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


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 | Hammerlock Coupling Links

Product Spotlight: Hammerlock Coupling Links

What is a Hammerlock Coupling Link?

Hammerlock coupling links are used for attaching chain to master links, eye type hooks, installing a new branch to a sling or just connecting components during chain sling fabrication.

Hammerlock coupling links should NEVER be used to repair hoist chain—No coupling hardware should ever be used to repair a damaged link of chain. This can present a number of safety hazards to the operator and possibly the overall hoist. In the case of hoist chain damage or ware, the chain needs to be replaced as one piece.

Hammerlocks are also not appropriate for lengthening chain. Once again, if you desire a longer chain, you need to seek out a chain that is fabricated to the correct length, using the correct links.

Assembly and Disassembly of Hammerlock Coupling Links

Hammerlock coupling links are a favorite of riggers because they can so easily be assembled and disassembles in the field using only a hammer and punch.

How to assemble a hammerlock link:

  1. Bring the two halves of the body together so the center connectors are aligned
  2. Position the bushing in the center of the hammerlock, aligned with the connectors
  3. Insert the load pin through the hammerlock as far as you can by hand
  4. Hammer the load pin the rest of the way in, until all material is flush on both ends


Did you know the bushing in the center is one of the most important parts of a hammer coupling link? Without the bushing, the load pin on its own will not hold the hammerlock coupling together at all – It actually moves quite freely within the body on its own. The load pin is tapered on the ends which allows the bushing to sit in place and hold the hardware securely together. The bushing contains a spring-like system that allows the pin to push through when hammered, but returns to an un-movable state once in place – Unless directly hammered again using a punch!

How to disassemble a hammerlock link:

  1. Place the hammerlock link on a raised surface, creating room for the load pin to exit the bottom
  2. Align a punch with the center-top of the load pin
  3. Hammer the punch forcing the load pin out from the center of the hammerlock
  4. Pull now loosened parts apart by hand – It’s that easy!

In need of an affordable and reliable hammerlock coupling link?

That’s where YOKE comes in—With YOKE you never have to sacrifice quality for price. Find YOKE Hammerlock Connecting Links for Grade-100 Chain at your local Hercules SLR. YOKE Hammerlock connecting links are made of alloy steel and are quenched and tempered for maximum strength, reliability, and durability with a working load limit of 8800 pounds.

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.


Product Spotlight: YOKE Swivel Self-Locking Hooks

yoke swivel self-locking hooks blog header

Product Spotlight: YOKE Rigging Hardware 

Concerned about price, quality & reliability? Choose YOKE, and get all three without making a sacrifice. YOKE swivels are manufactured with the highest grade materials, and are zinc-plated for corrosion resistance and a long life.


Swivel hooks come in two varieties. These are:

  • Positioning Hooks allow the rigger to align the hook while connecting to the load. These hooks aren’t meant to rotate while under load, only to position the hook to the pick point.
  • True Swivel Hooks with Bushings allow the hook to rotate freely under the load, while the top coupling/fitting pivots to let the load rotate. This helps prevents your line twisting.

Swivels should be used when the lift deals with these issues:

  • Swivels reduce bending loads on rigging attachments to allow the load to position itself freely.
  • Swivels should be used in place of shackles during applications where the shackle might twist and might be haphazardly loaded.

FYI: Before you lift a load, make sure there are not cracks or defects in the hook or latch, and that the chain or wire rope is not worn, and in good working order. Not all hooks are meant to overhead lift and not all swivels are meant to swivel under-load—It’s important to know which application the one you use is meant for.


Today, the Hercules SLR product spotlight is on YOKE Swivel Self-Locking Hooks and some of the lifting products from them we like the best. Read on to learn more about YOKE Swivel Self-Locking Hook specifications, tips for use and which applications to use swivel self-locking hooks for.


YOKE Swivel Self-Locking Hooks with Bronze Bushing(s) perform a full-swivel under-load. YOKE’s bronze bushings are a bearing consisting of a thin sleeve, used to help the hook rotate or swivel before you lift—Not while it supports a load.

Design factor of 4:1, proof-tested and certified. These hooks are meant for positioning devices, and are not meant to rotate while suspending a load.

Available for Grade 80 Lifting Chain in sizes: 7/32″, 1/4—5/16″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″, 7/8,” 1″ and Working Load Limits: 2,500lbs, 4,500lbs, 7,100lbs, 12,000lbs, 18,100lbs, 28,300lbs, 34,200lbs and 47,700lbs.


