Winter Forklift Safety Tips

Winter Forklift Safety Tips

Hopefully, your car is fully prepared for winter—What about your forklift?

Winter in Canada can be a beautiful thing, fresh layers of glistening white snow coating trees and a shiny layer of frost on the grass…But as Canadian’s we know it’s not always quite that glamorous. Canadian winters require a lot of planning and preparation – It means it’s time to dig the shovels out from the back of the shed, making sure the winter tires get on the car in time and pull the winter coat from the back of the closet.

As good as Canadians have come to be at preparing for winter, there are some things that still may fall through the cracks. You may not realize the extra safety precautions that need to be taken when operating a forklift in the winter.

Read on to learn how to stay safe while operating a forklift this winter!

Prepare Your Forklift for Winter

Forklift operators should give their forklift a detailed inspection to minimize the chance of experiencing a forklift breakdown and getting stuck in the middle of an aggressive winter storm. Getting a tuneup ahead of winter is always recommended. And of course, as always ensure you are up to date on all of your scheduled service visits and inspections. Things to ensure are in tip-top shape before braving the winter months are:

  • Tires: Check tires for proper air pressure (for pneumatic tires) and to ensure that there is sufficient depth on your treads (needed for both solid and air-filled tires). For forklifts operating in snow or ice specialized forklift chains can be installed to provide extra grip
  • Lights: Winter doesn’t just bring cold weather, it also means darker days – So ensuring your lights are in working order is something you may not think of, but is especially important. Tip – If your forklift uses halogen lighting it may be a good time to consider upgrading to LED, which lasts longer, shines brighter and is not affected by freezing temperatures or the vibrations created by your forklift during operation!
  • Hydraulics: Frigid winter temperatures can cause joints to stiffen up so ensure all of your moving parts are well-lubricated.
  • Cabs: If your forklift has an enclosed cab and windshield (recommended for winter conditions), be sure the heater and windshield wipers are working correctly and that all latches are lubricated.
  • Cooling System: It is important to ensure there is the correct amount of anti-freeze used in the coolant system. Anti-freeze ensures that the engine will not freeze solid and block the coolant system, which can lead to a number of problems including dangerous overheating.

It’s also important to remember to allow your forklift to warm up before using it. Everyone knows you’re supposed to let your car warm up during cold weather, a forklift is no different! Allowing it to warm up lessens the chance of combustion and transmission-related problems occurring.

Ensure Forklift Operators are Appropriately Clothed

Pre-winter planning is not limited to the equipment itself, especially for work that takes place outdoors. It’s important to make sure operators are equipped to do the job under more challenging conditions. Clothing needs to be able to protect operators from snow, ice, wet and slippery conditions, cold or strong winds and limited visibility.

To protect the most vulnerable areas of the body against frostbite (i.e., the ears, nose, fingers, and toes) operators need to wear appropriate protective gear including a warm hat, gloves, face mask, and water-proof boots while operating a forklift (or during most work, for that matter!) Layers are the key here, so pairing these items with wind-proof, water-resistant and high visibility outerwear, is the best way to tackle the cold and wet conditions found throughout the winter months.

Always keep in mind typical year-round PPE such as protective eyewear, hard hats, steel-toe boots or safety gloves and ensure bundling up isn’t inhibiting your ability to wear those things. You may need to purchase specialized PPE meant to keep you safe & warm at the same time like NORTH OF 49° gloves.

north of 49 work gloves ppe hand protection safety

Operator Training and Education

Beyond supplying the proper equipment to your employees, it’s essential to educate your operators with the fundamental knowledge and practical skills of operating a forklift. The Hercules SLR Training Academy can deliver this training (and more!) at The Hercules Training Academy or it can also be delivered on-site. The content covers:

  • Regulations
  • Hazard assessment
  • Pre-use inspections
  • Equipment stability
  • Operating principles
  • Refueling
  • Battery care

When it comes to managing the additional challenges posed by the winter weather, these steps can help navigate you through your shift ensuring you’re keeping the most important elements in mind:

Before Your Shift

  • Conduct a proper pre-operation inspection of the forklift. Record and report any issues.
  • Check the weather outside and make sure to adjust driving habits to current weather conditions.
  • Install and check all winter items – Including weatherized PPE and things like tire chains if needed on your forklift.
  • Avoid cold starts by allowing the forklift to properly warm-up before operating.

During Your Shift

  • Only travel as fast as the weather conditions permit – Slow down if needed and drive carefully.
  • Remove any accumulation of snow on windscreens, lights, etc. to maintain proper visibility.
  • Be sure to stop working if conditions deteriorate such as: slippery driving conditions (don’t let this be you!), limited visibility, etc. – Safety first! 
  • Try to avoid short run times (less than 30 minutes) as forklift engines tend to run a richer fuel mixture during the first 20 minutes of operation. This means it is possible for water vapor to accumulate in the engine oil and exhaust system in the cold, as evaporation isn’t possible. Try to plan your day so you can do multiple forklift tasks at once instead of scattered throughout the day.

After Your Shift

  • Clean the forklift – Remove all snow, dirt, and salt in order to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Make sure to plug in the forklift’s block and/or battery heater to avoid issues at the start of the next shift.
  • Park the forklift in a warm and dry place in between uses to avoid issues related to ice formation.

Click here to view the Forklift Safety Training course overview.

Through our Hercules Training Academy, we offer 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. training@herculesslr.com.

 


LOOKING TO BRING YOUR WORKPLACE SAFETY TO THE NEXT LEVEL? CALL US—HERCULES SLR OFFERS AN EXTENSIVE SUITE OF HIGH-QUALITY SAFETY TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION COURSES.

Ask The Experts | Sling Identification Tags

One of the first things Inspection Technicians look for when inspecting a rigging and lifting sling is if it has a missing or illegible identification tag. But what do all those markings mean, and why are they important? Hercules SLR rigging experts from Brampton, Ontario are on-hand to explain it all.

Your sling’s identification tag provides you with a wealth of essential information to ensure you are lifting safe including: The manufacture of the sling or where it was most recently repaired, the material of the sling, the working load limit (WLL) of the sling, the serial number, the manufacture’s code or stock number and the type of sling.

This is all information that should be taken into account when creating a lifting plan in order to choose the best type of sling for the job based on the WLL, hitch configuration, and capabilities and different sling angles.

All types of sling will come with an identification tag provided by the manufacturer. Over the lifetime of the sling, it’s important to maintain the tag as best as possible in order to keep it legible. If your tag does become damaged, missing, or illegible the sling should immediately be removed from service.

Keeping up with regular inspections will ensure you are never using a chain sling without a tag in proper condition. If you notice a damaged, missing, or illegible tag before your required inspections -- Simply have the tag replaced. While it is considered a repair, additional proof testing would not be needed at that time (unless otherwise required).

What are the Identification Tag Requirements?

