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.


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

What You Get When You Buy Crosby Rigging Equipment

crosby rigging equipment

What You Get When You Buy Crosby Rigging Equipment

Have you ever considered where your Crosby rigging and lifting equipment and hardware comes from?

The hooks, shackles, chain, and other rigging accessories you use on the job, and trust to keep you and your load safe, began as simple, raw materials. These raw materials were then forged, assembled and finished into the final product that you buy from rigging shops like Hercules SLR.

Curious about your rigging equipment’s journey from manufacturing to your hands? With Crosby’s Vertically Integrated Supply Chain, you know exactly where the raw materials used to create your rigging hardware originate and where the product is manufactured.

WHAT MAKES CROSBY’S SUPPLY CHAIN SO SPECIAL?

Check out the video below and learn what sets Crosby’s vertically-integrated supply chain apart.

Crosby Rigging Equipment: Key Attributes

Why choose Crosby rigging equipment? Here are some of the characteristics you’re guaranteed to get when you buy Crosby rigging and lifting equipment.

Drop forge Manufacturing: Crosby operates on an over 100 year proven process of forming heated steel bars into fished shapes through compression forces. This provides desirable material properties and efficient shapes for superior product performance.

Job-ready Markings: All Crosby materials feature raised lettering showing the brand, working load limit (WLL), and angle indicators to ensure you are able to choose the proper product is easily identified prior to every lift. This will help costumers avoid incorrect product selection or determination of load angles, which can lead to overloading, and serious safety hazards.

Full-cycle Quench and Temper Heat Treatment: In order to properly transform the micro-structure 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 to below the critical point for a set period of time, then allowing it to cool in still air.

Material Performance: Strength, ductility, fatigue, resistance, and toughness are four highly important material characteristics that are necessary for safe lifting. Each of these things are verified through rigorous testing to reflect how the product will perform in the field. All Crosby drop-forged hardware exceeds these necessary requirements which means they:

  • will always meet load rating,
  • deform when overloaded for visual indication,
  • are suitable for continuous use,
  • have improved resistance to fracturing.

Crosby qualified distributor network: Hercules SLR is proud to be a Crosby qualified distributor. All distributors are selected through a rigorous verification process and only distributors with deep knowledge and capability in lifting and rigging are chosen. Hercules SLR will make sure you get the right equipment at the right time with unparalleled support prior, during, and after your lift.

So, What is a Vertically Integrated Supply Chain?

When someone says “vertically integrated supply chain” they essentially mean that the supply chain is owned by the brand that produces the product. This means that the product you purchase was manufactured by the brand itself, by their employees and in warehouses they own—Rather than outsourcing that labor to a manufacturer.

While it’s not necessarily unusual or poor practice to outsource labor to manufacturers, it does require companies to be a bit more diligent to ensure the product they receive has been manufactured to the quality they expect and need—Vertically integrated supply chains cut out that extra step. It allows for full control of the process from raw materials to finished goods, ensuring a high level of quality and consistency due to multiple inspections.

Some key benefits that come with vertically integrated supply chains are:

  • Control over the supply chain and the quality of raw materials.
  • Control over the production scheduling and the manufacturing process.
  • Internal responsibility for the quality and safety of products.
  • No reliance on suppliers – Allows brands to avoid supply disruption.
  • More cost control.

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.

Rigging Throughout History: How the Hoover Dam was Built

Rigging Throughout History: The Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam (originally known as the Boulder Dam) is one of American’s most famous landmarks—An engineering marvel of it’s time, that still remains one of the largest and most impressive dams to ever be created.

When the construction of the Hoover Dam was complete in March of 1936, it was the heaviest and tallest dam to exist, surpassing the next in line, The Arrowrock Dam, by double the height and triple the width.

This is impressive in any decade, right? Absolutely! But before we had the technology we have today that makes huge construction projects like these much easier, and more importantly, much safer, this feat was even more notable.

Read on to find out how, and why!

The Hoover Dam: It Begins

hoover dam inspection party 1931
An inspection party near the proposed site of the dam in the Black Canyon on the Colorado River.

The Hoover Dam was created to solve two different problems. If you’re not familiar, the Hoover Dam is located on the border of Nevada and Arizona, in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. Prior to construction in 1931, the Colorado River would flood every spring, and often destroyed villages and crops along its path. This was one reason to create the dam, because water would be more controlled and displaced in calculated locations. Then, of course, the second reason is why most things get created—Income generation.

How does the Hoover Dam work? As water flows through large pipes inside the dam, turbines rotate, which then spins a series of magnets, past copper coils and a generator to produce electricity. This electricity helps support Nevada, California, and Arizona still, to this day!

As we mentioned before, this was not (and still isn’t) a simple task. Even today this wouldn’t be a construction project to scoff at, so you can imagine how difficult it was in 1931.

