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dentally released. In fact, the only reason to tie it off is to get the rope off the floor and out of the way.
Mechanical Advantage. If 200 lbs. sounds like a lot of weight, Harken has built "mechanical advantages" into its lift systems. For example, the four-point system pictured on the opposite page has an 8:1 mechanical advantage. That's like lifting a grown man with the same effort you'd use to pick up a toddler.
Another example is the single-point Hoister pictured at the right. Its maximum weight capacity is 45 lbs., and it has a mechanical advantage of 2:1. Imagine lifting a 40-pound bag of dog food, and having it feel like it weighs only 20 lbs. Now, let's look at other available configurations for the Hoister.
Configurations. The Hoister comes in configurations with one, two, and four attachment points. All configurations use straps to lift the loads, but you can also build a simple, shop-built platform for the four-point system to store several smaller items together, like the one shown in the main photo on the opposite page. (The instructions for the platform are included in the package and are available online).
I've already mentioned the single-point system above. It's the
perfect setup for storing bicycles, wheelbarrows, or stepladders. The two-point Hoister has a maximum load of 60 lbs. and a 3:1 mechanical advantage. Ifs designed for such items as kayaks, extension ladders, and removable car seats.
The four-point Hoister comes in four weight categories, up to 200 lbs. — not enough to lift your riding lawn mower but plenty to store a number of bicycles for the winter. Another feature is that it will lift loads evenly, no matter how the weight is distributed.
Harken has Hoister models for ceiling heights up to 16'. The only real concern here is that the distance from the organizer pulley (inset photo at bottom of opposite page) to the wall must at least equal the lifting distance. That ensures there's enough rope to lift the load all the way to the ceiling. And if your garage ceiling is high enough, you can simply drive underneath the Hoister, wrap the straps around your canoe, lift it right off your car or pickup, and leave it hanging there until springtime.
Planning. If you're thinking the Hoister could solve some of your storage problems, there are a few planning questions to answer. First, you'll need to decide what you want to store and figure out
how much those items weigh. Second, take a look at the possible storage area. Will the Hoister fit where you want it to? And will your garage door still open?
Third, how high do you need to lift the items to get them out of the way? And the final thing to determine is how wide are the items you want to store? You don't want them hanging off the sides and falling.
All priced under $200, the several configurations of the Hoister can take advantage of storage space that would otherwise be wasted. It literally takes home storage to new heights.
Another popular hoist system for home storage is the ProStor HeavyLift. Taking a different approach, it uses cables and a winding axle as its lift system. The axle locks automatically and won't raise or lower without the winding axle actually being turned.
It comes with its own 4' x 4' lightweight steel platform and attaches to the ceiling with heavy-duty steel support beams. The cables are easy to adjust, and the eyebolts attaching the platform to the cables allow for additional leveling.
The HeavyLift takes less overall ceiling space than the Hoister, and installation was easy. However, the one drawback was that the hand crank became harder to turn and would unhook itself under heavier loads.
T Crank It Up. The HeavyLift comes with its own platform and uses heavy duty steel beams to support heavy loads.