Types of Load Binders & Choosing the Best for the Job!

Types of Load Binders & Choosing the Best for the Job!

There are two general types of load binders – ratchet binders and lever binders, defined by their method of tightening. Though the majority of commonly used load binders will fall in one of these two categories, they are available in a range of styles, load ratings, and sizes to match the different types of chain used within the transportation industry.

If you’re a part of the transportation industry you’re likely pretty familiar with load binders, also known as chain binders. Load binders are an essential piece of equipment used to anchor loads for transport by applying tension to the chains that tie-down your cargo. Of all tie-down methods, chain and load binders have the most muscle to handle the toughest tie-down jobs – made for big & heavy loads.

A Closer Look at the Different Types of Load Binders 

Lever types and ratchet type load binders work similarly and usually are chosen based on the personal preference of the user. As with any type of load securement gear, safe practices need to be followed. Let’s take a closer look at these two categories of load binders with some pros and cons so that you can confidently make the choice of which type of load binder will work best for you.

Lever Type of Load Binders

A lever type of load binder (also known as lever chain or snap binders) is made up of a simple machine, a lever, with a tension hook on each end. The lever is used to increase the force applied to a tie-down. The lever is hinged and takes up the slack by pulling on one end of the tension hook and will lock itself after a 180-degree rotation of the lever around the hinge. They require a relatively high manual force to be applied by the person installing the binder in order for it to tighten and secure the chain. While they take more manual force, they are typically quicker and simpler to install because of their straight forward design and application with less moving parts.

Lever load binder chart

Lever Load Binders Pros and Cons 


  • Quicker and simpler to operate
  • More compact
  • Generally less expensive


  • Requires more manual strength
  • The threat of “kickback” from the lever if proper care is not taken
  • More likely to break in the handle where kinetic energy is held

Ratchet Type of Load Binders 

A ratchet type of load binder (also known as ratchet chain) uses two types of simple machines and has two tension hooks on each end and handle. The handle again serves as a lever plus there is the screw thread. Having both simple machines can multiply the force manually applied to the tie-down assembly.

When using a ratchet binder, the lever and screw work together and increase the force manually applied to the tie-down assembly. The result is that it takes much less pulling force on the handle to apply tension than you would need with a lever binder. Ratchets also allow for slower, steadier loading and unloading of forces. This reduces any undue stress or strain on your body. Since ratchet binders are designed with a gear, handle, pawl, and end fittings, they will not store up as much energy in the handle as a lever binder will. Another advantage of ratchet binders is that take-up is safer. The take-up distance of a ratchet binder is typically eight to ten inches – twice that of a lever binder. While take-up with a ratchet binder may take a few extra minutes, it is more controlled and ultimately a safer process.

ratchet load binder chart

Ratchet Load Binders Pros and Cons 


  • Less manual force to operate
  • Safer to operate – Not as much energy is stored in the handle, therefore will not “kickback”.
  • Higher mechanical advantage
  • Easier to adjust in finer increments


  • Generally more expensive
  • Less compact
  • Harder to operate
  • Takes more time to set up

Selecting the Proper Load Binder 

Once you’ve made the choice on what type of load binder you prefer, it’s time to ensure you’re using the correct load binder within that category. Making this choice has less to do with the load binder itself and more to do with the type of chain you are using alongside it, and the weight of your cargo. Chains and load binders work together as a team, so you have to make sure they are compatible with each other.

Capacity is the most important considerations when you’re choosing your chain and load binder team. The load being tied down must not exceed the combined WLL (working load limit) of all the chains being used. For example, if your cargo weighs 4,000 lbs and you will use 4 chains, each chain must have a WLL of at least 1,000 lbs. Four chains of 1,000 lbs WLL each will equal 4,000 lbs total, enough capacity to secure a 4,000 lb load. Each binder must also have a WLL of at least 1,000 lbs. A good rule to follow is to always use binders that have an equal or greater capacity than the chains they will tighten.

Always follow safe work practices and take precautions in the use of binders. Particular attention is called to section 2.1.3 of the Driver’s Handbook on Cargo Securement by the Canadian Council of Motor Transportation Administrators.

Tune back into our next blog, publishing on Wednesday, Dec 2nd, for the second part in our Load Binder series – How to use a Load Binder | Ask the Experts.

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including transportation, energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.


Ask the Experts | How to Store Ratchet Straps?

Ask the Experts | How to Store Ratchet Straps?

Any piece of equipment is only as good as you treat it, and how you choose to store your ratchet straps is a very important aspect of their upkeep. Are you reading this right now and realizing your ratchet straps are sitting in their semi-permanent home in the messy heap somewhere in your garage? Then this blog is for you!

In the transportation industry, you have to be able to trust your equipment and one of the most popular methods for securing cargo, especially when it comes to shipping, is using ratchet straps – also known as lasing straps or tie-downs. Ratchet straps are the hammer of the transporters toolbox – with applications ranging wide from professional use to everyday common use. You may not realize it, but these simple straps are a large and important component in material handling. Read on to learn how to get the most life out of your ratchet straps.

How to Store Ratchet Straps

The working life of your equipment is affected by more than just how you use it – storing it incorrectly is one of the leading causes of damage. Ratchet straps that are stored improperly will need to be retired must faster and you may face issues such as mold, mildew, color fading, burns, tears, or loose tie down webbing that may damage the strength of your ratchet straps.

There are three main things you want to avoid when storing ratchet straps:


Storing ratchet straps is a place where they are exposed to moisture can cause it to mold and mildew. Mold can extremely weaken the strength of the webbing and the polyester can actually be destroyed, even in heavy-duty straps. This is a problem many people run into when choosing to store their ratchet straps in the back of their truck. This is also something to be aware of when using the straps in the rain – always ensure they are able to dry before putting them away.