The Hoover Dam is 726.4 feet tall from the foundation of rock at the bottom to the roadway that runs along the top, and is constructed from 3.4 Million cubic meters of concrete. And if that’s not daunting enough, it was constructed in the middle of the desert, which at the time had no local workforce, no infrastructure, or transportation. The closest access to civilization was 30 miles away in Las Vegas, which had a railroad. This railroad became their one and only access point to bring in workers, materials, and supplies.

The construction of the Hoover Dam happened in the middle of the great depression, so despite it being in the middle of nowhere, it didn’t take long to get the workforce they needed. Within 3 weeks of the project being announced, the closest employment office in Las Vegas had received 12,000 applications for work. This wasn’t going to be easy work, but it was a stable income—Something many people at the time didn’t have.

black and white frank crowe hoover dam engineer
Frank Crowe.

Unfortunately, this made exploiting workers easy—If a worker wasn’t able or comfortable doing a task, they would simply be sent away and replaced with one of thousands of other men who’d happily step into the job.

An engineer named Frank Crowe was in the charge of the project, and had 7 years to complete it. If the project wasn’t complete within this timeline, there would be an approximate $3,000 a day financial penalty. Crowe was prepared to complete the project by any means necessary, and even earned the nickname ‘Hurry-Up Crowe’ for his constant efforts to ensure the project was unfolding on-time and on-budget.

A rushed project focused on speed above all else, is often not a safe project—And the Hoover Dam is a perfect example of this.

The Hoover Dam: Phase One

Allow me to set the scene for you—Thousands of untrained workers, in the middle of the desert, during one of the hottest summers on record (temperatures peaking at 49°C), faced with the monumental task of diverting one of America’s most powerful, dominating and unpredictable rivers—Sounds like a perfect storm…right?

In order to create a construction site in the riverbed, four diversion tunnels were driven through the canyon walls, two on the Nevada side and two on the Arizona side. These tunnels were 56 ft (17 m) in diameter and had a combined length of nearly 16,000 ft, or more than 3 miles (5 km). They also had to be sturdy enough to handle the powerful Colorado river, which meant about 850-cubic metrics of water a second.

The process of creating these tunnels involved  drilling holes into the rock, then packing the holes with dynamite. In 1931, this work was traditionally very slow and tedious, with each hole being drilled out individually with a simple drill or jackhammer. But, with a tight deadline in mind, Frank Crowe came up with a faster solution. Specialized 10-ton trucks were brought in that would each have 50 men on board, running 24-30 drills at one time. These trucks would be backed up along the walls of the tunnel, and half of the wall would be able to be drilled at a time. With 8 of these trucks and 500 drills, they were able to create the tunnels in record time. and 10 months ahead of schedule.

But, this did not come without consequence. Temperatures within the tunnels could reach upwards of 60°C, and the only solution presented for this was a team of people they called the “ice brigades” who would go into the tunnels to bring out exhausted workers to plunge them into ice water. Fourteen men died of heat exhaustion alone during the construction of the tunnels.

And the hazards don’t stop there – Many other workers were hospitalized or killed due to carbon monoxide poisoning because the tunnels didn’t have the proper ventilation to support the steady stream of trucks going in and out. Many of these deaths were reported as a pneumonia outbreak, according to doctors at the time, but it’s widely believed that it was misrepresented by the construction company to avoid paying death compensation.

The Hoover Dam: Phase 2

hoover dam high scaler 1931
One of the Hoover Dam “High Scalers”.

After the tunnels were complete, cofferdams (small enclosures so the water can drain) made from materials extracted from the tunnels were put in place, and water was drained from the construction site. In order for the dam to rest on solid rock, accumulated erosion soils and other loose materials in the riverbed had to be removed. Since the dam is an arch-gravity type, the side-walls of the canyon bear weight from the dam as well, so the side-walls also had to be excavated.

The team that performed these side-wall excavations was called “high scalers” and they would work suspended from the top of the canyon with ropes (NOT proper fall protection equipment) and would climb down the canyon walls removing any loose rock with jackhammers and dynamite. Falling objects were the number one cause of death on the dam site, with high scalers often being the victims of this hazard.

To protect themselves against falling objects, some high scalers took cloth hats and dipped them in tar, allowing them to harden. When workers wearing such headgear were struck hard enough to inflict broken jaws, they sustained no skull damage.

These hats went on to be called “hard boiled hats” and companies began ordering the hats and encouraging their use—One of the first versions of the modern hard hat (but not NEARLY as safe, so don’t get any ideas about dipping old hats in tar…please, buy a certified hard hat!)

The Hoover Dam: Phase 3

Once excavations were complete, the concrete staring pouring in, 6,600,000 tons of it to be exact. You may notice a squared pattern along the side of the Hoover Dam, and that’s because it’s made of a series of blocks of concrete—Not a large pour. This is because if they attempted to pour out the Hoover Dam in one continuous piece, it would still be drying today!

