Behind-the-Scenes: Life of a Slingmaster Sling

slingmaster-sling-hercules-slr-rigging

slingmaster-slingA SlingMaster sling lives a short,  but full life. We’ve covered the less-talked about non-destructive testing here  and here – but what exactly does destructive testing look like, and why do we use it?

Destructive testing is the process used to test a product and find its ultimate load (the load at which the item being tested fails or no longer supports the load) – in this case, a SlingMaster webbing sling’s breaking or tensile strength. This helps our riggers’ determine how our slings perform under different conditions.

First, one of our industrial seamstresses measures and cuts the length of the sling.

Then, the sling travels to our warehouse for destructive testing. The buttons are pressed, and the stretch begins.

The sling is pulled from each end with increasing force applied in increments – this mimics the sensation of a sling supporting a load.

Watch the video below to see the life-cycle of a SlingMaster sling – from birth, to death-by-destructive testing:

Did you know Hercules SLR offers custom rigging solutions? If you have something you want to lift, lower, hoist or move – give us a call. We’ll take you there.

Speak with one of our experts and let us find you the best sling for you or your company’s needs – e-mail us at info@herculsslr.com or call us at 1 (877) 461-4876 for more information.


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

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

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Bird-Caging, Never Saddle a Dead Horse and Singing: huh?

Rigging Slang

rigging-slang-terms-never-saddle-a-dead-horse
Spoiler alert—”never saddle a dead horse” has nothing to do with horseback riding!  

In the rigging and lifting industry, you’ll probably hear a lot of rigging slang thrown around – “don’t saddle a dead horse!”, bird-caging, cabling, diving, drum-crushing, end-for-ended, singing and more – but what do they all mean? Here’s a hint – saddling a dead horse has nothing to do with a rodeo!

In the rigging industry, equipment, hardware or the methods used to rig a load are known by different slang terms – it’s just as important to know these slang terms as it its to know the “proper” terms. Communication on a work site is essential to complete the job safely and efficiently, and using slang on the job is part of that.

Read on to find out common rigging slang terms used on the worksite and exactly what they mean.

Battening Down

Battening-down happens when a sling in a choke hitch is hit, which is done to force the slack, looped part of the sling in closer contact with the load. This is a dangerous practice and should not be done – allow slings to assume their natural angle.

Bird-Caging

Bird-caging happens when wire rope becomes twisted, or when it’s released suddenly from an load. It’s called this as it resembles – you guess it, a bird cage. Essentially, the wire rope strands become untwisted (often due to mis-use or abuse) from the core, and puff-out forming a ‘cage’.

Wire rope with multiple strands can bird-cage due to torsional vibration (the angular vibration of an object, often a shaft along its axis of rotation), sudden release of tension or being forced through a sheave. 

Come-Along

Another name for a pulley or beam-trolley.

Clevis

Another term for a shackle – ‘clevis’ is a term that was used by the agricultural industry and was typically used to describe a shackle used with machinery operated by farm animals.

Diving

Refers to the wire rope’s drum, when it becomes displaced from the way it lays in the spool.

Drum-Crushing

Drum-crushing happens when wire rope is winded too loosely on the drum, and is then pulled from strands underneath and is crushed, which alters the shape.

End-for-ended

End-for-ended rope is rope that’s been spliced using a specific technique where rope tails are tucked into each side.

Saddle a dead horse

To “saddle a dead horse” means to place u-bolts in the wrong spot. The cable has two parts – it’s end (called a dead-end) and the part that is attached to the load. The cable that attaches to the load should be on the bottom. Therefore, you shouldn’t add u-bolts to the ‘dead-end’ of the cable – add them to the end attached to the load, or you are ‘saddling a dead horse’.

Wire rope “singing”

When wire rope needs lubrication, it will make a high-pitched noise, which resembles a high-note being sung.


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

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

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for more news and upcoming events.

Herc How-To: assemble a chain sling

how-to-assemble-chain-sling

Herc How-To: assemble a chain sling

Chain is often used to tie down loads, for lifting applications and to tow loads – however, the rigging industry’s safety standards have developed in recent years, and chain used for lifting must meet certain specifications. Read on for our tips on how to assemble a chain sling.  

Chain slings are among some of the most popular options for to lift a load – they’re often used to lift spreader beams, for example. Chain slings are durable, ductile, can resist high temperatures, rips & tears and in certain applications, are adjustable – but how do you determine the best chain sling for your project needs?

Herc How-To: two kinds of chain assembly

Two types of chain slings are used to for rigging and lifting applications – mechanical assembly and welded assembly. Chain slings are made with a minimum safety or design factor of 4:1.

The most common chain slings used in rigging and lifting are mechanically assembled since they’re quick to produce and it can be done with basic tools. Chain slings are made by a variety of manufacturers and in many different configurations.