The experts at Hercules SLR in Brampton Ontario are answering some key rigging questions over on the Hercules Group of Company’s social media platforms—And this is one of those questions! In the video below, they (quickly) go over the indication tag requirements for chain slings and show you the difference between a tag in good condition, and one that wouldn’t pass inspection.

Alloy Chain Sling Requirements

Each alloy chain sling must be marked with:
  • The name and trademark of the manufacturer (or name of repair location, if replaced)
  • Number of legs
  • Chain size
  • Grade
  • Length (reach)
  • Rated load for (at least) one hitch type and the angle that it was based upon
  • Individual sling identification (i.e. serial number)
  • Date of Manufacture

To keep up with tips like these, follow The Hercules Group of Companies on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn!

But what about all of the other types of sling? Keeping in mind what a legible tag vs. an illegible tag looks like, continue on to see what the requirements are for a variety of different types of sling. However -- ALWAYS check in with the regulations in your jurisdiction, as there may be specialized requirements in your location.   

Wire Rope Sling Requirments

Each wire rope sling must be marked with:
  • The name and trademark of the manufacturer (or name of repair location, if replaced)
  • Rated load for (at least) one hitch type and the angle that it was based upon
  • Diameter or size
  • Number if legs (if more then one)

Metal Mesh Sling Requirements

Each metal mesh sling must be marked with:
  • The name and trademark of the manufacturer (or name of repair location, if replaced)
  • Rated load for (at least) one hitch type and the angle that it was based upon
  • Individual sling identification (ex: serial number)

Synthetic Rope Sling Requirements

Each synthetic rope sling must be marked with:
  • The name and trademark of the manufacturer (or name of repair location, if replaced)
  • Manufacturer’s code or stock number
  • Rated load for (at least) one hitch type and the angle that it was based upon
  • Type of fiber material
  • Number of legs (if more than one)

Synthetic Web Sling Requirements

Each synthetic web sling must be marked with:
  • The name and trademark of the manufacturer (or name of repair location, if replaced)
  • Manufacturer’s code or stock number
  • Rated load for (at least) one hitch type and the angle that it was based upon
  • Type of fiber material
  • Number of legs (if more than one)

Polyester Roundsling Requirements

Each Polyester roundsling must be marked with:
  • The name and trademark of the manufacturer (or name of repair location, if replaced)
  • Manufacturer’s code or stock number
  • Rated load for (at least) one hitch type and the angle that it was based upon
  • Core material
  • Cover material (if different from core material)
  • Number of legs (if more than one)

High-Performance Roundsling Requirements

Each high-performance roundsling must be marked with:
  • The name and trademark of the manufacturer (or name of repair location, if replaced)
  • Manufacturer’s code or stock number
  • Rated load for (at least) one hitch type and the angle that it was based upon
  • Core yarn including fiber type(s) or blend
  • Cover material (if different from core material)
  • Number of legs (if more than one)

Performing a lifting job safely doesn’t happen due to luck—It happens with the proper knowledge and preparedness! Keeping an eye on your sling’s indication tag to ensure it’s not damaged, missing or illegible is an important part of that preparedness.

But when it comes to ensuring your equipment is operating correctly and safely, leave it to the experts! Keeping up with regular inspections will keep you worry-free when it comes to the safety of your equipment and will have a major effect on unscheduled outages and business costs!

Find all your Securing, Lifting and Rigging solutions under one roof at Hercules SLR. Whether you’re in the market to purchase a sling, needing it inspected or seeking out maintenance Hercules SLR has you covered!

We’ve got you covered for more than just slings! Hercules SLR inspects, repairs and certifies:

  • Wire Rope
  • Fall Protection
  • Lifting Gear
  • Rigging Hardware
  • Hoist & Cranes
  • Winches & Hydraulics

Our experienced and LEEA certified team will ensure that your equipment complies with ASME and provincial regulations. Once inspections, repairs, and testing is completed, we will supply full certification on your equipment to show that it complies with provincial and national safety regulations.


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

CALL OUR BRAMPTON, ONTARIO BRANCH: 

 

7 Common Misuses Of Fall Protection Equipment

common misuses of fall protection equipment

7 Common Misuses Of Fall Protection Equipment

Every worker has the right to return home safe each and every day. The most recent report conducted by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), showed that 251,508 Canadian’s accepted claims for lost time due to work-related injury or disease in just one year.

Did you know that approximately 18% of those time-loss injuries, or about 42,000 workers a year, are injured due to fall incidents alone? You can prevent falls and incidents like these by wearing proper fall protection equipment, and wearing it right.

If you’re working at a height exceeding 3 meters (10 feet) occupational health and safety laws generally require fall protection measures to be in place. You can check with your jurisdiction as requirements do vary, but in most cases fall protection measures such as fixed barriers, surface opening protections, control zones, fall or travel restraint systems, fall containment systems or fall arrest systems are required. You can learn more about some of these systems by reading our fall protection glossary.

But it’s not good enough just to throw on the required minimum fall protection equipment and call it a day – It’s important the equipment be used properly.

In this blog, we will be talking a bit about 7 common misuses of fall protection equipment, to serve as a reminder for things to look out for, but should be used in conjunction with proper training. The Hercules Training Academy offers an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses, including a course on fall protection!

1. Misuse of Rebar Snap Hooksfall protection repair snap hooks

Rebar hooks (also referred to as pelican hooks, large gates or form hooks) are frequently used pieces of equipment in the fall protection world because their large openings make them quick and easy to use. They also allow for connection to many objects, eliminating the need for additional anchorage connectors. However, not using an additional connector can be very dangerous in the wrong circumstances and rebar hooks are only approved for specific configurations so if you use them outside of those configurations, it can present a safety hazard to workers.

The best way to mitigate the misuse of rebar snap hooks is to ensure that the anchorage connector D-ring is larger than the snap hook to avoid side loading. Since this is difficult to achieve, oftentimes workers choose to use a small anchor strap instead with some workplaces not allowing the use of snap hooks all together!

2. Misuse of Lanyards

A common mistake made with lanyards is users wrapping them back upon themselves. Most fall arrest lanyards are not designed to wrap around a structure and hook onto themselves, but a worker may try to set it up in that way if no other anchorage point is available. This can cause equipment failure due to damaged to the lanyard material or improper gate loading. This problem can be solved with anchorage straps, which are designed to be wrapped back on themselves – providing the proper strength needed to be safe while also remaining accessible.

Furthermore, regardless of if a lanyard is designed for wrapping around beams, piping, ductwork, or around a guardrail, with time, the sawing action could damage it. This problem can be mitigated by using a beam clamp or beam straps as an anchorage connector.

3. Inappropriate Anchorage Connection or Strength

A fall protection system is only as effective as its anchorage. Always ensure the anchorage is strong enough to support the weight of the individual wearing it in the case of a fall. To be sure you can rely on your fall protection equipment, always test the strength of the connection after set up.