LEFT, A bucket holding 18 tons of concrete is maneuvered into positions. RIGHT, Concrete lowered into place.

When the ingredients of concrete are combined (cement, aggregate & water), they trigger a chemical reaction. This reaction generates internal heat, and slows down the curing process—The larger the pour, the longer it takes to harden. A series of interlocking blocks allows the concrete to harden in a more reasonable time-frame.

But there was also the opposite problem—Liquid concrete could harden too fast when attempting to transport it to the top of the dam, where the blocks were being formed, because of the intense desert heat.

To solve this problem, Frank Crowe designed an elaborate network of overhead cables and pullies that would move across the construction site carrying buckets of concrete. This was one of the largest rigging systems to ever be used on a construction site at the time! But I think it’s safe to say it probably wouldn’t pass a modern inspection (definitely not from our LEEA certified technicians)—So don’t start taking any notes!

The Hoover Dam: Lessons Learned

The Hoover Dam project was complete in 1936, 2 years quicker then the original timeline suggests. During construction, 112 people died.

Back in 1931, it wasn’t that uncommon to have a high fatality rate on construction sites. Some of that was because they didn’t have access to the technology we have today (or at least not as good quality), like fall protection equipment or modern hard hats, and other personal protective equipment (PPU). Some of it was also due to the fact that employers were not held accountable to ensure they weren’t putting their workers into unsafe working conditions – Like using the proper equipment and ensuring it’s been inspected and in full working order.

Construction is a dangerous industry, even today, but that doesn’t mean we should ever accept fatalities or even injuries. It’s not 1931 anymore—Employers and construction workers have the responsibility and the right to be able to perform their jobs safely. Now we DO have access to the proper means necessary to create a safe work environment, so there’s no excuse not to be using them.


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

Product Spotlight: What is Aircraft Cable?

aircraft cable blog header

Product Spotlight: What is Aircraft Cable?

Obviously cables are used in an aircraft, right? Easy—Done!

Well, yes, that’s technically correct…But wait, there’s more!

You would assume aircraft cable is a type of wire rope used throughout an aircraft, for everything from adjustable seat back controls to controlling the movement of the wing flaps and landing gear on planes with analog flight systems. These cables are essentially specialized high strength wire rope, made to withstand the special environmental circumstances found on an aircraft such as harsh temperatures and moisture. Aircraft cable is also known as galvanized wire rope, and is often made from carbon steel and is drawn galvanized. Galvanizing protects the cable from corrosion for a period of time, but will discolor to a white or dull appearance—Prolonged exposure to the elements will eventually cause corrosion, which is why it’s always important to keep your aircraft cable up to date with inspections.

So, what is wire rope?

A piece of wire rope has three main components. Individual wires that make up each strand, the strand itself and finally, the core it’s built around. The core is typically composed of fibre core (FC) or steel wire core, called independent wire rope core (IWRC). The steel core increases strength by 7% and the weight by 10%, which provides more support to the outer strands than fibre cores. Steel cores resist crushing and are more resistant to heat.

The design factor of wire rope tells you the ratio between minimum breaking load of the rope and the working load limit (WLL).

Manufactures, like Hercules SLR, stock aircraft cable to commercial and military specifications in stainless steel, galvanized carbon steel, and a variety of other alloys. If you’re curious, the most common aircraft cable diameters are 1/16 through 5/32 with 7×7 or 7×19 construction. Normal breaking strength varies—Here at Hercules SLR we carry aircraft cable from a normal breaking strength of 480lbs to 14,400lbs.

 

However, aircraft cable isn’t just used on airplanes! It’s typically used in more strenuous applications because of its ability to withstand harsh temperatures and corrosion, but can serve effective in a variety of personal, commercial, industrial and military purposes.

Some examples of uses for aircraft cable NOT found within an aircraft, are:

  • Securing Cargo: Aircraft cable can be used to tie down heavy cargo on ships. Aircraft cable can be particularly useful because as mentioned above, it is resistant to extreme temperatures and moisture.
  • Boats and Docking: Aircraft cable is used for several applications in boats and docking like securing boats, hoisting them out of the water, sailboat rigging and on fishing boats.
  • Pulleys and Winches: The strength of aircraft cable makes it the perfect choice for lifting and hoisting.
  • Stage Rigging: Once again because of it’s strength and durability it is often the cable of choice for the rigging that opens, closes, and lifts heavy curtains, moves backdrops, raises and lowers lighting and so on.
  • Zip Lines: Both galvanized and stainless steel are used for zip lines, depending on the weather conditions in the location of the zip line.
  • Garage Doors: Aircraft cable can be found in garage door raising/lowering mechanisms.
  • Exercise Equipment: Aircraft cable is often used in a variety of exercise equipment, most commonly in weight machines.