Herc How-To: mechanically assembled chain sling hardware

Construct a basic mechanically assembled chain sling with this hardware:

  • Master Link
  • Mechanical Jointing Device
  • Shortening Clutch (if required)
  • Chain
  • Hook (other fitting as required)
  • Tag

Herc How-To: welded assembly

Welded slings are less commonly used. They take more time to manufacture, since once they’re made they undergo a heat treatment so they’re safe to use in a lifting application. This takes days, versus the minutes it takes to together a mechanically assembled chain sling.

Construct a welded assembly chain sling with this hardware:

  • Master Link
  • Welded Intermediate Link
  • Welded Connecting Link
  • Chain
  • Hook (other fittings if required) ** not pictured
  • Tag

Herc How-To: assemble a chain sling with correct chain grades

The marking grade for chains is recognized by numbers which are found on the chain link. Chain grades for chain sling assembly start at Grade 80 – Grade 80, 100 and 120 are used for lifting applications. However, do not use chain grade marks to determine overhead lifting applications. Do not use grade 30, 40 or 70 chains for overhead lifting.

These grades are used for lifting as they’re ductile and can cope with “shock-loading” that can happen while rigging.

Herc How-To: find the right assembly for you

Follow these steps to assemble the best chain sling for your lifting needs.

  1. Determine the weight of the load to lift, it’s working load limit and any angles that will affect the lift – read our blog on how to calculate load weight for detailed steps.
  2. Head to the dimension/specification chart provided by the chain sling’s manufacturer. Find the chain sling configuration* that will suit your load and lift.
  3. Head to the assembly chart found in the catalogue or website of your respective distributer. Find the Working Load Limit (WLL) to lift at the top of the chart. Find the column that represents size/length, which will be donated in centimetres, inches or millimetres. Be sure to size up. Example: if your load’s WLL is 3,000lbs the chart may give you two options – a WLL of 2,650 and 4,500. Choose the chain length that corresponds with the WLL of 4,500lbs – it’s better to have too much capacity than not enough.
  4. Use the same instructions from Step 3 to choose hardware/fittings from the respective specification chart(s). Example: You’ve chose the DOG sling configuration – this means you must find an oblong shaped masterlink and a grab hook that corresponds to the WLL.
For example: Jim is planning to lift a load with a WLL of 3,000lbs and wants to assemble a chain sling.

Step 1) Jim finds the WLL column of his retailer.

Step 2) Find the WLL – since 3,000lbs isn’t on the chart, we choose the next one up which has a WLL of 4,500lbs.

Step 3) Jim needs chain with 1.79in. length.

how-to-assemble-chain-sling

* Chain Sling Configurations

Configurations are denoted by an acronym – the first letter represents the number of sling legs, the second letter represents the fitting at the top of the sling and the third letter represents the bottom fitting. Example: the “O” in DOG represents an “oblong shaped master link”.

Single-Leg 
CO Single chain sling with masterlink
SOS Single chain sling with masterlink and sling hook
SOG Single chain sling with masterlink and grab hook
SOF Single chain sling with masterlink and foundry hook
SSS Single chain sling with sling hook each end 
SGS Single chain sling with grab hook and sling hook
ASOS Adjustable single chain with masterlink and sling hook 
ASOF Adjustable single chain with masterlink and foundry hook 
ASOG Adjustable single chain with masterlink and grab hook 
SOCH Single chain sling with sliding choker 
SOSL Single chain sling with with self locking hooks 
2-Leg
DOS Double chain sling with masterlink and sling hook
DOG Double chain sling with masterlink and grab hook
DOF Double chain sling with masterlink and foundry hook
ADOS Adjustable double chain sling with masterlink and sling hook
ADOG Adjustable double chain sling with masterlink and grab hook
DOCH Double chain sling with masterlink and sliding choker 
DOSL Double chain sling with with self locking hooks 
ADOSL Adjustable double chain sling with with self-locking hooks 
3-Leg
TOS Triple chain sling with masterlink and sling hook
TOG Triple chain sling with masterlink and grab hook
TOF Triple chain sling with masterlink and foundry hook
TOSL Triple  chain sling with with self locking hooks 
4-Leg
QOS Quadruple chain sling with masterlink and sling hook
QOG Quadruple chain sling with masterlink and grab hook
QOF Quadruple chain sling with masterlink and foundry hook
QOSL Quadruple chain sling with self-locking hooks 

Hercules SLR – Custom Chain Sling Assembly, Inspections, Repairs and more

We make custom slings to fit your needs, no matter the application. Damage found on chain slings can be inspected, repaired or replaced if needed – e-mail us at info@herculesslr.com to purchase a chain sling, find out more about how to assemble a chain sling or to have a chain sling repaired or inspected. 

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

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

 

Herc How-To: calculate load weight

Herc-How-To-calculate load weight

How-To Calculate Load Weight: the basics

An important aspect of rigging is measurement – there are a number of important things to determine and consider before you calculate load weight and proceed with the lift.

Read on for basic tips from our Hercules SLR experts and learn how to properly calculate a load’s weight.

The lifting equipment used to raise your load should not only support the object’s weight, but it’s volume, height, centre of gravity and any other aspects of the load that could make lifting awkward. Read on to discover the best way to calculate load weight.