YOKE Swivel Self-Locking Hook with Bearing(s) are an excellent choice for lifting and perform a full swivel under-load. Designed with a 4:1 safety factor, and Working Load Limits: 7/32″, 1/4—5/16″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″, 7/8″ and 1″.

Available for Grade 80 Lifting Chain in sizes: 2,500lbs, 4,500lbs, 7,100lbs, 12,000lbs, 18,100lbs, 28,300lbs, 34,200lbs, 47,700lbs. Available for Grade 100 chain in sizes: 6, 7.8, 10, 13, 16, 20, 22, 26mm. Designed with a 4:1 safety factor, and for Working Load Limits: 1.4, 2.5, 4.0, 6.7, 10.0, 16.0, 19.0 and 26.5 tonnes.


YOKE Swivel Hooks are also available with an eye attachment. Available for Grade 80 Chain in sizes 7/32″, 1/4-5/16″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″, 7/8″, 1″ and 1-1/8″. Designed with a 4:1 safety factor, and for Working Load Limits: 2,500lbs, 4,500lbs, 7,100lbs, 12,000lbs, 18,100lbs, 28,300lbs, 34,200lbs, 47,700lbs.


Swivel self-locking hooks should only be used to swivel under-load if they’re fit with a bearing and are approved by the manufacturer overhead lifting. Swivel self-locking hooks are generally known as positioning hooks, since they rotate which makes connecting the rigging to the load much easier.

Industries that use YOKE Swivel Self-Locking Hooks, include:

  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Mining
  • Manufacturing
  • Machining
  • Transportation


Grip Safe Locking Hook by Yoke gets Safety Boost

yoke grip safe locking hook x-95x series

Product Feature: YOKE Grip Safe Locking Hook Offers Safe Rigging 

Feature found on X-950-10 and X-951-10 Yoke Grip-Safe Locking Hooks.

Riggers in the field instantly recognize the safety features of the YOKE Grip Safe hooks for hoisting and rigging applications.

What makes the Yoke Grip Safe Locking Hook so good? Its ergonomically-designed handle is meant specifically for bulky, gloved hands, and a smoother trigger design made complete with a simple push-button that opens the mechanism—This helps operators avoid any potential finger or hand injuries other hooks cause when used for overhead lifting operations.

The unique design handle of the Grip Safe hook maintains the integrity, warranty and certification that may not always be available from other retrofit designs. The handle is designed as part of the overall forging so requires no complicated or expensive retro fit by the operator.

Grip safe hooks come in range of designs and sizes, including:

  • Eye type
  • Clevis type
  • Swivel type
  • 10mm through 22mm (4t – 19t WLL).

When YOKE says, “Safety is our first priority”, they mean it. 

Hercules SLR provides any rigging or hoisting solution your business, project or facility needs.

For quotes, or to for more information on Yoke Grip Safe Locking Hooks, email us at or call us at 1 (877) 461-4876

Hercules SLR is part of Hercules Group of Companies, with locations and unique businesses coast-to-coast. Hercules SLR provides securing, lifting and rigging services for sectors in Canada and Internationally. Hercules SLR serves the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining, marine industries and more.

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

CROSBY QUIZ: Can you Pass this Hook Inspection Quiz?

crosby quiz, hoist hook inspection at hercules slr



So you think you know how to inspect a hoist hook? Prove it. Take the Crosby Quiz and find out if you’re a  pro at inspecting hooks for hoisting, or if you should get some more training. 

It’s important to know what makes a hook no longer safe to use – there are a number of factors that contribute to this, and aren’t always glaringly obvious like it being broken or crooked.

Hooks that don’t pass inspection can cause the load to release, and this can result in damaged materials, injured workers or legal consequences. It’s important to conduct inspections before you use the sling – each time

Take the Quiz from Crosby and find out if you’re a hook inspection pro, or if you have a bit more to learn. 

Wear in the area indicated is limited to _____?

The Crosby Group.®
Correct! Wrong!

Wear in the circled areas is limited to _____ of cross sectional area?

The Crosby Group.®
Correct! Wrong!

Wear in the areas indicated are limited to _____ of cross sectional area?

Per ASME B30.10, you should remove any hook from service with a throat opening that's increased by _____. Or, as the manufacturer recommends.

