What is Wire Rope, and How is it Different from Cable Rope?

Read what is wire rope, what are important specifications to look for, and how it’s different from cable rope.

Did you know wire ropes were used as far back as the 1830s for mining hoist applications? Nowadays, we can use steel ropes for many different applications such as lifting and hoisting in elevators and cranes, and for mechanical power transmission. US Cargo Control’s wire rope slings are an excellent choice for heavy-duty jobs as their fabrication offers excellent abrasion resistance and heat resistance for extreme conditions.

Although these slings are beneficial for the lifting and rigging industry, there are a few specifications to know before purchasing them. Continue reading what is wire rope, what are important specifications to look for, and how it’s different from cable rope.

What is Wire Rope?

Up close shot of wire rope sling on shackle
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

These slings carry different properties that can determine their performance. Wire rope is constructed where a strand consists of two or more wires arranged and twisted in a specific arrangement. The individual strands are then laid in a helical pattern around the core of the rope. Once the wires are formed, they all come together to create greater strength and flexibility.

These slings work well for lifting, hoisting, towing, or anchoring loads. They’re manufactured in a variety of configurations, with 6×19 and 6×36 being the most common. When you see 6×19 or 6×36 from our website, these numbers represent the number of wires making up the strand and the number of strands wrapped around the core.

For example, a 6×19 indicates that there are 19 wires making up a strand, and 6 strands wrapping around the core. To learn more about our 6×19 wire ropes, look into our bestselling 1/2″ Galvanized Wire Rope EIPS IWRC, 1/2″ Stainless Steel Wire Rope IWRC T304, and 1/2″ Bright Wire Rope EIPS FC.

The configurations will offer different benefits for certain applications. In general, a smaller number of large outer wires offers better wear and corrosion resistance, while a larger number of small wires provides a better level of flexibility and fatigue resistance. Continue reading to learn which wire rope fits your job.

Terms that Define Construction and Properties of Wire Rope

Before immediately purchasing a wire sling, there are 7 properties that you should know about:

  1. Different Types of Wire Rope Slings
  2. Length
  3. Size
  4. Direction and Type of Lay
  5. Finish of Wires
  6. Grade of Rop
  7. Type of Core

1. Different Types of Wire Rope Slings

There are different versions of wire rope slings, ranging from single leg to 4 legs, as well as braided wire rope and domestic wire rope slings (manufactured in the U.S. with Crosby® hardware). When looking at the types of slings we offer at US Cargo Control, be sure to consider how much versatility and capability you need.

For example, a braided wire rope has increased flexibility and friction to grip loads over a regular wire rope. Adding an additional leg to the sling can add additional versatility and strength.

2. Length

the length of the wire rope sling

This is the total number of feet that are cut to size when wrapped around.

3. Size

the size and strand pattern of a wire rope

This is the measurement of the rope’s diameter and can be displayed in inches or millimeters. These sizes commonly display different strand patterns where the number of layers, wires per layer, and size of the wires per layer all affect the strand pattern. Wire rope can be constructed using one of the following patterns below or using two or more patterns.

  • Single Layer – a common example is a 7 wire strand. This has a single-wire center with six wires of the same diameter around it.
  • Filler Wire – this has two layers of uniform-size wire around a center with the inner layer having half the number of wires as the outer layer.
  • Seale – has two layers of wires around a center with the same number of wires in each layer. All wires in each layer are the same diameter.
  • Warrington – this construction has two layers of wires around a center with one diamter of wire in the inner layer, and two diameteres of wire alternating large and small in the outer layer.
  • Combination – when a strand is formed in a single operation using two or more of the above constructions, it’s referred as a “combined pattern.”

4. Direction and Type of Lay

The type of lay refers to the way the wires are laid to form a strand. They’re how the strands are laid around the core which can be regular lay, long lay, or alternate lay.

Regular Lay

The wires line up with the axis of the rope. This is where the wires are twisting in one direction, and the strands in the opposite direction create the rope. Regular lay is less likely to untwist and less likely to crush.

LAng Lay

This is the opposite of regular lay where the wires form an angle with the axis of the rope. The wires and strands spiral in the same direction and run at a diagonal to the centerline of the rope. Lang lay is more flexible and resistant to abrasion than regular lay wire ropes. The only con is this type of lay will be more likely to twist and crush than the regular lay.

Alternate Lay

Sometimes known as reverse lay, this type of lay consists of alternating regular lay and long lay strands. This unites the best features of both types, and it’s using relatively large outer wires to provide an increase of abrasion resistance.

5. Finish of Wires

steel wire rope sling in heavy industrial
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

This refers to the protective coating that’s applied to the wire rope. There are three types of finishes which are galvanized (zinc-coated), stainless steel, and bright (unfinished steel).

Note that the galvanized material will provide extra corrosion resistance, and stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion.

6. Grade of Rope

The grade of the rope means the grade of steel being used. The plow steel strength calculates the strengths of most steel wire ropes. Some classifications include Improved Plow Steel (IPS), Extra Improved Plow Steel (EIPS), Extra Extra Improved Plow Steel (EEIPS), Galvanized Improved Plowed Steel (GIPS), and Drawn Galvanized Imrpoved Plow Steel (DGEIP).

EIPS is 15% stronger than IPS, and EEIPS is 10% stronger than EIPS. Along with that, GIPS and DGEIP wires can add corrosion resistance to your application, but DGEIP wires have a higher break load than GIPS.

7. Type of Core

The type of core is what makes up the center of the wire rope. There are three types of core: Fiber Core (FC), Independent Wire Rope Core (IWRC), and Wire Strand Core (WSC).

A fiber core can be made of synthetic polypropylene fibers. The fiber cores offer greater elasticity than a steel core, but are more susceptible to crushing. This isn’t recommended for high heat environments.

A steel core can either be an independent wire rope or individual strand. The steel cores can provide adequate support, or in an operating environment where temperatures can exceed very high heat.

What’s the Difference between Wire Rope and Cable Rope?