Estimation is important—you must be able to accurately guess a load’s weight and centre of gravity. Inaccurate estimations can lead to severe consequences.

Evaluate the load you will lift. Evaluation must include the load’s weight, centre of gravity location, balance, stability and nature should be reasonably determined before you proceed with the lift. NEVER guess the weight of a load.

How-To Calculate Load Weight: method to establish load weight

  • Inspect the load for any identification or mark that indicates weight. If found, check that it’s the weight of the entire load, not just a single component of an assembly;
  • Check supporting documentation or load weight;
  • Check any drawings/diagrams that accompany the load for it’s weight listing;
  • If the load is still on the transport vehicle, determine the load’s weight via a weighbridge;
  • Estimate the load’s weight with available technical data, like tables or weights.

How-To Calculate Load Weight: total weight on angular lifts

how-to-calculate-load-weight-rigging-hercules-slr

 

 

How-To Calculate Load Weight: example 1—steel sheet/block

how-to-calculate-load-weight-hercules-slr

Figure 1
  • Calculate the weight of a steel plate (shown in figure 1) 2ft wide X 5ftlong X 1inch (0.0833ft) thick.
  • Use the formula:
  • Volume = Length X Width X Height
  • Unit weight of steel is 490 lbs/ft³ 
  • Volume = 5ft X 2ft X 0.0833ft X 490 lbs/ft³
  • Weight = 408.3 lbs

How-To Calculate Load Weight: calculate force in slings

It’s important to understand the different angles that will impact the load to lift. The included angle is the angle created between opposite sling legs (ex. 0-90°). Using the included angle is known as the Trigonometric rating.

The vertical angle is the angle created by one sling leg from the vertical (ex. 0-45°). This is called the Uniform Method of rating. All new slings must use this method.

The horizontal sling angle is the angle that forms between the sling leg and surface of the load.

The Rigging Triangle – Figure 1
how-to-calculate-load-weight
Figure 2
Determine Vertical Share

When the centre of gravity is equal between pick points, the sling and fittings will carry an equal share of the load.

Centre of Gravity and Sling Loading
how-to-calculate-load-weight
Figure 3

When the centre of gravity isn’t equal between pick points, the sling and fittings won’t carry an equal share of the load.

The sling attached to the closest to the centre of gravity will carry the greatest share of the load.

In this example, Sling B will be carrying more than Sling A.

As you can see from the image, ‘Sling B’ carries more weight than ‘Sling A’.

How-To Calculate Load Weight: additional loading

Before you rig a load to lift, consider these factors that may affect the load, in addition to its weight:

  • Wind blowing against the load;
  • Shock loading;
  • Additional below-the-hook lifting devices;
  • Loads frozen to the ground;
  • Loads snagging;
  • Water, snow or ice accumulation on load;
  • Dynamic side-to-side movements;
  • Extreme temperatures.

Need a lift? Call Hercules SLR

Have a heavy object that needs a lift? Don’t want to do all of this math on your own? We understand.

Hercules SLR creates custom rigging solutions for our clients’ specific needs (check out this custom sling we made for the Town of Oakville Marina!) and the service doesn’t end there—We provide inspections, repairs and service for:

  • Wire Rope
  • Fall Protection
  • Lifting Equipment/Gear
  • Rigging Hardware
  • Hoists & Cranes
  • Winches & Hydraulics

Don’t see your gear on the list or have more questions? Give us a call and our experts will match you with the right service or product for your needs.

Interested in learning more? We offer training courses at the Hercules Training Academy for these, and more:

  • Chain Saw Safety
  • Confined Space Entrant & Attendant
  • Fundamentals of Rigging (With Practical)
  • Fundamentals of Overhead Cranes
  • Offshore Rigger Banksman

Drop a line at info@herculesslr.com or training@herculesslr.com for more information on inspections, repairs or to sign-up for a training course.


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

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

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Samson K-100 hoist line: the first synthetic crane rope

Samson K-100 hoist line: first synthetic crane rope-hercules-slr
Samson Rope K-100 Hoist Line: an industry leader

Samson rope’s K-100 hoist rope is the first of its kind – a synthetic rope to be used with mobile cranes for hoisting applications. Traditionally, steel wire rope has been used for lifting applications with cranes – the K-100 is suitable for crane or truck hoist rope, or mobile crane hoist line applications.

K-100 hoist line: what’s the benefit?

The K-100 hoist rope has a high strength-to-weight ratio, bend fatigue durability and is easy to spool. It has a strength similar to wire rope – but reduces load weight by 80%. It also meets maximum line pull requirements with its 5:1 safety factor.

Samson has coated the K-100 rope in their proprietary coating that includes Dyneema® – this improves its cyclic bend performance compared to sheave applications commonly found on mobile cranes. It has a fibre core/cover – specifically, a polyester control core and a high-modulus (low elasticity) blend.