The Crosby Group.®
Correct! Wrong!

According to ASME B30.10, if a hook has _____ twist, remove the hook from service immediately.

Correct! Wrong!

This hook should be removed from service, because:

Correct! Wrong!

ASME B30.10 gives rejection criteria for hoist hooks - this includes:

Correct! Wrong!

CROSBY QUIZ: So you think you can Inspect a Hoist Hook?
Wow, are you a LEEA certified inspector?! You know exactly when a hoist hook should be removed from service.
Wow, you're good - almost an expert! A little hands-on experience will help make you even better.
So close - you're almost there! A little rigging, and you'll be an expert in no time.
Not quite a fail, but not quite a pass either... You definitely have some work to do! You definitely don't have your ASME B30 standards memorized, but with a little work and training, you'll get there.
Yikes... Only 2 correct. Hopefully you're not responsible for rigging or inspecting hoists!
Only 1 right... Please tell us you're not a rigger. Time for training!
None right. Head back to rigging school!

Share your Results:


There are ASME Standards that apply to rigging, and more specifically, hooks for lifting. Although they’re not law themselves, these standards are important to know as they’re directly quoted in Canadian legislation. Be sure to check the manufacturer warnings, usage instructions and other recommendations that may apply to the equipment you’re using. 




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. 

Guest Blog: Crosby Talks Forged Wire Rope Clips VS. Malleable Cast Iron Clips

crosby wire rope clips at hercules slr


What’s the difference between wire rope clips? Guest blogger Danny Bishop, Director of Training for Crosby stopped by Hercules SLR is here to share some information about the difference between malleable cast iron and forged U-Bolt clips.

Read on to discover his expert tips for rigging with U-Bolts. 


crosby rigging, hercules slr








U-Bolt style wire rope clips are one of the most commonly used accessories in the world of rigging. They can be found in many lifting and non-lifting applications.

Some common applications include winch lines, crane hoist lines, suspension cables, barrier cables, guy wires and many more applications. However, it is critical that the user know there are differences between a forged steel wire rope clip and a malleable cast iron clip.

The forged steel wire rope clip consists of a U-Bolt, two nuts and a forged steel base, which is sometimes called the saddle.

The malleable cast iron U-Bolt style wire rope clip consists of the same components as just mentioned except the clip base is NOT forged steel. In fact, it is a malleable cast iron, and that can make a big difference in the performance and reliability of the clip. The malleable cast iron base does not have the desirable material properties of steel, or the beneficial grain structure that a forged base provides. Although, malleable cast iron products have their place in industry, it is not the manufacturing process of choice for wire rope clip bases. This is especially true if the wire rope clip could be used in a critical application.

Notice that some standards do not allow the use of malleable cast iron clips in critical applications. One example would be ASME B30.5 which states that “Wire Rope Clips shall be drop-forged steel of single saddle (U-Bolt) or double saddle clip. Malleable cast iron clips shall not be used. “ASME B30.26 also states: “Saddles shall be forged steel.”

Additionally, shortcuts in the production process of the bases may also indicate there could be other shortcomings of the product. In some recent testing of malleable cast iron clips, it was found that U-Bolts fractured prior to achieving the recommended forged U-Bolt Clip torque, on 2/3 of the assemblies tested. (See picture of test mentioned).

Also consider:

  • Malleable Cast Iron Clip bases are significantly different from forged bases in size, shape and appearance. See figure 1 to compare a Crosby forged clip base and a Malleable Cast Iron clip, both for ½” wire rope. 
  • Malleable Cast Iron bases are inconsistent in strength, and can have hidden defects. 
  • Malleable Cast Iron clips should not be used for critical applications.
wire rope clips, hercules slr rigging services
Figure 2












crosby wire rope clips at hercules slr







Note the significant difference in size, shape and appearance even though both are 1/2″ diameter for wire rope. Also, the Crosby clip exceeds ASME B30.26 marking requirements. No readable markings were found on the malleable cast iron clip. 


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.

Shackles: A Hercules Hardware How-To


Shackles are typically used as connection points for lifting equipment in many securing and rigging applications.

The type of shackle you use will depend on the lifting operation—Each has a slightly different design to suit them to various functions. There are three main types of shackles typically used for lifting applications:

  1. Dee
  2. Bow (commonly known as an anchor shackle)
  3. Screw Pin (commonly known as a grab)
Dee Shackle
Screw pin shackle with cotter/split pin

Dee shackles are mostly used for single-point lifting.