A wire rope sling being used to lift a heavy load
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Wire and cable ropes are terms that are often interchangeable but do have one varying difference. Wire rope refers to the diameters that are larger than 3/8 inch. Sizes smaller than this are classified as cable rope or even cords. Regardless of the size difference, cable and wire rope are still classified as a “machine.” Even a group of strands laid around a core would still be called a cable or wire rope.

Tackle the Toughest Lifting Jobs with High-Quality Rigging Hardware

We know the importance of quality when it comes to lifting supplies. We carry a variety of rigging hardware, as well as lifting beams and spreader bars that are designed to lift heavy loads safely and efficiently. If you’re interested in other lifting slings, check the other types of slings we carry like nylon slings and chain slings.

Need a custom lifting sling? We can do that. We’ll work with you and customize a lifting sling to meet your specific needs.

Read more information about wire rope slings below!

How to Safely Apply Wire Rope Clips to Wire Rope Assemblies

How to Use Wire Rope Clips

What is Sling Protection, What are the Different Types of Slings, & How to Protect Them

Contact our sales team at US Cargo Control today at 866-444-9990. Our team of product experts is here to answer any questions about rigging hardware, lifting slings, and more.

What is Sling Protection, What are the Different Types of Slings, & How to Protect Them

Sling protection products can protect slings, the load, and even the load’s surroundings. Read to learn how to improve the durability of your slings and create safety and cost saving solutions in the workplace.

Are you constantly having to buy new lifting slings, or finding that your slings keep getting damaged? Are you noticing that improper use of the load or load damage is often caused by the sling itself? These issues are related to one of the most common lifting problems – lack of proper sling protection.

Luckily, we have a few tips on how to improve the endurance and longevity of your slings. In this blog, we’ll explain what is sling protection, when slings require protection, and the best sling protection products.

What is Sling Protection?

Use Corner Guards to Protect Lifting Slings

Sling protection is a common term in the lifting and rigging industry. Just like adding a screen protector to your phone, there are sling protection products that can protect your slings from sharp corners and edges.

We need to ensure the lifting sling is not cut or abraded during the lift, and the load is secured. We’re able to achieve that through products that support the durability of the lifting slings.

When researching sling protection products, it’s important to understand that some products are good for preventing abrasions while others are good for resistance to cutting. It’s also critical to know that the most common sling protection materials are polyester or nylon webbing, Kevlar, rubber, leather, and wood. While learning about your slings or the slings you wish to get, make sure to know what application you are using the sling for as well as the physical properties of the load and sling protection products.

We’re emphasizing the importance of sling protection producs because it’s typically less expensive to replace sling protection products multiple times than to replace the lifting sling.

When do Slings Require Protection?

Rigging wire rope and shackle

All types of lifting slings like nylon, polyester, wire rope, and chain must be protected from edges, corners, and protrusions. You can use products like corner guards, sleeves, reinforced eyes, and wear pads to help your slings. We also carry a line of Straightpoint Load Monitoring Loadcells to precisely measure and safely monitor the tension of loads involving wire rope, guy wire, synthetic rope, shackles, and more.

While all types of lifting slings require protection from sharp corners and edges, it’s common to use sling protection products to a synthetic sling like round slings and web slings. This is because the nylon and polyester fibers of a synthetic sling are more susceptible to cuts, tears, and abrasion than stronger sling materials like wire rope or chain. In fact, the cutting of synthetic slings during use is the number one cause of sling accidents.

The sling can make contact with the load or hardware:

  • Around any lift points like load edges, hoist rings, and eye bolts
  • Around the crane hook, shackle, and master link.
  • On load edges that could be above the hookup points

What Happens When I Don’t Protect My Slings?

How to Protect your lifting slings from sharp edges

There are several ways slings could be destroyed if you don’t use sling protection products. Without the usage of sling protection products, there is potential for:

  • Injury or loss of life
  • Higher turnover of slings, especially synthetic ones
  • Major damage to the sling, load, and around the load’s surroundings if the sling is cut, and the load is dropped
  • Damage caused to the load itself from lack of protection, especially when using wire rope and chain slings which can exert crushing forces on a load

As explained above, when you’re not using the proper sling protection, it can result in a dropped load or scratching and damaging it. This can be dangerous as this could result in injury, dismemberment, or loss of life.

In addition to that, if you’re not protecting your slings, you’re creating a higher turnover in slings and this will result in higher equipment costs. To learn more about what lifting slings you should use for the right job, read 3 Factors to Consider When Choosing Lifting Slings.

How Do Sharp Edges or Corners Damage Slings?

What is sling protection, how to protect any lifting sling

Edges can damage different types of slings in several different ways.

If you’re using chain slings, the edges can cause nicks and gouges, crushed links, and bent or twisted links. When using wire rope, the corners could damage broken wires, kinks, or doglegs. Lastly, nylon and polyester slings can be cut or abraded easily.

If your sling isn’t protected and it gets damaged, it’s more expensive to replace the sling than the sling protection product. It is much more cost-effective to replace the sling protection rather than replacing the sling itself.

Nylon and polyester slings can be easily confusing as they have a few similarities. To understand which web sling you should get, read Polyester Slings vs Nylon Slings: Which Web Sling Type is Better?

Tackle the Toughest Lifting Jobs with High-Quality Rigging Hardware

We know the importance of quality when it comes to lifting supplies. We carry a variety of rigging hardware, as well as lifting beams and spreader bars that are designed to lift heavy loads safely and efficiently. 

Need a custom lifting sling? We can do that. We’ll customize a lifting sling to meet your specific needs.

Curious about Straightpoint products and how they work? Read more information about them below!

Do You Know How Much That Weighs? Straightpoint Load Cells Do

Compression Type Load Cells: Wireless vs. Wired

How to Select a Load Cell

Contact our sales team at US Cargo Control today at 866-444-9990. Our team of product experts is here to answer any questions about rigging hardware, lifting slings, and more.

Key Factors to Having a Test Bed, and What This Means for You

Learn what this machine means for our business and for you for the long run.