Samson K-100 Crane Hoist features:
  • Corrosion resistant – no rust or lube needed, which helps eliminate environmental concerns
  • Easy handling, reeving and installation
  • Reduced wear on sheaves and drums
  • Reduces number of change outs caused by kinking, bird-caging, or damage from diving
  • Reduces risk of hand injuries from broken wires, increased handling safety
  • Has same load pull and load chart, but with a 5:1 safety factor
  • Standardizes main and auxiliary hoist to one rope
  • Torque-neutral construction reduces load spin and cabling
  • Resistant to drum-crushing
Safety Factor: calculating stress-based design factor

There are different definitions of safety factor across many industries – which is also commonly known as the design factor. The Samson K-100 rope uses the safety or design factor calculation related to rigging and lifting applications.

The safety factor is the theoretical reserve capability of a product, which is determined by dividing the ultimate load by the working load limit (WLL). The ultimate load may also be known as nominal breaking strength. This calculation is expressed as a ratio – the K-100’s safety factor is 5:1.

k100-samson-rope-crane-hoist
Samson K-100 Crane Hoist Elongation
Samson Rope K-100 Hoist Line: weight matters

Another benefit of K-100 crane wire is it’s weight – as we mentioned, it’s 80% lighter than wire rope and can be beneficial for operators who travel during Spring Thaw Restrictions in Canada. Spring Thaw Policies are periods of time during/following Canadian Spring, (specific timelines and affected zones vary from province to province – if you’ve experienced a Spring in Nova Scotia versus British Columbia you know why!) and limit damage to at-risk roads.

Studies show that pavement reacts to a load 50%-70% greater in the Spring. Basically, the same axle a truck drives on daily can cause 5-8 times more damage in the Spring than any other time of the year, due to the heavier load. For mobile operators with a lot of terrain to cover, the K-100’s reduced weight can make your highway travels that much easier.

Samson Rope K-100 Hoist Line: inspection matters, too

No matter how good or durable a rope is, it will show wear and tear after a period of time. Some used rope won’t reduce strength, but many will. Before inspection, consider the following:

  • The length of rope;
  • The time it’s been in service;
  • The type of work it does;
  • Where the damage and the extent of the damage.

On a regular basis, inspect your Samson K-100 rope for the following conditions/damage and take the proper corrective action (repair or retire) based on your findings:

samson-rope-k100-crane-hoist-line-hercules-slr

 

 

Ultimately, Samson’s K-100 crane rope brings increased safety, easy handling and straight-forward inspection procedures. Hercules SLR Business Development Manager, Dwayne Fader says “Steel wire rope will always have its place – but innovations like this that are much lighter and easy to work with are always exciting.”

Information via Samson Rope – Find more information on the K-100 Rope here

Interested in purchasing K-100 Samson Rope for your crane? Drop us a line at sales@HerculesSLR.com or info@herculesslr.com – our experts will find the perfect rope for your lifting needs.

Want more crane training? Participate in our Overhead Crane Operator and Fundamentals of Overhead Crane courses – e-mail training@herculesslr.com to sign up. Or, click here to discover more Hercules SLR training courses.

Need hands-on training? Look no further. Discover our range of Hercules SLR Training Academy courses below:

References: 
- https://www.canadacartage.com/understanding-canadian-spring-thaw-regulations/
- https://www.samsonrope.com/docs/default-source/case-studies/cs_viant_crane_k-100.pdf
- https://samsonrope.com/docs/default-source/case-studies/cs_digging_and_rigging_k-100_web.pdf

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

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

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

 

Important: Preventative Equipment Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance

Underestimating the importance of equipment maintenance could be taking a toll on your bottom line. The saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is too often the way some view equipment maintenance. Why pay for service on your equipment if there’s nothing wrong with it? Believe it or not, there are several reasons. All equipment is an investment — one that requires time and money to keep in optimal shape.

BENEFITS OF MAINTENANCE

Preventative equipment maintenance is key to extending equipment life and ultimately saving you time and money. While your perception may be that paying for preventative maintenance is unnecessary spending, the reality is that without it, you’re often left with more expensive repairs. At Hercules SLR we believe in the importance of preventative maintenance, here are just some of the reasons why:

KEEP EQUIPMENT RUNNING EFFICIENTLY

When equipment runs efficiently, work get done on schedule, keeping that optimal condition is key to maintaining that level of equipment efficiency. If maintenance is overlooked, efficiency suffers and ultimately, your bottom line suffers as a result.

SMALL PROBLEMS BECOME BIGGER PROBLEMS OVER TIME

We’ve all seen it; something isn’t working exactly the way it used to, but it isn’t affecting the job, so we continue, sometimes even adjusting how we use the piece of equipment to keep things moving. While it may seem like this is the most efficient way to get the job done in the short term, it could cause you major problems long-term.

THE BIGGER THE PROBLEM, THE MORE THE EXPENSE

While it may seem like it makes no sense to spend the time and money to have your equipment inspected or repaired when you’re able to work around it, the reality is that waiting, is going to cost you even more. Bigger, more complex repairs come with a bigger price tag. Think of more than parts? yes, a more complex problem will likely come with having to replace more and/or larger parts that are expensive, but it doesn’t end there.