Bow Shackle
Bow Shackle

Bow Shackles are designed to be used to carry out multi-point lifts.

Screw Pin/Grab Shackle

Screw Pin or Grab Shackles are used when the shackle is required to pass through an opening, like a pipe or over an object. It is designed with a countersunk pin to facilitate this.

  • Used where a shackle is removed on a regular basis
  • When fitted, the pin must engage with the shackle body and tighten fully
  • Screw pins can be moussed in place for long-term applications, or when there’s a risk of the pin backing out due to vibration, etc. Confirm with your supervisor to make sure this is accepted on your worksite.
Bolt Types: Nut, Bolt and Cotter Pins
  • The bolt type pin (bolt, nut or cotter) is used when a load is permanent or semi-permanent.
  • This requires the rigger to insert a split pin, which captivates the nut on the pin.
  • If fitted correctly, the pin will rotate freely within the shackle body.
Round Pins

The round pin is commonly use for tie-down, suspension, towing and straight line lifting only. Don’t use round pins with multiple slings or where side loading may occur.

Pin Sizing
  • A shackle will be sized from the diameter of the bow, not pin.
  • A pin of a shackle is usually one size larger than the bow to achieve the strength of the bow. Consider this when you order a shackle for specific jobs, like a lifting lug.
Pin Replacement

Never replace a shackle’s pin with:

  • A bolt
  • A differently branded pin
  • An incorrect pin size

Angular Loading

  • Do not exceed included angle of 120° when rigging with shackles and multiple slings.
  • Apply reductions in WLL when you use shackles loaded at angles

Specialty Shackles

Round and web sling shackles that are used with synthetic slings look slightly different.

  • Wide body shackles have a larger D/d ratio for the sling, and improve the life and efficiency of the sling.
  • ROV or remotely operated vehicle shackles are painted bright yellow or white so they are visible in dark waters, the pin is also easier to access with a ROV.
  • Web sling shackles are wider and bow out in the middle
  • Round sling shackles are narrow and sometimes have tiny valleys in the bow of the shackle so the strands are better supported.

How-To: Your Pre-Use Check

Before you use your shackle, you must inspect the following on all shackles:

  • Markings are present, correct and legible including: manufacturer, working load limit (WLL), size, grade/material type
  • The correct pin is fitted
  • No visible signs of damage to the body or pin like nicks, gouges, deformations, stretch, bends, corrosion, etc.
  • No evidence of misuse

In addition to your pre-use check, be sure to avoid swing loading and shock loading, secure sling legs not in use, never leave a load suspended—or walk under it.

How it’s Made

Lifting shackles are manufactured using the drop-forge process.

The drop forge process involves a steel rod hammered with a large ‘drop’ hammer, and a die is fitted to it. This die has the upper impression of a shackle cut into it and this shape imprints on the steel rod. A fixed die has the lower impression of the shackle.

The forged shackle is heated then treated—this ensures a uniform structure and gives the shackle it’s desired uniform thickness.


For more on shackles, check out our blogs below:

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.

Beam Clamp Applications: safety tips from Brampton, ON


Beam clamp applications provide support and better load control. Today, we spoke with rigging experts from Brampton, Ontario to learn more about the three main types of beam clamps—they spoke with us about safe tips for use and how to inspect your beam clamp before application.

Beam clamps: 3 different types

There are three different types of beam clamps:

  1. Scissor type
  2. Adjustable type with fixed jaw
  3. Adjustable type with swivel jaw

1. Beam clamps: scissor type

While not the most popular type of clamp, the scissor beam clamp is still one of the basic types of clamp, and is ideal for lifting applications. It uses scissor action to manipulate the weight of the load to apply clamping load. It’s clamping jaws are rougher, which helps to dig into the load and form a better grip.

Before use, be sure to check its condition—assess the pivot bolt, wear and deformation and check the SWL, identification and use of beam to be used on.

2. Beam Clamps: adjustable type (fixed jaw)

Before use, check the tommy bar, screw thread and screw spigot for wear and deformation. Check SWL and identification, and also check for general condition.

3. Beam Clamps: adjustable type (swivel jaw)

Before use, be sure to check the swivel jaws and ensure they move freely, check the SWL and identification and the tommy bar, screw thread and screw spigot for wear and deformation.

