5 Examples Of Compound Pulley

A combination of simple and movable pulley is simply a compound pulley. Let us see compound pulley examples in our surroundings as follow:


When you want to alter the direction of a control line (rope), or when you want to modify the mechanical force of the line and movement necessary to move a connected item, a pulley is the tool you want to employ.

Compound Pulley Examples

Image Credits: Mindbuilder, Polispasto2B, CC BY-SA 3.0

When working on big sailboats, compound pulleys are more commonly utilised in association with other ropes and pulleys. They are employed in a variety of situations when it is necessary to alter the direction of a tug on a rope as well as to provide mechanical advantage.

A foresail (the rope used to lift the sail) will pass through a block at the top of the mast while hoisting a sail, allowing you to pull down on the rope while standing on deck, and the sail will be hoisted.

Image Credits: https://www.maxpixel.net/Boat-Pulleys-Sailboat-Rope-1741006


Using a system of pulleys can be somewhat more difficult, but it can give a significant mechanical benefit by significantly lowering the amount of force used to move an object. It is possible to reduce the amount of force necessary to elevate an object attached to a moveable pulley in half by using only one movable pulley. But it shifts the essential force’s direction.

An elevator is a contemporary engineering device that utilises a pulley system to accomplish a function similar to that of elevating a huge stone for pyramid construction.

An elevator without pulleys would require a large motor to straighten the rope. Rather than relying on a powerful motor, some elevators rely on a heavy weight that utilises gravity to assist in raising the elevator car.

Image Credits: Harrihealey02, Traction lift design, CC BY-SA 3.0

Construction sites:

It is typical on construction sites, where cranes are frequently used to lift large steel and concrete structures. A combination of pulleys (also known as compound pulleys) or ropes may have more than two pulleys or ropes in order to get the desired result. The more pulleys connected to the system, the easier it is to lift the weight.

A compound pulley may consist of more than two pulleys or ropes, depending on the application. The greater the number of pulleys used, the longer it may take to raise an object, but the weight will be considerably easier to lift as a result of the increased number of pulleys.

With the help of the compound pulley, it will be much simpler to lift the load, though it may take a little longer to do so. 

Image Credits: “Pea Island Bridge Construction” (CC BY 2.0) by NCDOTcommunications

Garage doors:

One of the common compound pulley examples which we observe in our surroundings is the garage door. Four pulleys are located on the garage door: one on each side at the top corner where the vertical and horizontal tracks connect, and one at the end of each spring.

These pulleys are equipped with ball bearings, which allow them to move smoothly and silently as the door is raised and lowered.

Compound Pulley Examples

Image Credits: Gregory David Harington, Crown gears on roller-door at Ngcobo, CC BY-SA 2.5


Pulling down on a pulley rather than pulling up on a rope to lift a heavy object saves time and energy since the rope is not lifted. As an illustration, consider another compound pulley example of flagpole.

A flagpole is raised into the air when its rope is pulled down, and the flag is sent flying up into the air. This is due to the fact that a flagpole is equipped with a compound pulley.

Image Credits: Noah Wulf, American Flag on Home Flag Pole 2, CC BY-SA 4.0

Gym equipments:

Gym equipment like machines with pulley, lat pulling down and many other chest exercise equipment are the most common compound pulley examples . The more pulleys attached to the load, the easier it is to raise. A lot less work is required because of the way it is designed.

Compound Pulley Examples

Image Credits: Image by 20135625 from Pixabay 

So these all are the common and easily available compound pulley examples in our surroundings.


Q. What do you mean by pulley?

Ans: Pulleys are simply called the ‘simple machines’.

A pulley is nothing but simply a collection of one or more wheels around which a rope is wrapped.

These are referred to as “simple machines” by scientists since they enable people to double the forces required to carry a heavy object. Utilizing a pulley significantly increases the force generated by your physical efforts.

Q. What are the different types of pulley?

Ans: There are 3 different types of pulley.

  • Fixed
  • Movable
  • Compound

Fixed: In a fixed pulley, the axle is supported by bearings. A stationary pulley reverses the force on a rope or belt moving around it. Accompanying a fixed pulley with a moveable pulley or a variable diameter fixed pulley provides mechanical benefit.

Movable: A moveable pulley is a pulley with an axle that is contained within a movable block. Two segments of the same rope are used to support a single moving pulley, giving it a mechanical advantage of two over the other.

Compound: Compound pulleys, commonly known as block and tackle pulleys, are used to create a block and tackle system. Multiple pulleys can be installed on the fixed and movable axles of a block and tackle, significantly improving the mechanical advantage. The compound pulley examples are sailboats, elevator, flagpole etc.

Q. What are the different advantages of using a pulley?

Ans: There are many advantages we get by using a pulley system.

  • It is one of the simplest alternatives for heavy lifting and installation. The amount of force required to move (lift) a heavy object decreases considerably.
  • It offers excellent structural support for the thing.
  • Force may be exerted in any direction at any point in time. It contributes to the shift in the direction of a force or movement.
  • The pulley mechanism does not store energy during operation.

Q. Is there any disadvantage of using a pulley?

Ans: There are some disadvantages of using the pulley.

  • The pulley operates by friction. It may slide, resulting in energy loss in the form of heat.
  • The weight travels a greater distance when employing a combination pulley system (increase lifting distance). It takes longer to achieve a desired position with a pulley than it was before.
  • The constant stress on the driving parts creates the stretches. It may cause rope creep and finally break.

Prajakta Gharat

I am Prajakta Gharat. I have completed Post Graduation in physics in 2020. Currently I am working as a Subject Matter Expert in Physics for Lambdageeks. I try to explain Physics subject easily understandable in simple way.

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