Larger problems often translate to more downtime, the more downtime means you’re suddenly behind schedule and/or unable to take on a new project. Employees scheduled to use that equipment need paying, so now you are paying for work that cannot be done during the downtime.

Don’t wait for the bigger problem — invest in the small one.

REDUCE INJURIES AND FATALITIES

Within the construction industry, 17% of fatal construction accidents are due to contact with objects and equipment. If your equipment isn’t being serviced on a regular basis, there’s a chance it isn’t working properly. If it isn’t working properly, you’re increasing your chances of workplace injury or death because of equipment failure.

Regardless of how much safety training you or your employees have been through, they don’t have control over equipment failure. Of course, there will always be unexpected breakdowns, but you can minimize them through being proactive about your equipment maintenance.

Workplace injuries and fatalities are tragic and expensive. Company morale suffers, and so does your bottom line. One of the benefits of maintenance doubles as a proactive step in reducing the number of injuries or fatalities you have on site. You can’t put a price on your team’s safety in the field.

cert-track-en

Service records and documentation answer many of these questions and put many of the concerns of the unknown to rest. At Hercules SLR all our customers have access to CertTracker®, our FREE online equipment management system.

CertTracker® delivers innovative solutions that streamline any inspection and maintenance process. Mobile computing, Radio Frequency (RFID) tagging and internet applications provide you with enhanced accuracy and operational efficiency. Not to mention eliminating most of the paperwork.

CertTracker Cycle

The CertTracker Advantage

 TRAIN OPERATORS AND TECHNICIANS

In conjunction with technology, there is no substitution for the human touch. It takes a trained operator to understand the problem and a trained technician to know how to fix it or to alert someone that it needs repairing. Educating your equipment operators and any technicians you have on staff is key to extending the life of your equipment, as they will be sure that small problems don’t turn in to big ones.

If training isn’t feasible, there needs to be a summary of best practices and an operation manual in place so you can ensure operators are using the equipment the way it was meant to be used. Always respect all weight limits and guidelines. An untrained equipment operator could unintentionally cause costly repairs, so make sure the best practices and expectations are outlined clearly and regularly.

SET AND STICK TO A MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE

Every piece of equipment is different. They all have their own intricacies and need a maintenance and repair schedule to match. Rather than waiting for parts to cause a problem, replace them when they are scheduled to be replaced.

How do you know when that is? The piece of equipment will have an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) maintenance recommendation. Commit to it. It may seem like by being proactive you’re attempting to fix something that isn’t broken, but trust us, neglecting to do this will result in expensive repairs.

CONDUCT REGULAR INSPECTIONS

No, inspections are not the same thing as maintenance schedules. equipment should be inspected every time it’s used. Trained operators should know what to look and listen for to ensure equipment is working properly. Checking for simple things, like signs of wear on equipment, can go a long way. The reality is equipment is often used with vibration, high temperatures and friction? all of which contribute to the wear and tear. Add age to the mix, and you have a recipe for deterioration.

This happens with all equipment, and the key to extending equipment life is to make sure you do something as simple as adding an operator visual inspection to your equipment use requirements. Noticing slight wear and tear may seem small, but these things can be identified through a visual inspection and fixed before they cause a larger problem.

HOW QUALIFIED ARE THE TECHNICIANS INSPECTING YOUR GEAR?

When it comes to inspections, testing, repairs and certification, you need to know that you and your equipment are in safe and experienced hands.

The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) is established across the globe as the leading representative body for all those involved in the lifting industry worldwide. They provide third party training and examination for technicians in the lifting equipment industry.

At Hercules our inspectors have undergone this internationally recognized training and some hold multiple diplomas.

OUR TECHNICIANS ARE:

  • Familiar with the most recent technology in the lifting industry
  • Skilled and confident in their inspection skills
  • Constantly learning and expanding their knowledge
  • LEEA Registered Technicians

LEEA Header

For all your maintenance requirements, let our experts help. If you need to book your equipment in for service or have any concerns, questions or call us Toll Free on:  1-877-461-4876.

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

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

 

 

 

 

Women in Industry – Kim Reynolds Warehouse Associate

Kim

Kim Reynolds is our dedicated, hardworking shipper/receiver at our Dartmouth location. We sat down with her to find out more about her and how she decided a career in Shipping was her calling.

Tell us about yourself:

Kim: I was born in Windsor Nova Scotia but grew up in Centre Rawdon. I remember spending a lot of time visiting my grandparents who lived two houses up from us. It was lovely having family so close. We used to have a hobby farm with goats, chickens, pigs and ducks. We also were lucky enough to have two big gardens and a small strawberry patch. Back then money was tight, so we were self-sufficient and grew our own food and harvested our own milk from the goats.

When I turned 16 my parents sold the house and we moved to the Annapolis Valley. It was a shock to the system living in a town having been so used to country living.

I finished my final school years at Kingstec Community College, back then they had grade 10-12 mixed with the college. The year I graduated, was the last time they were mixed, and it reverted to being solely a Community College.

What was your work experience before Hercules?