Beam clamp applications: inspect before use!

Before using your beam clamps, be sure to follow these pre-use inspection tips:

  1. Check SWL, Identification no. and colour code
  2. Check SWL of the clamp’s within the weight of the load to lift;
  3. Check the clamp is the correct size for the beam;
  4.  Thoroughly examine the clamp for wear, damage and deterioration—particularly at the hinge and shackle attachment points;
  5. Ensure the screw thread is in good condition—this means it’s not bent and rotates freely;
  6. Check the tommy handle for damage and distortion;
  7. Check jaws for damage, distortion and ensure the swivel type is free to rotate;
  8. Ensure screwed spigots aren’t damaged, distorted or worn excessively.
Hercules SLR Bronze & Blue Beam Clamp

Beam clamp applications: more tips for safe usage

  • Don’t exceed the SWL of beam clamp;
  • Don’t exceed SWL of beam that the clamp’s secured to;
  • Make sure the beam clamp is correctly and securely clamped to the beam and the centre line of the clamp suspension point is in alignment with the centre line of beam;
  • Contact the beam clamp supplier before replacing bolts—this could lead to the wrong screw being fitted and may cause damage to the beam clamp;
  • Ensure you’re using a certified beam clamp;
  • Ensure a competent person is applying the beam clamp—a “competent worker or person” is defined differently in each province according to OH&S rules. British Columbia and Quebec are the only two provinces which don’t formally define what a “competent worker/person” is. Click here for the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety’s definitions of “competent” in each province or territory.
  • If using two clamps in tandem, you may need to use ancillary equipment, like a spreader bar;
  • Use beam clamps for vertical lifts only. (See ‘side loading’ below).

Bronze & Blue Specifications

Beam clamp applications: side loading

Standard beam clamps are designed for in-line use only. If the ID plate says to use the clamp at 0° only, do not use side-loading—use the angle that’s permitted. Beam clamps that are suitable for side loading are fairly new to the lifting industry—the IPU10 and IPU10S by Crosby, for example are meant to lift in any direction. View the Crosby IPU10 flyer and its specs here.

Universal beam clamps can be used as an anchor point to lift and pull, load at any angle up to 90° without lateral and longitudinal de-rating and for low headroom use.

Is your hardware up-to-date? We inspect, repair & certify rigging equipment:

Have your beam clamps been inspected lately? Find more information on our repair, inspection and certification services here.

Don’t worry about tracking equipment inspections—our asset management tool, CertTracker™ is a virtual lifeline to safety—and the best part? It’s free for all customers when your inspection is done by Hercules SLR.

CertTracker™ reminds you of inspection dates and timelines, helps you stay compliant with provincial and national safety standards and overall, reduces the ownership cost of your equipment.

Browse Bronze & Blue here or e-mail us at to rent a beam clamp for your next project.



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.

Tips from our Brampton, ON Experts: Safe Rigging Practices


Safe rigging practices are essential to get the job done and get home in one piece. Today, we spoke to our rigging experts from our Brampton, Ontario branch—some of their clients include IMAX, Siemens, GM and Bombardier. Read on to learn more about safe rigging practices to use when rigging with wire rope slings.

What is safe rigging—or even rigging in general?

Rigging, or safe rigging is simply the movement of a mass using mechanical application, like slings and/or lifting equipment. The term ‘rigging’ also includes figuring out what lifting appliances and slings should be used and fitted to control the load (never vice versa!), and where the load should be moved to.

Safe Rigging Practices: 4 steps
  1. Identify the load and find out its weight;
  2. Find best sling for the load and select lifting gear;
  3. Ensure the route your load will travel is clear and there are no hazards present;
  4. Prepare the area where you load will land, make sure there are no obstructions.

Safe Rigging Practices: lifting with wire rope slings

Okay, so you’ve decided wire rope slings are the best sling to lift your load—but wait! Before lifting with wire rope slings, determine these 3 things:

  1. Know or determine the weight of the load;
  2. Decide the sling arrangement—consider load control, type and means of attachment;
  3. Sling length—consider available headroom, leg angle.

When executing your lift with a wire rope sling, be sure to protect the load and sling from damage at sharp corners—padding the corners is recommended. Be sure to block as needed, examine your sling before each lift and use safe operating practices. This will also help prevent common wire rope sling damage.