To be certain you have the right anchorage strength, only use certified anchorages and make sure there is always someone on the scene with the correct training to properly identify the appropriate anchorage to use for the circumstances of the job. Since the average weight of the individuals using the fall protection system will very, the anchorage system must be designed for the maximum weight of any potential users.

3m dbi-sala fall protection anchorages

4. Anchoring Below The Dorsal D-Ring

Another common misuse of fall protection systems is workers anchoring themselves to a point below their dorsal D-Ring (sometimes even below their feet). This increases the free fall weight and distance, sometimes beyond the equipment’s ability to arrest it. Pushing these limits can cause the lanyard or anchorage to fall, or can exceed the allowable force on the body, which can increase the likelihood of a serious injury.

The goal is always to minimize free-fall distances, so connecting to a point above the dorsal D-ring should be the choice if in any way possible. However, if there is no overhead structure to provide an anchorage point, the worker must use a free-fall lanyard that is approved for the greater free-fall distance and force.

5. Unproperly Adjusted Harnesses

For fall protection equipment to be used correctly and effectively, workers must be wearing their equipment correctly. Most fall protection harnesses are designed with adjustable leg, waist, shoulder, and chest straps, which all must be sized to the user. A fall protection system is no good if you can’t stay in it, which is exactly the risk presented if the harness is not tightened properly to the user’s body. As you can imagine, being ejected from a harness mid-fall can lead to serious injury.

Here’s what to look for to ensure a harness is fitted correctly:

  • The dorsal D-ring sits between the worker’s shoulders blades – If it’s adjusted too high, the metal hardware could cause injury to the user’s head and if it’s adjusted too low, the user can be left hanging in a poor position with an increased risk of suspension trauma.
  • The chest strap should lie across the user’s chest at the base of the sternum – If it’s too high on the user’s chest, it can cause a choking hazard in the case of a fall by putting pressure on the user’s neck.
  • Shoulder straps cannot be pulled off of the user’s shoulders or outward.
  • Sub-pelvic straps are positioned under the buttocks.
  • Leg straps are tightened to a point where four fingers can fit between the strap and the user’s leg, but cannot pull away from the leg.
  • General observation of harness fit – Looking for things like twisted straps or asymmetrical leg straps. 

3m dbi-sala fall protection harness specs and info

6. Using Damaged or Recalled Equipment

Everything from UV exposer, corrosion, wear and tear and everything in between can impact the effectiveness of your fall protection equipment. You can avoid UV and corrosion damage by storing your equipment properly when not in use, but some amount of wear and tear cannot be avoided if you’re actually using your equipment, which is what it’s made for after all! Because of this, all users should be trained on what to look for when inspecting equipment to ensure that it is in proper working order to operate safely.

Steps to ensure your equipment is always in safe working condition:

  1. Have your equipment inspected on at least an annual basis – Another thing Hercules SLR’s experienced and LEEA certified team can take off your hands! 
  2. Register your equipment so you are always notified of product recalls or advisories.
  3. Stay current on advisories and advances in technology.
  4. Store equipment in an environment that is as protected as possible.

7. Confusing Twin-Leg Energy-Absorbing & Self-Retracting Devices

Although these two devices sometimes look and function similar, a common mistake people make is thinking twin-leg energy absorbing & self-retracting lifeline devices are the same or interchangeable. However, since they are designed and tested for specific conditions, it’s important they are used for those appropriate applications.

The self-retracting lifeline (SRL) vs. energy-absorbing lifeline (EAL) is a topic of lively debate among fall protection engineers because both devices have their benefits but the general consensus is that an SRL is preferable in an industrial environment where an overhead horizontal system is (or can be) installed and an EAL is preferable in a construction environment where workers typically do not have access to an overhead anchorage point.

3m dbi-sala fall protecton srl hercules slr


Click this image to view the full Fall Protection course overview.

The Hercules Training Academy is open with 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. Through our Hercules Training Academy, we offer an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses. Whether you’re looking for initial or refresher training, we provide practical, hands-on courses designed to exceed the minimum safety requirements.

In our Fall Protection course, you will learn: regulations, hazard assessments, pre-use inspections, calculating fall distance, donning a harness, selecting fall protection equipment, fall protection plans and procedures, selecting anchor points, ladders, elevated work platforms, suspension trauma

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


LOOKING TO BRING YOUR WORKPLACE SAFETY TO THE NEXT LEVEL? CALL US—HERCULES SLR OFFERS AN EXTENSIVE SUITE OF HIGH-QUALITY SAFETY TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION COURSES.

 

Industry Highlight | Film and Television Rigging

film and tv entertainment rigging

Industry Highlight: Film & Television 

Lights, Camera—Rig?!

It’s easy to think of only industrial applications when we talk rigging, but rigging’s found everywhere—Especially behind the TV screen in the entertainment industry.

When making a feature film or TV show, it takes many people behind the scenes running the lights, camera, sets, costumes, makeup…and the rigging! In the film industry, rigging technicians are referred to as grips. Although it’s one of the lesser-known film-industry teams, they are an integral part of many different aspects within film-making.

Next time you’re enjoying a movie full of fun camera angles or high-speed Hollywood chase scenes—Know that a grip made that possible!

What Does the Grip Department Do?

The grip department is in charge of all rigging needs behind the scenes—Lifting, carrying, transporting, rigging, operating, building, and placing production equipment where it needs to be. This means they’re in charge of all equipment that helps to lift or hoist other equipment, often with a main focus on:

  • Camera rigs -- Used to stabilize camera movements or to achieve difficult angles
  • Lighting rigs -- Used to achieve specific lighting techniques or effects.

But it doesn’t stop there. Grips often play more roles then the actors on set, including the role of carpenter, electrician, mechanic, and of course, rigger. They’re the people who make showbiz function.

The grip team is often led by what is referred to as the “Key Grip”, the team lead, and the “Best Boy”, the second-in-command.

Rigging Equipment Used in Film

Grips have to be ready to be thrown into many different types of rigging jobs on set working with equipment like:

  • Tripods
  • Dollies
  • Tracks
  • Jibs
  • Cranes -- Want to see a camera crane in action? Check out this video.
  • Static Rigs
  • Camera Mounts
  • Light Mounts

Rigging Grips often work with specialized companies to tailor-make pieces of equipment to facilitate what’s needed for the specific production. Things like difficult camera maneuvers sometimes require specialized equipment, especially if the filming is taking place in a location with extreme terrain and/or severe weather conditions.

Check out this video by the RocketJump Film School that goes through some of the equipment used by Rigging Grips and how to use it!  Pigeon plate? Gobo head? Quarter apple? Yes, these are real terms and not random gibberish! Of course, it makes sense a fun job like this would mean lots of fun nicknames for the rigging equipment used.

