While all vacuum lifters operate differently depending on design and model, most function using the same general sequence. The machine follows the following process to lift a load. The vacuum lifter is hoisted from a crane or other hook mechanism and the lifting mechanism is lowered toward the load until its chain is loose. The lifting mechanism is propelled by the hoist, creating a vacuum motion. The vacuum motion picks up the load. The lifting mechanism and load are then lowered until the chain is loose, releasing the vacuum. The lifting mechanism is raised independently and when the chain is again slack, the lifter is ready to pick up its next load.