Direct Sunlight

Ratchet straps should always be stored in a dark, dry place away from direct sunlight. When exposed to harmful UV rays, they can get sun damaged – you’ll notice this by seeing the color of the strap fade.

Friction & Heat

Exposer to heat, such as the sun, fire, or other heat sources can cause weakening issues. This can also occur if the straps rub against a sharp edge or other objects while in use. If you notice any burn marks in your straps, they must immediately be placed out of service.

Ratchet Strap Storage Organization

Keeping your ratchet straps stored in an organized way is not only good for equipment upkeep but will also save you the headache of untangling your ratchet straps every time you need them. Here is the three-step guide on how to properly store and organize your ratchet straps.

Step One – Planning How to Store Your Ratchet Straps

The first and most important step is planning ahead. You need to have a location in mind that you plan to store your ratchet straps. This location needs to be in a dark and dry area away from the sun, as well as away from all sources of moisture. If you don’t have access to a place that fits these criteria we recommend using a ratchet strap duffle bag or a weatherproof bag for storage.

Step Two – Inspecting Your Ratchet Straps

Ratchet straps must be regularly inspected to ensure they are not damaged, and before and after storing them is a great time to do this. Even “minor” damage can drastically reduce the strap’s capacity and increase the chance of failure during use.

The entire ratchet strap assembly must be inspected before each use and removed from service if any of the following are detected:

  • If the identification tag is missing or illegible
  • Holes, tears, cuts, snags, or embedded materials
  • Broken or worn stitches in the load-bearing splices
  • Knots in any part of the webbing
  • Acid or alkali burns
  • Melting, charring, or weld splatters on any part of the webbing
  • Excessive abrasive wear or crushed webbing
  • Signs of ultraviolet (UV) light degradation
  • Distortion, excessive pitting, corrosion, or other damage to buckles or end fittings
  • Any conditions which cause doubt as to the strength of the ratchet strap

Step Three – Rolling Your Ratchet Straps

The best way to keep your ratchet straps stored in an organized way is by rolling them up. To do this, start out by threading the strap’s end through the space where the strap attaches to the buckle. Pull about five to fifteen inches of the strap through (depending on the length of the ratchet strap) and simply roll the strap tightly. Most ratchet strap users will use rubber bands or large socks to keep ratchet straps separated – find what works for you!

It’s as easy as that! If this technique of rolling your ratchet trap doesn’t work for you or the type of straps you use, feel free to change it up! Your ratchet strap roll doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to serve the purpose of keeping your straps contained, untangled, and stop them from rubbing up against themselves or each other and causing friction damage.

Want to learn how to choose the correct ratchet strap and use them properly? Click here to check out our blog, 5 Top Tips | Using Ratchet Straps Correctly & Safely.

Hercules SLR can design and manufacture heavy or light duty ratchet assemblies that are weather and wear-resistant and will secure your load properly and safely.

All our tie-down straps and ratchet assemblies are manufactured from the highest quality proof tested webbing hardware. They can be supplied with any one of several standard or custom made end fittings to ensure that your load is adequately and safely secured. Larger ratchet assemblies are available in standard or long-handled versions.

Hercules SLR is here for you and all your transportation requirements! Load Binders, ratchet straps, tie downs, tarps, chains, ropes, slings, hardware and more. We remain open, while respecting the emergency measures put in place by our provincial governments and health advice.

We have set up specific drop-off and pick-up points in-store and you can call us ahead of time to make sure everything is ready before your arrival. Your safety is our priority and when you need us, we are here for you. Call us: 1 800 461-4876 or visit us online here to find the nearest branch: https://buff.ly/2FFkXMu


Ask the Experts | Everything Synthetic Web Slings

Ask the Experts | Everything Synthetic Web Slings

If you’re a rigger or work in material handling, you likely encounter synthetic web slings (or webbing slings) often in your work. A synthetic web sling is fantastic to lift delicate or soft materials, since their soft surface offers more protection than abrasive materials, like wire rope.

Synthetic web slings come in two types — duplex and simplex. A duplex web sling is made with two synthetic fabric layers stitched together for extra reinforcement. A simplex webbing sling is made with only one synthetic fabric layer. “Just one layer? That won’t do anything,” you might be thinking—but how wrong you’d be! Even though a web sling may not have the same reputation for strength as say, steel, a web sling is surprisingly strong!

Web Slings in Action – Types of Web Sling Assemblies

  1. Single leg Web Sling – A single web sling has a master link, one webbing leg with a hook for lifting.
  2. Two leg Web Sling – A two-legged web sling has a master hook, two webbing legs, each with a hook on.
  3. Three leg Web Sling – A two-legged web sling has a master hook, three webbing legs, each with a hook on.
  4. Four leg Web Sling – A two-legged web sling has a master hook, four webbing legs, each with a hook on.

Extreme caution should be exercised in processes where lifts and slings are employed to move materials from one place to another. Operator training is essential and regular sling inspection should be conducted in order to avert accidents. Legislation has specific standards for lifting slings and prescribes various inspection criteria depending on the material used and the type of sling. Find out what is current in your area, be familiar with them and use them at all times.

Web Sling Certification to ASME B30.9-5

Generally speaking, any form of damage to a sling means that it should no longer be used. Regulations require that all slings should be permanently marked with their load capacity and employees may not exceed the load capacity of a sling. Lifting slings must be inspected before use on a daily basis.