US Cargo Control just got a brand new toy in the house, and it’s a horizontal test bed! For the past few months, we’ve been experimenting with this equipment that will help us run more efficiently and grow as a company, create time and cost-saving solutions, and provide customers what they want, when they need it.

What is the Purpose Behind the Test Bed?

Also known as a proof test machine, the test bed has several different purposes that meet all of our needs. It can help us add new and potential capabilities, ensure our current product verifications are being met, and give us confidence we’re giving customers products that have been successfully tested for quality and accuracy.

The most important reason we have our own test bed in-house is it’ll make sure that the products we’re supplying meet the needed Working Load Limits (WLL) and Break Strengths (BS). If you’d like to learn more about the WLL and BS, read what the numbers on your load-bearing equipment mean.

This machine serves our mission to get the customer the quality products that they deserve. We sat down with one of our experts, Wendi Kafer, to learn the key factors to having this machine.

What is the Test Bed?

US Cargo Control using Chant Engineering's test bed for cargo products

It is a horizontal test bed from Chant Engineering which has the capacity to conduct tension or proof test up to 150K LB on our lifting slings and tiedown straps. The products are placed in the testbed and pulled to their WLL or beyond, depending on what pull test you are wanting to conduct.

Although its intended use is for the lifting industry, we can also test load-bearing equipment for the trucking and moving industries.

Why Did US Cargo Control Get a Test Bed?

We initially purchased the test bed to determine the design and verification of our current products and new capabilities. Not only that, it creates better time and cost-saving solutions, which is a win in our books.

If we test our nylon and recovery straps through our 3rd party lab, the costs would have been around $68,000. Because we have our own testing equipment, we can create our own products in-house and this avoids creating continous huge costs.

What Results Have We Seen?

Using the test bed for a nylon lifting sling

The test bed has given us the ability to test and determine the design and verification for most of our recovery and nylon straps to achieve the results we seek. Along with that, we’ll be able to make new and current capabilities in-house instead of drop shipping them!

We also conducted testing on our tiedowns to confirm their tack strengths. For example, we changed the tack pattern on our 3″ and 4″ tiedowns to significantly reduce the time it takes to produce an assembly. We tested the new tack pattern (according to the WSTDA standards) on our test bed, and we saved 30 seconds per fixed ends and loose ends while still maintaining their strength ratings!

Lastly, we’ve been able to confirm the Working Load Limit and Break Strength on our custom tiedown straps. As we continue to test our tiedowns with hardware like shackles and chains, we will also work to find the safest and most cost-efficient way to test our full assemblies.

What Does the Test Bed Mean for Our Customers?

Currently, this machine will give us the opportunity to conduct proof load testing that a customer may request on a lifting sling. A proof load test is a type of test that proves the fitness and working load limit of the lifting equipment that it’s designed to withstand. This will ensure the lifting equipment works correctly and safely through its operational cycle.

What Products Are We Using Currently with the Test Bed?

US Cargo Control creating tiedown straps in house

We are currently test recovery straps, lifting slings, tiedowns with loops, and potentially some tiedowns with hardware.

Tiedowns with hardware require special hookups to the pins of the machine in order to be pulled. We have the possibility to use shackles, round slings, chains, and more that we have in-house. The straps with hardware will need to be reviewed and be determined if we can currently test at this time.

What’s the Process of Testing the Products on the Machine?

using the test bed to test break strength and working load limit on a strap

The most critical and first step we take is safety. We alert everyone in the area that we will be testing the products and ear protection is available. We place the product in the test bed before closing it, and plug in information in the machine’s computer such as the type of test being conducted and the desired Break Strength we would like the product to be pulled to.

After the setup is complete, we will start testing. We can determine if the product fails or passes the test when it reaches the WLL and BS. If it fails, we examine why it has failed and collect the data so we can improve our products for the next test.

We upload the test into our database to file and record on our master testing sheet. We use this data to make improvements if the product fails and if a customer would like the information of the product that passed the testing for their records.

Getting You What You Want, When You Need It

Having the test bed in-house creates excitement at US Cargo Control because we’ll be able to confirm verifications ourselves before sending any new products to our website or shipping them to our customers. We enjoy finding new opportunities to continue growing our business, and with our new machine, we’ll be able to identify new possibilities so we can continue to be your source for equipment for hauling, rigging, moving, towing, and lifting all kinds of cargo.

We’re all ecstatic about this brand new machine and can’t wait to get your orders out of the door and into your hands!

Our team looks forward to getting you the quality products you deserve. If you wish to learn more about our products, head over to US Cargo Control or give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

3 Factors to Consider When Choosing Lifting Slings

As objects are being lifted, the lifting sling could fail and lead to catastrophes. Read 3 factors to consider when choosing lifting slings.

One of the biggest causes of injuries and fatalities in the lifting and rigging industry is accidents caused by falls. As heavy objects are being lifted, sometimes the lifting sling can fail and lead to potential catastrophes. To prevent these situations, it is critical that you must use the correct types of lifting slings for your lifting jobs. Read 3 factors you should consider when choosing the right lifting sling, and learn the different types of slings we carry at US Cargo Control.

1. Know The Weight, Strength, and Delicacy of the Load

It’s important to know the weight and strength of the load that you intend to lift, as well as the WLL (Working Load Limit) of the sling. When you have an understanding of the object’s weight and strength, make sure you provide support from all directions. Providing support from the sides will prevent the object from falling, preventing injuries and risk to the workers on site.

The other thing that you should note is the fragility of the load you are lifting. The goal is to not only lift an object but protect the object from getting damaged in the lifting process. For lifting heavy objects or objects made of hard metals, we recommend using chain slings to perform the job.

Saw random numbers on your load-bearing equipment and didn’t know what they meant? Read what Working Load Limit, Breaking Strength, and Safety Factor mean.

2. Identify the Center of Gravity of the Load, and the Sling’s Flexibility

When you’re looking at the object you will be lifting, observe the object’s shape and design to tell you where the center of gravity is. You do not want to miss the center of the load before you begin to lift because you can potentially thrust the load and cause damage. If you’re lifting irregularly-shaped loads, consider using nylon slings as these have great flexibility and strength.