One of the key types of equipment you’ll see featured in this video are different types of lifting clamps. Lifting clamps are used to latch onto plates, sheets, grinders, pipes and other materials for positioning, hoisting and transferring. This eliminates the need for creating a hitch or drilling into the material—A key element when working on sets that can’t be modified for rigging purposes.

Hercules SLR sells Crosby lifting clamps with a variety of working load capacities and jaw opening sizes. Crosby lifting clamps are produced using advanced manufacturing techniques and are able to withstand abusive field conditions. Each clamp is individually proof tested to two times the working load limit and you’ll always find the Crosby logo, working load limit (WLL), jaw opening, unique serial number, and proof load test date permanently stamped on the clamp bodies.

How Grips Facilitate Safety on Set

Like we always say here at Hercules SLR, rigging is all about safety. The end goal of any rigging task should always boil down to getting the job done while keeping the people, product, and environment unharmed. Since Grips are responsible for all of the rigging on set, they also become responsible for some of the most important safety precautions.

As the video above goes through each of the pieces of hardware and how to use them -- They are sure to mention what measures are necessary to keep the equipment safe and secure. Nobody wants expensive lights or other film equipment falling mid-shoot and smashing into a million pieces, and more importantly, nobody wants that to happen over an actor or crew member’s head!

Some of the mentioned safety measures include:

Cotter Pins: Cotter pins act as a locking mechanism and prevents parts from slipping off other parts.

Safety Cables: Safety Chains are an important part of many different applications of rigging and simply stops the fixture from falling if the hardware fails. The safety is attached to the hardware and looped around the beam or bar it is attached to. This way if the clamp fails, the fixture will only drop a short distance and be caught by the chain.

Safety Tip -- Always check the weight rating set on safety chains to ensure it can take the weight of the clamp and anything it’s holding -- Otherwise, it too will break in case of the hardware failing! 

Sandbags: Sandbags are a popular choice for counterweights in the film and theatre industry. In the video, you see them used to weight down a floor plate, but they are also used to secure scenery and props, balance hemp rigging, and a variety of other purposes. They come in a variety of sizes and weights!

Cribbing: Cribbing is used only when clamping on a wooden surface as there is little way to tighten a clamp onto a wooden surface enough for it to be secure, without damaging the wood. Cribbing refers to two pieces of wood that you place on either side of the wooden surface so you may tighten the clamp as much as needed without worrying about damaging the structure itself. This may be seen as more of a cosmetic precaution in other industries, but within the film industry, it’s the only way they can tighten their clamps to a safe point while on the set of a historical home, school or hospital.

Rope Access

As you would imagine, filming doesn’t always take place in locations that are set up for rigging. Often times Grips are faced with figuring out how to rig in tricky locations that may seem impossible to reach. So how do they do it? Rope access!

Rope Access is an innovative access solution that enables a technician to use two ropes and a harness system to position themselves in nearly any work environment. This eliminates the need for scaffolding or other heavy access equipment in locations that simply can’t support it. Using the unique gear system, the grip can maneuver themselves with complete 360-degree mobility in difficult locations while completing the task at hand.

Confined space training may be necessary based on the environment they are working in, and is a great way to ensure the safety of your team while rigging in tight locations. Confined Space Entrant/Attendant
Training (CSEA) is just one of the many courses available at the Hercules Training Academy



NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE’LL SET THE SCENE SO YOUR SET CAN BE SAFE, SECURE & . 

Product Spotlight | Crosby Forged Sorting Hooks

Product Spotlight: Crosby Forged Sorting Hooks

Today, the Hercules SLR product spotlight is on Crosby forged sorting hooks. While sorting hooks may not be a piece of rigging equipment the everyday rigger reaches for every day, they are extremely handy when put to use in their intended capacity.

Sorting hooks are manufactured for use in sorting and laying out plates, pipes, cylindrical or tube shapes and other items that allow the full depth of the hook throat to be engaged. They are always used in multiple sling leg applications, in order to balance the load by engaging it on multiple ends.

Although many hooks used in overhead lifting are required to be equipped with a latch, sorting hooks are one of the few types of hooks designed not to use a latch as it would limit the practical use of the hook when lifting plates and cylindrical loads where full throat engagement of the hook is required.

Sorting hooks should be used at a 30° to 45° angle to get full engagement. Since the equipment functionally relies on its long throat being fully engaged, if you fail to do this, it will result in a significant reduction to the working load limit (WLL) of the hook. With this being said, you never want to concentrate your load on the last two inches of the hook tip, as this too would mean the full throat of the hook would not be properly engaged – and that section of the equipment is not made to support significate weight as it tapers off to being much thinner then the weight baring sections of the hook.

Crosby Forged Sorting Hooks are made of forged alloy steel that’s both quenched and tempered. One of Crosby’s many key attributes in that they full-cycle quench and temper heat treatment all of their equipment. In order to properly transform the microstructure of drop forgings (fancy right?!) products are re-heated after forging, then quenched and tempered* using tightly controlled processes and equipment. This heat treatment provides consistent temperature control and results in superior material properties.

*But what in the world is quenching and tempering? The process of quenching or “quench hardening” involves heating the material and then rapidly cooling it to set the components into place as quickly as possible. Tempering is achieved by heating the quenched material below the critical point for a set period of time, then allowing it to cool in still air.

10 Tips From Crosby to Keep In Mind When Using Sorting Hooks

  1. The sorting and laying out process includes moving these materials at a height close to the ground with the load and load connections visually observable by the crane operator throughout the entire load handling activity.
  2. The hooks must be attached in a manner that will maintain a level, balanced and stable condition throughout the entire process.
  3. If the load exhibits obvious bending, the lift must then be immediately stopped for analysis and evaluation to ensure safety.
  4. During the load handling activity, the slings with hooks at the load connections must remain under tension at all times to prevent any of the hooks from disengaging.
  5. Never concentrate loading on the last 2 inches of the hook tip.
  6. Never exceed 45 degrees “included angle” between two sling legs that are on the same side of the load. Exceeding 45 degrees may result in the slings slipping along the load surface.
  7. The recommended angle of loading when using sorting hooks is 30 to 45 degrees. These lower angles, although typically discouraged for most rigging applications, allows the load to more easily obtain full hook throat engagement. When the angle of loading is greater than 45 degrees, tip loading and failure to obtain full hook throat engagement is very much a concern.
  8. Sorting hooks are for straight in-line loading only. Sideloading applications are not allowed.
  9. Calculate the sling tension and know the loading in all connection points to ensure all rigging gear is sized appropriately.
  10. Never exceed the working load limit as stated on the sling identification tag. Remember, sorting hooks are used in multiples, such as two-, three-, or four-leg wire rope sling assemblies. All slings require proper identification including the capacity of the sling assembly.

Bonus Tip!

The real Pelican Hook

Sorting hooks are known as many things, such as lay out hooks, shake out hooks or pelican hooks. Though, if you refer to them as pelican hooks, be sure the person you’re speaking with truly knows what you mean because there is actually a different type of hook used in nautical and marine applications that’s really called a pelican hook. The real pelican hook is meant for securing ship anchors, life raft canisters or cargo gear and they are not rated to perform overhead lifts.