Inspection Standards
  • Government Appointed
  • Standard ASME B30.9-5
  • 9-5.9.4 Periodic Inspections
  • Performed by Hercules Qualified Inspector. Certificate issued upon passed Inspection, may include Proof Testing. Periodic Inspection shall not exceed 1 year.
  • 9-5.9.3 Frequent Inspection
  • Performed by Employee each shift, before the sling is used
What kind of damage makes a synthetic web-sling unusable?
  • Increased stiffness of sling material.
  • Acid or caustic burns.
  • Melted, burned or weld spatter damage.
  • Holes, tears, cuts, snags.
  • Broken or worn stitching.
  • Excessive abrasive wear.
  • Knots in any part of the sling.
  • Crushed webbing or embedded particles.
  • Bleached sling color.
  • Defective fittings (twisted, corroded, cracked, etc.)
  • Exposure to extreme temperatures (lower than -40°C or higher than 90°C)

Hercules SLR offers inspections for securing, rigging, and lifting equipment. We inspect both large and small industrial rigging, lifting, material handling, and fall protection equipment—Our experts can provide service on-site, or at one of our 30 facilities found across Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions – Answered by our Experts

Q: What are web slings usually made from?

Answer: A flat webbing sling is usually made from woven polyester, nylon (otherwise known as polyamide) and polypropylene.

Q: Do flat web slings come in just one width?

Answer Flat webbing slings come in different widths – but their ultimate flexibility and strength is noted by the number of webbing layers stitched together.

webbing sling at hercules slr

Q: Should I use paint or dye to color code web slings? This should help me identify them quickly and easily, right?

AnswerNO! Don’t use paint to color code webbing slings—the solvents in the paint could corrode the synthetic material. A torn or broken sling is unsafe, and will drastically reduce its SWL. To identify a synthetic sling’s material, look for the label color:

Polyester (PES)—Blue Label, or blue with a green line down the center of the webbing.

Polyamide (PA)—Green label

Polypropylene (PP)—Brown label

Q: What chemicals will affect webbing slings?

Answer: Polyester isn’t affected much by acid, but alkali’s will damage a polyester webbing sling. An alkali or alkaline is basically a substance with a pH level higher than 7. Examples of alkali substances are seawater, baking soda, bleaches, lye, and even blood. Polyamides are basically immune to alkali damage but are damaged by even moderately-strength acids. They can also lose up to 15% of their SWL when wet. Polypropylene is resistant to acids and alkali’s, which makes them a good choice when you have to lift something which needs protection from chemicals. Be sure the polypropylene is stabilized to protect from ultraviolet degrading.

Q: What markings should I look for on a webbing sling?

AnswerLook for the safe working load (SWL), identification number, and the label’s color code.

 Q: How do I store my webbing sling?

AnswerIt definitely matters! Be sure to store your slings in a dry, cool place. Keep them out of sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation, and don’t store them in damp conditions.

Q: So, they’re really strong – does that mean I can use them to lift anything?

AnswerDon’t use a webbing sling for a critical lift! Make sure you use extra caution and have a detailed lifting plan for using a webbing sling with delicate or fragile lifting operations.

Q: Okay, so what’s a critical lift?!

Answer: A critical lift is defined by WorkSafe BC as a lift with high-risk factors that could cause the crane or hoist to fail, or poses significant potential harm to human life. A critical lift is also one that needs a detailed rigging plan before the operation.

Other factors that can make a lift critical are:

  • When a piece of powered lifting equipment exceeds it’s rated capacity by 75%;
  • A mobile crane or boom truck goes over rated capacity by 90% lifting a load over 50% of its maximum permitted load radius;
  • Tandem lifts— which is when more than one piece of powered lifting equipment is used or is used to lift another piece of lifting equipment);
  • A person is being lifted;
  • The load is under-water or submerged.

Q: Can I tie a knot in a webbing sling to make it shorter?

AnswerNever! Don’t knot, tie, or twist a webbing sling. Don’t manipulate the sling’s angle, either—use the sling however the angle forms naturally.

hercules slr webbing sling formation types
Figure 1—Webbing Sling Types

Q: When should I not use a webbing sling?

Answer: Don’t use a webbing sling if you don’t know the SWL. Don’t use if the eyes or other part of the webbing sling is damaged, if the sling’s eye opens more than 20°. There are 5 different types of possible webbing sling eye formations—see figure 1. If using a Type 1 webbing sling (called a choker sling), be sure to protect the eye before use.

Q: What should I keep in mind when using a webbing sling?

Answer: There are a few things to consider to use a webbing sling safely—you should always:

  • Avoid shock-loading;
  • Protect the sling with sleeves when sharp edges could tear its fabric—friction can cause heat damage, which is the most common form of ‘heat’ damage to webbing slings. To prevent, don’t let the sling run along the load’s surface and that it’s not pulled on any sharp corners. This is also known as ‘point loading’, when the load is pulled on a sharp corner, creating heat which results in heat fusion in the sling material.
  • Never pull a sling from underneath a load.


Ask the Experts | What’s a Rigger?

Ask the Experts |What’s a Rigger?

What is a rigger? A rigger is a person responsible for securing a load to lift, pull, hoist, or move in general. They’re responsible for making sure the right equipment and hardware are used for a lift, the right methods are used to lift and the equipment used is operated properly, by a qualified professional.

You might wonder, “Don’t all construction sites move and lift things?” And you’d be correct – functions of rigging are used on construction sites daily. However, a rigger’s responsibilities are a bit more specific. They may be brought onto a construction site to move the construction crew’s large machinery (think a skid steer or forklift) to another part of the site. Other roles a rigger might perform on, or for, are:

  • Signal Person: This person is responsible to signal, with verbal or physical cues to workers’ who operate the lifting equipment, especially cranes.
  • Inspector/Fabricator: This person is involved in fabricating the equipment used to lift, and is also likely to be used on the construction site to repair, inspect or certify rigging equipment and other lifting apparatus’ used on site.
  • Controller: This person may be involved in operating the equipment used to lift, mechanical, or otherwise. They could operate a crane, electric chain hoist, or other moving gear and direct the path of hard-to-move loads.
  • Assess and install: A rigger will determine the best equipment to be used for the load.