Inspecting Aircraft Cable

Aircraft cables, both on and off airplanes, often live in fairly harsh environments—It’s often the wire rope of choice in those circumstances. As well, on some aircraft’s, the cable remains in one static position around pulley bends for extended periods of time. You should always ensure ALL of your rigging gear is inspected on it’s recommended timeline—But it’s especially important when you know the equipment is being exposed to harsh environments.

At every inspection, all control cables must be inspected for broken wires strands—This includes sections of the cable that may be hidden behind or within part of the aircraft structure. One of the easiest ways to do this is to run a cotton cloth over the length of the wire, checking for any places where the material get’s snagged. Any cable that has a single broken wire strand located around critical fatigue areas (where the cable runs around a pulley, sleeve or through a fair-lead; or any section where the cable is flexed, rubbed, or worked) must be replaced. Generally, SOME broken wires in non-critical areas are okay, but always consult your service/maintenance manual.

You’ll also want to look out for any flat spots, any areas where the cable twist is unraveling, or any other condition resulting in the cable being distorted—If any of these things are present, you must replace the cable.

It is recommended to remove the cable from critical areas and flex them to ensure that all cables on the inside of the wire rope haven’t worn down due to environmental deterioration, distortion or fatigue. This is definitely recommended if you haven’t been keeping up with regular inspections. There is a chance that the cable could look completely sound from the outside, but as soon as you remove it from the position it has remained in for so long, it will completely fail.


Need aircraft cable? Need an inspection? We’ve got you covered!

With a full service, one-stop-shop for rigging companies with all the service, inspections and repairs that any company would need, we can top the rest! Our goal is to make it look like you don’t need us! From advice, help with design, problem solutions, through to seamless procurement and excellent customer service, we are here to support your business and move it forward—Whatever it is, we can help.


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

Industry Highlight: A Look into the Quarry Industry

a look into the quarry industry

Industry Highlight: A Look into the Quarry Industry

What is Quarrying?

Quarrying is an industry that’s been around for centuries on earth—Essentially since the very beginning. During the Stone Age, one of man’s very first innovations was learning to chip away limestone for making tools like hammers, hand axes, and cutting instruments. Quarrying is essentially the process of extracting natural resources from the earth—Which in modern-day, are used often in the construction industry.

So, what’s a quarry? A quarry, sometimes known as a surface mine, open pit or opencast mine, is the section of earth that the minerals are being extracted from. Quarries produce a range of useful materials like limestone, dimension stone, rock, sand or gravel. These raw materials are used in the foundations of our homes, schools, hospitals, roads and so much more! Nearly two-thirds of all the stone produced in Canadian quarries is crushed and used for concrete and asphalt aggregates.

The image below, created by The Institute of Quarrying, illustrates what a typical quarrying process may look like:

quarrying process

As you can see, quarrying involves many different steps, each involving a different team of professionals and different tools/ machinery. And, of course, this process will look different depending on the material being produced. However, putting the most common practice simply – They begin by digging a pit to access the deposit, and create a vertical face of exposed rock. Then, large chunks are dislodged from the walls, usually through controlled blasting using explosives. This rock is then crushed, impurities are removed and the resulting materials are graded by size before being stockpiled. The materials are then transported by road, rail or sea for use!

What do Quarries Produce?

Like we mentioned, quarries produce a wide variety of natural materials that make up a lot of the build-up world around us. The principal types of stone quarried in Canada are limestone, granite, sandstone, and marble. According to The Canadian Encyclopedia limestone accounts for 79% of the total material quarried in Canada, the largest single material export by far.

Quarries are also known to produce:

  • Gypsum
  • Salt
  • Potash
  • Coal
  • Chemical Grade Limestone
  • Common Clay’s
  • China Clay or Kaolin
  • Ball Cays
  • Silica Sand

These materials then feed into many other industries like ready-mixed-concrete plants, coating plants to produce asphalt and bituminous road-making materials, cement and lime burning kilns, concrete block and pipe works, brick works, pottery works, and plaster/plasterboard factories. Quarrying for many industries is the unspoken first step in their processes, providing them with many vital materials.

Quarrying Safely

Significant safety hazards are present in quarries, as you would imagine when working with heavy pieces of rock, explosives, large machinery and the number of moving parts many quarrying cites have (as you can see in the quarrying process photo above). The Mine Safety and Health Administration reports that incidents involving the handling of materials is the highest cause for injuries in quarries/mines.

When it comes to handling heavy materials, it’s important you’re using equipment you can trust to lift the load safely and effectively—That’s where we come in. Hercules SLR is your one-stop-shop for all things securing, yoke hardware hooks eye bolts and shackles lifting and rigging. Our focus is to provide securing, lifting and rigging solutions that allow our customers to get the job done safely and efficiently.