Pssstt…If you’re looking for an actual pelican hook, head on over to Hercules SLR’s sister company, Spartan Marine! Spartan Marine is your source for high-quality marine products and services, offering a wide range of solutions to those with industrial, commercial and recreational marine interests.


Crosby is one of the most recognizable names in the rigging industry and has been for over 100 years. Crosby makes over 2,000 rigging and lifting products to meet all your hoisting needs, and Hercules SLR is proud to be an Authorized Crosby Distributor and a Certified Crosby Repair Center.

Why shop around? When you buy Crosby rigging equipment from Hercules SLR, you don’t just get a shackle or an eye bolt—You get unparalleled asset management service (did we mention it’s free?), qualified inspection technicians for service & preventive maintenance and peace-of-mind knowing your equipment is safe to lift, hoist or move.

See your Crosby gear from purchase, all the way to service with Hercules SLR’s extensive product selection, inspection & service team, asset management, testing and more.


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Product Spotlight | What are Lifting Clamps?

Product Spotlight: What are Lifting Clamps?

What do you do when you need to lift a beam, pipe or piece of sheet metal with no lifting point? AND you’re told you’re not able to cause any surface damage to the material? Easy—You grab a lifting clamp!

Lifting clamps are used to latch onto plates, sheets, grinders, pipes and other materials for positioning, hoisting and transferring. This eliminates the need for creating a hitch or drilling into the material. When in use, lifting clamps use powerful springs that allow the clamp to essentially become one with the material being lifted (yes, it holds on THAT tight). Most often, lifting clamps are used on sheet, plates or fabrications— Because of this, many people know lifting clamps as ‘plate clamps’ or ‘sheet clamps’.

What are Lifting Clamps? | Types of Lifting Clamps

There are many different types of lifting clamps, but the majority of them fit within two categories—Vertical lifting clamps and horizontal lifting clamps. The following are some examples of lifting clamps sold by Crosby!

Hercules SLR sells Crosby lifting clamps with a variety of working load capacities and jaw opening sizes. Crosby lifting clamps are produced using advanced manufacturing techniques and are able to withstand abusive field conditions. Each plate clamp, beam lifting clamp, and drum clamp features a welded alloy steel body that is designed to have high-strength while still being lightweight and compact. Crosby lifting clamps are individually proof tested to two times the working load limit and you’ll always find the Crosby logo, working load limit (WLL), jaw opening, unique serial number, and proof load test date permanently stamped on the clamp bodies.

Vertical Lifting Clamps

Vertical lifting clamps are used for lifting, turning, moving or vertical transfer of sheet plates, or fabrications from horizontal to vertical and down to horizontal (180 degrees) as need.

  1. The IPU10 has a hinged hoisting eye which allows for the clamp to place and lift the load from any direction, or with a multiple leg sling without side-loading the clamp. The IPU10S is for use with stainless steel and the IPU10H is for use with materials with a surface hardness up to 47Rc (450 HB)
    • Available in capacities of 0.5 through 30 metric tons (higher WLL are available upon request).
    • Wide variety of jaw openings available from 0″ to 6.1″.
  2. The IPNM10N will not mark or scratch the material surface, making it suitable for materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, painted materials, aircraft skins, composite material, glass, and plastic.  The IPNM10P does this while also providing a protective cover that will reduce the risk of damage to surrounding plates.
    • Available in capacities of 0.5, 1 and 2 metric tons.
    • Wide variety of jaw openings available from 0″ to 1.57″.
  3. The IPU10A automatically clicks on to the material as soon as the clamp is placed on the plate. The safety lock will remain in position as the clamp closes precluding hazardous situations. This also allows the clamp to be easily fastened to difficult to reach areas.
    • Available in capacities of 1 and 2 metric tons.
    • Wide variety of jaw openings available from 0″ to 1.97″.

Horizontal Lifting Clamps

Horizontal lifting clamps have a pretension feature that allows users to attach the clamps to the material for horizontal lifting and transfer of non-sagging material. These clamps must be used in pairs or more.

  1. The IPHNM10 may only be used on material surfaces that have no damage and the IPH10 and IPH10E have spring-loaded tension.
    • IPHNM10 and IPH10 are available in capacities of 0.5 through 12 metric tons and IPH10E are 2.0 through 25 metric tons.
    • Jaw openings available from 0″ to 4.75″ (IPH10E only goes to 4.72″)
  2. The IPHOZ is used on thin sheets and other materials that will sag or bend when lifted.
    • Available in capacities of 0.75 through 15 metric tons.
    • Wide variety of jaw openings available from 0″ to 2.36″.
  3. The IPBC has clamps with a pretension feature that allows the user to attach the clamps to sagging and non-sagging materials. These clamps may also be used to handle material that will be used in shears, bending and rolling machines or other fabrication equipment. This clamp may also be used for turning beams from the “H” into the “I” position. IPHGZ and IPHGUZ have these capabilities and may also be used to move and life structural shapes such as I-Beams, H-Beams, etc.
    • Available in capacities of 1 through 4.5 metric tons.
    • Jaw openings available from 0″ to 1.57″.
  4. The IPPE10B(E) is suitable for use on bundles or unbendable sheets of metal. The jaw opening can be easily adjusted for the height of the bundle or the plate. It also has magnets in the footplate, allowing one person to operate multiple clamps at the same time when lifting loads. IPPE10BNM may be used for virtually all applications, where the objects that are being lifted or transported require optimal protection against surface damage.
    • Available in capacities of 3 and 12 metric tons.
    • Wide variety of jaw openings available from 0″ to 7.09″.

Specialized Clamps

Crosby also makes lifting clamps for further specialized uses such as beam lifting clamps, shipbuilding clamps, positioning screw clamps, pipe grabs, beam clamps, concrete road barrier grabs, granite curb grabs, and pipe hooks. If you’re interested in learning more in-depth information about these specialized clamps, email us or call us at 1-877-461-4876.

What are Lifting Clamps? Their Uses

  • The Mining/Quarrying Industry – Many extracting and maneuvering operations use lifting clamps capable of meeting the needs of extreme conditions found in everyday operations within the mining/quarrying industry.
  • Transportation/Towing Industry – Lifting clamps are used in the transportation & towing industry to load vehicles onto trailers, load finished products into containers, and transfer bulky items used in production and construction.
  • Construction Industry – Lifting clamps are on many materials within the construction industry such as fabricated building materials like iron sheets, heavy doors, windows, metals pipes, timber, floors or walls.
  • Steel Industry – You’ll likely find lifting clamps in most foundries and metalworking facilities as lifting clamps are used so much in this industry – The hardware is often known as a ‘plate clamp’ or ‘sheet clamp’ (as we’ve mentioned above), because of its use moving plates of steel.

