Product Spotlight | What are Lifting Clamps?

Product Spotlight: What are Lifting Clamps?

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

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

What are Lifting Clamps? | Types of Lifting Clamps

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

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

Vertical Lifting Clamps

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

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

Horizontal Lifting Clamps

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

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

Specialized Clamps

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

What are Lifting Clamps? Their Uses

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

Lifting Clamp Dos and Don’ts

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

DO

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

DON’T

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

Lifting Clamp Inspections

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

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

How to visually inspect the exterior of a lifting clamp

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

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

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


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

Crosby Guest Blog: Shackle Inspection & Care

CROSBY SHACKLES 

Crosby shackles are a popular option for lifting applications. Time-tested and work proven, Crosby has made their mark in rigging—they’ve produced the first wire rope clip, quench and temper fittings (this makes performance more reliable) and were the first to fatigue-rate products. Their shackles are particularly popular – read on to learn more about Crosby shackles and how to use them safely, a handy interactive inspection checklist and more tips for best use. 

CROSBY SHACKLES: 3 MAIN SHACKLE TYPES

Round pin shackles can be used for lifting applications and others like tie down, towing or suspension applications when the load’s strictly applied in-line.

Screw pin shackles are used for pick and place applications. Pick and place applications are when a load is moved to its desired location, and the screw pin is tightened before each pick.

Bolt-type shackles can be used in any applications that round pin or screw pin shackles are used. They’re also great for long-term or permanent installations where the load may slide on the pin, which causes it to rotate. The other way to secure a shackle includes using a nut and cotter, which eliminates the need for you to tighten the pin before each lift or movement.

CROSBY SHACKLES: USE THEM SAFELY  

Before you put your Crosby shackle in service, make sure your shackle’s in good condition. To do so, look for these conditions:

  • The shackle’s pin works freely and fits correctly.
  • The pins are undamaged, have no considerable wear and fit properly from the opposite side of the shackle.
  • The load line and jaw opening are aligned.
  • The pin is always seated and is ‘matched’ to the body.
  • The shackle is the right material, size and type for the proposed lift.
  • Shackles are stored in a dry, cool place.

CROSBY SHACKLES: INSPECTION

It’s important to inspect your rigging equipment frequently. Ideally, this happens before use, during (check for points of stress or tension during use) and after use. Inspection is important to prevent equipment failure, which can lead to damaging the load entirely, or worse—injure or kill workers’.

Check your shackle before use. If any of these conditions are present, remove your shackle from service and have it inspected, repaired or replaced.

  • The shackle’s jaws or pins are distorted.
  • The shackle isn’t stamped with is safe-working load (SWL).
  • The shackle is home-made (never use homemade shackles).
  • The shackle’s pin does not work freely, or fit correctly in the shackle’s opening.
  • The pins’ threads are damaged, worn down or don’t easily screw in from the opposite side of the shackle.
  • The unthreaded hole is enlarged – a hole too big places unnecessary strain on the loaded shackle.
  • The shackle has wear that’s reduced its diameter by more than 8% of its original diameter. To test for cracks that may be hidden, tap them with a hammer. A shackle in good-condition should ‘ring’ clearly.
  • The shackle’s pin has been replaced, especially if it’s been replaced with anything but a pin.

CROSBY SHACKLES: USE THEM SAFELY OR NOT AT ALL 

There are a few things to keep in mind when using shackles for securing and lifting applications.

  • When you use shackles in conjunction with multi-leg slings, you must give consideration to the angle between the legs of the sling.
  • As the angle increases, so does the load in the sling leg, and as a consequence, any shackle attached to the leg.
  • Try to avoid erratic loading of the shackle – to do this, place a loose spacer on either end of the shackle’s pin, or use a shackle with a smaller jaw.
  • If using a shackle to secure the top block of a rope block set, the load on the shackle is increased by the value of the hoisting effort.
  • Take care to make sure the shackle and assembly above the hook is the right capacity.
  • It’s important that on shackles fitted with a nut and bolt pin, the length of the bolt’s plain portion will cause the nut to jam on the inner end of the thread, and not on the shackle’s eye. This leaves the bolt free to rotate.
  • Be sure the bolt and nut are cross-drilled for the fitting of a split cotter pin.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CROSBY PRODUCTS,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CROSBY QUIZ: CAN YOU PASS THIS HOOK INSPECTION QUIZ?

GUEST BLOG: CROSBY TALKS FORGED WIRE ROPE CLIPS VS MALLEABLE CAST IRON CLIPS

RIGGING HARDWARE WE LOVE: CROSBY® 4-50 CLIP APPLICATIONS


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Have questions about Crosby products? Hercules SLR will lift you to the answers.

Click here to learn more about Crosby at Hercules SLR. 

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

NEW: Hercules SLR ‘Specials’ Page

specials at hercules slr

NEW from Hercules SLR – amazing specials and an easy place to find them. 