For example, Hercules SLR is a Master Distributor of YOKE rigging hardware—A perfect choice for handling materials in quarrying. Since 1985, YOKE manufactures durable, reliable & high-quality rigging hardware that keeps your load secure, and your team safe. They run a strict production facility, with a huge emphasis on quality control & safety at every stage of the manufacturing process—From raw materials to the finished product for the end-user, with facilities across the globe, in Canada, Los Angeles and China. YOKE is an ISO 9001 certified company with Type-Approval by major international authorities like SABS, ZU, ABS, API, and DNV. YOKE has achieved various certifications that ensure their unsurpassed product engineering.

If you’re looking to bring your material handling safety to the next level, consider taking one of our many Hercules Training Academy courses like the fundamentals of rigging.


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

Safety Gloves: An Important Part of Your PPE

safety-gloves-blog-header

Safety Gloves: An Important Part of Your PPE

What comes to mind when you think of the number one tool you use at work? For many people, the correct answer to this question is right in front of you—Your hands.

You may not consider it, but your hands do a lot throughout the day, and I bet your job would get a whole lot harder without them. But yet, when it comes to assembling your personal protective equipment (PPE), sometimes proper safety gloves don’t make the list. You, like many others, may not understand why protecting your hands is so important, or what type of glove is the right choice for you—Because it’s not just about wearing safety gloves, it’s about wearing the right safety gloves.

Protect your #1 tool, and read on to learn a bit more about why safety gloves are so important, and how to choose the right ones for your work conditions.

The Importance of Wearing Safety Gloves

Not only are your hands one of your most important tools, they are very complex tools that aren’t always easy to fix (as you can imagine, spare parts are hard to track down). If a severe hand injury accrues, you may have to deal with effects like loss of motion, dexterity, and grip for the rest of your life.

But the good news is – Many of these injuries can be prevented by wearing the right safety gloves. Safety glove technology has progressed to include features like being cut-resistant, heat-resistant, anti-impact, anti-vibration, and so much more! You shouldn’t have an issue tracking down a glove that will protect you from any hazards present in your workplace.

What Hazards do Safety Gloves Protect Against?

Chemical and Biohazards – When handling chemicals or biohazards, it can only take one touch to cause a chemical burn or infection. Because of this, you need a glove that forms a complete barrier around your hands. Typical glove materials for chemical protection are latex, nitrile, neoprene, polyvinylchloride, or other polymers – Like the Chemstop™ – Premium Quality PVC Coated Gloves. For chemical mixtures or jobs where multiple hazards are present, it may be necessary to wear gloves that have the highest chemical resistance or in some cases wearing a combination of different types of gloves. Employers should always refer to the chemical’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for selecting the correct glove materials. Need to brush up on your WHMIS knowledge? Check out our WHMIS 2015 with GHS course!

Cuts, Punctures and Abrasion Hazards – It’s fairly common for these types of hazards to be present in the workplace. For these hazards, gloves need to be able to protect your hands from things like abrasive surfaces, wood and metal splinters and injuries associated with cut or scrapes while still providing high levels of dexterity and tactile sensitivity. Typical materials for cut and puncture protection are leather, canvas, cotton, cotton blends or other synthetic materials. Often times additional protection is added by applying various coatings to sections of the glove or by lining the gloves with impact or vibration-dampening gels or pads.

Impact Injuries – If you’re performing tasks like swinging a hammer or lifting heavy objects then you need gloves that protect you from impact injuries. Any job where your hands might be crushed or hit by tools, equipment, or supplies requires reliable, impact-resistant work gloves. Impact-resistant gloves feature a padded outer shell strategically placed to the areas on your hands where impacts are most likely to occur. Gloves like Oilbloc™ Goatskin Kevlar “SUP”® Lined Anti-Impact Driver Gloves allow some of the force of the impact to be absorbed and spread out over a larger surface.

Heat and Arc hazards – These hazards are present in many fields such as welding, glass manufacturing, petrochemical plants, oil fields, and the natural gas industries. Safety gloves that are specifically made to protect your hands against these hazards create a barrier that blocks the heat from reaching your skin. Depending on the temperature, type of heat (e.g. dry, moist, thermal, ambient), and other work factors, a variety of materials are used such as terry cloth or neoprene.

Severe Weather and Extreme Temperatures – If you’re working in a cold outdoor environment or even a cold-storage facility, you need a thermal barrier on your hands to protect them from damage and to maintain your body heat. Don’t be fooled, protecting yourself from extreme cold is just as important as protecting yourself from extreme heat. Cold temperatures can cause temporary or permanent damage to the skin and muscle tissue – The colder it is, the more protection you need. Gloves made to protect your hands from cold temperatures are often made from materials like PVC, nitrile, animal hide, or Thinsulate™ – as used in the North of 49° gloves.