3. Do the Objects have Sharp Edges?

You’re going to lift objects that have sharp edges. Although nylon slings work best for loads needed for flexibility, the fabric will not perform well because it will be fighting against sharp edges. They will cause ripping to the sling, and this will likely result in the object falling and getting damaged.

If you’re having to lift objects with sharp edges, we recommend using chain slings or wire rope slings. We also carry corner protectors that can cover the edges of the object and protect your slings and chains.

What Are the Different Types of Slings?

Now that you know the three critical factors to consider when choosing a sling, you need to learn the many different types of slings there are. This will help you identify which sling is worth the investment for your lifting situations.

Nylon Slings

US Cargo Control nylon lifting sling

Known as synthetic web slings or nylon web slings, our nylon lifting straps perform well for lifting breakable, delicate objects. Its heavy-duty synthetic material has great stretch and flexibility that help the slings mold to the shape of the load. Not only that, the nylon lifting sling’s material is treated to improve abrasion resistance and reduce wear, even in the most rigorous lifting applications.

They are lightweight, easy to handle, and offer a wider body with more stretch than a polyester sling. Its attributes make synthetic slings a popular choice for rigging purposes and are essential to have around, but they should not be used in extreme or rugged conditions. Nylon rigging straps will wear down more quickly than other types of slings if you go against its limits!

Chain Slings

If you’re depending on a sling that requires extra strength and durability, the chain sling is your best choice. The chain lifting sling is the strongest and most durable type of sling and is highly popular to use for heavy lifting operations. They will perform better than polyester round slings or nylon slings because they’re more durable, tolerant to hot temperatures, and cut-resistant. When we say chain slings are tolerant to hot temperatures, this means they are useful for lifts in extremely hot temperatures or to secure extremely hot objects.

We offer three trusted brands of lifting chain slings, Crosby, KWB, and Pewag. We offer chain slings from these brands because we want you to have the highest-quality slings that will perform the lifting job successfully. We sell these in two types, standard and adjustable, and we also offer custom options if needed.

We recently added a full line of Grade 120 chain and components that are now available at US Cargo Control. Read more about Grade 120 and its benefits.

Polyester Round Slings

Polyester slings can be confused with nylon slings due to their material that is also made of a web-like fabric. The difference is that while nylon slings stretch easily, polyester round slings have a little stretch to them. These are useful to have for lifting operations where strength is needed, but not a lot of stretch needed.

Manufactured in the USA from a continuous loop of polyester yarn that creates exceptional strength, the round slings are versatile, pliable, convenient, and cost-effective. Because of their many benefits, you can use these in vertical, choker, or basket hitches, making them effective to lift a wide variety of cargo!

Curious about the differences between nylon slings and polyester slings? Read Polyester Slings vs Nylon Slings: Which Web Sling Type is Better?

Wire Rope Slings

US Cargo Control wire slings

Known as steel cable or wire sling, these are more durable than synthetic slings and more cost-effective than chain slings. Wire rope slings are an excellent choice not only for lifting, but also for hoisting, towing, or anchoring loads. Its fabrication offers abrasion-resistance and heat-resistance, as they are made by weaving individual strands or wire around a core.

Wire rope slings are favorable by riggers as they can come in a wide variety of materials, diameters, and configurations. Each steel wire rope configuration will offer different benefits and are suited to certain applications. For example, a smaller number of large outer wires offers better wear and corrosion resistance, while a larger number will provide better flexibility and fatigue-resistance.

If you would like to learn more about wire rope configuration, see our category on wire rope.

Tackle the Toughest Lifting Jobs with High-Quality Rigging Hardware

We know the importance of quality when it comes to rigging supplies. We carry a variety of rigging hardware, as well as lifting beams and spreader bars that are designed to lift heavy loads safely and efficiently.

We also do custom orders! Need a custom lifting sling? We can do that! We can customize a lifting sling to meet your specific needs.

Contact our sales team today at 866-444-9990. Our team of product experts is here to answer any questions about rigging hardware, lifting slings, and more.

Grade 120 Chain and Components at US Cargo Control

We’ve added a wide selection of the strongest and toughest chain grade components to our inventory.

A full line of Grade 120 chain and chain sling components are now available through US Cargo Control.

Grade 120 is a high-strength, ultra-premium quality alloy steel with the highest working load limits in the industry. Now it’s easier than ever to get the G120 products you need to tackle the toughest overhead lifting and transportation jobs.

We’ve added a wide selection of the strongest and toughest chain grade components to our stock. And with a large inventory of bulk g120 chain, fittings, chain and binder kits, and more, you can count on US Cargo Control for all of your Grade 120 transport and rigging and lifting needs!

4 Benefits of Grade 120 Components

Length of blue grade 120 chain showcasing the square-link design.

1. It’s the Strongest Chain in the Industry

Grade 120 chain and components are 50% stronger than Grade 80 and 20% stronger than Grade 100 products. That added strength means you can select a smaller chain size for the job that’s lighter in weight and easier to handle – all without sacrificing working load limits.

2. It’s Extremely Durable

G120 chain features a revolutionary square link design that offers superior fatigue and bending resistance, making it an excellent choice for a wide variety of lifting applications. The patented square profile also offers increased contact between the surfaces on the links, resulting in a better grip than a traditional round link-style chain. A blue powder-coated finish adds corrosion protection.

3. It’s Easy to Identify

All Grade 120 Chain and Components feature a light-blue powder coating for quick and easy identification. You will also find either “120” or “12” markings on the chain and components as additional identification as Grade 120 alloy.

4. It’s Made by Pewag

Our Grade 120 chain and components are made by Pewag, an industry leader in quality chain products. With a history dating back over 500 years, Pewag is an established and trusted manufacturer in the transportation and lifting industries.

Grade 120 Chain Slings

Chain slings manufactured with grade 120 chains offer the highest strength available on the market. They are excellent for heavy-duty lifting applications.

There are two main types of lifting slings: standard and adjustable. Both options allow the user to customize the sling to suit their specific lifting application. Choose from several options including the number of legs, length of the chain, and type of end fitting.

