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Preferred lever chain fall?

Cole2534

Diamond
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
I don't have one of these, and don't really need one but something in the 2k range seems great for a little muscle.

Which brands are the go-to?
 

bloomautomatic

Cast Iron
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Location
Pennsylvania
We use the harrington LB series in our plant. It's welding, heavy steel fab, shipyard operations. We probably have about 50 of them from 1.5t up to 6t. The guys beat the shit out of them and they hold up very well. Thrown around, pulled through voids, dropped etc. They need repairs from time to time, but its no shame based off how they are abused.

They can easily pull 1.5x their rating if you're not careful. I can put them on the pull tester and hit 100% of load with 2 fingers on the lever.

If something does break on them, they are repairable and all parts are available.
 

Phil in Montana

Stainless
Joined
Jul 31, 2007
Location
Missoula Mt
I like chain falls (hoists), fast and easy...try to buy used made in usa like yale,cm ect, but the harbor freight stuff is under 100 bucks and works too. A new usa made is 500.00 so what ever you can afford...Phil
 

dana gear

Hot Rolled
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Location
Northern califorina, usa
We use a couple of very old Yales, and a few Dayton electric chain falls around here. That said,
A couple years back we added swing arm Jibs above the large horizontal mills to install or remove the vertical heads. I shopped around for prices with the usual American chain fall manufactures, the trolleys and chain falls rated for 1/2 ton were going to be around 500.00
I bit the bullet and went chinsesss, Harbor freight ,1/2-ton Trolly and chain fall 150.00 each out the door.
They been in use for about 2 years now, we have 6 and they all work great.
 

matt_isserstedt

Diamond
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Location
suburbs of Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Finest imo is the Coffing LSB series with the rapid traverse function on the slack chain. 3/4 ton does so many jobs, its very low headroom overall. 1-1/2 is good for more muscle and 3t is available although very slow.
 

texasgeartrain

Titanium
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Location
Houston, TX
When I see levered chain fall, I'm thinking chain come-a-long. Not my favorite for rigging. They are extremely slow to pull whatever it is you're lifting or pulling and heavier to carry around for their respective pull weight class. Their best use is for pulling horizontally, as this best suits a lever.

What I think of as chain fall, is a chain hoist. No lever, but an endless pull chain. Best use is hanging above for pulling vertical. Much faster at pulling and moving things and lighter for weight class. These I like Dayton brand, but I have two 1 tons from harbor freight that have surprisingly worked well, and are Dayton style.

Only a 1/4 ton fall, but this is super light, and super handy. Though pricey:
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
I gots lots of these Yale,Fuji ,etc ...all; good brands .....Never bought one new ,you get them by the ton at big construction company wind up auctions.......I could (once) break and reinstall the track on a D9H with some of these,entirely singlehanded....as well as pulling down crane booms for transport.....you cant have enough of them ,if you do anything structural or maintenance.
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
I prefer the kind that use a motorcycle type chain. I have not seen a cheap puller that bothered to use any but simple loop chain. You can even push the chain out a foot or so horizontally when needed.
Bill D
 

matt_isserstedt

Diamond
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Location
suburbs of Ann Arbor, MI, USA
If a person does enough projects eventually need them all...

lever chain hoist is precise and all-direction but slow...chainfall useless except if straight up vertical...eventually get tired of the endless hand-chain beating up the paint and precision surfaces of the device you're lifting...enter the electric chain hoist..but that needs AC multiphase power that's not just everywhere...if you can only have 1 tool you need the lever chain hoist as it can do it all. If you need a more specialized time-saving solution they are also readily available.

imo roller chain is for the birds - its plenty strong and sprockets already exist...but you spend more time trying to keep the murderous kinks and jams out of the slack chain than using the actual hoist...
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
I have a few dozen ratcheting hoists and chainfalls from 1/2 ton through 10 ton. Very rarely do I ever use any of the 3 ton+ ones. Almost all of the heavier ones have come home with me because they were in auction lots I bought. I did buy the 10 ton intentionally "just because", but have never used it.

I don't like ratcheting hoists much. They are stupid slow and awkward to use.

I use chainfalls horizontally more often than I use them vertically.

My go-to chainfall is a compact 1/2 ton JET branded hoist. I have had it over 20 years, bought it new and probably pulled miles of shit with that thing. I just used it this morning to skid one end of a 7500 lb lathe across the floor 2" so it was square in my shop before I started leveling it.

My other secret weapon is a 120V plug in 3000 lb winch in a canvas go bag filled with shackles, straps and snatch blocks. That little POS has drug many, many 10K lb machines across the floor.
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
Ya but.....a lever type with loop link type chain,my pick ......the old Yale type with roller (motorcycle) chain work good ,but the chain kinks up all the time ,and can pivot round and crush fingers ....real PITA,compared to the link chain ones .......incidentally,you cant convert a Yale to the later chain ........which is why the old roller chain ones end up in the scrap.
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
Ya but.....a lever type with loop link type chain,my pick ......the old Yale type with roller (motorcycle) chain work good ,but the chain kinks up all the time ,and can pivot round and crush fingers ....real PITA,compared to the link chain ones .......incidentally,you cant convert a Yale to the later chain ........which is why the old roller chain ones end up in the scrap.
They have one big advantage which is a controlled ratchet action to pull the slack in or out before applying real force.
 

tailstock4

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Location
Oklahoma, USA
I worked in electric power plants for some years and around boiler makers and iron workers. I know their official name is lever hoist, but I don’t recall them ever being called that. Most of the time they are called come-alongs or are referred to just by their tonnage (e.g. ton-and-a-half, one ton, three-quarters, etc.). The really large multi-part or many chain purchases were often used in conjunction with draw works when a large pump would arrive at its destination and needed tweaked a bit to get bolt holes aligned.

For any real movement, we often used air tuggers. These could be lashed down about anywhere, and the line could be snatch-blocked into location. Tuggers have a big roll of cable and a hand brake.

When working on the structures, I remember using a lot of CM brand. Their aluminum housing made them lighter. They also used a longer handle which meant the gearing didn’t have to be so low for a given tonnage. Make sure the neutral or free-wheel works easily and one-handedly.

Come-alongs are mostly used for load positioning, rotating loads and moving them for final alignment. Chain falls were used for short vertical lifts when there was nothing better around.

If you are getting a used one, make sure the hook isn’t sprung open and that the chain is in good condition with no nicks. They can sometimes get crosswise in the guides and when underload and going down they can get pinched – especially on the multi-purchase ones.
 

cnctoolcat

Titanium
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Location
Abingdon, VA
I worked for CM Hoist in the 90's for seven years as a machining engineer, at their plant in Damascus, Virginia. They are the North American leader in chain hoists of all types, with most being made in the USA.
Their products are overbuilt (and the price reflects this!), but last for eons, take tons of abuse, and spare parts are always available.
It is interesting to note that CM invented the "inverted" electric chain hoist, which is used to suspend the light bars and speakers at concert events. The hoist is inverted so they only have to pull the load chain up to the rafters---the hoist remains adjacent to the load and crawls up the chain. Painted black to hide, it is still easy to recognize the CM Lodestar "oblong-bullet" shape hanging there in the sky, holding up tons of stuff over people's heads.
At a ZZ-Top concert one time, I bet they had 100 of those CM Lodestar inverted electric hoists holding everything up!
ToolCat
 
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john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
CM was always top stuff ,be it chain,fittings ,hooks ,etc ,or lever hoists....but so costly only big corps or the military could afford it....CM Hercalloy chain would pull down to half diameter before breaking ,and never snap like all the cheap Chinese stuff does nowdays.
 








 
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