5 Top Tips | Caring for Wire Rope

5 Top Tips | Caring for Wire Rope

Rigging equipment has a tough job lifting and moving heavy loads for hours and hours a day. In order for that equipment to be able to be its job, we have to take proper care of it. We expect longevity and endurance from equipment like wire rope, but that can easily turn if not properly treated. Equipment that is properly treated, handled, installed, inspected and stored will reward us with a prolonged life of service, better job performance and peace of mind in knowing it won’t fail.

Riggers don’t have the luxury of simple equipment slip-ups. If your rigging equipment fails you, it can cause damage to product, property and worst-case scenario, an extreme safety hazard resulting in injury or loss of life. Since wire rope is a material of choice in heavier lifts, extreme safety hazards can be a real possibility if you’re using rope that’s in an unsafe condition.

But that can be avoided! Here are 5 top tips to help you keep you wire rope in tip-top condition…

1. Seizing Your Wire Rope

Seizing and cutting operations are not difficult to perform, but are crucial in the performance of wire rope. Proper seizing must be applied to both rope ends to protect the wire ropes from loosening – Carelessly or inadequately seized ends may cause distortion or flattening of the rope. If you use wire rope that is not properly seized it will cause uneven distribution of the load over the strands causing the life of the wire rope to be drastically shortened.

Normally, one of two methods are used to do this. Typically method one is suitable for wire ropes with a diameter over one inch, and method two is those with a diameter one inch and under.

Method One:

  1. One end of the seizing wire is placed between the valleys of two strands.
  2. Turn another end around the rope and the fixed end of seizing wire closely and tightly at right angles.
  3. Stop turning after the proper length of seizing has been applied.
  4. Twist two ends of seizing wire together and make sure they are seizing the rope tightly.

Method Two:

  1. Wrap with small wires as shown in the picture.
  2. Twist the two ends of seizing wire together.
  3. Alternatively tight twist with end cutters.

2. Care When Unloading & Handling

If you’re dealing with loading or unloading wire rope in a reel or coil, it’s important to know that that is not a protected storage method and if you drop the reel during this process, it can lead to serious damage to your wire rope. Because of this, it is important to handle reels of wire rope with care and focus not to drop or damage the reel. Damage to the reel can also make it incredibly difficult to remove the wire rope from the reel, so it’s not only an important safety precaution but will also save you time and frustration in the future.

It’s also important to take care when removing wire rope from the reels or coils. When doing this, ensure the reel or coil is rotating as the wire rope unwinds. Below you will see some of the rights vs. wrongs for unwinding rope.

3. Installation By Trained Professionals

In the rigging field, it’s very important that workers be properly trained in any and all tasks they are performing because many lifts can become extremely dangerous if even one aspect is done incorrectly. So the most important thing to take away from this tip is to seek out proper training from certified professionals before taking on tasks like installing wire rope!

Once you have that training you will know how important it is to take into account the design factor of any equipment being used with wire rope, being sure to take note of the nominal diameter of wire rope to use with the equipment, as specified by the manufacturer. Installing an incorrect size will result in a failed rope or shorter service life as the rope can get pinched into a smaller space compromising its integrity.

Wire rope diameter is determined by measuring the outer circle of the strands, which is the greatest dimension that can be measured with a pair of parallel-jawed calipers or machinist’s caliper square. You can easily make a mistake if not taking care in measuring the largest dimension, as shown below:


4. Keeping up with Inspections and Assessments

Keeping up with the required inspections is something that must be prioritized for all rigging equipment. Wire rope is often used for heavy lifting, which means they are being used in situations where they are trusted to keep not just your load safe, but the people and the environment around it. That means that you have to be confident that your wire rope is up to the task – And how do you do that? Inspections!

Based on manufacturer/organization recommendations, ensure your wire rope is being inspected by a certified professional where the rope can be dismantled and tested through visual assessment and non-destructive testing. Hercules SLR can make this a worry-free part of your business – Our experience and LEEA certified team can take this completely off your hands, on-site or in our fell service rigging shops! 

On top of these professional inspections, wire rope should also be visually assessed by trained and experienced workers at the start of every shift or when resuming stalled work. Thorough visual assessments should also be carried out after reattaching or refitting the wire rope on the same or different equipment. Machine operators should be trained to visually assess the entire wire rope, with emphasis on points of attachment.

