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A hoist frame is a series of heavy I-beam iron that is used to not only support the hoist, but to allow the hoist to be used throughout a building. Suspended from an A-frame structure, a hoist frame provides the required supporting strength to allow the hoist to lift and carry very heavy loads for great distances through a manufacturing plant. The hoist frame is commonly aided by the placement of smaller beams that run from the midway point of the hoist's legs up to the bottom edge of the hoist's cross-frame. This provides strength, support and rigidity to the often wide-spanning beams that create the framework for the hoist. Wheels added to the bottom of the hoist's legs allow the hoist to be rolled throughout the shop.
The device is used for lifting heavy objects. Often these objects are not situated under a beam or structure that is able to support the weight of the object. In this situation, a hoist frame can be used to aid in the safe lifting of the object by placing the frame over the object and attaching a hoist to the frame's cross beam, and then to the object to be lifted. By using an A-frame-type of support at each end of the hoist frame, the lifting capacity of the frame is often limited only by the capacity of the hoist used.
An impromptu lightweight hoist frame can be constructed from wood, using small wooden beams for the legs and a wide plank for the cross beam. While not as strong as a steel hoist frame, the wooden version is often capable of lifting heavy materials into or out of a truck bed. Many frame designs call for the components to be bolted together instead of welded or nailed, which allows the frame to be easily disassembled and stored when not in use. In this scenario, the parts are usually numbered to allow for easy, time-saving reassembly.
Some large hoist frame designs call for the use of a roller hoist mount to allow the hoist to be moved from one side of the frame to the other. This type of design is an asset when unloading materials since it allows the hoist to be pulled to the side and lowered. This allows for placement of the load beside of the truck or trailer it was unloaded from. The typical hoist frame is very tall to allow the hoist to be raised high above a truck or trailer bed.