Lots of rigging happens in many industries daily, but a rigger may be called in to lift a load that requires specialized equipment to get the job done. Certain lifts, or equipment you need to complete those lifts, may be regulated or require certifications to operate them. In these circumstances, a rigger would be called in to complete the lift or to assess the load and determine which equipment should be applied.

A #HercAtWork Example

For example, one of our riggers’ was called to a site to move an excavator that had broken down. They needed the equipment moved so it could be repaired, and Hercules SLR was brought in to find the best methods and tools to lift and move it.

The project manager wanted to use two synthetic round slings to lift the excavator by its tracks. Before the move, Hercules SLR riggers’ discussed the clients’ needs and expectations. The two riggers’ on the job gave their recommendations and went beyond that by finding the excavator’s manual which detailed its lifting points, and which hardware was best to use. Then, our riggers’ calculated the excavator’s load weight – after collecting and calculating all relevant information, they found that synthetic round slings’ were specifically not recommended to lift this particular excavator.

If the project manager had simply bought the equipment he thought best to lift the excavator, it’s very likely he would have damaged a $100,000+ piece of equipment – yikes.

What Skills a Rigger Needs

Some of the skills a rigger should have, are:

  • Math & Science: Physics and other calculations are an everyday part of securing and rigging a load. Determining an objects’ centre of gravity, for example, is an essential skill.
  • Operating Machinery: Operating machinery is another everyday part of rigging. Much of this machinery is electric, but manual pulley’s and hoists are used, too. If you have an interest in mechanics and problem-solving, rigging could be a great path for you.
  • Adaptability: Depending on the type of rigging done, a riggers’ travels can take you to faraway destinations – some of the places Hercules SLR’s riggers have gone to include Sable Island, Mexico and offshore destinations, which can be particularly isolated.
  • Risk Management, Communication & Planning: Imagine this – you’re working with a construction crew, and you’re responsible to help build a commercial kitchen. You’ve rigged part of a large industrial walk-in refrigerator, but forgot to assess the hazardous risk for chemical refrigerants. The load’s weight hasn’t been distributed evenly and the load sways and crashes against an obstacle, damaging the container and causing it to leak. Many refrigerants contain harmful, environment-damaging chemicals and now, you’re the rigger responsible for damage to the environment, people and the equipment. Situations like this can have harmful financial, legal and fatal consequences for the rigger and everyone else involved. This is why it’s important to understand the machinery, physics and the risks associated with securing and lifting various loads – planning and being able to communicate with all involved on the job site is crucial to manage risk.

Some of the things taught on a rigging course are:

  • Regulations/Standards
  • Rigging Planning
  • Rigging Triangle
  • Load Control
  • Sling angles
  • Rigging Equipment (slings, hitches, hardware, hooks)
  • Pre-use Inspection
  • Communications (radio and hand signals)
  • Practical Application of the equipment and principles

A Riggers Many Job Titles

As we explored in this article, a rigger performs many different duties, functions, and must be responsible for many different aspects of a lift. Industrial trades, like construction, are often associated with rigging, but riggers’ are found across nearly every industry. They might not be called a rigger, either – someone who rigs might also have these job titles:

  • Boat/Ship/Marine Rigger
  • Crane Erector
  • Crane Operator
  • Crane Rigger
  • Entertainment/Stage/Theatrical Rigger
  • Gear Repairer
  • Gripper/Stage Grip
  • Hook Tender
  • Labourer
  • Loft Rigger
  • Machinery Mover
  • Material Handler
  • Offshore Inspection Technician
  • Offshore Rigger
  • Parachute Rigger
  • Rigging Foreman
  • Rig Worker
  • Scaffolder
  • Slinger/Ring
  • Warehouse Associate

The Hercules Training Academy offers an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses. Brand new classrooms and specialized training equipment enable us to provide an even higher quality of service than ever before when it comes to safety training. Whether you’re looking for initial or refresher training, we provide practical, hands-on courses designed to exceed the minimum safety requirements.

Our courses can be customized to fit your workplace’s specific needs. We are always willing to design a course (or multiple courses) specifically for you!

If you’re interested in building a customized training program, please get in touch. One of our training representatives would be happy to help you get started.


National Seafood Month | Appreciating Canadian Fisherman

National Seafood Month | Appreciating Canadian Fisherman

Did you know that October is National Seafood Month? They really do have an appreciation day/month for everything. National seafood month is oftentimes a month celebrated by restaurants and markets, promoting delicious seafood dishes and offerings – But we here at Hercules want to take this time to celebrate the people who make those dishes possible, fishermen!

More than 45,000 commercial fish harvesters work Canada’s waters from coast to coast. Canada’s fishing industry is a key contributor to the success of the Canadian economy. According to the last data reported in 2016, Canada’s fishing industry exported $6.6 billion in fish and seafood products and employed approximately 72,000 people in the industry – and that number has certainly grown!

Hercules SLR has the pleasure of serving many Canadian fishermen (and hobbyist fishermen alike) providing tie downs, rope, chain, tarps, and much more.

However, when it comes to truly serving Canadian fishermen, Hercules SLR has to pass the baton over to our sister company, Spartan Marine. Whether you are hard at work offshore or relaxing in local waters—Spartan Industrial Marine is your source for high-quality marine products and services. They offer a wide range of solutions to those with industrial, commercial, and recreational marine interests including high-quality marine products and services, safety equipment, and industrial products. The entire Hercules Group of Companies has gotten the chance to connect with the amazing people working particularly within the Atlantic Canadian fishing industry thanks to Spartan Marine.

Fun Facts You May Not Have Known About the Fishing Industry

1. Canada is in the top 25 fish-producing countries in the world! Canada is working with the world’s largest coastline and 2.76 million square km of ocean, so it makes sense that fishing is a large export here. Canadian fishermen bring in 1.1 million metric tonnes of fish each year and we are consistently ranking within the top 35 fish-producing countries in the world. Canada’s most valuable species exported is lobster, Atlantic salmon, Snow (queen) crab and shrimp.

