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. 

RIGGING AND LIFTING SLINGS | WHAT THEY’RE MADE OF

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. 

RIGGING AND LIFTING SLINGS | SAFETY TIPS

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 

RIGGING AND LIFTING SLINGS | INSPECTON

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: 

1) INITIAL INSPECTION

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. 

2) FREQUENT VISUAL INSPECTION 

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. 

3) PERIODOC INSPECTION 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIGGING AND LIFTING SLINGS | KNOW YOUR ANGLES 

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:

SLING ANGLE DEGREES  LOSS FACTOR
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

 

RIGGING AND LIFTING SLINGS: OTHER FACTORS THAT REDUCE CAPACITY

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. 

RIGGING AND LIFTING SLINGS | TERMINOLOGY 

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. 

WE HOPE THIS HELPS—WHETHER YOU WORK OFFSHORE, IN ENTERTAINMENT OR CONSTRUCTION, THIS HANDY GUIDE TO RIGGING AND LIFTING SLINGS TERMS WILL HELP YOU TALK SLINGING SLANG WITH EASE.

HERCULES SLR RIGS IT RIGHT

NEED A LIFT? HERCULES SLR PROVIDES EQUIPMENT, INSPECTIONS & REPAIRS FOR ALL YOUR RIGGING NEEDS—WE LIFT ANYTHING

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM  1-877-461-4877


FOR RELATED ARTICLES ON RIGGING AND LIFTING SLINGS,

VISIT OUR BLOG:

POLY-WHAT?! ALL ABOUT SYNTHETIC SLINGS

SYNTHETIC ROUNDSLING—FREE INSPECTION DOWNLOAD GUIDE

HERCULES HOW-TO: SLING INSPECTION CHECKLIST


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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

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All About Ontario: Meet Territory Sales Manager, Steve Norcross

Steve Norcross

Steve Norcross is a talented Territory Sales Manager from Sarnia, Ontario. Steve brings a wealth of experience with him from industrial backgrounds working on all sides—Read on to learn more about his role at Hercules SLR, where he’d like to travel with the company and his career path. 

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: Tell us about your educational/professional background:

Well, professionally, I was a Branch Manager at an Industrial Sales firm for a little over 12 years—Before that, I worked in purchasing for 10 years. 

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: Why did you decide to go into this industry? 

Simply—I was in the right place at the right time! Over 20 years ago a position opened up in the Industrial supply industry and I haven’t looked back. Like I mention above, I’ve changed my position within the industry, and that’s let me learn so much about how a business operates. 

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: Can you tell us about your work experience before joining Hercules SLR? 

 

In terms of work I did before this role, as a Purchasing Manager I bought everything from toilet paper to tractor trailers—And prior to that I sold most of the same items! 

My experience in purchasing helped me understand a lot about the supply chain, the product and how to sell. They’re both people-oriented—In both roles I had to develop relationships, which for me means I do what I say I’ll do, which helps build trust. 

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?   

I was looking for a job, and I really sought after a position that let me interact with customers and solve problems. I had been behind a desk for awhile and wanted a change.

Steve norcross, territory sales manager at hercules slr
Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager

The Territory Sales Manager position at Hercules SLR is a perfect fit! 

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?

So far, I’ve travelled to Brampton, Ontario to take Inspection Training. This was a great experience and really helped narrow the learning curve—On-going training opportunities like this help me in my sales role, and really understand the service we sell. 

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?

I’d love to visit the other Ontario branches! It would be interesting to see how other branches in our region operate. 

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR?

I’m proud to have accomplished Inspection and Fall Arrest training! Now, I’m a qualified Inspector—I have a certificate and everything! 

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: What do you enjoy most about working in the rigging industry?

I enjoy meeting the people! It’s great to genuinely find the perfect solution someone’s looking for. I love to solve problems!


WORK WITH HERC

VIEW & APPLY FOR POSITIONS AT HERCULES SLR BELOW

HR@HERCULESSLR.COM 902-468-6827


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WELCOME TO HAMILTON, ONTARIO: MEET RIGGER JIM CASE


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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. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Warehouse Wow: How our Distribution Centre Leads the Industry

hercules distribution centre warehouse

WAREHOUSE WORSHIP: HOW OUR CENTRAL DISTRIBUTION CENTRE IS LEADING THE INDUSTRY

HERCULES CENTRAL DISTRIBUTION CENTRE: WHAT WE DO

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

HERCULES WAREHOUSE: 5 SAFETY TIPS FROM TERRY

1. KNOW THE RISKS

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. 