Things to look for when visually assessing a wire rope:

  • Broken Strands –  One of the easiest ways to do this is to run a cotton cloth over the length of the wire (if possible), checking for any places where the material get’s snagged. Any cable that has a single broken wire strand located around critical fatigue areas (where the cable runs around a pulley, sleeve or through a fair-lead; or any section where the cable is flexed, rubbed, or worked) must be replaced. Generally, SOME broken wires in non-critical areas are okay, but always consult your service/maintenance manual.
  • Surface Wear and Tare – Look out for any flat spots, any areas where the cable twist is unraveling, or any other condition resulting in the cable being distorted—If any of these things are present, you must replace the cable.
  • Internal Ware and Tare –  It is recommended to remove the cable whenever possible and flex them to ensure that all cables on the inside of the wire rope haven’t worn down due to environmental deterioration, distortion or fatigue. If you haven’t been keeping up with regular inspections, this is particularly necessary as it is possible for wire rope to look completely sound from the outside, but as soon as you move it around, it completely fails.

5. Proper Storage Methods

Wire rope needs to be stored in a well-ventilated, dry, and covered area and should not come in contact with the floor. If it is necessary to store it outside, they must be covered so that moisture cannot get inside and cause corrosion. You should also make sure that they are protected from dust, water, steam, salt, chemical fumes or adverse climatic conditions.

Turning the reel occasionally is a good practice to get in the habit of. This will prevent the wire rope’s lubricant from wearing off. If ropes are stored for a long time, it is advised for you to get them examined periodically and apply a coat of lubricant to them.

Bonus tip: If you live in an area that is prone to termites, protect the wooden reel by storing it on cement flooring. 

In the market for wire rope? Need an inspection? We’ve got you covered!

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


Industry Highlight | Film and Television Rigging

film and tv entertainment rigging

Industry Highlight: Film & Television 

Lights, Camera—Rig?!

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

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

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

What Does the Grip Department Do?

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

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

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

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

Rigging Equipment Used in Film

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

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

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

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

Grip Hardware Essentials

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

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

How Grips Facilitate Safety on Set

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

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

Some of the mentioned safety measures include:

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

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

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

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

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

Rope Access

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

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

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


Product Spotlight | Crosby Forged Sorting Hooks

Product Spotlight: Crosby Forged Sorting Hooks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bonus Tip!

The real Pelican Hook

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

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

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

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

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


Revolutionary Rigging | The Spydercrane

Revolutionary Rigging | The Spydercrane

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

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

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

What Makes the Sydercrane Special?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spydercrane Models

090 Series

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

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

200 Series

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

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

300 Series

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

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

500 Series

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

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

700 Series

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

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

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

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

When you spend a long day lifting, hoisting and pulling, your body probably has some aches & pains. Did you know your crane is no different? Just like a weightlifter must take care of their body, watch what they eat and even ensure the palms of their hands are prepared to lift, your crane needs a similar level of care. (And, we know what happens when this level of care is overlooked).

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


What You Get When You Buy Crosby Rigging Equipment

crosby rigging equipment

What You Get When You Buy Crosby Rigging Equipment

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

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

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


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

Crosby Rigging Equipment: Key Attributes

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

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

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

Full-cycle Quench and Temper Heat Treatment: In order to properly transform the micro-structure of drop forgings (fancy right?!) products are re-heated after forging, then quenched and tempered* using tightly controlled processes and equipment. This heat treatment provides consistent temperature control and results in superior material properties.

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

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

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

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

So, What is a Vertically Integrated Supply Chain?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.


Rigging and Lifting Slings | All About Synthetics

industrial rigging and lifting sling being sewn

There’s a lot of different terminology and rules to remember about synthetic rigging and lifting slings – but Hercules SLR has you covered. 

When you think of a heavy duty sling, you might wonder why a rigger would choose a synthetic material over something ‘heavy duty’, like chain. They exist for a reason—Some benefits of synthetic rigging and lifting slings include: 

  • Economical
  • Flexible/Easy-to-store
  • Great for applications where steel or wire rope slings could damage a delicate load. 


Synthetic slings, or textile slings are made out of fabricated materials like nylon or polyester. Colour codes are used to identify the synthetic sling’s material. The colour is identified by a label on rigging and lifting slings – These are: 

  • BLUE: Polyester (ES) 
  • GREEN: Polyamide (PA)
  • BROWN: Polypropylene (PP) 

In terms of their construction, synthetic slings are often known as web slings or round slings. 


