A ceiling hoist is a device used to lift objects off the ground, usually for temporary or permanent storage purposes. Depending on the size of the ceiling hoist, the device will be used for either light or heavy duty purposes, though most hoist models are fairly light duty. They are commonly used to lift and store bicycles or kayaks in garage spaces with high ceilings to maximize storage space and minimize clutter. The system consists of several components: pulleys mounted to the ceiling, a cable or rope, hooks or straps for grabbing the object, and an anchor for securing the rope.
A smaller version of a ceiling hoist is appropriate for lifting light objects such as a bicycle. Two hooks will be suspended from the rope, one to attach to the bike's seat and one to attach to the bike's handlebars. The rope will run through each hook as well as through two pulleys affixed to the ceiling by pulley frames. The frames are usually screwed into a beam for added security and to prevent the suspended object from falling unexpectedly. The user can pull on the end of the rope, thereby raising the object as the rope pulls through the ceiling hoist pulleys. Once the bike or object is suspended, the user can tie off the excess rope at an anchor point secured to a wall or other solid object.
Kayaks and other objects can be suspended in the same manner, but the user will need to take note of the weight capacity set forth by the manufacturer before attempting to lift exceptionally heavy objects. Many ceiling hoist models are light duty and use plastic or aluminum pulleys as well as fiber ropes that will not necessarily be able to lift some objects safely. If the user intends to suspend heavier objects, he or she will need a heavier duty ceiling hoist with steel pulleys and frames, and perhaps even a steel cable rather than a rope.
Electric ceiling hoists can be used to lift heavier objects, and they are sometimes used in medical settings to help lift incapacitated persons out of bed or out of a chair. They may also be used in industrial settings for lifting or moving exceptionally heavy items, though these ceiling hoist models are likely to be heavy duty; they may also be fitted with a trolley system that allows the hoist to move along a track to a different location.