My work experience is many and varied before joining Hercules. My parents were unable to assist with further education and not wanting to have a large student loan hanging over me I went to out to work full time and took evening and online courses.

I started working when I was 13 and that includes Babysitter, Farm Hand, House Cleaner, Bakery Assistant, Chicken Plant Worker, Infantry Woman and Shipper/Receiver.

What made you decided to work for Hercules?Kim-2

Kim: Having seen the job posting and knowing they were looking for a Warehouse Associate, I did some research on the company and decided it was a good fit, not only with my past work experience but with the company’s values and opportunities it offers for progression. The people are great and working at Hercules is like having an extended family.

Management are very supportive, especially during busy periods, if I need a hand, they roll their sleeves up and muck in, asking what they can do to help. This is the first job where I have ever experienced that happen. This really shows they care about their employees and is just one of the many reasons I enjoy working for Hercules. Everyone is part of the team, looking to play their part in the best way possible.

What challenges do you face on a daily basis?

Kim: Every day is different; in the warehouse we face many different challenges. Organization is key! With so many deliveries coming in, orders to be picked, making sure everything is shipped out on time and emails are answered, multitasking is a must.

Hercules is a safety company. How do you ensure you work safe?

Kim: Every morning I always ensure I wear my correct Personal Protection Equipment. I start the day by doing a forklift check to make sure it is safe to use. When I need to lift boxes that are too heavy I always ask for assistance.

What are your aspirations and goals within the company?

Kim: When I started with Hercules, I knew I wanted progress within the company. I really enjoy my current role but am looking to spread my wings and further my potential in other departments as and when the opportunity presents itself.

What are your passions outside of work?

Kim: When I am note at work you will find me cooking up a storm in the kitchen. I love to bake and enjoy the simple pleasures in life such as spending time with my family and making memories.

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

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

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for more news and upcoming events.

Rigging Tips: avoid common wire rope damage

common-wire-rope-damage-wire-rope-slings

Wire rope has many applications—today the focus is on Wire Rope slings. Read on for tips from our Brampton rigging experts to inspect your wire rope sling and prevent common wire rope damage, so your wire rope slings have a long life.

Wire Rope: basic components

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. (See figure 1). 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).

Figure 1

Wire Rope Lay Patterns

wire-rope-lay-patterns
(L-R) Right Lay/Ordinary Lay, Left Lay/Ordinary Lay, Right Lay/Lang’s Lay, Right Lay/Reverse Lay (Cross Lay)

 

 

 

 

 

Wire Rope Sling Inspection: what to look for

It’s important to inspect your wire rope sling before use to prevent common wire rope damage—but also for safety. Wire rope slings don’t normally pass around a pulley, therefore it’s important to look out for wear from the environment, like:

  • Abrasive dust, little to no lubricant
  • Normal wear-and-tear
  • Corrosion (look for discolouration, lack of flexibility and rough to-the-touch feel)
  • Abrasion
  • Thermal damage (over-heating)
  • Termination failures

When inspecting the wire rope itself, look for wear at the crown, the core strands and inter-strand wear. Check for kinked, damaged or broken wires. This kind of damage is often caused by slinging a previous load incorrectly—if excessive wear is present, it may be best to look at how wire rope slings are used on the worksite. Keep reading for tips to avoid common wire rope damage and wear and tear on slings.

Wire Rope Sling Don’ts:

  • Don’t join slings by threading eyes;
  • Don’t pull loops in your sling or use a knotted/kinked sling;
  • Don’t tie knots in sling legs to reduce length;
  • Don’t overload the sling;
  • Don’t pull from under a load;
  • Don’t life a container with only two slings;
  • Don’t place slings near welding/cutting operations;
  • Don’t force the eye to open more than 20° (this places undue tension on the ferrule;
  • Don’t stand under a load;
  • Don’t land the load directly on the sling;
  • Don’t wrap a wire rope around a hook—this kinks the wire and ruins the sling.

Wire Rope Sling Do’s:

  • Always use a shackle with at least the same SWL to join slings together;
  • Use suitable storage/packaging;
  • Minimum radius sling can be bent is 3 times diameter of sling wire rope.

Most damage to wire rope slings is caused by unnecessary chaffing against the load, ground or nearby objects. Avoid abrasion and don’t place your sling in contact with adjacent structures, don’t drag your wire rope sling from under a load, and avoid double-choke hitching to prevent common wire rope damage.

Wire rope sling corrosion is a major cause of deterioration, and is caused by poor storage, exposure to weather and corrosive chemicals. Thermal damage happens when the operating temperature is too high, electric arching was used during welding or if the sling was exposed to lightening. External wear can typically be seen from the outside, however, it’s more difficult to asses internal damage—the rope must be opened up. See figures 2 and 3 for examples of internal wire rope corrosion.