Persistent Vibrations – Persistent vibration can irritate nerves and nerve endings, damage blood vessels, cause long-term joint and muscle pain, and, in extreme cases, even lead to permanent nerve damage such as neuropathy. You may think you only need gloves that help absorb vibrations when using tools that create a dramatic vibrations such as chainsaws or jackhammers, but in reality, even lower level of vibrations found in tools like sanders or grinders should be protected against because you’re more likely to use these tools for an extended period of time, not noticing the damage being done.

How to Choose the Right Type of Safety Glove

As we mentioned before, keeping your hands safe isn’t just about throwing on any glove you can find – It’s important you’re using the right ones. No single type of glove will provide protection against all safety hazards. You should always check with your jurisdiction to see if there are any regulations around hand protection, but in general, employers are tasked with performing a hazard assessment in order to choose the correct gloves to provide to their employees. But remember, your workplace safety should always be something you take into your own hands. If you feel you haven’t been provided with the correct gloves for your job – speak up!

Based on tips from The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), these steps can help you perform your own hazard assessment and consider whether you’re using the correct gloves for your job.

  1. Take time to think through your work tasks and environments so you have an accurate description in your mind (or on paper if that helps you!) of your day to day work.
  2. Identify all hazards that you come in contact with that may require hand protection. This should include any chemicals you come in contact with as well as physical hazards such as abrasions, tearing, puncturing, fire, temperature, and/or biological hazards.
  3. Determine the amount of flexibility and touch sensitivity you need to safely and effectively complete your tasks. This will affect your choice in thickness of glove material as well as if you may need a textured glove made to aid in grip.
  4. Take into considerating the type of contact you’re making with the hazards you’ve identified (e.g. occasional contact, splashing, or continuous immersion). This will affect your choice in an appropriate length of the glove, as well as the type and thickness of glove material, and whether you need lined or unlined gloves.
  5. Take into account any hazards that may be caused by the gloves themselves keeping in mind your other PPE. For example, heat stress, reduced dexterity, rip or tactile functions, poor comfort or contributing to skin conditions. It’s just as important to have a well-fitted, comfortable, and easy to wear pair of gloves. Gloves won’t protect anything if you’re never wearing them because they hurt your hands or make your job harder. 
  6. Consider any decontamination procedures that need to be followed. Will the gloves need to be disposed of or cleaned after use? If they need to be cleaned, consider the cleaning method, how often they can be cleaned, and any special procedures required for disposing of the “decontamination wash waste”.
  7. Ensure you’ve been given the necessary education and training required which includes: what are the hazards of skin contact with the chemical/materials being used, what are the limitations of the gloves, what could happen and what to do if the gloves fail and when to dispose of or to decontaminate gloves.

Working through this list should give you an idea of what you’re looking for in a glove – working from there you can connect with manufacturers to ensure you’re purchasing a glove that fits your perfect criteria. And remember, it’s not just about the safety features – make sure you’re choosing a glove that’s comfortable, so you’re never drawn to leave them on the table – Even once.

Hercules SLR carries a wide variety of protective gloves and equipment to keep your hands safe no matter the task. Choose from a wide selection of gloves along with rubber gloves, hand guards, finger guards, and more. You will even find glove dispensers to keep items organized. Whatever work you do, Hercules SLR has the hand protection products your job requires.


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.

Product Spotlight: Swivel Hoist Ring

Product Spotlight: Swivel Hoist Ring

What is a Swivel Hoist Ring?

A swivel hoist ring is a type of heavy-duty lifting ring that is used with a hoist to lift or lower a load. It is often the hardware of choice when the object being lifted has no clear attachment points, as the hoist ring is able to be screwed directly into the surface of the load. Once the swivel hoist ring is successfully installed, it essentially creates an attachment point for your hoist chain to attach to.

Swivel hoist rings are of a similar design and intended use to the eye bolt, a piece of hardware that has been around for a very long time in the rigging world. While standard eye bolts are effective when used properly for a suitable job, they often fail when put at any amount of angle. If the load shifts causing the direction of the load to be as much as 10 degrees off the line of force, you could have a bent eye bolt. This can result in a failed lift, causing damage to your load, property damage, and injury to workers.

Swivel hoist rings are designed to lift at any angle because they can swivel 360 degrees and pivot 180 degrees. A swivel hoist ring can rotate with the direction of force without loosing rated capacity, which gives increased safety and peace of mind. When a load is lifted or lowered, wind gusts may cause it to turn—This can result in the chain or rope getting twisted together with static hardware. Swivel hoist rings solve this problem by allowing the load to rotate back and forth as it needs without twisting the chain or rope.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Installing and Using Swivel Hoist Rings

DO:

  • Always read the safety precaution page prior to use or installation.
  • Inspect the hoist ring before each use – see below for what you should look out for when doing this! 
  • Choose a hoist ring with the proper load rating.
  • Only use hoist rings in materials that have a tensile strength of at least 80,000 psi.
  • Make sure the thread engagement is at least 1.5 times the diameter of the
    hoist ring screw.
  • When installing a hoist ring in a through­-hole with a nut and washer, make sure to use a Grade 8 nut that has full thread engagement.
  • Consider periodic load­-testing as an extra precaution.

