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.

A Simple Guide on How to Use a Ratchet Strap and How to Release It

Are you using your ratchet strap the right way? Read our guide on how to use a tiedown.

Ever wondered if you’re using a ratchet strap correctly or you’re curious about how to undo and store it away safely? Our guide will help you understand how to handle and how to release a ratchet strap safely.

Ratchet straps are valuable tools that secure your items, and they come in different styles and functions that can support many different weights and load sizes. Whether you’re using tiedowns to hold down your personal items or you’re a trucker, you should know the basics of using them. Continue reading to learn a step-by-step process of how to set up a ratchet strap.

Watch our product expert, Ed Duran, demonstrate how to thread a ratchet strap:

How to Use Ratchet Strap

US Cargo Control explains how to use tie down straps

Open the handle and take the end of the strap, and put it through the ratchet mandrel which is the open slot at the bottom of the ratchet.

US Cargo Control explains how to put a ratchet strap together

Double it over and thread the strap back over and pull it tight to take out the excess strap.

Attach the hooks that are attached to the ratchet into position, and do the same with the hook on the other end of the webbing.

US Cargo Control explains how to thread a ratchet

Crank the ratchet a few times or to the desired tightening, and lock it down.

Make sure the strap stays in line with others to avoid tangling/locking.

US Cargo Control explains how to use tie downs

Lock handle down after tightening and it is now securing your items safely! 

How to Undo a Ratchet Strap

how do you release a ratchet strap explained by US Cargo Control

  1. Open the ratchet all the way, and the webbing should release and become loose.
  2. Pull the strap out of the ratchet mandrel.
  3. Close the ratchet back down.

When you’re storing ratchet straps, consider securing them with rubber bands to organize them for your next use and to prevent any harm to them. Make sure they are not wet and place them in a dry location away from the sun. If they are wet, mildew could potentially appear and ultraviolet light can make nylon and polyester fibers brittle. This could result in losing strength, discolor, and break down.

For tips on how to store your ratchet straps, read 10 Ways to Store Tie Down Straps.

Understanding the Ratchet Strap’s Working Load Limit and Break Strength

ratchet straps how to thread, explained by US Cargo Control

Now that you have an understanding of using the strap correctly, you should also know what working load limit (also known as WLL) and break strength (BS) mean. If you saw random numbers on the webbing and wondered what they mean, you’re looking at the working load limit and break strength.

The working load limit is the rating that should never be exceeded when using a tiedown, which is the maximum allowable loading force. The break strength is to the point at which the strap will fail. Break strength is through pounds/kilograms and will fail if you go over the required amount.

To provide an example, the working load limit is always 1/3 of the breaking strength. If your ratchet strap has a breaking strength of 15,000 pounds, then it will have a working load limit of 5,000 pounds. Check out this post to learn the meaning behind working load limit, break strength, and safety factor.

Learn more about Ratchet Straps

The Dos and Don’ts for Load Securement on Trailers

How Many Tie Down Straps Do I Need to Secure My Cargo?

Are Self-Contained Ratchet Straps Right for You?

Secure Ratchet Straps Right with the Good-N-Tight®

Which Motorcycle Straps are Best for My Bike?

At US Cargo Control, we want you to have the highest quality products so you can get the job done. If you have any questions about our ratchet straps, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

The Biggest Cargo Net The Manufacturing Team Created Thus Far!

Did you know our Manufacturing team received the biggest cargo net order recently? Read to learn more!

What is this Giant Cargo Net?

Like many companies, manufacturing is the backbone of USCC. Just last week, our dedicated, hard-working Manufacturing team created their biggest cargo net yet. Without them, we would have not fulfilled this gigantic and unique order!

This giant cargo net comes in at a whopping 60′ x 80′, and it only took about a week for our team to create this product to life. This heavy duty cargo net could not even fit in our tarp area that is a 60′ x 40′ area. That is one huge net!

did you know our nets can be used for truck bed cargo net?

60 Feet by 80 Feet? How Did They Create This Large Cargo Net?

The team took on the project with a high level of enthusiasm and commitment, and we know it wasn’t easy. There were small-detailed tasks that they had to perform such as tacking the nets with a hot iron and sewing 3,300 individual tasks. To finally complete the tacking task, they must inspect each tack.

can also be used as truck cargo net

Way to Go Manufacturing Team!

We at US Cargo Control are proud of all the work each person did to create this product. The special thing about our Manufacturing team is they can create any custom product for you, such as ratchet straps, tarps, netting, lifting slings, and more! Without manufacturing, we wouldn’t be able to provide our customers with the custom solutions they need.