2. PREVENT FALLS, MAKE HOUSEKEEPING A PRIORITY

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.   

3. KEEPING TRAINING CURRENT

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. 

4. USE EQUIPMENT PROPERLY

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.

5. HAZARD COMMUNICATION 

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. 


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WAREHOUSE WORK,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

WAREHOUSE SAFETY: 8 STEPS TO TAKE AFTER A RACKING ACCIDENT

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY: MEET KIM REYNOLDS, WAREHOUSE ASSOCIATE

WAREHOUSE SAFETY: IS YOUR FORKLIFT HOLIDAY SEASON READY?


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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. 

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: THE NEED FOR SPARK RESISTANCE 

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. 

FACTORS

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

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: THE NEED FOR CORROSION RESISTANCE

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. 

 

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: SPACE CONSTRAINT CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS

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.

SPACE CONSTRAINT CHALLENGES  

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.

SOLUTIONS 

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.  


VISIT CM WORKS FOR MORE: 

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

FOR MORE COLUMBUS MCKINNON,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CRANE & HOISTING SYSTEMS: THE DANGERS OF SIDE PULLING

CM GUEST BLOG: 3 SAFETY TIPS TO INSTALL YOUR CM TROLLEY

 CHAIN SLING WEAR AND STRETCH: ARE THEY THE SAME THING?


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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

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.

Star Struck in Hamilton: Kevin Richardson from Heavy Rescue 401

heavy rescue 401 visits hercules

The Hercules SLR branch in Hamilton, Ontario had a special visitor stop by – Kevin Richardson from the hit Discovery Channel show, Heavy Rescue 401. Read on to find out what he and the Hamilton branch in Hercules SLR got up to during his visit

HERCULES SLR MEETS HEAVY RESCUE 401

heavy rescue 401 at hercules slr
Kevin Richardson of Heavy Rescue 401 and Hamilton, Hercules SLR Branch Manager Brian Moniz

Hercules SLR was excited to have Kevin Richardson at the shop – a name and face you might recognize from hauling wreckage from accidents on the 401. 

Heavy Rescue 401 is a Discover Channel show that focuses on the first responders, tow and rigging companies that clean up accidents on Ontario’s busiest highway. Kevin worked for Metro Towing on the show, and is now with Ken’s Towing. 

Being responsible to clean up accidents in a timely manner on the busiest highway requires the best lifting equipment and service – an 18-wheeler tipped over on the 401 could back up traffic for eight hours, so people like Kevin need to remove the accident, and do it quickly. There’s no one-size fits all method to remove accident wreckage, so people like Kevin need to use different methods and equipment to get the job done.

Kevin came in to pick up a purchase and learn more about how Hercules SLR can help him do his job at Ken’s Towing, safely and effectively.

Brian Moniz, Hamilton Hercules SLR Branch Manager says, “It was really exciting to have Kevin walk in our doors. I’ve actually been watching the show with my family recently, and it’s been a great chance to show them what I do for work! On Heavy Rescue 401, they’ll use wire rope assemblies to lift cars, or rope to tow a truck from the ditch, and I get to show my family the things we work on, sell and what they help people do. Personally, I’m a fan of the show and I really like that I get to see different ways rigging and lifting equipment are applied by the end-user.

HERCULES SLR HELPS HEAVY RESCUE 401’S KEVIN RICHARDSON

Kevin came to Hercules SLR after placing an order with a local competitor. He went to their shop and the order wasn’t complete, or even processed, even though he had placed the order one-month earlier and was promised a one-month turnaround.

Unhappy with the order’s outcome, Kevin stopped by the Hamilton Hercules SLR branch, to see if they could fix his issue.

Our Hamilton branch not only placed his order during the busy holiday season, but promised and delivered a two-week turnaround  compared to the one-month lead time promised to him by the competitor. 

We were especially thrilled to accomplish this during our busy holiday season – typically, turnaround times in Hamilton are actually shorter than two weeks.

heavy rescue 401, ken's towing at hercules slr
Ken’s Towing & Recovery – Kevin’s truck

LEADING WITH SERVICE: HOW HERCULES SLR GOES ABOVE & BEYOND

After waiting the two weeks promised for his order, Kevin came to the Hamilton branch to pick it up and take a short tour.