DON’T:

  • Never exceed the rated load limit or apply shock load.
  • Never use a hoist ring that you believe may be damaged – it’s not worth the risk!
  • Never use a hoist ring that is not tightened to the recommended torque.
  • Never replace the components of the hoist ring.
  • Never use a hook larger than the diameter of the hoist ring opening.
  • Never shim or use washers between the hoist ring and surface of the object being
    lifted.

Swivel Hoist Ring Inspection and Maintenance

Always inspect the hoist ring before each use, make sure that:

  • The screw is tightened to the recommended torque using a torque wrench – If it’s not, the threads may be stripped on a vertical lift.
  • The bushing of the hoist ring is sitting flush against the object being lifted – This ensures that the hoist ring is able to reach its full 5:1 safety factor.
  • The hoist ring is free to swivel and pivot in every direction – If the hoist ring binds up in any direction, it should not be used.
  • There are no signs of corrosion – This can result in the hoist ring cracking or binding up.
  • There are no signs of wear or damage, especially on the screw, shoulder pins, and bail – Damage may be an indicator that the hoist ring is coming into contact with something during use. This should be avoided as such contact can cause binding and shock loads, which exceed the rating of the hoist ring.
  • The shoulder pins are secure and do not rotate or come loose – This can be checked by using pliers to try to rotate the shoulder pins by hand. If it does rotate, it should not be used as this could cause the hoist ring to come loose or break during use.

In need of an affordable and reliable swivel hoist ring? 

That’s where YOKE comes in—With YOKE you never have to sacrifice quality for price. Find YOKE swivel hoist rings at your local Hercules SLR. A YOKE Swivel hoist ring is innovative and meets all requirements of occupational health and safety. Due to its ball-bearing construction, YOKE hoist ring rotates freely 360 degrees – This free movement means it turns automatically in the direction of the load.

Main Features

  • Easy to install – needs only one tap hole.
  • Comes with both the bushing type and ball bearing inside.
  • Rotates 360º and pivots 180º.
  • Designed to a safety factor of 5:1.
  • 100% rated at 90º angle.
  • 100% magnaflux crack detection.
  • Proof load tested to 2.5 times W.L.L. and certified.
  • 20,000 cycle fatigue rated to 1.5 times W.L.L.
  • Each product has a batch code for material traceability and links to test certificate.
  • Drop forged Suspension Ring.
  • The bolt has a result of Charpy-V-test according to EN 10045, part 1 of at least 27 Joules at -20º C.
  • The bolt is UNC grade 8 per ASTM A 574 and Metric Grade 12.9 per DIN EN ISO 4762.
  • Multi-directional loading.
  • Self aligns in direction of load.
  • Avoids torsion forces to the suspension ring – Which means it’s safer!
  • No friction transferred to the bolt as it turns – Which means it will last longer!
  • The bolt is galvanized with an alternative phosphate treatment for increased corrosion protection.

Since 1985, YOKE manufactures durable, reliable & high-quality rigging hardware that keeps your load secure, and your team safe. They run a strict production facility, with a huge emphasis on quality control & safety at every stage of the manufacturing process—From raw materials to the finished product for the end-user, with facilities across the globe, in Canada, Los Angeles and China. To learn more about YOKE at Hercules SLR, click here.


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

Product Spotlight: Hammerlock Coupling Links

Product Spotlight: Hammerlock Coupling Links

What is a Hammerlock Coupling Link?

Hammerlock coupling links are used for attaching chain to master links, eye type hooks, installing a new branch to a sling or just connecting components during chain sling fabrication.

Hammerlock coupling links should NEVER be used to repair hoist chain—No coupling hardware should ever be used to repair a damaged link of chain. This can present a number of safety hazards to the operator and possibly the overall hoist. In the case of hoist chain damage or ware, the chain needs to be replaced as one piece.

Hammerlocks are also not appropriate for lengthening chain. Once again, if you desire a longer chain, you need to seek out a chain that is fabricated to the correct length, using the correct links.

Assembly and Disassembly of Hammerlock Coupling Links

Hammerlock coupling links are a favorite of riggers because they can so easily be assembled and disassembles in the field using only a hammer and punch.

How to assemble a hammerlock link:

  1. Bring the two halves of the body together so the center connectors are aligned
  2. Position the bushing in the center of the hammerlock, aligned with the connectors
  3. Insert the load pin through the hammerlock as far as you can by hand
  4. Hammer the load pin the rest of the way in, until all material is flush on both ends

 

Did you know the bushing in the center is one of the most important parts of a hammer coupling link? Without the bushing, the load pin on its own will not hold the hammerlock coupling together at all – It actually moves quite freely within the body on its own. The load pin is tapered on the ends which allows the bushing to sit in place and hold the hardware securely together. The bushing contains a spring-like system that allows the pin to push through when hammered, but returns to an un-movable state once in place – Unless directly hammered again using a punch!