Lifting Clamp Dos and Don’ts

Based on safety guidelines recommended by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), here are some easy dos and don’t to keep you and your load safe when using a lifting clamp.

DO

  • Select the correct clamp for the job – ensure you’re using the correct clamp for directional lifting (vertical, horizontal or universal) and that the clamp is rated for the thickness and weight of the materials being lifted.
  • Refer to the manufacturers’ operating instructions.
  • Inspect clamps visually before each use.
  • Lift one piece of material at a time unless using clamps and methods approved for otherwise.
  • Use two or more clamps to balance a long or flexible load (always use two or more if manufacture guidelines suggest).
  • Install the clamp(s) over the center of gravity of the load.
  • When using vertical lifting clamps, consider using a locking device to prevent accidental loosening.
  • Always use clamps within their rated capacity and flange width.
  • Ensure clamps are locked in place before lifting a load.
  • Use slings between the clamp and cranes or hoist hooks.
  • Use non-marring (rubber pad) clamps in pairs when lifting finished and polished plates
  • Lift smoothly and avoid jolts.
  • If the use of a tag line is necessary, attach it to the clamp before lifting the plate.

DON’T

  • Do not lift over workers and do not stand near a load – Position yourself away from a fully clear of the load. Remember to also consider how the load might fall when it lands.
  • No not overload or underload a clamp.
  • Do not lift from the side with a vertical-only clamp.
  • Do not attempt to lift materials from the bottom of a stack.
  • Do not drag the load using the lifting clamp.
  • Do not use a clamp having a minimum jaw opening larger than the thickness of the load.
  • Do not leave suspended loads unattended.

Lifting Clamp Inspections

Before using ANY rigging hardware, you should always perform visual inspections to ensure you aren’t using hardware that’s damaged or weakened, making it unsafe to use.

But, keep in mind these quick visual inspections should not and DO NOT replace any required annual inspections. Without inspections and maintenance, equipment failures can have a major effect on safety, unscheduled outages and your business costs. Hercules SLR has qualified technicians to inspect and repair your securing, lifting and rigging equipment on-site or in one of our full service, rigging shops. Our experienced and LEEA certified team will ensure that your equipment complies with ASME and provincial regulations. Staying on top of your required annual inspections has never been easier with the Hercules SLR team.

How to visually inspect the exterior of a lifting clamp

  • Always follow the hardware’s manufacturer maintenance recommendations.
  • Inspect internal and external surfaces for forging or weld fractures, wear or distortion.
  • Check all pin holes for wear.
  • Inspect the throat (clamp opening) width – At zero grip, the clamp should be in full contact with the pad.
  • Measure the width of the throat – If the measurement at the base (where the pad is located) is greater than at the top, the body has been overloaded and the clamp and tag need to be replaced.

Crosby is one of the most recognizable names in the rigging industry, and has been for over 100 years. Crosby makes over 2,000 rigging and lifting products to meet all your hoisting needs, and Hercules SLR is proud to be an Authorized Crosby Distributor and a Certified Crosby Repair Center.

See your Crosby gear from purchase, all the way to service with Hercules SLR’s extensive product selection, inspection & service team, asset management, testing and more.


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Revolutionary Rigging | The Spydercrane

Revolutionary Rigging | The Spydercrane

What’s a spydercrane? Although this spyder is a little bit too big to squish with your shoe… No need to worry arachnophobes, the only thing the Spydercrane and the actual creepy-crawly have in common are it’s 4 long legs which give it a spider-like appearance.

This new crane is much like a boom lift, but its small base and spyder legs or ‘outriggers’ makes it much more versatile than the typical boom lift.

The spydercrane was originally manufactured by Furukawa UNIC Corporation in Japan, and is called the Mini Crawler Crane. Roger Bassetti and Warren Wagoner from Phoenix-based Smiley Lift Solutions saw the crane while on a business trip to Japan and immediately knew that they needed to bring the mini crane technology to the North American Market. So, the Spydercranes we see around the US and Canada come from Smiley Lift Solutions!

What Makes the Sydercrane Special?

Here you see the Sypercrane easily wheeling through a doorway in travel mode

The key feature of the Spydercrane is that they offer a compact design that allows for operation in confined areas. The smaller models are able to travel through a standard width door frame when compact into their ‘travel position’ and the largest of the models are able to travel through a standard double-door.

Travel-mode in the larger Spydercrane models also includes a quick disassemble system that allows the outriggers, boom, and frame to be removed reducing the overall weight of the crane for transporting or hoisting.

You may be starting to get that “it’s too good to be true” ring in the back of your mind thinking it must be an absolute pain to get a crane from all tucked up in travel mode to a useable piece of equipment. However, you can easily set up a typical Spydercrane from travel mode to fully deployed and ready for action in less than 5 minutes! Don’t believe it? Check out this video from GLG Canada showing in real-time just how easy the Sydercrane set-up is!

Many of the models of Sypdercrane come with some other cutting-edge features that make the Sydercrane even more unique. Some of these include:

It’s patented Overturn Protection System: This is comprised of an on-board computer system that continually measures the ground pressure of each of the outriggers through an incorporated “load cell”. During a lift, if the system detects an outrigger is losing ground pressure, an alarm will sound and the crane will start to slow done all functions. If two outriggers start to lose ground pressure, the crane will automatically stop all functions that would put the crane closer to an unsafe position. With the alarm sounding and the crane at a safe stopped position, the operator is able to maneuver the crane back into a safe lifting position.

Variable Geometry Outriggers: The outriggers are designed to allow for lifts in tight spaces. It allows for the outriggers to be locked in numerous positions on the swing, knee, and inner box joints. This means the mini crane can be set up around obstacles, on a catwalk, or in a machinery room with very limited space.

Remote Control and Pressure Sensitive Controls: Unlike most cranes, the Spydercrane offers pressure-sensitive controls that will speed or slow the crane’s functions based on the amount of pressure input by the operator. Most models of the Spydercrane are also equipped with a wireless remote control so the operator themselves can be in the best vantage point for the lift, rather than needing to be on board running controls.

Superior Materials and Construction: The Spydercrane is designed with a hexagonal keeled boom instead of the standard square boom, which adds strength and reduces sway. This is made up of steel that is rated at 140,000 -- 160,000 yield (psi), which is the highest tinsel-yield steel making it thinner and lighter but still stronger than most conventional crane materials.

Spydercrane Models

090 Series

This series is made for job sites requiring a small crane with a boom length of 18 -- 28.4 ft and a maximum lifting capacity of 1,990 lbs. There are three models in this series, the URW094, URW095, and URW095S, which are all generally used in confined spaces where the typical crane would never fit.

090 series cranes can be configured around obstacles, can be set-up on uneven ground, or operated in confined spaces like hallways and up against walls.

