Choosing the Right Air Hoist: A Comprehensive Guide

Air Hoist by Rigging Rental

Air hoists are essential tools used in various industries across Australia, from manufacturing and construction to mining and offshore operations. Choosing the right air hoist can significantly impact efficiency, safety, and productivity in any lifting application. From air hoist selection, to the lifting job, to service and support – ensure you choose the right air hoist equipment by following this comprehensive guide!

1.   Safety comes first

Although the steps involved in rigging are relatively straightforward when you have reliable rigging equipment, rigging a load is one of the most dangerous jobs on a construction site and mistakes can be hugely detrimental to the job and the wellbeing of the workers. Safety should always be the priority when performing your lifting job and the best place to start is with the quality of the air hoisting equipment.

While choosing reliable, durable and high quality air hoisting rigging equipment is essential, you will also need to make sure that staff are properly trained. Persons who perform rigging or operate hoisting equipment must have the relevant qualifications. To be a rigger, you need to have a rigging licence (can be obtained from a Certificate III in Rigging or a certificate of achievement from a Registered Training Organisation). Depending on the worker’s responsibilities additional training may be required.

2.   Understand your lifting requirements

Before diving into the world of air hoists, it’s crucial to assess your specific lifting requirements. Consider factors such as the weight of the loads to be lifted, the frequency of lifts, the height of lifts, and any special conditions or environmental factors that may affect the lifting process. This initial assessment will lay the foundation for making an informed decision on the appropriate air hoist for your application.

Air hoists are designed for low maintenance and are sealed to ensure no dirt, dust, heat or humidity will impair the equipment. Generally, air hoists can be used in any and all environments however, air hosts can be quite noisy to operate. If you’re operating your air hoist in an area that requires minimal noise pollution then it’s important to consider the sound that the air hoist will produce. If noise is an issue then consider choosing an electric hoist instead.

3.   Capacity and lifting speed

The lifting capacity of the air hoist is a critical factor to ensure safe and efficient operations. This is considered the most important step in your rigging operation. Different models of air hoists have varying weight capacities, so it’s essential to match the hoist’s capacity to the maximum load you anticipate lifting. Additionally, consider the lifting speed required for your tasks, as this can impact the overall productivity of your operations.

Load-indicating devices are required when the binding or friction of the load could result in a greater stress in the hoist or tackle than would result from the apparent hook load. These devices provide real-time weight information, ensuring compliance with safety standards and preventing overloading, which can lead to accidents and equipment damage.

4.   Air hoists VS. electric hoists

During your decision making stage you’ll need to choose between air or electric hoists for your rigging job. Although both hoists will provide the same level of care and support, they have different benefits that could benefit your job more so than the other.

Air hoists are a great choice for environments where electricity is limited or unavailable for example if you’re offshore or in a disconnected area. Air hoists are powered by compressed air, making them suitable for hazardous locations where the risk of sparks is a concern. Air hoists are typically lightweight, portable, and require minimal maintenance. They offer precise control and can be operated continuously without overheating. However, one of the major drawbacks of air hoists is their dependency on a reliable air supply, which may not be feasible in all locations. Additionally, they can be noisier and have higher initial costs compared to electric hoists.

On the other hand, electric hoists are widely available and can be powered using a standard electrical outlet. They offer consistent and smooth lifting capabilities, making them ideal for repetitive lifting tasks. Electric hoists are generally more cost-effective than air hoists, especially in regions with readily available electricity. However, they may not be suitable for use in certain hazardous environments due to the risk of electrical sparks. Electric hoists also require regular maintenance and may have limitations on continuous operation, as they can overheat with extended use.

If the job site has a reliable air supply and is in a hazardous environment where sparks are a concern, an air hoist might be the safer option. However, if electricity is readily available and the lifting requirements are more repetitive in nature, an electric hoist could be the more practical choice. Conducting a thorough assessment of the job site’s conditions and lifting demands will help make an informed decision to ensure safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

5.   Compliance with Australian Standards

Safety is paramount when choosing an air hoist. Ensure that the hoist meets the necessary safety standards and regulations set by the Australian government and industry authorities. Look for hoists that comply with the Australian Standard AS 1418.2, which specifically covers the design, construction, and testing of air hoists for lifting purposes.

6.   Duty cycle and reliability

Consider the duty cycle of the air hoist, which refers to the percentage of time it can be used before requiring a cooldown period. For heavy-duty applications, choose hoists with a high-duty cycle to ensure continuous and uninterrupted lifting. Additionally, opt for reputable brands known for their reliability and durability to minimise downtime and maintenance costs.

7.   Air Supply and Environment

Evaluate the available air supply at your workplace. Ensure that the air hoist you choose matches the air pressure and volume available in your facility. Take into account any potential variations in air pressure due to environmental conditions. For operations in harsh environments, consider hoists designed to withstand dust, moisture, and other challenging conditions.

Recent jobs completed:

  • Aircraft construction
  • Assembly lines
  • Chemical industry
  • Dairies
  • Electroplating
  • Explosives and pyrotechnics industry
  • Food industry
  • Foundries
  • Furniture industry
  • Glass industry
  • Lacquer and varnish factories
  • Match industry
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Motor-car industry
  • Oil storage stations
  • On- and offshore
  • Paint shops
  • Paper industry
  • Power plants
  • Refineries
  • Sawmills
  • Shipyards
  • Space technique
  • Tempering plants
  • Textile industry

8.   Control options

Air hoists come with various control options, ranging from basic pendant controls to more advanced radio remote controls. Choose the control option that provides ease of use and enhances operator safety and ergonomics. For certain applications, wireless remote controls can offer increased flexibility and manoeuvrability.

9.   Service and Support

Select a supplier or manufacturer that offers reliable after-sales service and support. Regular maintenance and timely repairs are crucial for keeping your air hoist in optimal condition, ensuring its longevity and safe operation.

When you choose Rigging Rentals, we’ll ensure you receive the best hoisting equipment for your job. Speak with our experienced and knowledgeable team and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Choose Perth’s Rigging Rentals

Choosing the right air hoist is a critical decision that can significantly impact your lifting operations’ safety and efficiency. By understanding your specific lifting requirements, considering factors such as capacity, compliance with standards, duty cycle, air supply, and control options, you can make an informed choice that best suits your workplace and the job at hand.

Remember to prioritise safety and quality, and please don’t hesitate to seek assistance from our industry experts at Rigging Rentals when making your selection. Investing in the right air hoist will lead to increased productivity, reduced downtime, and a safer work environment for your team.


The content provided on this blog is intended for informational purposes only. While we strive for accuracy, we cannot guarantee that the information presented here is completely accurate or up-to-date. The information should not be considered as professional or expert advice for rigging, lifting, or any related activities. Users should not rely solely on the information provided in this blog and should consult with qualified professionals and/or manufacturers before making any decisions or taking any actions related to rigging and lifting equipment or practices. Rigging Rentals is not responsible for any loss, injury, or damage that may occur as a result of applying the information provided on this blog.