Internal wear is most affected by pressure and friction. Factors that affect internal wear include:

  • Level of rope tension
  • Bending ratio
  • Bending frequency
  • Lack of lubricant
  • Tension fatigue (affected by degree of tension)
wire-rope-slings-rigging-equipment
Figure 2
wire-rope-slings-rigging-equipment
Figure 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wire Rope termination: what to look for

  • Wire breaks
  • Corrosion
  • Reduction in rope diameter
  • Unusual rope movement
  • Evidence of rope end
  • Evidence of any incorrect fitting
  • Evidence of any component wear

Avoid Common Wire Rope Damage: battening down

When a rigger strikes the eye of a sling in a choke hitch to force the bright closer to the load in an attempt to ‘make it more secure’—this is known as battening down (not to be confused with a batten from theatre rigging), and is actually very dangerous. The bight should always assume its natural angle, which is usually about 120°.

wire-rope-slings-rigging-equipment
Battening down: dangerous!

Practice inspections and know what to look for, avoid battening down, avoid exposing your wire rope sling to abrasive forces and chemicals, and you can avoid common wire rope sling damage.

Want more wire rope? Check out our pages on types of wire rope construction and wire rope grades.

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

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

Risk Management: safety is every riggers’ business

risk-management-safety-is-every-riggers-business

Risk Management: what is it?

Risk management is the systematic process of assessing risk and acting in such a manner, or implementing policies and procedures in order to avoid or minimize loss associated with such risk. Essentially, risk management is a set of actions that reduces the risk of a problem, a failure, or an accident. The ISO 31000 defines risk management as “the effect of uncertainty on objectives”.

For the most part, risk management methods consist of the following methods:

  • Identify and characterize threats
  • Assess the vulnerability of critical assets to specific threats
  • Determine the risk (i.e. the expected likelihood and consequences of specific types of attacks on specific assets)
  • Identify ways to reduce those risks
  • Prioritize risk reduction measures based on strategy

Risk Management: know the definitions

Hazard: something with the likelihood to cause harm

Harm: physical injury or damage to health.

Risk: likelihood the hazard is realized – it happens

Severity: likelihood hazard or risk will occur, and the number of people affected and extent of consequences

Control Measures: the arrangements made to reduce risk

Risk Matrix

The purpose of the risk matrix is to determine the risk category. Once you have identified the project risks, review each risk in turn and assess both the likelihood of the risk happening and the severity of the impact on the project if the process doesn’t go as planned.

Consequences

risk-matrix

Risk Management: FLRA is more than just a funny word

Field Level Risk Assessment (FLRA) is a process used to assess the related hazards and their risks for a specific task or job.

A FLRA:
  • Helps reduce injury and to process loss
  • Is an industry standard
  • Is a requirement of most industrial establishment’s safety program
  • Is a requirement on most work sites

A FLRA should be completed:

  • At the start of each shift
  • Before re-starting work which has been stopped for a period of time
  • When site or work conditions change during a job
  • Before starting a new task or job for which there is no safe work procedure
  • Always check for specific requirements with onsite contact or employer
Who Can Conduct a FLRA?
  • Anyone can conduct a FLRA
  • All members of the work team need to participate
  • Sometimes other personnel on the work side need to be included
  • Sometimes a specialist or person familiar with the job and site needs to be involved

Risk Management: your basic rigging plan

Follow this basic rigging plan to manage risk and avoid potential hazards. When you plan each lift, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has a competent rigger been assigned?
  • Has a risk assessment been conducted with all team members?
  • What is the communication plan?
  • Has the rigging been inspected? (Pre-lift and annually?)
  • Is the rigging fit for the load type and purpose? (I.E. WLL, material, size, etc.) 
  • What is the weight of the load?
  • Where is the load’s center of gravity?
  • What is the sling angle?
  • Will there be any side or angular loading?
  • Are wear pads required against corners, edges, protrusions or abrasive surfaces?
  • Have the applicable hitches been selected for load control and stability?
  • Will personnel be in the way of the load or lifting equipment?
  • Is there any possibility of snagging? (Vertical, horizontal, travel path)?
  • Are there environmental concerns? (I.E. wind, temperature, visibility, power lines)
  • Is a tag line required to control the load?

Risk Management: complete a pre-use check

Pre-use safety checks are required before a rigger uses any lifting equipment or accessories – follow the manufacturer instructions and applicable ASME standards.

This includes a basic physical check of the equipment, which can significantly reduce the risk of health and safety issues that may arise on site during everyday operations.

ASME Standards

ASME Standards state: ASME B30.9 requires that sling users shall be trained in the selection, inspection, cautions to personnel, effects of environment, and rigging practices. Sling identification is required on all types of slings.

ASME B30.26 requires that rigging hardware users shall be trained in the selection, inspection, cautions to personnel, effects of environment, and rigging practices. All rigging hardware to be identified by manufacturer with name or trademark of manufacturer.

References: https://www.iso.org/home.html

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

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

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Fall Protection Training: don’t get left behind

fall-protection-training-dont-get-left-behind

Fall Protection Training: don’t get left behind

Fall protection and training for is easy to overlook when there’s a job to be done—who has time to strap on a safety harness? You do.