There are many safety tips to keep in mind when lifting with synthetic slings. Here are a few simple safety tips and tricks to keep in mind:

  • Store synthetic slings in a cool, dry place that’s free from exposure to ultra-violet light, like sunlight. 
  • Never pull your sling from under a load 
  • If the tags/labels are unreadable, don’t use the sling 
  • Be careful when using the sling around sharp corners or edges—Sharp corners can tear the synthetic sling 


Synthetic slings should be inspected on a semi-regular basis. There are three types of inspection you must do with your synthetic sling(s)—These are: 


Before using your synthetic sling, a designated person or the user must check the sling to make sure it’s the correct to use for the application, and to ensure the sling meets the manufacturer’s specifications. A designated person is someone who has a recognized degree or certificate in an applicable field (like rigging) or someone who has extensive knowledge, training, experience and has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems that relate to the application.

This inspection should happen whether the sling is new, repaired or altered in any way. 


Whoever is handling the sling, should conduct a visual inspection(s) each time it’s used. Further conditions for frequent visual inspection is:

A) A visual inspection for damage shall be performed by the user or other designated person each date or shift the sling is used. 

B) If the sling has any conditions that could cause hazard, the sling should be removed from service and not returned until it’s been approved by a designated person. 


Each part of the sling must be inspected individually—Take care to expose and examine all surfaces and individual component. 

Periodic inspections should not exceed one year—Inspect your synthetic sling at least once annually. Inspection frequency is based on how often slings are used, the kind of lifts being made, experience gained on service life of slings and how severe service conditions are.

Severe service conditions are defined as: 

  • Normal service—Yearly
  • Severe service—Monthly to quarterly
  • Special service—This is recommended by a qualified person 

When you inspect your sling, look for these conditions: 

  • Bent or twisted fittings 
  • Chemical damage
  • Crushing or knots 
  • Cuts and broken stitching 
  • Exposed internal cover due to cut or abrasion 
  • Heat damage 
  • Holes, cuts, tears or snags 
  • Missing or illegible sling identification
  • Severe abrasion
  • Twin path tell-tails not extending 1/2″ past the tag area 
  • Ultra-violet ray damage
  • Worn or broken stitching 

rigging and lifting synthetic web slings and orange synthetic round sling











What do we mean when we discuss sling angles? Sling angle is the space where the sling and the horizontal part of the load meet. 

Rated capacity, rated load or working load limit refers to the maximum working load that the sling manufacturer says the sling can hold. The terms ‘rated capacity’ and ‘working load limit’ are commonly used to describe rated load. The angle is important as the sling angle creates tension, which can impact the rated capacity of the sling.

Safe sling angles are typically 45­° greater from the horizontal point of the load. 

When we talk about sling angles, it’s important to talk about sling hitches. Hitches refer to the different way a sling can be applied to a load. The angle of multi-leg slings will effect the rated capacity of the bridle or multi-leg sling.

The most common types of hitches found in rigging are: 

  • VERTICAL: Method of rigging a web sling where the load’s attached to one end of the web sling, and the other end of the web sling is attached to the lifting device. 
  • CHOKER: Method of rigging a web sling in which the web sling is passed around the load, then through itself, then attached to the lifting device. 
  • BASKET HITCH (90°): Method of rigging a web sling where the web sling is passed around the load, and both ends are attached to the lifting device. A method of rigging a sling where it’s passed around the load, then through one loop eye, end fitting, or other device, while the other loop eye or end fitting at the other end is attached to the lifting device. Any hitch less than 5 degrees from the vertical may be considered a vertical hitch. 
3 most common rigging hitches
3 Common Rigging Hitches with Synthetic Slings

The degree of the angle determines the rated capacity of the sling—To find out if a sling has the rated capacity you need for a lift, take the angle between the sling leg and the horizontal, then multiply the sling’s factor. 