Check out more behind-the-scenes shots of the Manufacturing team while they were working on the net!

the team working on the large cargo net
Continual progress of the net
the process of tacking the net
The process of tacking
the complete product of the 60'x80' net
The completed giant cargo net
Packaging the large cargo net to ship it off!

Whatever you need, we got you. You can count on us to get you what you want, when you need it, so continue to keep placing your orders and our Manufacturing team will keep the quality products going.

Want to learn more about the cargo nets we carry and can custom make? Read the 4 Types of Cargo Control Nets and Their Different Applications.

If you have any questions about our Custom Cargo Nets or any of our custom products, give our team of experts a call at 800-404-7068

What’s New with the US Cargo Control Team?

National Manufacturing Day is a special day at US Cargo Control, where we take the time to celebrate our manufacturing team for all of their hard work.

This past Friday, October 4th, was National Manufacturing Day and it was a special day for our hardworking Manufacturing team. National Manufacturing Day is a day where we celebrate and support all manufacturers for maintaining the retail ecosystem’s growth.

Our Manufacturing team was celebrated in a few different ways. First, they got a nice surprise with a poster displaying how much they are appreciated. Next, they were awarded the QHSE Safety Award by the Associated Wire Rope Fabricators for the second time!

An Appreciation Poster for the Manufacturing Team

This is two years in a row our Manufacturing team has been awarded this recognition and it’s a very exciting thing for US Cargo Control to receive. We take pride in continually promoting a safe work environment, and reaching our goals. Being safe at work and home helps promote a healthy workforce, which results in being more productive, having fewer days away from work, and even getting better insurance rates.

The criteria to receive this recognition is based on company and safety information; Factors such as lost time, injuries, hours worked, and recordable rates. 

What’s Next for US Cargo Control?

Jim Waite, Quality & Safety Manager

As head of our Safety Team, Jim Waite is excited to start executing on our required OSHA-approved safety training that will be rolling out to all employees later this year (2019).  Now that we are transitioning away from external training to our own internal training, the team can better customize the training to our needs with some added fun. Making the switch to internal training reaffirms our commitment to maintaining a safe workplace and manufacturing floor.

Way to go, Manufacturing team!

The manufacturing team is the backbone of US Cargo Control, and they go above and beyond to make sure customers get what they want, when they need it. Without the team, our customers wouldn’t have the option to have customized products like tarps, cargo nets, ratchet straps, lifting slings, and more! Call our team for a customized order and our manufacturing team will be glad to get it done for you.

The USCC Manufacturing Floor in Urbana, Iowa

What Else is New?

In other news, the warehouse team got a brand new toy…a forklift! After voting for a name, the team decided to call the newest forklift “Darryl”. They’re all excited about this new arrival and can’t wait to use it to quickly get your orders out of the door and into your hands!

The Warehouse Team with their new Forklift

If you have any questions, give our team of experts a call at 800-404-7068.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Buy Made in the USA Products this Week

While the option to buy domestic or import cargo control products is always on the table, the domestic option may be especially appealing to you this week. Here’s why.

Hint: #5 will save you money.

At USCC, we pride ourselves on providing you with a wide range of options to ensure your specific needs are met. As a solutions provider that continually works to get you what you want, when you need it, we have thousands of cargo control products from a variety of sources, all within one easy-to-use website.

While the option to buy either domestic or import cargo control products is always on the table, the domestic option may be especially appealing to you this week. Here’s why.

1. You will help save and create jobs

manufacturing recovery tow straps in USA

There are currently around 12.84 million workers in the manufacturing sector. Buying products that are manufactured by American companies not only helps ensure that those workers get to keep their job, but it also opens the door to continued growth within the manufacturing industry. At USCC we’re proud to have over 30 employees on our manufacturing team right here in Iowa. They’re the backbone of our organization and the reason why we’re able to deliver high-quality custom cargo control products.

2. You will help boost the entire American economy

uscc warehouse being built for expansion

Buying American-made products causes domestic growth beyond only the manufacturing industry; it creates a positive ripple effect throughout our entire economy. When American manufacturing plants prosper they spend more on things like energy, accounting, and construction. All of this spending positively affects other American companies (and workers) that offer these services. Overall, the EPI estimates that every U.S. manufacturing job supports an additional 1.4 jobs in other parts of the economy.