While operating, make sure the following happens:

  • Sling is centered in bowl of hook;
  • Each leg supports part of the load so it’s under control;
  • Sling(s) are long enough that rated load angle is accurate;
  • If using multiple slings for different, specific angles, don’t load each leg with more than is permitted;
  • Stay alert for potential snags;
  • Balance basket hitches in choker hitches to prevent slip;
  • The load doesn’t exceed the rated load of sling or components and load is within rated load of sling (avoid shock-loading);
  • Stay clear of rigging equipment and especially a suspended load;
  • The load won’t collapse or change shape/form when in contact with bumps or jerk-movements;
  • After use, inspect and properly store the sling.

Multi-Leg Wire Rope Slings

If the load needs a multi-leg sling, do not exceed the SWL stamped on the ring—the SWL (safe working load) will always be slated for sling legs at 90°.

40° angle


30° angle


90° angle (max angle)






Safe Rigging Practices: slinging tubulars with wire rope slings

Tubular items include scaffold tubes, drilling tubulars, construction pipe work and other items like these. When rigging tubulars in a sling, consider the following:

  • Only tubulars  of the same diameter should be placed together;
  • The amount of tubes should be placed so middle tubes are gripped and won’t slip out of the bundle;
  • Tubulars should always be slug with two slings, each with a SWL at least equal to the gross weight of the load;
  • Slings should be placed at an equal distance apart—around 25% from the loads’ end. Place sling legs  1/4 of the tube length from the ends of tubes;
  • Use clamps or bulldog clips on the reeved wire to prevent loosening. Use a tie wrap on the sling’s reeved eye to prevent the sling from slipping over the bulldog;
  • Attach a tag line to one sling when rigging excessively long, tubular bundles.

Remember—it’s dangerous to bundle tube with steel angle, channels, etc. Small bore tube may lay loose in the gaps between differently shaped items of steel and could slide out when lifted. At height with the right amount of force, a tube can become a spear and result in fatal injuries.

Safe Rigging Practices: single-leg vertical hitch

Keep these tips in mind when using a single-leg vertical hitch:

  • The total weight of the load is supported by a single leg;
  • The SWL of the wire rope sling must exceed the load weight;
  • Don’t use your hitch to lift loose materials, long loads (unless using a spreader beam with 2 single-legs—see below) or a load that can tip;
  • Single-leg hitch won’t provide you with good control and is prone to tip.
Single-Leg Vertical Hitch: Spreader Beams


Hercules SLR spreader beam. Use a certified spreader beam for good control to support loads that are long and/or hard-to-handle. They reduce the tendency for the load to slip or bend, and both single legs will support the load—if the load is evenly balanced, each side will carry half the load.


Safe Rigging Practices: double-up

Double Basket
  • Make sure two hitches are placed carefully to ensure load is balanced;
  • Ensure legs are kept apart enough to balance the load (don’t cause slippage);
  • Never use a vertical angle bigger than 60°;
  • Double basket hitches don’t have great load control, the capacity depends on the vertical angle formed in the basket.
Double Wrap Basket

A double wrap basket is a basket hitch that’s wrapped around the load. When using this method with wire rope slings, keep in mind:

  • A single hitch doesn’t control load slippage;
  • Adjust legs as load is applied, equalize load balance;
  • Great for loose material handling and smooth loads due to it’s 360° wrap;
  • For good load control, use two hitches when at a horizontal angle of 45° or smaller (depending on load weight).
Double Wrap Choker

A double wrap choker hitch is a choker hitch wrapped around the load—a single hitch won’t control load

Load on offshore rig lifted by chain slings.

slippage. These are great for handling loose materials as it has a 360° wrap that can be achieved without battening down the eye—gain control by using two hitches at a horizontal angle of 45° or smaller.

Safe Rigging Practices: stabilizing & landing the load

Before you begin lifting your load, you should have a plan and prepared space for the load to land. The type of load will determine how riggers prepare but typically, most loads should be lowered onto timber battens. Slings will be easy to withdraw from the load, but remember—never land a load directly on the sling.

A good rigger will always asses unusual loads and try to estimate their centre of gravity in order to stabilize it. It’s important to attach slings so the centre of gravity is below or within the lift points. If you doubt the load’s stability at all, lift it very slowly. If it tilts, lower it (slowly) and re-sling the load so it’s stable. 


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.