Blue Grade 120 standard chain sling with a sling hook and oblong link at opposing ends of the length of chain.

Standard Chain Sling

Features a fixed-length of Grade 120 Chain and available in a variety of length and end fitting combinations

Blue adjustable single-leg chain sling with a sling hook and oblong link at opposing ends of the length of chain.

Adjustable Chain Sling

Can be designed with the same leg configurations as standard slings, but an additional fitting allows the user to adjust the length of the chain.

Grade 120 Fittings

We stock a wide selection of G120 end fittings. Like all Grade 120 components, end-fittings all feature the distinctive blue powder-coat finish for superior corrosion protection and easy identification. Some of the most common options include:

Blue Grade 120 oblong master link ring.

Oblong Master Links are used at the top of chain slings.

Blue Grade 120 grab hook.

Eye Grab Hooks are designed for optimal interaction between chain and hook, making them excellent for a variety of lifting applications.

Blue Grade 120 self-locking hook.

Self-Locking Hooks feature a larger opening than typical eye sling hooks and automatically close and lock under load.

Blue Grade 120 sling hook with silver galvanized safety latch.

A Sling Hook has a forged and galvanized safety latch for a secure connection in a variety of lifting applications.

Tackle The Toughest Lifting Jobs With Grade 120

We recommend heavy-duty Grade 120 Chain for the toughest jobs. Whether you are in the trucking and transportation or lifting and rigging industries, the high-strength and superior quality of G120 alloy steel can stand up to even the most demanding applications.

If you’re looking for more information on chain slings, check out our main chain slings page on our website or our lifting slings category on our blog.


Are you ready to get your hands on some Grade 120 products? Contact our sales team today at 800-404-7068. Our team of product experts is here to answer any questions about rigging chain, lifting slings, and more.


We also do custom orders! Need a custom lifting sling? We can do that! Because we assemble all of our Grade 120 chain slings in-house, we can customize a lifting sling to meet your specific needs.

Working Load Limit, Breaking Strength & Safety Factor: What Do They Mean?

Ever saw random numbers on your load-bearing equipment and didn’t know what they mean? Read to learn what working load limit, break strength, and safety factor mean.

Have you picked up a ratchet strap and saw numbers labeled on the strap, and wonder what they mean? Chances are you’re reading the working load limit or break strength. Every piece of load-bearing equipment states these requirements to let you know how much weight that piece of rigging is capable of securing.

When it comes to securing fragile or heavy loads, it is crucial that the product can secure the load without breaking. Although these terms are normally stated, there is confusion about what these terms mean. Read on below to learn what working load limit, break strength, and safety factor mean.

What Does Working Load Limit Mean?

shackle displaying the wll
Displaying a Shackle with the Working Load Limit

Many people ask about the working load limit, and this is a term to not mix up with breaking strength. Abbreviated as WLL, it is the rating that should never be exceeded when using a product like a ratchet strap. Before using a piece of load-bearing equipment, always make sure to look at the working load limit before use as it is the maximum allowable loading force.

Something to keep in mind is the working load limit is always 1/3 of the breaking strength. So if a ratchet strap has a breaking strength of 15,000 pounds, then the strap will have a working load limit of 5,000 pounds.

To learn how to secure your cargo, read how to use tie downs to secure cargo loads safely and legally.

If the Working Load Limit is Included, is the Break Strength Important?

breaking strength meaning displayed on our tag
Displaying a custom strap with the Break Strength and Working Load Limit

The break strength is equally as important as the working load limit. The break strength refers to the point at which your load-bearing equipment will fail. It is expressed in pounds and/or kilograms, and will actually fail if you go over the required amount.

When a ratchet strap is made with webbing, end fittings, and a ratchet all with a 10,000-pound breaking strength, then the break strength of the overall product will stay 10,000 pounds. However, if the same strap has a ratchet with an 8,000-pound break strength, then that would reduce the product’s strength to 8,000.

What is the Correlation with Safety Factor?

factor of safety, what is factor of safety?
Multiple tie downs securing cargo loads

Safety factor, also known as Design Factor, determines the ratio between the working load limit and break strength. The working load limit’s rating should never exceed when using a sling or tiedown, and this safety factor provides an allowance for shock loading, G force, and other unforeseen factors.

How Do I Know my Load-Bearing Equipment is Failing?

To make sure your lifting equipment is performing its best, perform an inspection. If you see any damage to the product, dispose of it. To give you an insight into what kind of damage you can potentially see, read these examples:

  • Holes, tears, cuts, snags, or embedded particles
  • Broken or worn stitching
  • Abrasive wear
  • Bending
  • Melting, charring, or weld spatter
  • Acid or alkali burns
  • Any other visible damage which causes doubt to the strength of the equipment

When selecting a ratchet strap, lifting sling, shackle, or any other product, select the product that has suitable characteristics for the type of load, environment, and attachment to the vehicle.

At US Cargo Control, we want you to be safe when securing heavy loads. If you have any questions about the safety requirements, give our team a call at 800-404-7068.

How to Tell When It’s Time for New Rigging Gear

Whether you’re inspecting wire rope, chain slings, synthetic web slings, round slings, or any type of rigging hardware, here are the warning signs of potential rigging equipment failure.

rigging gear inspection checklist

Stay safe and compliant with these rigging gear inspection tips.

The best way to tell if it’s time to upgrade your rigging and lifting gear starts with regular inspections, ideally before and after each use. When you’re trying to get a job done, it’s easy to fall out of the habit of inspecting your gear. But, compared to the alternatives options of either failing an official inspection or having your gear fail while in use, regular rigging gear inspection is well worth it.

So, whether you’re using wire rope, chain slings, synthetic web slings, round slings, or any type of rigging hardware, here are the warning signs to look for when inspecting your rigging gear.

Wire Rope Inspection

inspection checklist for wire rope

Wire rope is often combined with wire rope clips and thimbles and also used in wire rope slings that are great for a variety of lifts. It’s also commonly used on specialty vehicles, like tow trucks, as a winch line. Between load stress, environmental conditions, and abrasion, there are many factors that can shorten the life of wire rope.

