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

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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.

Shackles: A Hercules Hardware How-To

shackles-hercules-rigging

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)
    shackles-d-shackle-hercules-rigging
    D-Shackle
Dee Shackle
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Screw pin shackle with cotter/split pin

Dee shackles are mostly used for single-point lifting.

Bow Shackle
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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.


Blogs

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.

Behind-the-Scenes: Life of a Slingmaster Sling

slingmaster-sling-hercules-slr-rigging

slingmaster-slingA SlingMaster sling lives a short,  but full life. We’ve covered the less-talked about non-destructive testing here  and here – but what exactly does destructive testing look like, and why do we use it?

Destructive testing is the process used to test a product and find its ultimate load (the load at which the item being tested fails or no longer supports the load) – in this case, a SlingMaster webbing sling’s breaking or tensile strength. This helps our riggers’ determine how our slings perform under different conditions.

First, one of our industrial seamstresses measures and cuts the length of the sling.

Then, the sling travels to our warehouse for destructive testing. The buttons are pressed, and the stretch begins.

The sling is pulled from each end with increasing force applied in increments – this mimics the sensation of a sling supporting a load.

Watch the video below to see the life-cycle of a SlingMaster sling – from birth, to death-by-destructive testing:

Did you know Hercules SLR offers custom rigging solutions? If you have something you want to lift, lower, hoist or move – give us a call. We’ll take you there.

Speak with one of our experts and let us find you the best sling for you or your company’s needs – e-mail us at info@herculsslr.com or call us at 1 (877) 461-4876 for more information.


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.

Herc How-To: Calculate Load Weight

Herc-How-To-calculate load weight

How-To Calculate Load Weight: the basics

An important aspect of rigging is measurement – there are a number of important things to determine and consider before you calculate load weight and proceed with the lift.

Read on for basic tips from our Hercules SLR experts and learn how to properly calculate a load’s weight.

The lifting equipment used to raise your load should not only support the object’s weight, but it’s volume, height, centre of gravity and any other aspects of the load that could make lifting awkward. Read on to discover the best way to calculate load weight.

Estimation is important—you must be able to accurately guess a load’s weight and centre of gravity. Inaccurate estimations can lead to severe consequences.

Evaluate the load you will lift. Evaluation must include the load’s weight, centre of gravity location, balance, stability and nature should be reasonably determined before you proceed with the lift. NEVER guess the weight of a load.

How-To Calculate Load Weight: method to establish load weight

  • Inspect the load for any identification or mark that indicates weight. If found, check that it’s the weight of the entire load, not just a single component of an assembly;
  • Check supporting documentation or load weight;
  • Check any drawings/diagrams that accompany the load for it’s weight listing;
  • If the load is still on the transport vehicle, determine the load’s weight via a weighbridge;
  • Estimate the load’s weight with available technical data, like tables or weights.

 

How-To Calculate Load Weight: total weight on angular lifts

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How-To Calculate Load Weight: example 1—steel sheet/block

how-to-calculate-load-weight-hercules-slr

Figure 1
  • Calculate the weight of a steel plate (shown in figure 1) 2ft wide X 5ftlong X 1inch (0.0833ft) thick.
  • Use the formula:
  • Volume = Length X Width X Height
  • Unit weight of steel is 490 lbs/ft³ 
  • Volume = 5ft X 2ft X 0.0833ft X 490 lbs/ft³
  • Weight = 408.3 lbs

 

How-To Calculate Load Weight: calculate force in slings

It’s important to understand the different angles that will impact the load to lift. The included angle is the angle created between opposite sling legs (ex. 0-90°). Using the included angle is known as the Trigonometric rating.

The vertical angle is the angle created by one sling leg from the vertical (ex. 0-45°). This is called the Uniform Method of rating. All new slings must use this method.

The horizontal sling angle is the angle that forms between the sling leg and surface of the load.

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Figure 2
Determine Vertical Share

When the centre of gravity is equal between pick points, the sling and fittings will carry an equal share of the load.

Centre of Gravity and Sling Loading
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Figure 3

When the centre of gravity isn’t equal between pick points, the sling and fittings won’t carry an equal share of the load.

The sling attached to the closest to the centre of gravity will carry the greatest share of the load.

In this example, Sling B will be carrying more than Sling A.

As you can see from the image, ‘Sling B’ carries more weight than ‘Sling A’.

 

 

 

 

 

How-To Calculate Load Weight: additional loading

Before you rig a load to lift, consider these factors that may affect the load, in addition to its weight:

  • Wind blowing against the load;
  • Shock loading;
  • Additional below-the-hook lifting devices;
  • Loads frozen to the ground;
  • Loads snagging;
  • Water, snow or ice accumulation on load;
  • Dynamic side-to-side movements;
  • Extreme temperatures.

HERC HOW-TO BLOGS

Herc How-To: Assemble a Chain Sling 

Herc How-To: Avoid These Common Rigging Mistakes 

Shackles: A Hercules Hardware How-To 


Need a lift? Call Hercules SLR

Have a heavy object that needs a lift? Don’t want to do all of this math on your own? We understand.

Hercules SLR creates custom rigging solutions for our clients’ specific needs (check out this custom sling we made for the Town of Oakville Marina!) and the service doesn’t end there—We provide inspections, repairs and service for:

  • Wire Rope
  • Fall Protection
  • Lifting Equipment/Gear
  • Rigging Hardware
  • Hoists & Cranes
  • Winches & Hydraulics

Don’t see your gear on the list or have more questions? Give us a call and our experts will match you with the right service or product for your needs.

Interested in learning more? We offer training courses at the Hercules Training Academy for these, and more:

  • Chain Saw Safety
  • Confined Space Entrant & Attendant
  • Fundamentals of Rigging (With Practical)
  • Fundamentals of Overhead Cranes
  • Offshore Rigger Banksman

Drop a line at info@herculesslr.com or training@herculesslr.com for more information on inspections, repairs or to sign-up for a training course.


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.