We know service means more than simply being handed the product  our Hamilton team told Kevin about Hercules SLR’s services he could use, like: 

  •  Hercules SLR custom sling-making services (specifically, we talked about a custom 30ft X 12″ web sling);
  •  Inspection services, which can be delivered on-site or in our shop;
  •  Our exclusive asset management tool CertTracker, which will allow Kevin and the Heavy Rescue 401 crew to pull certifications on the road or straight at a worksite and notify them of upcoming inspection dates. 
Kevin was impressed with the value, timely delivery and personalized service from the Hamilton branch – we hope to see Kevin on the next season of Heavy Rescue 401! 
 
For more information on services at Hercules SLR, check out our blogs: 

SERVICES 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. 

Webbing Sling Q&A: Heavy-Duty Strength for Delicate Lifts

webbing sling from hercules slr

WEBBING SLING: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

If you’re a rigger or work in material handling, you likely encounter webbing slings often in your work. A synthetic webbing sling is fantastic to lift delicate or soft materials, since their soft surface offers more protection than abrasive materials, like wire rope. 

Webbing slings come in two types — duplex and simplex. A duplex webbing sling is made with two synthetic fabric layers stitched together for extra reinforcement. A simplex webbing sling is made with only one synthetic fabric layer.

“Just one layer? That won’t do anything,” you might be thinking—but how wrong you’d be! Even though a webbing sling may not have the same reputation for strength as say, steel, a webbing sling is surprisingly strong. 

There are some misconceptions and often-asked questions about synthetic materials in the industry—so we’ve asked Hercules SLR experts from our Brampton, Ontario branch to help. 

Read on to find out the questions we hear about webbing slings, and how our experts’ answer. 

Q: What are they usually made from? 

Answer: A flat webbing sling is usually made from woven polyester, nylon (otherwise known as polyamide) and polypropylene.   

Q: Do flat webbing slings come in just one width? 

Answer Flat webbing slings come in different widths – but their ultimate flexibility and strength is noted by the number of webbing layers stitched together. 

webbing sling at hercules slr

Q: Should I use paint or dye to colour code webbing slings? This should help me identify them quickly and easily, right?

AnswerNO! Don’t use paint to colour code webbing slings—the solvents in the paint could corrode the synthetic material. A torn or broken sling is unsafe, and will drastically reduce it’s SWL. To identify a synthetic sling’s material, look for the label colour: 

Polyester (PES)—Blue Label, or blue with a green line down the center of the webbing. 

Polyamide (PA)—Green label

Polypropylene (PP)—Brown label

Q: What chemicals will affect webbing slings?

Answer: Polyester isn’t affected much by acid, but alkali’s will damage a polyester webbing sling. An alkali, or alkaline is basically a substance with a pH level higher than 7. Examples of alkali substances are sea water, baking soda, bleaches, lye and even blood. Polyamide’s are basically immune to alkali damage, but are damaged by even moderately-strength acids. They can also lose up to 15% of their SWL when wet. Polypropylene is resistant to acids and alkali’s, which makes them a good choice when you have to lift something which needs protection from chemicals. Be sure the polypropylene is stabilized to protect from ultraviolet degrading. 

Q: What markings should I look for on a webbing sling?

Answer: Look for the safe-working load (SWL), identification number and the label’s colour code.

 Q: How do I store my webbing sling?

AnswerIt definitely matters! Be sure to store your slings in a dry, cool place. Keep them out of sunlight or other ultra-violet radiation, and don’t store them in damp conditions. 

Q: So, they’re really strong – does that mean I can use them to lift anything? 

AnswerDon’t use a webbing sling for a critical lift! Make sure you use extra caution and have a detailed lifting plan for using a webbing sling with delicate or fragile lifting operations. 

Q: Okay, so what’s a critical lift?!

Answer: A critical lift is defined by WorkSafe BC as a lift with high risk factors that could cause the crane or hoist to fail, or poses a significant potential harm to human life. A critical lift is also one that needs a detailed rigging plan before the operation. 

Other factors that can make a lift critical are: 

  • When a piece of powered lifting equipment exceeds it’s rated capacity by 75%;
  • A mobile crane or boom truck goes over rated capacity by 90% lifting a load over 50% of its maximum permitted load radius; 
  • Tandem lifts— which is when more than one piece of powered lifting equipment is used, or is used to lift another piece of lifting equipment);
  • A person is being lifted;
  • The load is under-water or submerged. 

Q: Can I tie a knot in a webbing sling to make it shorter?