2. Fishing weaves into the lives of Canadian’s in many ways. 53% of Canadians eat seafood regularly, 23% of Canadians fish for recreation and 8% of Canadians know someone who works in the commercial fishing sector. Bonus Fun Fact: Did you know that 1 in 5 Canadian women participate in fishing on a commercial or recreational scale? Fishing has in the past been associated with men, but in reality, fishing is a large part of Candian women’s lives too! Spartan Marine loves to shine a light on women working in the fishing industry – you can check this series out over on their Facebook.

3. Fisheries are responsible for producing one of the most nutritious and low-cost food options. Wild seafood is a renewable resource that requires minimal freshwater to produce, emits little carbon dioxide, and uses no arable land while producing lean protein at a cost-per-pound that is lower than most other animal proteins. Worldwide, just over 100 million tonnes of fish are eaten each year providing ten and a half billion people with at least 20% of the average per capita animal protein.

4. Canadian fishermen aren’t just feeding Canadians, they are providing a protein source to people across the globe! The United States is Canada’s largest export market (representing roughly 64% of seafood trade), followed by China (11%), The European Union (10%), Japan (4%), and Hong Kong (2%).

Fun Seafood Recipes to try for Seafood Month

In celebration of national seafood month, head to your local seafood market, support your local fisherman, and challenge yourself to a fun new recipe! Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling. Click on any of these images to save them for later!

1. Classic Crab Boil

2. Healthy Fish Pie

3. Lemony Scallops with Angel Hair Pasta

4. Thai Salmon Brown Rice Bowls

5. Quick Moroccan Shrimp Skillet

Catch more fun seafood recipes over on Spartan Marine’s social media accounts, they’ll be posting them all month! 


Spartan Marine is making room for the new and clearing out a huge selection of our current Grundéns stock! This includes rainwear, sweatshirts, jackets, t-shirts, hoodies, boots, and more! Grundéns protective clothing is best known for its rugged performance within the commercial marine industry. Discover what many already know – Grundéns professional rainwear was and is the best you can wear, own and use day after day. There is no other personal protective gear that stands the test of time like Grundéns of Sweden.

Come check out our extensive clearance section at your local Spartan Marine, find it here: http://www.spartanmarine.ca/contact

*Inventory varies by store location, while supplies last, all purchases are final sales.


6 Top Tips | Rail Safety Week

6 Top Tips | Rail Safety Week

Canada’s Rail Safety Week is from September 21 -27 and aims to increase awareness around the importance of safe behavior near railroad tracks. Did you know Canada has almost 45,000 km of railway tracks covering the country from cities to towns and even rural communities? Railways still play an essential role in Canadian infrastructure, acting as a major form of transportation for both people and goods across the country.

According to the Canadian Rail Safety Organizations Operation Lifesaver report, so far this year we’ve had 100 incidents, 34 fatalities, and 18 serious injuries across Canada. Almost 2,100 North Americans are killed or seriously injured every year in railways crossing and trespassing incidents. The most tragic part about these numbers is that almost every single one of these incidents could be prevented if people knew how to properly and safely act around railroad tracks and trains.

According to Operation Lifesaver, an organization dedicated to preventing collisions at railway crossings and railway trespassing incidents in Canada, these are the 6 top tips to keep you safe near the rails!


You should never unnecessarily walk, cycle, or drive along railway tracks. Trains can travel as fast as 160 km/h and can take up to 2 km to come to a complete stop – That’s the length of 18 football fields. Because it can be very hard to judge how far away a train is or what speed it’s traveling at, you should always consider active railways a hazard and keep a safe distance.


Railway yards, tunnels, and bridges are all private property and if you are caught trespassing on them, you could be fined up to $50,000. Not only is it illegal to trespass on railway property – it is extremely dangerous! Railway tunnels and bridges are often time only slightly wider than the rail themselves which leads very little room for you to go if a train were to come along. Like we said before, you should always consider active railways a hazard and keep a safe distance, and this includes all railway property. Save your life and $50,000 by steering clear!


There are some situations where crossing railway tracks is necessary, such as when tracks cross public roads. These are designated crossings equipped with the proper safety measures needed to ensure you are able to cross safely. You should only cross railway tracks at designated crossings. Remember, trains can come at any time, from either direction and on any track and they also don’t always run on a set schedule so you can never trust that the coast is clear.


Railway signs and warning devices such as lights, bells, and gates are crucial safety devices and should be obeyed at all times. If crossing, at a designated crossing, you need to LOOK and LISTEN. Look both ways for any approaching trains and listen for if you can hear any trains.  If a train is coming, or railway warning signals are activated, stop behind any gates or stop lines—or no closer than 5 meters away from the nearest rail—and wait for the train to pass. Cross only after the warning signals have ceased and you are certain no other trains are approaching, from either direction, on any track.



You can’t avoid getting struck by a train is you’re not LOOKING or LISTENING. Some modern trains can be extremely quiet so you can not trust that simply because you don’t hear the chug chug chug that there isn’t one nearby. When near railway tracks stay off of phones or other distractions and stay alert.  Although trains sound their whistles at most crossings, or in the case of an emergency, you won’t hear the warning if you are wearing headphones – and sometimes it can still be too late!


Trains are not always the size of the railway tracks and can overhang by as much a 1 meter on each side. They can also carry loads that are even wider than the railway cars themselves. So, don’t assume that taking a few steps back will keep you in the clear. Even if the train itself wouldn’t hit you, you can get hit by chains, straps, or other equipment if you are too close. Remember, they can travel up to 160km/h – would you want to be within even a couple feet of a car driving that fast?

For more rail safety tips, resources and more check out Operation Livesaver.


