What is a roof hoist?

A roof winch makes it easy to install shingles on a steep roof.

A roof winch is a device designed to lift heavy roofing materials from the ground onto the roof of a building safely and quickly. There are a few different types of roof winches; the two most common designs are the stair hoist and the swing beam hoist. The ladder model requires a metal ladder to operate. The swing beam model mounts directly to the roof of a building and uses a pulley system to lift materials up to the roof. Each model saves carpenters from having to carry tiles and other heavy materials by hand up the stairs.

Stair Roof Hoist is used much more often than other models. A standard aluminum ladder can be used with this system in most cases, as the hoist itself is mounted on the ladder posts. It is raised or lowered using a crank system or a motorized lifting system that uses cables to pull heavy loads. The size of the elevator, the power of the motor and the type of stairs being used will dictate how much weight can be lifted at any given time. Almost all manufacturers will list the weight capacity of the system clearly on the machine.

One of the biggest disadvantages of the stair roof lift system is its reliance on the stability of the stair. The carpenter will need to ensure the ladder is positioned correctly to avoid tipping or swaying, although sometimes factors other than the carpenter’s initial placement can affect the stability of the unit. If the ladder is unstable, the materials being lifted may also become unstable and fall, potentially causing damage to the materials or ground, or injuring anyone on the ground.

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A swing beam roof hoist is suitable for lifting heavier loads to greater heights. This system is generally used on larger buildings rather than residential homes, and this system is generally used on flat rather than peaked roofs, though not exclusively. An inherent problem with this project is the need to transport the components of this often large machine to a roof. This can be difficult and machine setup can take some time. Once installed, however, the swing beam roof hoist will be able to carry extremely heavy loads of materials and will generally be able to lift loads to a greater height.

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