Scene 9: Hoist Manufacturers

Scene 9: Hoist Companies


To get a better grasp of how to best acquire a hoist that will meet the necessary applications for Blue Sky Recycling, our team decided to visit various hoist manufacturers to view the facilities, products, and discuss costs as well as methods of installation.

Cast of Characters: Neville, Tina, Markus, David, Steve, Kelsey

Kelsey and Steve spent the day touring various hoist facilities all over Cape Town with the aid of Neville. The representatives for the three companies include Tina, Markus, and David, working for Toco Lifting, Konecranes, and Anchor Industries respectively.


Toco Lifting, Konecranes, and Anchor Industries are three local hoist manufacturing companies that our group decided to further investigate in order to determine who would best meet Blue Sky’s hoist needs. Our goal was to see both costs and different options that are available to Blue Sky. From there, we will determine which option will be best to pursue in the coming weeks to most effectively increase the productivity of Blue Sky’s pickup system.


Neville drove Kelsey and Steve to three local hoist suppliers scattered throughout Cape Town. Their remote locations and minimal directions resulted in a troublesome time locating these companies. The day involved much driving around and getting lost frequently since most people on the streets were unaware of the companies that we were asking about. The first facility that we arrived at was tucked away in the back corner of a large industrial district, making it problematic to find. Upon arrival, we saw that this first company was much smaller than we had previously expected, for it was located in a cramped unit of a warehouse. Once inside, we could see that the company did not have the proper facilities to complete the installations we hoped would be possible. Venturing to the next factory, things looked much more promising. Markus was our contact at Konecranes and we were able to tour the facility in order to better understand   the hoist options. The facility was much larger than Toco Lifting and appeared better equipped to accommodate Blue Sky’s needs. There was a back warehouse with trucks, an array of shelves, and a man working on hoist repairs. We could see that this company had the capabilities to provide us with the necessary hoist parts and the installation practices for our project. Lastly, Neville dropped us off at Anchor Industries which we found to be the largest building of the three. Here, we found a batch of employees all ticking away on computers as we heard heisters buzzing around outside. David welcomed us with open arms into his office where he was more than happy to help our group plan out what we wanted. He questioned what exactly our project ideas were and we showed him the drawings we had come up with. David worked with us to understand the distinctive hoist options that may be most efficient for what we are looking to do. We were led into a large stock room where we were able to view some of the hoist products that would be most feasible for the project. On our way out, David showed us the part of the factory where products are actually manufactured as we saw a large tow rope for a ship being constructed. The day was filled with touring factory buildings and determining which of these facilities was most capable of accommodating Blue Sky’s needs.


Our group hoped to answer any lingering questions regarding the implementation of a mechanical hoist for Blue Sky in regards to cost, implications, an impact on the company including:

  • How should the hoist be mounted both on the truck and in the yard?
  • How much will the hoist cost including equipment and installation estimates?
  • What equipment is necessary for the given needs of Blue Sky?
  • Will the company be flexible in helping to customize installation options for Blue Sky’s trucks?
  • What additional safety precautions should be taken for installation?

Action and Observation:

Today was an eventful day as Kelsey and Steve drove around to various hoist companies to discuss options for Blue Sky’s hoist implementation. Toco Lifting was the first company that was visited and Tina, the representative that we met with, was very helpful. She reassured that she could supply us with a two ton hoist for the truck but that was the extent of what she could do. Although Toco Lifting does not do any installation work, she was more than happy to call a few of her customers that she thought may be of service to our group. We discovered that Toco Lifting is simply a hoist supplier and does not actually do any installation which is very important for the customized needs of Blue Sky’s hoist. After discussing the needs of Blue Sky, Tina phoned several of her customers and local contacts that she thought would best be able to aid in the installation of a hoist. Tina said that perhaps one of them would be able to put us in contact with someone who could install the hoist on the truck. After hearing from Tina that the reliability of these contacts are not always fully reputable, we were hesitant to reach out to ask for aid. When we are dealing with machinery that could potentially endanger someone if operation failure occurred, it was not reassuring to hear that Tina was not convinced of  their competency. We obtained the necessary information from Toco Lifting but upon further discussion between our team, we will probably not be pursuing business with them.

Next we arrived at Konecranes, where Markus brought us to his office to fully explain the specifications and requirements needed for our project. He walked us dowstairs soon after to show us their warehouse, sketch out a quick diagram of the truck, and let us see some hosit attachments. The hoist setup we would be considering for the truck would be called a jib and we wanted a simplified, mechanical version. Markus was very descriptive in showing us pictures and figures that were as accurate as possible given the known information regarding Blue Sky’s processes. He asked for additional measurements specific to the truck that the hoist will be mounted on. This was more difficult to answer for the truck that will be used depends on whether or not Blue Sky is able to purchase a new one. For this reason, we used standard estimates for measurements and gained a rough understanding of what Blue Sky will be looking at in terms of production and costs. He drew out a few diagrams for us on the whiteboard in his office to illustrate his idea. After seeing the facility and discussing options with Markus, our team has a better awareness of the requirements and expenses for this project.

Lastly, the trip to Anchor Industries wrapped up our day optimistically. This seemed to be the best company to consult for our direct needs. David explained to our group that their engineering department would be willing to work with any designs that we proposed for manufacturing and production. Each company would be able to provide us with the hoist component, but the installation is a vital aspect in order for the truck to have a utilizable hoist. It is unlikely that there will be a standard base already set up for the trucks that Blue Sky has, so personable customization will be necessary in order to make sure the hoist and the boom are securely fastened. Since this project requires a great deal of customization in terms of installation, this aspect of being able to work directly with the engineering department at Anchor Industries is an attractive option. When we were shown the back store room, David wrestled two cardboard boxes from the shelves, ripping the tape from them to show us the chain crank hoist and a ratchet or lever crank. He let us examine them and weigh them by feel, explaining to us that a manual hoist would need less maintenance than an electric one. After seeing the inventory that Anchor Industries has to offer as well as their large manufacturing facilities, it became obvious that their facility will be compatible with our project and could be most beneficial to the production of a customized hoist for installation at Blue Sky.

Reflection and Learning:

In order to best facilitate Blue Sky’s productivity in their pickup processes, the implementation of a mechanical hoist is the number one priority. Discussing the variety of options with each of these local hoist manufacturers plays a vital role in acquiring a better understanding of how to most effectively achieve this. We learned that a jib hoist would be the best option for the truck-mounted hoist while a permanent trolley system would be the most ideal hoist setup for the yard. Not only did these trips allow for the group to understand the best methods for implementation of the hoist, it also enabled us to gather information about how the customized installation process would be possible to tailor to Blue Sky’s needs. It was interesting to see that many local hoist companies do not participate in the installation process of their hoists; they solely provide the equipment. It was intriguing to see the facilities that these companies work out of, for it gave us a better appreciation of their capabilities while allowing us to understand the processes involved in manufacturing these hoists. Seeing these facilities and discussing options with these representatives proved essential in guiding our group into the next logistical phase of implementing a hoist.

Notes for Future Scenes:

Now that our group has more knowledge of hoist installation and exact specifications, we have a better sense of our goals for the next week to keep pushing the hoist in the right direction. Production will not be quick due to customization, so it is important to finish preliminary design work quickly to ensure a final product is reached before leaving Blue Sky in late December. The representatives that our group met with today have provided us with this stepping stone to the next phase of hoist implementation. We are excited to see this process of construction and installation commence in the near future.