Cable hoists are more suitable for unloading at sites with limited overhead clearance, inside or out. With a cable system you can set containers at a much lower “dump and pick angle”, adjusting the angle of the hoist/rail to maintain clearance. In essence, a cable hoist is more suitable for placing containers in an enclosed structure (building) or below overhead obstructions because of lower angle unload capabilities. Conversely, because hook-lifts load and unload on the same geometric plane, the box would need to be placed almost completely on the ground and then backed or pushed into position. Making “raw” contact with a box is not recommended due to the potential of damaging the sidewalls of the container.
Hook-lift hoists provide more accuracy in dropping containers in an exact position. In addition, a hook-lift set-up is more suitable when maneuvering into and out of tight spaces. A cable system invariably needs a bit more horizontal open space to drop and load a container.
With hook-lift hoists comes added convenience and efficiency for the roll-off truck operator. Having a hook system does not necessarily require the driver to leave the cab of the truck to drop or pick up the container. Whereas with the cable hoist, the driver must physically latch the cable onto the front hook of the box. Although leaving the cab of the truck can be perceived as an inconvenience, as an added safety precaution experienced and credible drivers will leave the cab to visually inspect the container and its contents for potential issues before loading anyway.