A storage hoist is a pulley system that allows the user to lift objects off the ground and store them in the elevated position. These systems are often used in garages and sheds where storage space is at a premium; the storage hoist takes advantage of space that would otherwise be wasted in rafters, high up on walls, and over parked cars in garages. The specific size and function of the hoist can vary from model to model, but in general, the system will include a rope or cable run through one or more pulley wheels mounted on a ceiling or high on a wall.
The pulley wheels of the storage hoist will guide the rope, and they will also help distribute the load of the stored items. More pulleys in the system translates into more distributed load, which means the user will have a much easier time raising or lowering the heavy items to be stored. Hooks are usually mounted on the rope at various points; these hooks can be secured to the items that will be lifted, and pulleys attached to the hooks will ensure free movement of the storage hoist rope during elevation or lowering.
A solid beam or other solid structure will be necessary to make the system work, as the pulleys must be mounted to an object that can support the weight of the system and the items being lifted. A storage hoist will usually have two or more pulleys for mounting on a ceiling; other pulleys in the system may be run on the rope itself. Bicycle hoists are commonly used in garages; the hooks can be mounted to the seat and handlebars to lift the bike off the ground. Once the bike is in position, the storage hoist rope can be tied off to a solid object or an anchor unit that is mounted to a stud in a wall.
Canoes and kayaks are often stored using hoists, as are car top carrier boxes, large boxes of goods, and other bulky items. The types of items that can be lifted, as well as the amount of weight that can be safely secured, will vary according to the model of storage hoist. Some smaller systems will have a lower weight capacity, while a larger system with larger pulleys and heavier duty ropes can usually haul much heavier objects safely and securely. The pulleys of such systems are likely to be made of heavier duty materials such as steel or even aluminum in some cases.