifications involved in cranes versus hoists can be extreme.

truck mounted cranesLegality and Insurance

The safety issues that are inherent in the debate of cranes versus hoists also involve the law and the monetary repercussions of a bad decision. When a person gets injured, it is natural that they are going to file suit. Even if an employee who agrees not to sue the company is injured, the best case scenario is that the employee is unable to perform his or her work for a time. However, if the public is involved in any way, the decision of cranes versus hoists quickly becomes one of law and insurance. Overall, the risks and inefficiencies when using a crane for high-rise construction work versus that of a personnel and materials hoist simply doesn’t make sense. poor business decision in terms of safety and labor costs. The choice of using a hoist versus a crane becomes a no-brainer once the crane has served its purpose for the initial stages of construction (including the erection of the hoist itself).

Overall Efficiency

A crane is a slow moving method of transportation. In the time it would take for a crane to properly lift the building’s materials and tools, a construction hoist will have done so far faster. A hoist can move materials (as well as personnel) at a dramatically higher speed as compared to tying to a crane’s cable or carrying up the staircase. To get a rough calculation of crane verses hoist savings, use Metro Elevator’s Lost Labor Calculator. Without demanding the attention of an expensive crane operator. With this in mind, the choice of cranes versus hoists becomes one of saving time or spending it irresponsibly. ground mounted tower craneSimply put, cranes are an expensive slow and expensive way to transport tools and materials (and they obviously can’t transport personnel like a hoist can). Leasing a hoist is a far safer, more cost effective and smarter option to take. You would be wise to request a quote from Metro Elevator today, and make the job better and more cost effective.

Leave a Comment (3) ↓


  1. William Allen August 14, 2023

    Back in my early construction days, I remember the constant debate between using cranes and hoists. After seeing a close colleague narrowly escape an accident with a crane, the safety of hoists became undeniably clear to me. Trust me, efficiency and safety go hand-in-hand when it comes to vertical transportation; hoists win every time.

  2. Click here June 14, 2023

    it is evident that both options have their distinct advantages and applications. While cranes provide greater mobility and versatility for larger-scale projects, hoists offer efficiency and cost-effectiveness for vertical lifting in confined spaces. Ultimately, the choice between cranes and hoists depends on the specific requirements of the project and the available resources, highlighting the importance of careful consideration and expert advice when making such decisions in the construction industry.

  3. Kunal Raval February 25, 2020

    Very informative article. I agree with you we can do lots of discussion Cranes vs Hoists but it’s endless. Both are efficient in their place. Thanks for the sharing article.


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