Regularly inspect your wire rope and discard it if any of the following is evident:

  • Excessive broken wire
  • Distortion or kinking
  • Severe corrosion
  • Shiny worn spots on the outside of the rope
  • A one-third reduction in the outer wire diameter
  • Damaged or displaced hooks, link, rings, or other end fittings

Chain Sling Inspection

inspection checklist for chain slings

Yes, even the strongest chain slings, like a mighty grade 120 chain sling, can become overly stressed and eventually unsafe to continue using. Heat, chemicals, and heavy loads all take a toll on a chain slings longevity.

If you notice any of the following on your chain slings, cut them up into 3′ to 4′ lengths (to prevent salvaging) and then recycle them:

  • Stretched or overly-elongated links
  • Kinks or binding
  • Nicks or gouges in links

Synthetic Web Sling Inspection

inspection checklist for synthetic web slings

The softness and flexibility of polyester and nylon lifting slings make them great for lifting fragile or expensive cargo. But just because they’re lifting delicately, doesn’t mean that can’t become worn out and dangerous to use.

Discontinue use and cut the sling into 3′ to 4′ lengths (and cut the eye) if you notice any of the following:

  • Snags, tears, or cuts
  • Melting or charring of any surface area
  • Acid or caustic burns
  • Broken or worn stitching
  • Elongation that exceeds manufacturer’s recommendation
  • Distortion of any fittings

Polyester Round Sling Inspection

inspection checklist for polyester round slings

Round slings are a versatile, strong, and cost-efficient tool for lifting a variety of cargo types. Polyester round slings contain a continuous loop of polyester yarn inside and a durable polyester fabric on the outside that is usually color-coded by lifting capacity.

While round slings are able to handle large loads, even the smallest rip, cut, or tear is enough to make it unsafe for use. If you notice these issues during inspection, cut the sling in half to retire it from service:

  • Exposure of the yarn core or broken or damaged yarn
  • Heat damage
  • Discolored, brittle, or stiff areas
  • Acid or caustic burns

Rigging Hardware Inspection

inspection checklist for rigging hardware

Common pieces of rigging hardware used for lifts include: shackles, turnbuckles, hooks, links and swivels, rings, wire rope clips, and thimbles. The integrity of these smaller items is vital to rigging safety.

Prior to using rigging hardware, visually inspect each piece and discontinue use if you notice the following:

  • Excessive nicks, gouges, or corrosion
  • Bent, twisted, elongated, or cracked load-bearing components
  • Reduction in original dimension by 10% or more
  • Indication of heat damage
  • Missing or illegible load rating information

Purchase Smart, Use With Confidence

If any of the above signs are evident during your routine inspection, it’s likely time to replace your rigging gear. Similar to knowing your rigging inspection checklist, it’s helpful to learn what to look for when buying rigging and lifting gear so you can always ensure that you’re using the best equipment for the job, and enjoy years of safe use.

For official rigging equipment inspection requirements see OSHA section 1926.251.

Polyester Slings vs Nylon Slings: Which Web Sling Type is Better?

Are polyester lifting slings better than nylon lifting slings? This is a question our lifting and rigging product experts commonly get and the answer, as it often is with rigging gear, is that it depends on the job at hand.

Before we dive into the key differences between nylon slings and polyester slings, there are many similar advantages to these two types of synthetic slings that are important to know.

Advantages of Synthetic Webbing

1. Ideal for delicate loads

One of the most common reasons for a rigger to use synthetic slings instead of wire rope slings or chain slings is th fact that they won’t scratch or crush your load. That’s why synthetic slings are extremely popular in the construction industry and with ship haulers.

2. Cost-efficient

Synthetic slings are also an attractive choice due to their lower cost. If you’re wondering whether nylon slings are cheaper than polyester slings, don’t. The prices are more or less the same, and your focus should be on choosing the right sling for the job.

3. Lightweight

Compared to wire rope and chain, synthetic slings are much lighter, making them easier to transport and handle. Again, nylon is typically a little heavier than polyester, but it’s not much of a difference when you consider the weight of chain and wire rope.

4. Strong

It’s true that nylon is stronger on an individual fiber level, but a polyester sling can be made just as strong as a nylon one by adding more threading. And both types can easily lift several thousand pounds. So while it’s important to use a lifting sling that’s rated for the load your lifting, this won’t affect your choice between nylon and polyester.

Physical Differences

Now that you know how they’re similar, let’s look at the differences between the physical characteristics of nylon and polyester to determine which material type is best for your job.

Nylon has more stretch

This is one the most important differences between nylon slings and polyester slings. While nylon slings have more give to them (about 7 to 10 percent stretch when at WLL) that does not mean they are weaker than polyester (typically 2 to 3 percent stretch at WLL). The main reasons you would want more or less stretch when lifting a load include overheight lifting room and the potential for “snapback”.

If you have height limitations, polyester is probably the better choice. If your load could bounce around a lot, the extra stretch of nylon will reduce the danger of the strap snapping back at you or others. This difference in the stretch is why you typically see recovery straps made of nylon and tow straps made of polyester.

Polyester is softer and more flexible

Both nylon and polyester slings are good for delicate loads, but if you’re wondering which one is best for the most delicate loads, it’s polyester. The chemical coating on nylon webbing gives it a slightly more coarse texture.

Polyester is also a bit more flexible than nylon. By flexible, I’m not talking about stretch but rather the ability to wrap tightly around a load and grip the most surface area.

This is an important difference, especially when choosing between nylon endless slings and polyester endless slings. It’s also important to note that there is a difference between flat web polyester slings and round polyester slings.

nylon round endless lifting sling
Nylon Endless Sling
polyester round endless sling
Polyester Endless Sling

Environmental Differences

Another key question to ask when choosing between nylon slings and polyester slings is, what are the environmental conditions? There’s a reason why ship haulers and those in marine environments prefer polyester slings, they absorb less water and are just a bit more resistant to UV rays. But, you also need to consider the differences when it comes to chemical resistance.