Answer: Never! Don’t knot, tie or twist a webbing sling. Don’t manipulate the sling’s angle, either—use the sling however the angle forms naturally.  

hercules slr webbing sling formation types
Figure 1—Webbing Sling Types

Q: When should I not use a webbing sling? 

Answer: Don’t use a webbing sling if you don’t know the SWL. Don’t use if the eyes or other part of the webbing sling is damaged, if the sling’s eye opens more than 20°. There are 5 different types of possible webbing sling eye formations—see figure 1. If using a Type 1 webbing sling (called a choker sling), be sure to protect the eye before use. 

Q: What should I keep in mind when using a webbing sling? 

Answer: There are a few things to consider to use a webbing sling safely—you should always: 

  • Avoid shock-loading;
  • Protect the sling with sleeves when sharp edges could tear its fabric—friction can cause heat damage, which is the most common form of ‘heat’ damage to webbing slings. To prevent, don’t let the sling run along the load’s surface and that it’s not pulled on any sharp corners. This is also known as ‘point loading’, when the load is pulled on a sharp corner, creating heat which results in heat fusion in the sling material. 
  • Never pull a sling from underneath a load.

DOWNLOAD OUR SYNTHETIC SLING INSPECTION GUIDE

References: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/alkali, https://www.worksafebc.com/en/law-policy/occupational-health-safety/searchable-ohs-regulation/ohs-regulation/part-14-cranes-and-hoists 

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.

Crane Equipment: cranes, chains & automobiles

crane equipment, hercules slr, rigging services

Cranes have been used since the first century – in that time, they were powered by humans or animals to lift heavy loads. Cranes have adapted and come a long way since – they now use an assortment of crane equipment and hardware to lift, lower and even sometimes move horizontally.

Read on to learn more about the modern variety of crane equipment available and Hercules SLR’s tips for using it.

CRANE EQUIPMENT: an overview

For rigging with cranes, different types of lifting equipment (also known as tackle) are used. These include:

  • Wire Rope Slings
  • Synthetic Slings
  • Shackles
  • Snatch Blocks
  • Hooks
  • Chain Hoists
  • Chain Pullers
  • Eye Bolts
  • Tirfors
  • Jacks
  • Lifting Beam
  • Spreader Beams
  • Beam Clamps
  • Plate Clamps

CRANE EQUIPMENT: wire rope slings

Pay special attention to wire rope slings as they are susceptible to servere wear, abrasion, impact loading, crushing, kinking and overloading – small changes in the slings’ angle affect the safe working load of the sling. Care should be taken around rough edges and wire rope slings – even an edge you might not consider ‘sharp’ can make considerable damage to your wire rope sling, making it unsafe and ineffective. Use sleeves, wear pads or corner protectors to protect your wire rope sling from damage.

Be sure to not drop a load or run a load over the sling – this will crush the sling. Also, don’t stop and start suddenly while you lift and lower with a wire rope sling, as this increases the slings’ stresses and increases possible failures.

WIRE ROPE SLING SPLICES

crane-equipment-hercules-slr-rigging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WIRE ROPE SLING IDENTIFICATION 

There are three ways to identify wire rope slings: the SWL, I.D. number and certificate number.

  1. Hard-stamped on ferrule
  2. A tag which has a wire running through the tag and eye of the sling
  3. Large metal washer where the wire of the sling is passed through when you make the eye of a sling

WIRE ROPE CONFIGURATIONS

There are three main wire rope sling configurations:

  1. Double-Choker Hitch
  2. Pair of Double Wrap Chokers
  3. Single Choker Hitch

Round slings’ are versatile – they’re strong, yet delicate to the load to lift. They’re light, flexible in many directions and malleable which is especially helpful when lifting an awkward or delicate load.

crane-equipment-hercules-slr
Synthetic Round Sling Label

CRANE EQUIPMENT: synthetic round slings 

Round slings’ are not easily damaged by sunlight, humidity, grease, dirt or seawater. Round slings’ are identified by the colour of the label, and also have the SWL on it.

CRANE EQUIPMENT: web slings 

Web slings are suited for particularly those that can be easily damaged. They’re easy to damage if you use them improperly – your web sling shouldn’t touch a sharp edge, heat or chemicals that will cause damage.