200 Series

This series of the Spydercrane is deemed the most versatile and is therefore popular among many industries, On of the most popular uses of this crane is as a glazing tool to set glass and other materials. Three models are available within this series that range in boom length from 24.9 ft -- 28.4 ft and maximum lifting capacity of 5,800 lbs and 6,450 lbs. The geometric footprint of this model of the Spydercrane makes it suitable for use in hallways, balconies, or around obstacles.

All of the models within this series are equipped with the wireless radio remote control mentioned above, which frees the operator from being tethered to the crane.

300 Series

The 300 series Spyderceane is the perfect lifting solution for modern construction sites, as it’s a bit bigger than other models with an increased boom length of 47’10” and a maximum lifting capacity of 5,800 lbs and 6,680 lbs depending on the model.

Though it’s a larger ‘spyder’ when in use, it is only 52 inches wide when in travel mode, which will allow you to move it into any space through a standard double-door -- And it’s zero-emission power options allow for use in indoor construction projects with low ventilation.

500 Series

The 500 series Spydercrane is perfect for steel erection as it offers a lifting capacity of up to 8,920 lbs and a boom length of 8.0 ft. The 500 series Spydercrane is revolutionizing how buildings are built with its heavy-lifting capacity and ability to perform in confined spaces.

This crane is also able to move through a standard double-door when in travel mode and can be used in job sites with low ventilation thanks to its zero-emission power options. And to top it all off, it comes mounted on a dual rubber track with a quick disassemble system that allows the outriggers, boom, and frame to be removed reducing the overall weight of the crane for transporting or hoisting.

700 Series

You may have sensed a theme and can guess that the 700 series Spydercrane is the largest Spydercrane currently available in the North American market. While it is described as a “beast” it still keeps the key feature of the Spydercrane in being compactable down to 5.48′ wide. The 700 Series Spydercrane can really do it all with a lifting capacity of over 6 tons.

Coming jam-packed with all of the features mentioned before throughout smaller series of the crane, the URW706 model has the ability to rotate 360 degrees in places, making it a dream to maneuver through confined spaces. You can find this tarantula level super Spyder crane being used in almost any industrial industry!


No matter how unique and revolutionary your crane is, it’s always important to ensure you’re keeping up with mandatory maintenance and inspections.

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

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. (And, we know what happens when this level of care is overlooked).

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


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Rigging in Space | SpaceX Uses Crosby 

Rigging in Space: SpaceX Uses Crosby 

Rocket science—Pushing the boundaries between new technology and old technology.

Whether you’re familiar with the ins and outs of rocket science or not, you probably have some idea of its complexity. Rocket science has even become slang for anything overly complex, detailed or confusing—With “It’s not rocket science” becoming a popular way of saying that something isn’t very complex.

But, did you know that even the rocket science industry depends on rigging hardware and technology in order to successfully see their work come to life?

SpaceX, Elon Musk’s Company, has gained worldwide attention for a series of historic milestones. It’s the only private company that has returned a spacecraft from low Earth orbit, which it first accomplished in 2010. The company made history again in 2012 when their Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.

Even a record-breaking company like SpaceX relies on the tried and true technology of rigging. Crosby wide body shackles were used on the recent SpaceX Starship lift near Brownsville, TX, to join the two halves of the spacecraft together.

SpaceX operates the world’s only operational reusable orbital-class rockets and spacecraft designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond. Once complete, this star-ship will be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed. It will have the ability to carry in excess of 100 metric tonnes into Earth’s orbit.

Unfortunately that prototype, the Starship MK1, partially exploded during a pressurized test conducted by the SpaceX team late last month. It erupted at its tip, sending vapor and shrapnel flying into the air—You can check out the explosion here, captured on YouTube.

However, as stated by SpaceX a few hours following the test, “The purpose of today’s test was to pressurize systems to the max, so the outcome was not completely unexpected…There were no injuries, nor is this a serious setback.”

They’re wasting no time jumping into the next model, the Mk3, so there will surely be lots of record-breaking updates to come in this saga of futuristic space exploration!


Nobody knows what the future of space exploration holds—But something we can always be sure about is Crosby. The Crosby brand has been trusted for more than 130 years as the world’s leading manufacturer for rigging, lifting, and material handling applications.

Crosby delivers the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of products, engineered to exceed the toughest demands—Even when faced with lifting a SPACESHIP!

Hercules SLR is proud to be an Authorized Crosby Distributor and a Certified Crosby Repair Center. See your Crosby gear from purchase, all the way to service with Hercules SLR’s extensive product selection, inspection & service team, asset management, testing and more.


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Crane Pre-Use Inspection Checklist | What to Look For

Crane Pre-Use Inspection Checklist: What to Look For

Crane Pre-Operation Inspection

When it comes to crane inspections, keeping up with them on the required inspection schedule should ALWAYS be the #1 priority.

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.

However, in-between those required inspections, it’s always a good idea to be proactive about your workplace safety and perform pre-operation inspections.

If your company provides it, always use and follow maintenance checklists that include critical safety components as specified by the manufacturer, professional engineer and/or your company’s requirements. The following list is based on information provided by the Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) and can serve as a good starting point in the creation of a company-specific checklist that suits your crane and any specialized hardware being used more effectively.

Crane Pre-Use Inspection Checklist: What to Check for During Pre-Operation Inspection

  • All capacity markings are present
  • All rope has no sign of kinks, cuts, breaks, corrosion, reduced diameter, broken strands of wires or other signs of wear or damage.
  • Rope drum cable is positioned correctly in the groove tracking and the means of anchoring is correct with no wear or damage.
  • Sheave ropes and guides are aligned correctly, and there’s no wear on the sheave groove.
  • All hooks are free of cracks, deformation, bent safety latches, broken springs or other signs of wear or damage.
  • You’re using the appropriate type of sling with legible and appropriate capacity ratings, with no holes, cuts, crushed wedding or other signs of damage.
  • All lights are working properly with none burnt out or broken.
  • Mechanical parts and guards aren’t loose, bent broken or missing.
  • Rails aren’t broken chipped or cracked.
  • No signs of wear on wheels (shown by bumpy riding).
  • Bearings aren’t loose or worn.
  • No signs of shoe wear on brakes.
  • Bridge bumpers and trolley end stops aren’t loose, missing or improperly placed.
  • Controller and collector shoes or bars aren’t worn, pitted, loose broken or in faulty operation.
  • All control buttons are labeled to indicate their function, are properly functioning and release immediately without sticking.
  • All boards, railings, and ladders in the foot walk zone are in appropriate condition.
  • All gears are properly lubricated with no presence of foreign materials in the gear teeth (indicated by grinding or squealing).
  • A fire extinguisher is present in the crane cab.
  • Before closing the main or emergency switch, ensure no one is on or around the crane – even when starting on regular duty.
  • Before closing the main switch, make sure that all controllers are in the “off” position.
  • Inspect oil after opening and locking out the main switch.
  • Make sure no overhead power lines are obstructing the crane operation.