Nylon slings can’t resist acids or bleaches

Avoid using nylon slings if you’re operating anywhere near sulfuric, nitric, hydrochloric, or phosphoric acids. Nylon is also unresistant to oxidizing bleach agents such as sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate, and calcium hypochlorite.

Polyester slings can’t resist ethers or alkalis

On the other hand, polyesters Achilles heel is ethers and alkalis. Among other chemicals, this includes diethyl ether, dimethyl ether, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, calcium carbonate, and magnesium hydroxide.

Polyester Slings

best eye to eye lifting sling

browse all polyester sling

Conclusion

In short, synthetic lifting slings are a great choice due to their ability to handle delicate loads, lower cost, lightness, and impressive strength. In the polyester sling vs nylon sling matchup, the winner is whichever one meets the demands of your specific job best.

Nylon slings have more stretch but can’t be used near acids or bleaches. Polyester slings are softer and hug to load surfaces better but can’t be used near ethers or alkalis.

If you have any additional questions about nylon slings or polyester slings, give our rigging product experts a call at 800-404-7068.

4 Tips for Buying the Right Rigging & Lifting Equipment

If you work in the rigging and lifting industry you know that, when lives are on the line, close is never close enough. Safety measures, procedures, and equipment specs have to be spot-on.

Maintaining a safe job site starts with having the proper equipment for the job. But, with thousands of different rigging products, each with their own distinct characteristics, capabilities, and reputation, many riggers face the struggle of trying to choose the correct rigging and lifting equipment for the job.

Here are the 4 main things to pay attention to when deciding which rigging and lifting products are best for your particular job.

 

1. Assess what your lifting

To start, you need to assess the object or objects you are needing to lift or rig up. Does the object have sharp corners? Where is the center of gravity in your load? How much lifting space do you have? Asking these questions first will help to narrow down the potential rigging gear you can safely and effectively use for the job.

 

 

2. Know your Load Limit

working load limit on lifting gear for safety

Working load limit is the maximum weight that can safely be applied to a given piece of rigging equipment. It’s different for each individual piece of equipment, so be sure to pay close attention to this when selecting your rigging and lifting gear. Just one weak area puts the entire operation at risk. Check the weight of your load first, then ensure that you only buy equipment that is rated for that weight or more.

 

 

3. Consider Temperature & Environment

tips for choosing best rigging and lifting equipment

In applications that experience extremely high or low temperatures, certain equipment may not operate properly. For example, if you’re working in a high-heat environment, you will want to use wire rope with an independent wire rope core (IWRC) instead of a fiber core (FC). Also, consider the worksite environment. If saltwater is a factor, buy stainless steel rigging gear to prevent corrosion.

 

 

4. Opt for Quality

high quality lifting and rigging gear for manufacturing industry

Strength and durability is the name of the game when it comes to rigging and lifting gear. For the best chance of avoiding accidents and equipment that wears out quickly, you’ll want to ensure that you’re purchasing high-quality rigging equipment from trustworthy sources. It may not always be the most affordable choice, but it will be the smartest choice in the long run.

 

The importance of buying the right equipment is clear when you consider the stakes of lifting and handling heavy loads. Don’t guess. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate the job at hand before buying. When you do buy rigging and lifting supplies, be sure to check all the manufacturer specifications and ask questions if you’re unsure.

USCC has a team of dedicated product consultants that are just a phone call away. If you have product questions or would like to place an order over the phone instead of on our website, give them a call at 800-404-7068.

 

How to Use Plate Clamps Safely and Effectively

Plate clamps, or sheet clamps, make difficult lifts safer and easier. While these strong lifting tools allow for faster production speeds, they should not be used haphazardly. The use of plate lifting clamps requires an operator who is trained on their use and who takes safety seriously.

 

how to use plate lifting clamp
Remember to always position the plate clamp over the center of gravity to maximize control.

How Plate Clamps Work

Plate clamps eliminate the need for drilling or creating a hitch. The most important parts of a plate clamp include the lifting shackle, spring, teeth within the jaw, and the various links and pins. To lift a plate, the teeth of the plate clamp need to be pushed into the plate. With help from the powerful spring,  this turns the lifting point of the clamp into the lifting point of the plate and essentially causes the two objects to become one.

What’s great about plate clamps is that their grip strength automatically increases as the load gets heavier. Essentially, the weight of the load determines how much link tension there will be and the link tension determines jaw torque and ultimately grip strength. Learn more about what this means below.

 

How to Pick the Proper Size and Type of Plate Clamp

Choosing the proper size plate clamp will not only maximize safety but also extend the life of the plate clamp. To do this, you should buy a clamp with the closest working load limit (WLL) to the weight of the plate being lifted. This ensures that the jaw provides optimal clamping force and penetration. Keep in mind that bigger is not always better with plate clamps. There are minimum load requirements because a load that is too light will not be able to create sufficient grip strength. That’s why most plate clamps have both minimum and maximum load requirements stamped on them. It’s recommended that you avoid lifting a load that’s 20% below the rated capacity of the clamp.

plate lifting clamps without teeth
This Crosby® IPNM10P non-marring lifting clamp lifts plates without damage or scratching

You also need to pay close attention to the max jaw capacity of the plate clamp.  Jaw capacity should be as close as possible to the thickness of the material you’re lifting.

Lastly, you should not be lifting plates that have a surface that is harder than the teeth of the clamp. For plates that have an extremely hard surface or a surface which could be easily damaged, there are certain types of lifting clamps that have a non-marring jaw and no teeth. Examples of this are the Crosby® IPNM10 Lifting Clamps and the Terrier TNMK/TNMKA Lifting Clamps.

 

 

Safety Tips for Vertical Plate Lifting Clamps

Vertical plate lifting clamps can lift and turn over flat plates 180 degrees and can be used to transport plates in a vertical position.