As the sling angle decreases, so does the rated capacity. Here’s a chart for example:

90 1
85 0.996
80 0.985
75 0.966
70 0.94
65 0.906
60 0.866
55 0.819
50 0.766
45 0.707
40 0.643
35 0.574
30 0.5



It’s important to remember that rated capacities are based on perfect conditions. There are many other factors that reduce capacity. These include:

  • Swing: Suspended loads can swing, which place more dynamic forces on the hoist in addition to the weight of the load. These additional forces (see point below) are difficult to quantify and account for, and could cause tip-over of the crane or failure of hoisting hardware. The force of the swinging causes the load to drift away from the machine, which increases the radius and side-loading on equipment. Keep the load directly below the boom point or upper load block. This is best accomplished by controlling the load’s movement with slow motions. 
  • Condition of equipment: Again, WLL and rated capacities are based on perfect conditions – this includes equipment and hardware. Damaged equipment should be taken out of service immediately. 
  • Dynamic forces: WLL and rated capacities are meant for static loads. Safety factor accounts for the dynamic motions of the load & equipment. 
  • Weight of tackle: Hoisting equipment’s rated capacity doesn’t account for the additional weight of blocks, hooks, slings, equalizer beams and other parts of the lifting tackle. The weight of these accessories combined must be added to the load’s total weight, the capacity of the lifting equipment including design safety factors and should be large enough to account for the extra load to lift. 


Read on to discover MORE rigging and lifting sling vocabulary you need to know.

ABNORMAL OPERATING CONDITIONS: Environmental conditions that unfavourable, harmful or detrimental to/or for the operation of a sling, such as excessively high or low ambient temperatures, exposure to weather, corrosive fumes, dust or moisture-laden atmospheres and hazardous locations. 

ABRASION: The mechanical wearing of a surface that results from friction with other materials or objects. 

ANGLE OF CHOKE: Angle that’s formed with in a sling body as it passes through the choking-eye or fittings.

ASSEMBLY: Another word for sling.

AUTHORIZED: Approved by a duly-constituted administrative or regulatory authority.  

BODY (SLING): The part of a sling between the eye(s), end-fittings or loop eyes. 

BRIDLE SLING: A sling composed of multiple legs with the top ends gathered in a fitting that goes over the lifting hook. 

D/d RATIO: The relationship between the curvative upon which the sling is used (D) and the nominal sling diameter (d).

DESIGNATED PERSON: Selected or assigned by the employer or employer’s representative as being competent to perform specific duties.

END-FITTING: Terminal hardware on the end of a sling. See sling

EYE OPENING: The opening in the end of a sling of the attachment of the hook, shackle, or other lifting device or the load itself.

FABRICATION EFFICIENCY: The sling assembly strength, as a percentage of the material strength prior to fabrication.

FITTING: Hardware on the end of a sling, also known as a component

GROMMET SLING: A type of endless sling. 

LENGTH, SLING: The distance between the extreme bearing points of the sling.

SINGLE-LEG SLINGS WITHOUT END FITTINGS: Measured from pull to pull with or from bearing to bearing of eyes.

SINGLE-LEG SLINGS WITH END FITTINGS: Measured from pull to pull of end fittings or eyes. 

LOOP EYE (WEB SLING): A length of webbing that has been that’s been folded back upon itself, forming an opening, and joined to the sling body to form a bearing surface. 

PLY: A Layer of load bearing webbing used in a web sling assembly. 

PROOF LOAD: The specific load applied in performance of the proof tests. 

PROOF TEST:A nondestructive load test made to a specific multiple of the rated load of the sling. 

SPECIAL OR INFREQUENT: Service that involves operation other than normal or severe, which is approved by a qualified person. 

SPIRAL: A single transverse coil that is the basic element from which metal mesh is fabricated.

SPLICE (WEB SLING): The part of the sling that’s lapped and secured to become an integral part of the sling.

ASSEMBLY SPLICE (WEB SLING): Any splice that joins two or more parts of the sling without bearing any of the applied load.

LOAD BEARING SPLICE (WEB SLING): The part of a sling that is lapped and secured to become an integral load bearing part of the sling. 

TRIANGLE CHOKER FITTING: An end-fitting for metal mesh or synthetic web slings; similar to the triangle fitting, except that is also a transverse slot through which a triangle fitting can be passed to facilitate a choker hitch on the load.

TRIANGLE FITTING: An end fitting for metal mesh or synthetic web slings, containing a single eye opening for connecting the sling to the lifting device. 

YARN: A generic term for a continuous strand of fibers. 




INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM  1-877-461-4877








Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies. We have a unique portfolio of businesses nationally, with locations coast-to-coast. Hercules Group of Companies provides extensive coverage of products and services that support a variety of sectors across Canada which includes the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, 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 hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com


Warehouse Wow: How our Distribution Centre Leads the Industry

hercules distribution centre warehouse



You’re probably reading this on a computer or mobile phone that at one point, was probably sitting somewhere in a warehouse. In 2019, warehouses are a huge part of nearly every industry but we often don’t consider where our things live before they get to us, or exactly what goes into running a smooth, successful warehouse operation. We’re here to help. 

Hercules’ Central Distribution Centre (DC) in Long-Sault, Ontario has the largest inventory of securing, lifting and rigging equipment under one roof in Canada. We’re also the only Central Distribution Centre (DC) warehouse in the securing, lifting and rigging industry that supplies products on a national-scale to our 20+ branches and ship directly to customers. The Hercules DC is in Cornwall on the 401 highway, sandwiched right between Montreal and Toronto and close to a border-crossing into the United States, as well. 

So, what exactly does it take to operate our DC? Luckily, we know just the guy. Terry Bartlett, Hercules’ Central Distribution Manager shares what he’s learned over his career, and what how he and his team run our DC like a well-oiled machine.  

hercules central distribution warehouse staffHERCULES’ WAREHOUSE: TEAM PLAYERS 

Terry Bartlett has been in distribution and material handling industries for over 20 years. Terry started as a Rig Technician at Hercules SLR in Montreal, quickly moving into a leading roles first as a Production Supervisor, then to Floor Manager. When Hercules decided to open a distribution center 3 years ago, Terry practically leaped at the opportunity to help the team establish operations. Over the past 6 years, Terry’s used his knowledge of Hercules and his distribution experience to set-up, recruit and make operations ultra efficient as our Central Distribution Manager. 

Terry can’t do it all alone—A hard-working team is essential to a well-run DC. Tim Bingley, Nick O’Brien and Jamie Plumadore have been part of the DC warehouse team for two years. They help Terry with basically all aspects of running the DC warehouse, including creating and setting policies & procedures and creating a culture that can continuously improve, keep up and grow with industry trends. 

As our business grows, so does the DC team. The DC Warehouse has doubled their team in the past year. Phillipe Gatien, Adam Bartlett, Eric Nadeau and Eric Vanderwal have joined our team to help operations.  

hercules central distribution warehouse staff



Be aware of hazardous risks associated with warehouse work. These include slips and fall (which are some of the most common injuries on any jobsite, even offices) but warehouses present even more issues. Racking accidents, musculoskeletal injuries from improper lifting methods and temperature fluctuations are all risk factors for hazards.

You can’t prevent accidents or expect warehouse personnel to avoid hazards if they aren’t aware of them. 


Like we mention above, slips and falls are some of the most common warehouse injuries, and can be particularly dangerous when lifting equipment is being used. In Ontario, nearly 20% of lost-time injury claims were due to falls. To prevent falls and trips, be sure to have guards installed in areas where there are large spaces between floors that personnel could fall through. Mop and clean up spills, slippery materials like sawdust, and be sure to store boxes properly – not on the warehouse floor where someone may trip over them.

Train and make personnel aware of any abnormalities that might cause them to trip, like cracks in the floor, uneven stairs or plugged-in cords; and also human error that easily contributes to falls, like tools or equipment placed on the floor for just a moment.   


Yes, maybe employees who have been hired years ago have been trained, but as new standards come out, personnel should be familiar with them. Be sure to give thorough training on any new technologies you bring in, like connective radios or tracking systems, hand signals & important communicative phrases, and make sure safety and equipment training is up-to-date – to do this, give personnel ‘refresher’ courses regularly and hold safety meetings with warehouse personnel. 


Again, “Isn’t this common-sense?” you probably think. However, one of the top citations OSHA gives out each year are for equipment violations. Ever see this scene from ‘The Office’? Some people shouldn’t use the forklift.

Make sure personnel has the proper training and licenses to operate machinery like forklifts, aerial lift trucks and even fall protection. Safety harnesses can be used improperly, which can lead to accidents. For example, a Hercules SLR inspector was once called into a warehouse operation whose safety equipment was often breaking. When he entered the warehouse, he saw a worker swinging from side-to-side on various platforms with a safety harness and lanyard which were only supposed to be used vertically. This was improper use, which explained why their safety equipment was failing so frequently.