10 Fun Facts About Industrial Cranes

10 Fun Facts About Industrial Cranes

Whether you’re working within the rigging industry or not, cranes have become a very large part of people’s lives. Cranes have become a part of our cities skylines, even if you haven’t noticed it! They are such an integral part of construction and development that they can sometimes blend right into the background. They are massive tools that make the existence of much of our infrastructure possible.

A crane bird

Since cranes are such a large but underappreciated part of not only our industry but community, we thought it would be fun to share 10 fun facts you may not have known about cranes. Read on to learn more!

1. Cranes are Named After the Bird

If you google the word crane, you’ll get a mixture of lifting cranes and this fun looking bird, also called a crane! Have you ever wondered why these two share a name? It’s because lifting cranes were actually named after the bird. Crane birds are tall and slender, bendy, and quick with their beaks, so lifting cranes got their name because early crane manufacturers thought they looked like these birds – do you agree?

2. Cranes were Invented in Ancient Greece

The first crane was built by the Ancient Greeks in 500 BC. The first crane was a primitive, wooden form powered by humans and animals, used to pull heavy objects and construct many of the beautiful structures that existed in Ancient Greece. One of the Greek’s most famous buildings, the Parthenon, shows evidence of cranes used in its construction.

3. Jibs Changed the Game

In the Middle Ages, what we know now as a Jib was added to the Greek crane which allowed the crane’s arm to move horizontally and not just vertically! Following this advancement, cranes began to first be used in harbors to unload cargo from ships – something that modern cranes are still doing now. By the sixteenth century, cranes were built with two treadmills, one on each side of a rotating housing containing the boom.

4. From Wood to Steel

As mentioned above, the earliest cranes in ancient Greece were made of wood which did the trick back in the day but wouldn’t have the strength to stand up against some of the jobs modern cranes take on today. Now, cranes are usually manufactured using steel.

5. The First Powered Cranes Were Powered by Steam

Until the middle of the nineteenth century, cranes still relied on human or animal power. What changed that? The invention of the steam engine! This technology was introduced to cranes and allowed them to be powered by a motor. By the end of the nineteenth century, internal combustion engines and electric motors were used to power cranes.

6. Cranes Build Themselves!

That’s right, cranes oftentimes build themselves. The only thing large enough and strong enough to build cranes, is other cranes. With the help of workers, operators use the crane to attach vital pieces of equipment. Sometimes cranes will literally build themselves placing pieces onto itself once the control panel is up and running – how cool is that!

7. There are Many Different Types of Cranes

Different types of cranes can be found on almost any construction project, each one specializing in its own specific task. Here are just a few of the most popular ones:

  • Mobile Cranes – A mobile crane is a cable-controlled crane mounted on crawlers or rubber-tired carriers or a hydraulic-powered crane with a telescoping boom mounted on truck-type carriers or as self-propelled models.
  • Carry Deck Crane – A carry deck crane is a small 4 wheel crane with a 360 degree rotating boom housed in the center of the machine.
  • Crane Vessel – A crane vessel, crane ship or floating crane is a ship with a crane specialized in lifting heavy loads. The largest crane vessels are used for offshore construction.
  • Rough Terrain Crane – As the name implies, these cranes are used for pick and carry operations off-road and on rough terrains.

8. The Current Largest Crane in the World

The SGC – 250, the Sarens Giant Crane also known as ‘Big Carl’, is a 250,000t/m heavy crane designed to sgc-250 craneaccommodate the heavy lifting requirements for refinery, oil and gas, mining, offshore platform, and third-generation components for nuclear power plants.

Built in 2015, this crane has a maximum lift capacity of 5,000-tons and features a 118m – 160.5m main boom configuration with a 40.5m – 99.5 m heavy-duty jib configuration. It operates on a 48.5m outer ring and requires a 5,200-ton counterweight. The jib can be extended up to 100 meters, giving it a maximum height of 250 meters (820 feet) and radius 275 meters (902 feet).

The SGC – 250 can operate on two different blocks at the same time—One on the main boom and one on the jib. The crane’s main hook block weighs 105 tonnes and has a safe working load (SWL) of 3,200 tonnes while the jib hook weighs 58 tonnes and has an SWL of 1,600 tonnes.

9. The Strongest Mobile Crane

Designed by Liebherr, located in Switzerland, the mobile crane, LTM 11200-9.1, is the strongest telescopic LTM 11200-9.1 cranemobile crane in the market and offers the world’s longest telescopic boom. It has a maximum lift capacity of 1,200-tons, a maximum hoisting height of 188 meters (616 feet) and a maximum radius of 136 meters (446 feet) – This is over the length of a football field! 

Some of the features found on the LTM 11200-9.1 are:

  • 100m long telescopic boom and 22m telescopic boom extension.
  • Lifting capacity of 65-tons at the 100m long, suspended telescopic boom.
  • 126m long luffing fly jib.
  • 60.5m long fixed jib, optionally hydraulically adjustable.
  • Fast and easy crane assembly with little required space.
  • Active, speed dependent rear-axle steering (all axles can be steered).
  • Economical transportation.

The LTM 11200-9.1 has been used to assemble larger portal cranes, radio towers, absorber columns, and wind power generators. When fully-loaded the base of the vehicle drives with slewing platforms, luffing cylinder and all four folding beams—With all of these elements, it will weigh in at over 100-tons. However, dismantling these elements is easy to do, making it so you only have to travel with what will be used on the job. Doing this can lessen the total weight to 34-tons, making it much more economical to transport.

10. Cranes can be Dangerous

As much as we admire the beauty and versatility of cranes – At the end of the day, they are a very large and potentially dangerous piece of machinery. Failure to follow safe lifting practices can lead to serious personal injury and cause damage to equipment and facilities. However, with proper training, inspections & maintenance, and workplace protocol you can greatly reduce the likelihood of many safety hazards. Hercules SLR can help with that!

We’re your one-stop-shop. Would you make three different stops in the morning to get your sugar, milk, and grounds for your morning coffee? Of course not—Why should your crane service be any different?