Vertical lifting clamps should never be sideloaded and you should never try to lift more than one plate at a time. If you’re lifting a long plate, you should consider using two clamps connected to a spreader bar to minimize swing and maximize lifting safety. Also, keep in mind that plates which are hot in temperature can damage the structural integrity of the plate clamp. Columbus McKinnon recommends that you do not lift plates that are 250 degrees or higher.

 

Safety Tips for Horizontal Plate Lifting Clamps

spreader bar for lifting clamps
Spreader bars like this one are ideal for lifting long plates.

Just as their name suggests, horizontal lifting clamps are used to lift horizontal objects.

If you are lifting a long plate horizontally, never use a quad sling. This will cause the horizontal clamps to turn and potentially slip off. Instead, use a spreader bar with double-leg slings that connect to the plate clamp. When it comes to lifting short plates horizontally, one double sling with horizontal plate clamps on each end will suffice. To maintain proper lifting strength and control, always ensure there is a minimum included angle of at least 90 degrees. Never use vertical plate clamps for a horizontal lift.

 

How to Inspect and Care for Plate Clamps

Lifting clamps should be inspected every 1-4 weeks depending on use. To prevent plates from slipping, you should degrease clamps regularly and remove any grit, dirt, or mud. You should also lubricate the moving parts of the clamp, but never lubricate the teeth of a lifting clamp.  Check the teeth regularly for chips and breaks. According to ASME standards, chipped teeth are only acceptable if the chip is less than half the width of the tooth and the adjoining teeth are undamaged. If there is any tooth damage beyond this, the plate lifting clamp is not safe to use.

Other things to look for when inspecting plate lifting clamps include spring deformation, pad deformation, bending of hook ring, markings on top of the mouth, wear on any pins, pulling on rivets, and hook elongation.

minimize swing on a crane
For full inspection instructions, refer to ASME B30.20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As stated above, choosing the proper size and type of lifting clamp is the best way to ensure longer plate clamp life. Another thing that riggers can do to care for their plate lifting clamps is to minimize swing during the lift. Less swing results in less stress on the lifting clamp and a good crane operator knows how to minimize swing.

 

If you have any other questions about plate clamps let us know in the comment section below. 

 

Buy Plate Clamps

US Cargo Control is proud to sell both Crosby® Lifting Clamps and Terrier Lifting Clamps. We are confident in the quality that these brands offer the rigging and lifting industry.

Temperature Ratings for Chain Slings

David Urlaub, Rigging & Lifting Specialist
David Urlaub, Rigging & Lifting Specialist

Although extremely strong, chain can still be negatively affected when exposed to temperature extremes. The acceptable temperature range will vary depending on the grade of the chain and will also vary in reduction of Working Load Limit (WLL).Adjustable-4-Leg-Chain-Sling-Common_1_375

See the chart below from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) regarding standard B30.9-2014  and reduction in WLLs; both temporary (while heated) and permanent (after cooled) temperatures are included. Keep in mind that the effects are cumulative over time. This means that each time the sling is heated to an excessive temperature, its WLL will be further reduced.

These effects are cumulative, so each time that same chain sling is heated to the excessive temperature, its working load limit will be reduced by an additional percentage.

new chart

Please note that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires all slings exposed to temperatures over 1000º F to be removed from service.

When slings are exposed to extreme temperatures, contact the sling manufacturer for instruction.

Questions? Call us at 866-878-9355. We’ll be happy to help.

-David

 

Chain Slings from US Cargo Control

da
David Urlaub, Lifting & Rigging Product Expert

Since we’ve expanded our line of chain lifting slings earlier this year, it’s been great seeing the different types and sizes of chain slings customers are requesting. This one has been one of the biggest we’ve seen lately.

These chains have a capacity of 234,000 lbs. at 60 degrees, which means it would break at about 1,000,000 lbs. It’s being used to lift a large pump that weighs 210,000 lbs.chain sling from US Cargo Control

 

All of our lifting chain slings are manufactured with chain that’s made in the USA and European-made fittings. All also meet or exceed the latest guidelines of the National Association of Chain Manufacturers (NACM), ANSI B30.9 standards, and specifications set by OSHA.

Types of Chain Slings

We offer four sling types: standard, adjustable, endless and basket.

3-Leg-Chain-Sling-Common_1_375
Standard Triple Leg Chain Sling

Standard chain slings. Manufactured with one, two, three, or four lengths of chain, and fitted with hardware at each end, with a master oblong link at the top.

Single Leg Standard Chain Sling
Double Leg Standard Chain Sling
Triple Leg Standard Chain Sling
Quad Leg Standard Chain Sling

 

 

Adjustable-2-Leg-Chain-Sling-Common_1_375
Adjustable Double Leg Chain Sling

Adjustable chain slings. Similar to standard chain slings, but each leg is also equipped with a shorter length of chain with a grab hook also attached to the master oblong link. This design allows the operator to shorten the chain leg length as needed.

Single Leg Adjustable Chain Sling
Double Leg Adjustable Chain Sling
Triple Leg Adjustable Chain Sling
Quad Leg Adjustable Chain Sling

 

 

endlessEndless chain slings. As it sounds, an endless sling is an endless loop of chain attached through a master oblong link at the top. An additional variation has two loops of chain attached through the same master oblong. Our endless chain lift slings are available to order via our Custom Chain Sling Order Form or by giving us a call at 800-660-3585.

 

 

basketBasket chain slings. In a similar design as the endless basket sling except it’s just one length of chain making up the body of the sling, with each end of the chain attached to the oblong master link. A double basket configuration has two lengths attached each to its own oblong link, with the oblongs then attached to a master oblong link. Basket chain slings can be ordered via out Custom Chain Sling Order Form or by phone at 800-660-3585.

 

Custom chain lift sling options

In addition to the four different types of sling, other options to customize the lift slings include the size of the chain, the grade of the chain, and the number of legs. Several end fittings are available including sling hooks, grab hooks, foundry hooks, self-locking hooks, and simple oblong links.

You can shop our online selection of chain slings here: Chain Slings & Lifting Chains, or give us a call at 800-660-3585 about any customization options you need. We’ll be happy to help find the exact sling you need.