A hook lift has the potential to be the backbone component of your company, providing a wide range of both solutions and options for transporting containers.

The flexibility offered by a hook lift can reduce the number of vehicles you need in your fleet, while giving businesses speed and convenience. However, the right hook lift system design for your applications will depend on a variety of factors, including your industry, the service you provide and your budget.

In today’s post, we’re talking all things hook lift systems. We’ll compare the kinds of systems on the market and weigh up their pros and cons. We’ll also discuss some of the key factors you need to consider when choosing the right system for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Hook lift systems provide a heavy-duty utility solution for a variety of industries.
  • The perfect hook lift system for you will depend on your industry and the projects you undertake.
  • Some of the variations found in hook lift systems include size, weight capacity and jib articulation.

Outline of truck hook lift

Considerations for choosing a hook lift system

A hook lift truck isn’t something most people buy for a laugh; it’s a piece of equipment you envision using for specific purposes. Knowing what you want to achieve with your hook lift truck is the key to determining the best system for you. To get you started, here are some of the key factors you should have in mind when purchasing your system.

Weight capacity of the system

The last thing you want to do is invest in a hook lift truck that can’t handle the loads your business revolves around. Think about your business, whether it’s rubbish removal, construction or something in between, and the type of loads you’re likely to carry. Along with everyday work, are there any once in a while jobs you take on that may require a higher weight capacity? It’s also worth considering whether it is worth buying a system that is a little too powerful for your current needs, as this could expand your business opportunities in the future.

Size and type of the truck

Your truck needs to be able to handle any container or body you’re likely to come across. Hook lift trucks come in a range of different sizes and lengths, so consider each requirement you need your new truck to meet. Smaller trucks will have the advantage of being more versatile in tight spots and for awkward pickups, while larger trucks can carry more. Heights of different models will be important to contractors who will be working in locations with a roof or overhead limits.

The type of material to be transported

Does the type of material you need to carry remain consistent or do you have a wide variety of materials you need to carry? For example, if a truck is used exclusively for transporting gravel it will have a different system than one used for general waste pickups, where every day brings something different. The types of demountable bodies you’ll be carrying is also something to consider, including whether you’ll be using the same type of container for every job, or whether you’ll be changing frequently.

Frequency of use

Will your hook lift be the backbone of your business or something you’ll use only when a job calls for it? How often you use your vehicle will determine things like maintenance, fuel and operating costs. A more expensive vehicle to run may be worth it if you have plenty of work, your business depends on it and the system will remain reliable and provide longevity. Certain features can help make your pickups and drop-offs more efficient, which could make a huge difference to anyone performing several tasks a day.

Ease of operation and maintenance

When it comes to how your truck operates, you want to find that balance between ease of operation and handling while still being able to achieve everything you need. Customers should also ask about maintenance requirements, including upkeep, how readily available replacement parts can be found, and warranty details.


It’s the bane of every business owner’s existence: figuring out how much money to spend in order to make money. The versatility of a hook lift truck means you may be able to buy one truck instead of several, saving money on both buying and maintaining multiple vehicles. However, there’s no point in overspending on the most powerful system if you only carry lighter loads.

Additional features to consider

To get the best efficiency and service from your system, you’ll need to consider a series of factors.

Dump angle

The dump angle is the degrees your hook lift system will tilt when unloading materials. Ideally, for dirt or similar materials, you’ll want at least a dump angle of 45 degrees. The perfect angle for your hook lift system will depend on the projects you’re undertaking, the body you are carrying and the size of your truck.

Roll-off capability

Roll-off is a general term for any truck that has the capacity for loading, unloading and transporting detachable containers. Hook lifts can have a slide or tilt capacity, or a mixture of the two for a more versatile vehicle. Consider how often you’ll be changing containers and the variety of the kinds of loads you’ll be carrying. Talk to your dealer about why you’re buying a hook lift and the types of job your company takes on, and they’ll be able to help you make the best choice for your needs.

Safety features

When it comes to moving heavy bodies and using heavy machinery, safety can never be taken too lightly. Features like safety locks, stabilisers and latches will help keep your load stable and locked to your vehicle. You’ll want to see if there are any functional alarm systems and other safety features to ensure your driver and others remain safe. These features only need to work once for them to be worth the price.

Customisation options

Can’t quite find the right model of hook lift for you? If that’s the case, you’ll be thrilled to read that hook lifts are highly customisable. Each industry has its own unique needs, and there are many different aspects of a hook lift that can be customised, including slide and tilt, power, reach and other capabilities.

Talk to West Trans to find your next hook lift

Whether you’re in demolition, transportation or waste management, we’ll find the best hook lift system for you. West Trans are Australian-based experts in the field of heavy duty vehicles. Get in contact with our friendly team today to find out more.