Hercules SLR offers crane certifications & LEEA-certified inspections, repairs, predictive & preventive maintenance (so you can pass those inspections!) and crane parts & accessories like wire rope slings, hoists & whatever else you need to lift.

Have a type of crane you need to be serviced, but we didn’t cover it here? Give us a call—We service anything. 


What’s a Banksman? An Important Rigging Role

What’s a Banksman? An Important Rigging Role

Have you ever needed to back your vehicle out of a difficult position and had a friend grab a better vantage point to guide you? In these situations, you may be able to hear your guide – but oftentimes rely on them signaling you to move, turn, or stop using hand signals.

Now, imagine that on the scale of operating a crane! A crane operator can’t hear you. So when your team removes an old rooftop unit and positions a new one, the people on the ground and on the rooftop must use established hand signals to communicate safely with the crane operator – that’s the role of the banksman! Of course, that’s boiling it down a bit, but largely the banksman is in charge of crane movements from the point of loading to unloading. A banksman may also control the movements of other equipment such as an excavator, by carefully monitoring the bucket for any obstructions or underground services. They often do this using a system of hand signals along with possibly a radio system.

Why the Worksite Needs a Banksman 

The role of the banksman is one of the most important roles on the worksite. Ask any crane operator and they will tell you that one of the main factors for a successful project is coordination. Working in-sync with your team on the ground is not only crucial for safety but can help your project run smoothly, on schedule and keep the boss happy. With absolute precision and accuracy needed for a job, being able to clearly communicate direction is critical – but this is not always an easy task.

It’s easy to imagine needing to use hand signals when communicating to the crane operator, but they are also needed on the ground. Construction sites can be exceptionally loud and busy, meaning verbal communication is at risk of being drowned out by roaring machinery.

As the eyes and the ears of a dedicated area or crane, a banksman carries many responsibilities.  Before a person can direct the operation of a crane they must first undergo formal training and complete a qualification in crane signaling. In training, a person will not only develop an understanding of standard hand signals, but they will also be required to become familiar with many different types of cranes, how each crane functions and any hand signals specific to particular equipment. The trainee banksman is required to grasp an understanding of the large library of signals without any memory prompts and show competence in recalling these during an examination by a third-party provider.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard method of signaling must be used when operating a crane unless non-standard hand signals are discussed during the pre-job meeting. OSHA enforces standards and training requirements for safe working environments across multiple industries, including construction in the United States.

Train to be a Rigger Slinger Banksman with Hercules Training Academy 


This training course provides students with the fundamental knowledge and practical skills of lifting and rigging to enable them to prepare, sling and release loads in an offshore environment. This is a 3-day program that combines theory and practical training. Students are evaluated by means of a written test and practical evaluation. Upon successful completion of the program, a certificate will be issued.

This program meets and exceeds the standards for offshore rigging set by:

  • Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (COHS)
  • Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)
  • Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB)
  • Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NSOPB)
  • American Petroleum Institute (API) RP 2D
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • UK Offshore Health and Safety Regulations
  • Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA)
  • Norwegian Offshore Sector (NORSOK)
  • Regulations, standards, associations
  • Risk management
  • Rigging plan
  • Calculating load weight
  • Rigging triangle
  • Load control
  • Sling angles and the center of gravity
  • Rigging equipment (slings, hitches, hardware, hooks)
  • Pre-use inspection
  • Duties & responsibilities of the rigger and banksman
  • Communications (radio and hand signals)
  • Personnel transfer
  • Container inspection
  • Practical applications of the equipment and principles


*PPSSTTTT… If you’re from or near Mount Pearl, NL, this course will be offered on Sep 28-30. Contact training@herculesslr.com for more info or to register! 

Keeping the Worksite Safe

The banksman is also responsible for preventing injury and accidents to the best of their ability, this is done by following strict procedure during crane operation, for instance standing in clear view of the crane operator, ensuring the operating area is clear of people or hazardous objects and performing one signal at a time to avoid confusion.

Safety is the number one concern for crane operators, a person performing the hand signals stand at a vantage point which allows them to view the load area from a perspective that is not visible to the crane operator. From this point, the signal person is able to confirm whether a maneuver is safe to perform and halt all activity if they observe a potential risk.

Cranes have incredible capabilities however if operated incorrectly, they can pose a significant danger to construction workers on the site and in some cases the public.  Hand signals have been established as a reliable, low tech and universal way to improve safety during operation and avoid accidents.

The Hand Signals

This age-old technique is used by crane operators across the world, aiding them to accurately receive unmistakable directions without the need for fancy equipment or even words!

Download your Hercules, handy reference sheet illustrating the correct hand signals here




Posted: August 31, 2020

3M™ PROTECTA® Rebel Self Retracting Lifeline (CSA Versions)

Read on for an important 3M Fall Protection inspection notice – 3M™ Fall Protection has identified a potential manufacturing issue with a limited number of 3M™ Protecta® Rebel Self-Retracting Lifelines (with galvanized or stainless-steel lifelines) produced between October 14, 2019 and February 25, 2020. This manufacturing issue could result in the SRL not engaging properly but can be easily detected through the pre-use inspection as specified in the Protecta® Rebel Instruction for Use (IFU) document.

Given this information, 3M Fall Protection is issuing an “Inspection Notice” for the 3M™ Protecta® Rebel Self-Retracting Lifelines (with galvanized or stainless-steel lifelines) produced between October 14, 2019 and February 25, 2020.

End Users: Please follow the steps listed below.

Step 1: Locate the label on the Rebel SRL to identify the manufactured dated (see picture to the right). If the SRL has a manufacture date of 19/10 (October 2019) through to the end of 20/02 (February 2020), continue to step 2. (Please note that regardless of the manufacture date, all SRLs should be inspected prior to every use and by a competent person annually as per the IFU).