CRANE EQUIPMENT: hardware

SHACKLES

For crane lifting, two different shackles are typically used – bow and d-shackles. When using synthetic slings with a crane, two types of shackles are available, wide sling shackle and a round sling shackle. Web sling shackles are wider and bow out in the middle, and round sling shackles are narrow and sometimes have small valleys in the shackle bow, which supports the synthetic strands better.

These prevent the sling from bunching and pinching, which can be an issue with bow or d-shackles – it also reduces the SWL capacity of the sling.

To use shackles for crane lifting safely, follow these tips:

  • Don’t replace the shackle pin with a bolt – only the proper fitted pin should be used. Bolts aren’t meant to take the bend that a pin can handle.
  • Pins must be straight and all-screw pins must be completely seated
  • Cotter pins should be used with all round pin shackles
  • Shackles worn at the crown or pin by over 10% of original diameter should be removed from service and destroyed.
  • Don’t pull your shackle at an angle with a sling or hoist rope – this reduces the shackle’s capacity by 50%. Spacers can be used to centralize the load on the pins with spacers.
  • Don’t use screw pin shackles if the load can roll under load and unscrew

SHEAVE BLOCKS

A sheave block is a single, or multi-sheave block which opens on one side – this opening allows a rope to be pulled over the sheave and eliminates the need to be threaded through the block. When crane lifting with wire rope, sheave blocks can be purchased with configurations for hook, shackle, eye and swivel fittings.

  • Sheave blocks are normally used when it’s necessary to change the direction of pull on the line. When this happens, the stress on the sheave block is significantly greater than the angle between the lead and load lines. 
    crane equipment, rigging services, hercules slr, Crane Equipment: cranes, chains & automobiles
    Pulley with a sheave on a mobile lifting crane, with 25-ton lifting capability
  • When the lines are parallel, 1000lbs on the lead line results in double the weight on the block—2000lbs on block, hook and whatever the connection points are attached to. As the angle between lines increases, the stress on the block and hook is reduced.

HOOKS

Many different hooks are available for lifting and rigging operations – check with manufacturer instructions and warnings before using in a crane application.

When using hooks to lift with a crane, follow these tips:

  • Ensure hoisting hooks are fitted with safety latches (except grab and sorting hooks)
  • Inspect hooks often, looking for wear in the hook’s saddle – check for cracks, corrosion and if the hook’s body is twisted.
  • Inspect the shackle’s throat opening – if the hook’s been overloaded or is weak, the throat will open. If this is the case, remove from service and destroy so no one else attempts to use it.
  • Inspect for cracks in the hook’s saddle and neck
  • Be sure the hook is stamped with its SWL
  • Note that the SWL applies when the load is in the saddle of the hook, as this reduces the SWL.

TURNBUCKLES 

Turnbuckles are sometimes called rigging screws and can be supplied with eye end, jaw end, stub end fittings and/or a combination of these.

  • Use turnbuckles fabricated from alloy steel with weldless construction.
  • If turnbuckles have end fittings, ensure hooks are fit with safety latches.

CHAIN HOISTS / CHAIN BLOCKS 

Chain hoists are often used with cranes to move larger equipment and machinery. Chain hoists vary in size and length, and require little effort to execute a lift.

Chain hoists are durable, but can be damaged easily. To prevent damage, check:

  • The SWL is right for the application/load
  • The chain hoist has been inspected or certified by a third party
  • The hoist’s body is free of cracks or broken castings
  • The hook isn’t deformed and is fit with a safety latch
  • Anchor pins are in place correctly, and are the right type
  • Chain is in good working condition
  • SWL is clearly marked on the chain hoist block

A lever hoist is similar to a chain hoist, but operates slightly different with a lever to lift and lower the load – it can also be used to pull loads.

EYE BOLTS 

When lifting with a crane and eye bolts, ensure eye and ring bolts are made of alloy steel and have shoulders or collars.

Do not load eye bolts at an angle – angular loading reduces the weight of the load they can safely support.

TIRFOR

A tirfor is a mechanical device, equipped with a level handle to operate. They’re used to pull and add tension, and can also be used to lift if they have blocks.


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

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

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

Important: Preventative Equipment Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance

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

BENEFITS OF MAINTENANCE

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

KEEP EQUIPMENT RUNNING EFFICIENTLY

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

SMALL PROBLEMS BECOME BIGGER PROBLEMS OVER TIME

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

THE BIGGER THE PROBLEM, THE MORE THE EXPENSE

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

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

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

REDUCE INJURIES AND FATALITIES

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

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

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

cert-track-en

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

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

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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

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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.