National Manufacturing Day is a day to celebrate farmers across the nation for all their hard work to provide food for everybody.
Without Farmers and Agriculture, there would be no food in grocery stores or on our tables.
National Farmer’s Day was on October 12th. Originally known as Old Farmer’s Day, it is a day to pay tribute to the men, women, and families who put food in our grocery stores and onto our tables every day.
Since the beginning of agriculture, the impact of farmers hasn’t just been their integrity and their continued ability to provide our nation with the food we eat. They contribute to our economy in several ways. Farmers supply a stream of jobs, keep small and large communities together, and provide numerous products and needs that keep other businesses running. Other products and industries that are relied on by agriculture include restaurants, transportation, apparel, railroads, and more.
National Farmer’s Day was set on October 12th because it is after the traditional harvest time of many crops. This way, farmers would be able to join in on the festivities because they are done with the harvesting.
One of the things US Cargo Control is able to help farmers with is providing them with the right tools for their farm equipment. In fact, we recently hosted an Iowa Corn Growers event at US Cargo Control headquarters. The event included important training and discussion on how to safely extract a vehicle with the proper equipment, as well as giving additional information on the products we carry and how they help ensure safety when transferring cargo both on and off public roadways.
Some of the equipment discussed in this lecture included shackles, recovery straps, and tow straps. We carry galvanized shackles and stainless steel shackles, but they have different applications. Stainless steel shackles are used for marine applications, while galvanized shackles are more for industrial applications.
Along with shackles, it is important to know which strap to use. Recovery straps are the better choice to use to extract a stuck vehicle because of the nylon fabrication. Tow straps are not recommended for extracting stuck vehicles but are better for moving a free-moving vehicle behind your vehicle.
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.
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
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:
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Endless 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.
Basket 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.