We released our Winter flyer in December – but the deals don’t stop there. Hercules SLR has launched a new page called ‘Specials’, so you can find all of our steals and deals in one convenient place. 

BROWSE OUR SPECIALS

Hercules SLR aims to provide securing, rigging and lifting equipment and services for all your needs. Find everything you need to push, pull, move, hull or hoist almost anything safely & smoothly. We stock a vast range of products to suit most needs, our specials page includes products you don’t see too often – all great product, at great prices. 

Find Hercules SLR Specials page here, or find it on our menu under ‘Products’ → ‘Specials’. 

The products displayed on our web site are used as part of a system employed to accomplish a task. Therefore, we only recommend using these products to accomplish the desired task within the specified Working Load Limit (WLL). Products are subject to wear, misuse, overloading, corrosion, deformation, intentional alteration and other usage factors which may necessitate a reduction in the product’s Working Load Limit (WLL) rating, or is cause to remove the product from service. 


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 terms, jargon by hercules slr

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

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 lift 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.


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.

Are the Technicians Inspecting your Gear Qualified?

LEEA Header

LEEA – Lifting Standards Worldwide™

Hercules Inspectors are LEEA trained nationally. LEEA, the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association is the respected and authoritative representative body for those who work in every aspect of the industry, from design, manufacture, refurbishment and repair, through to the hire, maintenance and use of lifting equipment.

The next time your equipment is due for inspection, make sure Hercules SLR is your first choice for expert advice and service.

Credentials

Established across the globe LEEA has over 1170 member companies based in 69 countries. Hercules SLR is proud to be one of them.

LEEA has played a key role in this specialized field for over seventy years, from training and standards setting through to health and safety, the provision of technical and legal advice, and the development of examination and licensing systems.

LEEA represents all its members at the highest levels across a range of both public and private bodies, including various government departments, as well as nationally and internationally recognized professional and technical institutions.

LEEA are ISO 9001:2015 registered and an Associate Member of DROPS (Dropped Objects Prevention Scheme).

LEEA is actively involved in all aspects of the industry, promoting the highest technical and safety standards and offering a wide range of services and support to their Members worldwide.

History of the Association

The origins of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) can be traced back to wartime Britain in 1943; a small group of competing companies came together to address what they perceived as a serious threat to their livelihoods. On 3rd June, nine people representing eight chain testing houses met at the Great Eastern Hotel, near Liverpool Street Station, and the idea to form an association to take on the might of government was conceived. Several weeks later, a draft set of rules and regulations was drawn up. During that process, a decision was made that, regardless of size, all members should be considered equal, both in terms of influence and financial contribution and the annual subscription was set at £4 and 4 shillings (£4.20).
The London Chain Testers Association was the name chosen by the founding members and was a clear reflection of the nature and location of the businesses involved. However, evidence shows that as this small group quickly made headway in negotiations with the government, attention turned to other areas where it was felt that co-operative action could be of mutual benefit. These included exploring the potential for pricing agreements, block insurance, the use of collective purchasing to secure more favourable deals from manufacturers, and adherence to British Standards to improve quality and consistency within the industry.By 1946, the association’s geographical boundaries expanded. Members were now actively sought from across the country, a move highlighted by a change of name to The Chain Testers Association of Great Britain.With the immediate concerns of a wartime economy behind them, the following decades of the 20th century can be seen as a series of landmarks that would ultimately establish the association as an authority on safe lifting and the industry’s foremost provider of training and qualifications for the test, examination and maintenance of overhead lifting equipment. Milestones in this period included:

  • The publication of the Chain Testers’ Handbook in 1953. Predominantly the work of Mr. C H A McCaully of W&E Moore, this brought together for the first time all the essential information required by the ‘man at the bench’ – the chain tester.
  • In 1959 it was followed by the examination scheme for lifting equipment engineers. In 1981, the Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment (COPSULE) was launched.
  • In 1983, training courses were introduced to prepare students for exams that are now sat by several hundred candidates around the world every year.

Towards the end of the 20th century, important developments took place within the association’s infrastructure, and the nature of member companies changed to include a far wider range of activities. Notable events include the set-up of the organisation’s first independent office in 1977, and a third name change—to the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association in 1988.

With the introduction of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) in 1998, LEEA’s training, qualifications and publications had to be fundamentally reworked to reflect this new legislation, and the association’s support and guidance became even more important to members obliged to comply with the requirements of the new legislation.

This legislative upheaval combined with the all-pervasive impact of globalisation, and an absence of sector-specific health and safety legislation—so, many companies who operated in these parts of the world began to adopt LOLER as best practice, which further enhanced the appeal of LEEA membership.

Since the turn of the century, LEEA’s development has reflected these trends and milestones have included:

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  • In 2006, The launch of the LiftEx trade show;
  • In 2007, the move to new headquarters and a purpose-built training centre, an ever increasing portfolio of practical courses to complement online distance learning provision;
  • In 2009, the introduction of the TEAM card registration and identity scheme for qualified engineers and technicians.