Worker at height with SRL

At Hercules SLR, safety is a priority in all areas of our company. We spoke with some experts around the office about fall protection safety training – think safety harnesses, self-retracting lifelines and anchorage lines. They all agree that equipment alone is not enough – workers must be trained to use it properly. Training should be engaging, hands-on and fun to have workers actually use this equipment.

We want workers and employers alike to be aware of fall protection’s importance and the difference the right training makes. Read on to discover tips from our safety experts that will make you and your employees want to use their fall protection gear.

Fall Protection Training: are you credible?

Credibility is a large aspect of effective training and communication—do you sit behind a desk all day? Do you climb a 12-foot ladder daily? Regardless of the words you say, who you are will effect the message you’re trying to deliver.

“I had a professor in University who was from Poland, and her Family had escaped from the Nazi’s during their reign – her experience gave her credibility when she taught us European history, and even as students it made us pay attention,” remarks Business Development Manager, Consultant and Safety Trainer & Inspector Lou Gould on the difference credibility makes.

Fall Protection Training: know your audience

It’s important to know that while there’s overlap, there are differences among the industrial trades—it’s important to know the differences and not generalize when explaining the importance of fall protection gear.

Says Gould “Once, I was at a meeting where the topic was roof workers safety. The guy who was giving the presentation was an electrician, but was only speaking from his experience. I noticed right away a lot of guys in the room ‘check out’ so to speak, since he wasn’t addressing their specific problems or issues. It’s important to know your audience, especially when you’re trying to get an important point across.”

Experience is a great teacher. He continues, “The classroom is a sharing experience with everyone you’re with. Personally, I am a story-teller, and I’ve found this makes a great environment to learn. Whether it’s a situation you’ve been in or just witnessed, being able to say ‘I’ve seen someone use this before and protect them’ tends to stick in everyone’s head better than reading straight from a text.”

Use industry-specific examples to show how fall protection gear will improve and enhance their daily work. For example, talking to roofers? Mention how slippery roofs become during inclement weather – something your audience relates to.

Fall Protection Training: risk management vs. risk communication

When you reflect on an incident, there are typically thousands of tiny moments that led to that one disaster. All are entirely preventable – nothing is random. However, explaining how a fallen wrench can lead to a fatality isn’t something all trainers can do.

In the safety industry, we talk about risk management all the time, but we never talk about risk communication. Risk communication is the ability to explain the process of an injury, how they can escalate and what is being done to mitigate or in worst-case scenarios, investigate and provide conclusions. In the safety industry, many trainers have extensive knowledge but are don’t deliver it in a way that makes their audience pays attention.

ppe-fall-protection-training-safety-harness
Hercules SLR employee at height with their safety harness

It’s not enough to say “an 8-lb wrench dropped can cause fatal injuries” – which is an approach many trainers take. Hercules SLR trainers know that reading out facts is not enough. It’s much more effective to say “an 8-lb wrench dropped from 200 feet above has 2,833 pounds of force per square inch – which is equal to a Clydesdale horse hitting a 1 square inch area.”

It’s important to explain causation when you emphasize the need for proper PPE equipment and fall protection training. Many workers have the perception that fall protection PPE and training is only essential for “big accidents” – think falls from height or worksite explosions. But the right training emphasizes PPE’s role in daily work.

Causation vs. Big Accidents

Help workers visualize common accidents that occur on worksites and the role causation plays in daily workplace safety. For example, the nursing profession has many different hazards to mitigate. A few factors that contribute are, long shifts, high-stress nature of the job, aggression in the workplace, high emotional environment, poor housekeeping and lifting at awkward angles. The stressors through the day can contribute to injury and low-productivity. Financially, employers and owners can expect to pay much more to repair or replace misused equipment, rather than taking measures to maintain it in the first place.

The proper equipment and training will reduce discomfort caused by misusing PPE & fall protection gear, while reducing worksite injury and accident and improving productivity.

Fall Protection Training: most importantly, make it fun

We hate to break it to you—but if you’re boring no one will listen to you.

Many Hercules SLR students that enroll are actually already certified riggers. Often, they’ll start to work on-site and realize they’re making too many errors, or they enroll in other rigging courses and realize their skill isn’t on par with their peers.

Going forward, a big trend is the transition to a blended-training model. Blended training involves both a practical and classroom/online component, with a focus on engaging, hands-on activities, demonstrations.

Our Aerial Work Platform Training course is a great example of this. We spend 3-4 hours in the classroom and cover theory, and then we operate machines all afternoon. Right now, industry trend is to complete an online module that before the practical, then students come to the facility and complete their final practical test. This gives our trainers more hands-on training with the students and equipment than is available with more traditional training models.

Hercules SLR Training

Hercules SLR offers high-quality safety training and certification courses. We’ll customize courses to fit your workplace’s specific needs, and we’ll provide training on-site or at a Hercules SLR facility.

We don’t just offer safety and fall protection training – we’ll inspect, repair and certify your equipment too. Have your inspection done with Hercules SLR and gain access to our exclusive asset management tool, CertTracker. CertTracker maintains inspection records, gives advance notice of inspection due dates and schedules service times – Consider it your tool for great safety compliance.


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

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