Step 2: Pull the lifeline quickly to ensure that the SRL locks up. As per the IFU “Ensure the device locks up when the lifeline is jerked sharply. Lockup should be positive with no slipping.” It the SRL locks up properly and passes all other aspects of the pre-use inspection as defined in the IFU, the SRL is acceptable for use. (For a full listing of inspection criteria please refer to the IFU for your respective regions which can be found at www.ProtectaRebelInspect.com). If you find that your SRL does not lock up, take the Protecta® Rebel SRL out of service immediately. Please contact our Customer Service department at 1-833-998-2243 or email us at 3mcafpserviceaction@mmm.com and we will arrange to have the SRL inspected and repaired/replaced as per our standard warranty.

Distributors: Upon receipt of this Notice, please contact our Customer Service department at 1-833-998-2243 or email us at 3mcafpserviceaction@mmm.com for a listing of the affected Protecta® Rebel SRLs sold to you. If you have any of the affected parts in stock, you should return them to 3M Fall Protection for repair and/or replacement as per our standard warranty. Please forward this Notice to any of your customers who have purchased affected products from you and provide any assistance requested by your customers to complete the process.

Please note they are not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this condition.

3M remains committed to providing quality products and services to our customers. We apologize for any inconvenience that this situation may cause you or your customers. We appreciate your continued support of 3M Fall Protection products and services.

Hercules SLR | Crane Service in New Brunswick




We’re your one-stop-shop. Would you make three different stops in the morning to get your sugar, milk, and grounds for your morning coffee? Of course not—Why should your crane service be any different?

Hercules SLR offers crane certifications & LEEA-certified inspections, repairs, predictive & preventive maintenance (so you can pass those inspections!) and crane parts & accessories like wire rope slings, hoists & whatever else you need to lift.

If you work in construction, industrial project management, or even a warehouse facility, you probably face your fair share of challenges—And cranes. And, probably your fair share of crane problems, too. Your overhead lifting device should not be one of these challenges.

Did you know Hercules SLR in New Brunswick offers crane rentals, equipment & accessories, and services? We do!

When you spend a long day lifting, hoisting and pulling, your body probably has some aches & pains. Did you know your crane is no different? Just like a weightlifter must take care of their body, watch what they eat, and even ensure the palms of their hands are prepared to lift, your crane needs a similar level of care.

Read on to discover what type of cranes Hercules SLR services, the equipment & product we service, sell & inspect and why looking after your crane benefits you in the long-run.


hercules slr crane service hercules slr new brunswick










If you need overhead lifting device service or rentals, you’re in the right place. What kinds of cranes do we service? We service all crane classes, specifically:

  • Overhead/Bridge Cranes
    • Top Running Overhead Crane
    • Under Running Overhead Crane
    • Modular Crane
  • Gantry Cranes
  • Tower Cranes
  • Rail Road Cranes
  • Floating Cranes
  • Aerial Cranes
  • Jib Crane

Have a type of crane you need to be serviced, but we didn’t cover it here? Give us a call—We service anything. 


We know, your top concern is probably price. “How much will this inspection, repair, preventive maintenance, etc. cost?” Unfortunately, this cost will likely vary depending on factors like what kind of service or part you need.

Specific costs will vary—As we’ve covered in previous blogs, there are many different parts of a crane or types of service you might need, ranging from below-the-hook, repairs to the structural steel or inspections to the jib or other crane component.

  • Downtime: It can put a damper on productivity when a crane’s out of service, and the downtime associated with an out-of-service crane with halting or pausing a project can be costly—Quickly, too.
  • Productivity: When inspections or tests are conducted by a competent/qualified person, they can identify issues, and repairs can be scheduled during slower periods, so you don’t disrupt work and you know your crane is running reliably & smoothly during your business’ busy periods.
  • Peace-of-Mind: Know your equipment is running smoothly & ready-to-go, know if a repair or equipment replacement is cheaper and that your team is safe.


We know, ‘preventive maintenance‘ might seem like a big waste of money for your organization. However, as mentioned above, preventive maintenance can actually reduce costs that eventually, can become even bigger repair costs.

  1. Reduce physical labor for employees.
  2. Meet project deadlines & stay on schedule.
  3. Cut-down on repair costs, prevent future damage, and eliminate unforeseen equipment failure.
  4. Protect your investment.
  5. And finally, (the one you probably know), because you have to—It’s the law.


There are many different types of cranes, and your workplace will (should) have a robust inspection program plan in place for each type. Inspection frequency depends on a number of things, like:

  • How often the crane is used & when it’s being used,
  • Which Service Class the crane belongs to,
  • What it’s used for and what type of inspection is being done.

According to the Canadian Standards Association, crane inspections should follow standards outlined by ISO (the International Organization for Standardization)—Specifically ISO 4309 and ISO 9927-1.

Find it difficult to track this for your business? We know, and we listened. Receive crane service from Hercules SLR and gain access to our free asset management service, CertTracker.

What’s so good about CertTracker? 

  • Secure online database: Keep your entire operational asset history in one, secure place.
  • Alerts: CertTracker will notify management of failed inspections, repairs, and work order details—It also tells you when you’re overdue for inspections and repairs.
  • Easy access: CertTracker uses RFID chips while handheld computers capture inspections & maintenance operations, which eliminates the need to manually enter data. It captures equipment when in & out of service, location transfers, and all data is sent to the online database so you know exactly where it is, whenever you input it. If that’s not enough, it also converts units of measure instantly for easy use on site.
  • Customization: Track what you need to track. Have your team or service provider record daily inspections, scheduled maintenance, annual inspections, or other important dates. Each inspection is time-stamped by the user so your audit record is always accurate & reliable. Find specific assets by I.D. number, location, owner, etc.—Whatever you prefer.
  • Available 24/7: CertTracker is online and always open.