Perhaps the most striking is LEEA’s transformation into a truly international body. Regardless of where they are based, there is now no distinction between members – all are subject to the same technical audits prior to being granted full membership, with regular follow-up visits as long as they wish to remain part of the association. Dedicated local groups are now operating in the Middle East and Australia, and LEEA staff have become globetrotters, regularly meeting existing and potential members, as well as a host of other stakeholders, right across the world.

Learn more about LEEA on their website here.

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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.

Lifting and Rigging Equipment: lifting with eye bolts

eye-bolt

Lifting and Rigging Equipment: select the right eye bolt

There’s a lot of hardware to consider when researching lifting and rigging equipment. Links, hooks, swivels—today we’re talking eye bolts. Eye bolts are used to attach a securing eye to a structure, so ropes or slings can be pulled through.

Keep reading to discover how to select and use the right type of bolt, their dimensions and Working Load Limits.

Eye bolts are marked with thread size, not with their rated capacities. Make sure you select the correct eye bolt based on type and capacity for the lift you are conducting.

  • Use plain or regular eye bolts (non-shoulder) or ring bolts for vertical loading only. Angle loading on non-shoulder bolts will bend or break them.
  • Use shoulder eye bolts for vertical or angle loading. Be aware that lifting eye bolts at an angle reduces the safe load.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended method for angle loading.
lifting-equipment-incorrect-use-of-shoulder-bolt
Shoulder bolt, used incorrectly.
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Shoulder eye bolt, with load applied correctly. 
Incorrect way to apply angle load.

Lifting and Rigging Equipment: using eye bolts safely

  • Orient the eye bolt in line with the slings. If the load is applied sideways, the eye bolt may bend.
  • Pack washers between the shoulder and the load surface to ensure that the eye bolt firmly contacts the surface. Ensure that the nut is properly torqued.
  • Engage at least 90% of threads in a receiving hole when using shims or washers.
  • Attach only one sling leg to each eye bolt.
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Direction of pull

 

  • Inspect and clean the eye bolt threads and the hole.
  • Screw the eye bolt on all the way down and properly seat.
  • Ensure the tapped hole for a screw eye bolt (body bolts) has a minimum depth of 1 1/2 times the bolt diameter.
  • Install the shoulder at right angles to the axis of the hole. The shoulder should be in full contact with the surface of the object being lifted.
  • Use a spreader bar with regular (non-shoulder) eye bolts to keep the lift angle at 90° to the horizontal.
    • Use eye bolts at a horizontal angle greater than 45°. Sling strength at 45° is 71% of vertical sling capacity. Eye bolt strength at 45° horizontal angle drops down to 30% of vertical lifting capacity.
    • Use a swivel hoist ring for angled lifts. The swivel hoist ring will adjust to any sling angle by rotating around the bolt and the hoisting eye pivots 180°.

 

Lifting and Rigging Equipment: eye bolt techniques to avoid

improper-eye-bolt-use-lifting-equipment
Don’t run your sling through an eye bolt!
  • Do not run a sling through a pair of eye bolts: this reduces the effective angle of lift and puts more strain on the rigging.
  • Do not force the slings through eye bolts. This force may alter the load and the angle of loading.
  • Do not use eye bolts that have been ground, machined or stamped.
  • Do not use bars, grips or wrenches to tighten eye bolts.
  • Do not paint an eye bolt. The paint could cover up flaws.
  • Do not force hooks or other fittings into the eye; they must fit freely.
  • Do not shock load eye bolts.
  • Do not use a single eye bolt to lift a load that is free to rotate.
  • Do not use eye bolts that have worn threads or other flaws.
  • Do not insert the point of a hook in an eye bolt. Use a shackle.
  • Do not use non-shouldered bolts to lift horizontally—non-shouldered bolts should only be used to lift vertically.

 

Lifting and Rigging Equipment: eye bolt dimensions

 

Machinery Eye Bolt

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Screw Eye Bolt

lifting-rigging-equipment-screw-eye-bolt-dimensions

 

 

 

 

 

Regular Eye Bolt—Forged

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  • The Ultimate Load* is 5 times the WLL**. Maximum proof-load*** is 2 times the WLL.
Shoulder Eye Bolt—Forged

lifting-and-rigging-equipment-shoulder-eye-bolt-forged-dimensions

  • Ultimate Load is 5 times the WLL. Maximum proof-load is 2 times the WLL.
Definitions

* Ultimate Load: The load at which the item being tested fails or no longer supports the load.

** Working Load Limit: The maximum combined static and dynamic load in pounds or tonnes should be applied to the product in service, even when the product is new, and when the product is uniformly applied in direct tension to the product.

*** Maximum Proof-Load: The maximum tensile force that can be applied to a bolt without deformation. This is usually between 85-95% of the yield strength.

Need more definitions? Find common securing, rigging and lifting definitions on our ‘Quality and Safety‘ page.

Fact sheet via CCOHS: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safety_haz/materials_handling/eye_bolts.html

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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.