 

Document these findings clearly in your maintenance logbook which should include all tests, repairs, modification, and maintenance. Keep this logbook with the crane and call upon certified professional inspection technicians and engineers as required. Never operate the crane if based on these findings it does not seem to be in safe working condition.

Crane Pre-Use Inspection Checklist: What to Inspect While the Crane is Moving

Before lifting any load with a crane, you should always inspect it while it is moving. During this inspection you should be looking out for:

  • Smooth play out of wire rope to and from a drum.
  • Sheaves are turning without binding or jerking as a rope passes over them.
  • Ropes are properly aligned where it enters the sheaves.
  • Ropes aren’t rubbing on the rope sheave guards.
  • No rubbing, scraping, or clattering noises during operation.
  • No jerky movements.
  • Controls and brakes are operating properly.

 

You should also test that the limit switch is working properly by slowly raising the hook block with no load attached to the hook.


When it doubt, always call upon the experts.

These pre-operation inspections should only be used as a way to stay on top of typical wear and tear that may lead to required maintenance.

Without inspections and maintenance, equipment failures can have a major effect on business costs, cause unscheduled outages and most importantly, could cause major and possibly deadly safety hazards. 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.

Hercules SLR has qualified technicians to inspect and 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 serviced, but we didn’t cover it here? Give us a call—We service anything

Find it difficult to track when your crane is do for a full inspection? We know, and we listened. Receive crane service from Hercules SLR and gain access to our free asset management service, CertTracker!


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

5 of the Largest and Strongest Cranes

5 of the Largest and Strongest Cranes

5 of the Largest and Strongest Cranes

There are so many types of cranes and crane equipment, which we’ve covered on the blog before—But which types of cranes are the biggest and strongest? Don’t worry, Hercules SLR is here to help.

Read on to discover what some of the mightiest cranes are and what they can do.

1. LTM 11200-9.1

LTM 11200-9.1 crane

Designed by Liebherr, located in Switzerland, the mobile crane, LTM 11200-9.1, is the strongest telescopic mobile 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.

2. PTC 200 DS PTC 200 DS crane

The PTC 200 DS is owned and operated by a company called Mammoet, located in the Netherlands. This crane is nearly 205 meters (675 feet) tall, has an attachment that can lift 3,500 tons at it’s max capacity and is so large that in order to weigh it down, 35 shipping containers (each 40 feet long) filled with sand are used as counterweights.

This heavy-lift crane has a maximum lift height of 140 meters (459 feet) and a radius of over 136 meters (446 feet). The PTC200 DS can handle a 2,000-ton load at a radius of up to 78 meters with 3,500 tonnes of ballast and 117 meters (383 feet) of boom—Or 58 (190 feet) meters radius on a 140-meter boom. It recently went through an upgrade that allows the crane to lift a 2,000-ton structure in one piece as opposed to lifting it in multiple sections.

The PTC 200 DS heavy-lift crane is used around the world mostly on large refinery and petrochemical projects. The crane was even used to construct the Dubai Observation Wheel, which is the world’s tallest Ferris wheel towering at nearly 213 meters (700 feet) tall. Other than this project, the crane has spent the majority of its life in the United States, South America and here in Canada!

3. The Asian Hercules IIIasian hercules lll 3 crane

The Asian Hercules is one of the world’s largest floating cranes, weighing in at a whopping 16,805-tons. The complete vessel features accommodations for 45 people! With a lifting capacity of 5,000-tons and a maximum lifting height of 120 meters (393 feet), this floating giant is designed for heavy lifting operations offshore.

The Asian Hercules III was constructed in 2015, registered in Singapore and has an ‘ABS A1, + AMS – Heavy Lift Vessel’ classification crane. Among its features, this crane operates with the following winches:

  • 2 cargo winches capable of pulling 20 tons at 10m/min.
  • 2 class anchor winches for handling the 6,975kg HHP bow anchor with a 76 mm grade 3 anchor chain.
  • 2 luffing winches providing a maximum luffing speed of 1.00m/min at full load.
  • 4 main hoisting winches for the A-frame, and 2 for the Jib, each capable of hoisting speeds of 2m/min at full load and 5m/min a light or no load.
  • 2 Jib adjustments winches, mounted on the A-frame, for adjustment of the job without load from 00 to 400 with respect to the A-frame.
  • 2 aux hoisting winches for the A-frame and 1 unit for the Jib, each capable of hoisting speeds of 10m/min at full load of 20 tons.

What’s the Jib? A jib or jib arm is the horizontal or near-horizontal beam used in many types of crane to support the load clear of the main support.

The construction of this mega-crane, designed by Gunnebo, is the culmination of more than 250-years of technical know-how. Designing the vessel required a 5000-ton modular block system with a spreader beam, luffing blocks, and sheaves. After two years of design and construction, the Asian Hercules III is a flexible lifting solution with interchangeable parts that can be customized for different lifting configurations.

4. SGC – 250 sgc-250 crane

The SGC – 250, the Sarens Giant Crane also known as ‘Big Carl’, is a 250,000t/m heavy crane designed to accommodate 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.

After it’s unveiling the SGC – 250 was transported to the UK where it was used on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station construction project. Over the course of that project, the SGC lifted more than 600 pieces of pre-fabricated components.

5. SK10,000

SK10,000

Finishing up our list we have a crane that hasn’t yet hit the scene, but when it does, it will take the spot of the world’s largest land-based crane. The SK10,000, created by ALE, is set to be completed by Q4 of 2020.

As floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) units and floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) units grow in popularity, larger cranes like the SK10,000 become necessary. Often times, modules of these ships are constructed elsewhere and then transferred to the shipyard for assembly. The SK10,000 will allow modules to be installed directly onto the ship’s hulls, advancing current capabilities in terms of both maximum weight lifted and impact on these project’s efficiency.

The SK10,000 will deliver unparalleled lifting capacity as well as a number of other features such as:

  • Jib outreach of up to 200m (655ft).
  • Ground bearing pressure below 25te/m2.
  • A winch hoisting system with various hook blocks to maximize lift capacity and hoisting speed.
  • A small plot area—The design will eliminate the need to install a full ring or crane track unless specifically required for the project, which will reduce the space needed to operate by 45%. This will be ideal for busy shipyards or areas with restricted access like oil refineries or petrochemical plants.
  • Reduced on-site disruption—The large lifting radius will allow the crane to be fully rigged and operated off-plot with less groud preparation needed.
  • Simplified logistics and assembly—ALE‘s specialists will be able to assemble the crane in a matter of weeks using standard plant and a crawler crane.

What’s a crawler crane? A crawler crane has its boom mounted on an undercarriage fitted with a set of crawler tracks that provide both stability and mobility. Crawler cranes range in lifting capacity from 40 to 3,500 short tons.


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

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. (And, we know what happens when this level of care is overlooked).

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


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