Ask Cavers: What Hoist Do You Recommend?

July 1, 2015

Looking for a portable yet capable hoist for entering deep sinkholes and caves, Speleological Exploration Club Secretary Dave Ingold wrote in to ask for recommendations.

Here in South Africa we have many deep sinkholes and caves with vertical entrances. Previously we used a Tyrolean rig and standard prussic technique to exit the caves. To save time exiting, particularly with a big group, one of our members built a capstan to fit the axle on his 4wd vehicle and this has proven to be very fast and very effective.

However, we’d now like to buy a 12 volt or 220 volt man-hoist capable of lifting <200kg for 100 metres and doing a repetitive cycle of up to 20 lifts. Nothing like this seems to be available in South Africa so can anyone tell us of a supplier world-wide, please? The hoist must be rated for human safety. I envisage a device that would be anchored to a vehicle near the pitch and that is reasonably portable.

Can you help him out? Let us know in the comments below.

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