In 2018, three of OSHA’s most frequent citations in warehouses were for Fall Protection training & general requirements and industrial truck violations – invest in training for warehouse personnel, especially when fall protection is being used.


Another citation OSHA often gives out is for hazard communication. Hazardous chemicals can cause corrosion, respiratory issues or become flammable, and should be labelled. Hazard communication includes proper labelling, education for employees about the risks involved and plans to control spills and proper disposal. 








Have questions about our  rigging equipment or our Central Distribution Centre? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

E-mail us at info@herculesslr.com to learn more about Hercules SLR’s rigging equipment.

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.

CM’s Tips: Crane & Hoisting Equipment in Hazardous Areas

cm hoisting equipment at hercules slr

COLUMBUS MCKINNON GUEST BLOG: How to Use Hoists & Cranes in Hazardous Areas

This guest blog is reprinted with permission from the experts at Columbus McKinnon. Their specialists give you an overview of safe practices to follow to operate crane and hoisting equipment in hazardous environments. 


Among many industries that range from upstream oil and gas, refineries to agriculture and wood working, many potentially flammable atmospheres exist. These areas can present unique challenges for material handling equipment and can pose a serious threat to materials, equipment and most importantly, personnel.

In Canada, hazardous areas are defined and managed by a few different regulatory bodies, including the Canada Labour Code, the Canadian Standards Association and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, to name a few. 


It’s generally understood that friction between certain materials can cause sparks sufficient enough to ignite flammable gas or dust. A cigarette lighter or an antique flintlock musket are common examples of this. Obviously the type and concentration/dilution of gases in an area is one element that affects potential ignition from a mechanically generated source, but other key factors could include:

  • The type materials making contact
  • The speed/pressure with which the materials come into contact
  • Corrosion on one or more of the contacting surfaces
  • Lubrication

To address this potential risk, Columbus McKinnon uses materials such as copper, bronze, and austenitic stainless steel, which are generally considered non-sparking. These are used for coatings, or as material substitutions for enhanced spark resistance. Not only are these materials spark resistant, but they can also protect against corrosion. Since surface corrosion can increase friction between mating components, corrosion prevention is also important when using material handling products in hazardous environments.

CM crane and hoisting in hazardous areas, Hercules SLR

Columbus McKinnon engineers a variety of specialty products with spark-resistant components and finishes, including:

  • Solid bronze hooks, bottom blocks and trolley wheels
  • Bronze plated components
  • Stainless steel load and hand chain
  • Multi-coat epoxy finishes
  • Zinc-aluminum corrosion-resistant finish


hoisting equipment in hazardous areas by hercules slr
Offshore refinery, example of a hazardous environment. Photo courtesy of CM.

As we mentioned earlier, lifting equipment used in classified hazardous locations must be compliant with applicable standards. 

It’s important to make sure critical mechanical components are resistant to sparks – it’s equally important to make sure these parts are protected from corrosion. These parts include: 

  • Load blocks
  • Trolley wheels
  • Load brake
  • Lifting mediums
  • Chain
  • Wire rope

Many classified hazardous areas exist outdoors that expose lifting equipment to direct, and often harsh weather. These include offshore oil platforms, natural gas processing plants and refineries – to name a few. Specifically in offshore facilities, equipment may be exposed to splash zones, salt spray and the condensation of salt-laden air. In addition to harsh and corrosive weather conditions, sulfur, mineral acids and other corrosive agents are often present in the crude oil and natural gas that is being produced, processed and transported in these facilities, working to further corrode lifting equipment used in these environments.

CORROSION = $$$ cm hoisting equpment from hercules slr

The cost of corrosion can be tremendous, and can add up to billions of dollars each year in the oil and gas industries alone. In these industries, the cost to repair and replace corroded lifting equipment combined with unscheduled maintenance, downtime and lost production have a major impact on profitability. Corroded load blocks, hooks, chains and cables can result in catastrophic equipment failure. Not only can this cause costly damage to the equipment and the facility, but most importantly, can cause injury or be fatal to operators and other personnel in the facility. 

So – how do you protect lifting equipment from corrosion? It’s critical to use corrosion-resistant materials for load blocks, hooks, chains, cables and other components. Since surface corrosion can increase the friction between mating components, corrosion prevention is important to maintain mechanical spark resistance when using these products in a classified, hazardous environment. 


cm hoisting equpment from hercules slr
A corroded pipe in an offshore environment.

