Product Spotlight | What are Lifting Clamps?

Product Spotlight: What are Lifting Clamps?

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

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

What are Lifting Clamps? | Types of Lifting Clamps

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

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

Vertical Lifting Clamps

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

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

Horizontal Lifting Clamps

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

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

Specialized Clamps

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

What are Lifting Clamps? Their Uses

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

Lifting Clamp Dos and Don’ts

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


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


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

Lifting Clamp Inspections

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

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

How to visually inspect the exterior of a lifting clamp

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

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

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


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


  • 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.


  • 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

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.


Columbus McKinnon Guest Blog: CM Experts Talk Load Securement

Columbus McKinnon (CM) creates popular, durable hoisting equipment for rigging like the Bandit, and Loadstar—Today, we have a two part piece by two rigging experts from CM on the Hercules SLR talking load securement, and the benefit of ratchet binders versus lever binders.

Read on and learn load securement tips from Henry Brozyna, Corporate Trainer for CM to tie-down loads safely and securely.

In many cases, the importance of tying down a load on or in a truck is underestimated. It’s interesting to talk to trucking people and find out that they are very in tune with what is expected of them with regards to the vehicle they drive and the maintenance of that vehicle. But when it comes to tie downs and load securement, they usually fall short.

Securing loads in and on trucks is very important – not just to the driver, but to their customer and most importantly the general public.

LOAD SECURMENT | Good tie downs go a long way to ensure cargo being hauled on a truck stays on the truck.

A pre-use inspection of the tie downs must be done to ensure the working load limit (WLL) of that tie down is intact. All tie downs have markings to indicate what grade they are or they will be marked with a working load limit. The higher the grade, the stronger the product – as you typically see with chain. Grade 30 is the lowest grade and is not as strong as say, grade 70 or grade 80.

During a roadside inspection by law enforcement, they will look for these markings. If they cannot find any, they will automatically rate the tie down as grade 30, the lowest option. This de-rating may cause him/her to take you and your vehicle out of service due to lack of adequate tie downs. Therefore, it may be helpful to conduct a pre-use inspection, per the manufacturer’s specifications, to ensure the proper type and number of chain tie downs is used.

LOAD SECURMENT | Straps need attention too.

The condition of synthetic straps is one of the most overlooked load securement items. When straps are purchased, the manufacturer assigns a working load limit. That WLL is for straps that are intact and undamaged. This is where a pre-use inspection is needed. Straps that have damage in excess of the manufacturer’s specifications must be removed from service.

LOAD SECURMENT | Take time to check your load securement equipment.

All too often we are in a hurry to get from one place to another. This is usually when we take chances and cut corners. This is also the time that an accident is most likely to happen. It is important to take extra time to make sure the equipment you want to use is in good condition and meets the requirements for use as a load securement device.

Read on for part two from Columbus McKinnon expert Troy Raines, Chain & Rigging Product Engineering Manager and learn more about using ratchet binders and lever binders for securing loads, and the benefits of each.


LOAD SECUREMENT | People frequently ask, “What type of chain binder should I use?” 

Being an engineer gives my outlook on life an odd slant. I frequently think of things in terms of simple machines and how they can make my life better. Where am I going with this and how do simple machines relate to chain binder selection? Let me explain.

LOAD SECURMENT | What is a chain binder?

Also known as a load binder, chain binders are tools used to tighten chain when securing a load for transport. There are two basic styles of chain binders – lever binders and ratchet binders. The method of tightening the binder is what differentiates the two.

Lever Binders

load securement lever binder, columbus mckinnon at hercules slr
Lever Binder

A lever binder is made up of a simple machine, a lever, with a tension hook on each end. The lever is used to increase the force applied to a tie down. The lever is hinged and takes up the slack by pulling on one end of the tension hook and will lock itself after a 180-degree rotation of the lever around the hinge. Some of the advantages of choosing a lever-type binder include:

  • Easy installation
  • Fewer moving parts
  • Quick means to secure and release

Ratchet Binders

load securement, ratchet binder by columbus mckinnon at hercules slr
Ratchet Binder

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

When using a ratchet binder, the lever and screw work together and increase the force manually applied to the tie-down assembly. The result is that it takes much less pulling force on the handle to apply tension than you would need with a lever binder.

Ratchets also allow for slower, steadier loading and unloading of forces. This reduces any undue stress or strain on your body. Since ratchet binders are designed with a gear, handle, pawl and end fittings, they will not store up as much energy in the handle as a lever binder will.

Another advantage of ratchet binders is that take-up is safer. The take-up distance of a ratchet binder is typically eight to ten inches – twice that of a lever binder. While take up with a ratchet binder may take a few extra minutes, it is more controlled and ultimately a safer process.

LOAD SECURMENT | In Conclusion

Both lever binders and ratchet binders work in a similar fashion and should be chosen based on the preference of the operator. As with any type of load securement gear, safe practices need to be followed, including:

  • Always wear gloves to maintain a good grip on the binder handle.
  • Never use cheater bars on the handle in an attempt to increase the tie down tension. Cheater bars can put excessive force on the tie down. This force can be enough to damage or even break the tie down. This energy may be further increased by shifting loads. The stored energy resulting from this force could injure you or someone nearby.
  • Ensure that the lever binder is fully locked and make sure the load doesn’t shift after it is applied.
  • When releasing lever binders, stay clear of the handle to avoid any potential kickback.
  • Specifically on ratchet binders, don’t rush the ratcheting process. Slow and steady is the best way to tension.