How to disassemble a hammerlock link:

  1. Place the hammerlock link on a raised surface, creating room for the load pin to exit the bottom
  2. Align a punch with the center-top of the load pin
  3. Hammer the punch forcing the load pin out from the center of the hammerlock
  4. Pull now loosened parts apart by hand – It’s that easy!

In need of an affordable and reliable hammerlock coupling link?

That’s where YOKE comes in—With YOKE you never have to sacrifice quality for price. Find YOKE Hammerlock Connecting Links for Grade-100 Chain at your local Hercules SLR. YOKE Hammerlock connecting links are made of alloy steel and are quenched and tempered for maximum strength, reliability, and durability with a working load limit of 8800 pounds.

Since 1985, YOKE manufactures durable, reliable & high-quality rigging hardware that keeps your load secure, and your team safe. They run a strict production facility, with a huge emphasis on quality control & safety at every stage of the manufacturing process—From raw materials to the finished product for the end-user, with facilities across the globe, in Canada, Los Angeles and China. To learn more about YOKE at Hercules SLR, click here.


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

A Look at the Towing Industry: Different Categories of Tow Trucks

A Look into the Towing Industry: Different Categories of Tow Trucks

Nothing puts a damper on your day quite like having your car break down as you’re trying to make your way through your day. When that does happen, you depend on towing companies to get your vehicle somewhere where it can be repaired safely. This is likely the extent of many people’s knowledge when it comes to tow trucks. They’re an industry that the everyday person wouldn’t think much of, until they are forced to Google the phone number of the nearest one, to save them from their rotten day.

Did you know there isn’t a one-size-fits-all tow truck? Towing companies often have a variety of vehicles on hand, each made for a different type of job. Tow jobs aren’t just limited to picking up small broken down cars on the side of the road, they also have to serve larger vehicles like RVs, box trucks and even the heaviest 18 wheelers. Even beyond the load size, tow companies have to be prepared to get vehicles out of hard-to-maneuver situations in the unfortunate case of an accident.

Tow trucks can be sorted into three basic types, light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty.

Light-Duty Tow Trucks

Light-duty tow trucks are used for the majority of incidents and are sent out to tow cars, motorcycles and smaller trucks. They are capable of performing a variety of tasks such as removing abandoned vehicles, private property towing and accident recovery. They have the ability to maneuver through small lots or parking garages, but usually stick to jobs that are located on paved and flat terrain.

   

Light-duty tow trucks are Class A vehicles that are often either conventional or rollback wreckers. They are capable of towing between 7,000 and 11,000 pounds and often rely on winch & cable systems and wheel lifts to do their work.

Medium-Duty Tow Trucks

Medium-duty tow trucks are used for heavier duty jobs involving vehicles like box trucks, RV’s and farm equipment. They are also the choice for certain recovery operations for smaller vehicles because they have a larger range of configurations such as: lowering platforms or landolls, automatic trailers, low-profile trailers, and boom lifts. However, since they are a bigger vehicle, they are not ideal for tighter environments like parking lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medium-duty tow trucks are Class B vehicles that often feature some varying styles of flatbed. They are capable of towing between 7,000 and 17,000 pounds and feature at least a 12-ton capacity boom lift, 5-ton winch, and 5-ton wheel lift.

Heavy-Duty Tow Trucks

Heavy-duty tow trucks are the big guys. They are used for vehicles like garbage trucks, dump trucks and semi-trailers. These tow trucks handle the biggest loads and the most complicated recoveries. These are the tow trucks that vehicles like 18 wheelers depend on because not only are they capable of getting large vehicles themselves out of sticky situations, but also whatever that vehicle was hauling. They are also the tow truck used for vehicles that have gone off the road or down an embankment.

These are Class A vehicles that are required to feature at least a 25-ton boom lift, 25-ton winch and 6-ton wheel lift. They are capable of towing any load greater than 17,000 pounds!


The jobs that these tow trucks perform rely on more than just the truck itself. As we’ve mentioned above, each truck uses a different type of lifting and towing equipment. Especially when dealing with heavy-duty tow jobs, it’s extremely important that the tow truck is outfitted with high-quality lifting gear that won’t break under the pressure.

That’s where YOKE comes in! Since 1985, YOKE has been manufacturing durable, reliable & high-quality hardware that keeps your load secure, and your team safe. No need to choose between quality and affordability, YOKE provides top safety certified lifting equipment without the big price tag. Products like the Grade 100 Clevis Grab Hook, when used attached to wire rope or welded chain, is sturdy enough for the toughest tow jobs. When purchasing your towing gear, don’t sacrifice quality for price – Choose YOKE instead. Learn more about YOKE at Hercules SLR by clicking here.


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