Columbus McKinnon offers a variety of solutions for these challenges, in the form of a wide range lifting products with spark and corrosion resistant materials and coatings. They also offer application engineering assistance to help determine the right solution for your application. Choose from specially engineered products with:

  • Solid bronze hooks, bottom blocks and trolley wheels
  • Lightweight aluminum housings
  • Stainless steel load and hand chain
  • Multi-coat epoxy finishes
  • Zinc-aluminum corrosion-resistant finish 
damaged hoisting equipment hercules slr
Corroded chain. Photo via CM.

In addition to corrosion-resistant materials and finishes, we also suggest proper hoist lubrication to prevent sparking. These measures, combined with a robust inspection and preventative maintenance program that includes pre-lift inspections, play a critical role to make sure equipment is dependable and safe in these harsh environments. 

Regardless of where you do business, CM has hoisting equipment and cranes to keep your people, materials and equipment safe in hazardous areas. 



Earlier in this article, CM discussed the need for mechanical spark resistance and corrosion-resistant measures, especially in hazardous environments. This section outlines challenges faced working with space constraints, how they can be increased in hazardous environments and solutions to potential problems.


hoisting equipment in space constraints at hercules slr
Examples of a constrained space. Photo courtesy of CM.






Another example of a constrained space. Photo courtesy of CM.

Classified hazardous areas frequently exist within confined spaces, especially in the mining and oil & gas industries. In mining, tunnels often have low overhead clearance in areas where coal or other flammable dust may be present. In the oil and gas industry, designers of offshore facilities typically look to minimize the overall size of the structure, which can lead to low headroom between deck levels and tight clearances for monorails and crane runways.

In all of these situations, there is a need for overhead lifting equipment that is compact in design, including low headroom and short side clearances, as well as a short “end approach” to maximize the deck coverage area served by the monorail hoist or crane.

This need for compact hoists, trolleys and cranes is often complicated by the possibility that flammable gases or dust may be present in the areas where the equipment is used. Therefore, explosion-proof and spark-resistant features may be needed, each posing their own challenges given the space constraints. For example, explosion-proof electric motors and control enclosures are typically larger and heavier than those for non-hazardous areas. Spark-resistant bronze load blocks and hooks tend to be larger than carbon or alloy steel hooks and blocks with the same safe working load. Also, the use of spark-resistant stainless steel load chain or wire rope often requires the equipment capacity to be de-rated due to lower tensile strength of stainless versus alloy steel. This de-rating can sometimes result in larger, heavier and more costly hoists and cranes.


As you can see, there are many factors to consider when specifying or purchasing lifting equipment for hazardous locations with space limitations. When dimensional constraints within facilities and working environments compete with the need to comply with hazardous area requirements, the safety of personnel, equipment and facilities themselves must always take precedence in our decision making.

Fortunately, there are a variety of hoisting equipment options available, featuring spark- and corrosion-resistant materials and explosion-proof components, that can be used in confined areas. Low-headroom hoists are offered in both wire rope and chain varieties, including manual, electric and pneumatic models.

Wire rope hoists can typically provide higher capacities and faster lifting speeds, while chain hoists can offer smaller overall dimensional envelopes to optimize end approach and clearance. Solid bronze and stainless steel components can provide lasting protection against sparking and corrosion, but, in some applications, copper or nickel plating can be substituted to provide lower headroom dimensions and reduce the need for de-rating of safe working loads.

CM has solutions to many of these problems. Products that work in many different restricted areas for this purpose are: 

  • Ultra-low headroom hoist models 
  • Low-profile hoists 
  • Wire rope hoists/crane rope 

Hercules SLR carries Columbus McKinnon products, hoisting equipment and solutions to use cranes and hoists in hazardous areas—e-mail info@herculesslr.com to find out how we can support your next crane or hoisting operation with safety training, inspections or repairs.  


PART 1: The Need for Spark Resistance
PART 2: The Need for Corrosion Resistance
PART 3: Space Constraint Challenges & Solutions 








Where’s your CM hoisting equipment? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

Click here to learn more about CM crane and hoist equipment 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.  

Crosby Guest Blog: Shackle Inspection & Care


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.








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