3. You will help reduce pollution and carbon footprint

US Cargo Control manufacturing floor

Although the domestic option usually isn’t the cheapest, there are hidden costs for import products that go far beyond your wallet. Robust air, water, and health regulations in the United States ensure that, in general, American-made products are created in a way that significantly minimizes the creation of hazardous chemicals. In addition, products made overseas have a much higher carbon footprint due to the fact that they must be shipped across the ocean, which requires large amounts of fossil fuel.

4. You will get a high-quality product

custom tie down straps from USCC

When it comes to cargo control gear, dependable products are the name of the game. We’ve partnered with American vendors to provide a variety of high-quality product options that are made here in the USA. We have a broad selection of products to meet the needs of our customers and get them what they want when they need it.

5. You will save 10% with our made-in-the-USA promotion

fourth of july promotion for cargo control gear

Last but not least, a major reason to buy made-in-the-USA products this week is our 4th of July promotion! From now until Sunday, July 7th you can save 10% on nearly 2,000 different made-in-the-USA cargo control products including Crosby® wire rope slings, transport chain and binders, polyester round slings, endless slings, and more. That’s huge savings on the high-quality products that minimize pollution, boost our economy, and ensure American manufacturing jobs.

See the full selection of 10% off USA-made products today.

What’s New with the US Cargo Control Manufacturing Team?

Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of well-deserved celebration around our manufacturing team. Not only did they get a sweet surprise on National Manufacturing Day, but they were also just recognized by the Associated Wire Rope Fabricators (AWRF) for their dedication to exceptional safety.

Check out the video below to see the authentic surprise from our deserving manufacturing team.

 

Authentic Surprise in Manufacturing

Like many companies, manufacturing is the backbone of USCC. Without it, salesmen would have nothing to sell and the warehouse team wouldn’t have products to pick. So, when we heard that National Manufacturing Day was coming up a few weeks ago, all the teams at USCC came together to show our appreciation.

Over 45 different poster and signs were created to show our appreciation for manufacturing. Everything from “You Guys Rock” to “Manufacturing is Sew Amazing.” Then, on the big day, we started hanging them one-by-one in the glass windows outside the manufacturing facility.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3U25COTSrg?rel=0

 

In addition to the signs, USCC team members made about 20 different types of treats to keep our manufacturing team fueled up. From brownies and cookies to donuts and cake, it’s safe to say the team was feeling pretty sweet that day.

Keeping a secret from people you work with is not the easiest thing, but the genuine reactions on all their faces tell us we did alright.

 

USCC Manufacturing Recognized for Safety

custom tie down straps from USCC
USCC scored an LTIR safety rating of 0.00 in 2017

Just a few days after the excitement for National Manufacturing Day, our team got some more great news.

Associated Wire Rope Fabricators (AWRF) notified us that our team achieved an LTIR safety rating of 0.00/Green in 2017. LTIR stands for Lost Time Injury Rate so, just like in golf, this low score means our manufacturing team was extremely safe and efficient this past year.

 

This serious dedication to safety and the well-being of all our team members starts with our leadership. In this case, Chris Biechler is the man in charge of the day-to-day operations of USCC manufacturing.

 

Chris Biechler, USCC Production Manager

Chris says his number one goal as manufacturing manager is to send his team home in equal or better health than when they arrived. From pre-work stretches to safety boots and glasses, Chris makes sure the team is ready to take on the challenges of manufacturing each and every day.

 

 

Let’s Keep it Up

Without manufacturing, we wouldn’t be able to provide our customers with the custom solutions they need, like American assembled tie-downs straps, tarps, lifting slings, cargo nets, and more. So keep placing your USCC orders, and our manufacturing team will keep the quality products coming.

USCC made in america

Thank you to all manufacturing professionals across America, you’re all rockstars in our book.

 

Customer Photos: Custom Cargo Nets

Custom cargo nets from US Cargo Control created organized and secure storage areas in the trailer used for the Spartan Regiment Marching Band from Centennial High School in Burleson, TX.

Thanks to Andrew Klein, Assistant Band Director for the Centennial High School Spartan Regiment Marching Band in Burleson, TX. He sent us photos of the custom cargo nets we made for the band’s trailer.

Once custom cabinets were installed, they purchased two polyester nets we custom-made to their dimensions. Measuring 52″ x 192″ and 52″ x 132″, both were fitted with ratchets, spring E-track fittings and vinyl-coated S-hooks for quick and secure attachment. Each cargo net was configured with 8″ x 8″ holes.

Custom cargo nets for band trailer, from US Cargo Control

Wondering if custom cargo nets will work for your trailer? Call one of our Cargo Net Specialists at 888-794-1319. They’ll review your requirements and will provide you with an accurate quote.

custom-cargo-net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Cargo Control Team Welcomes Governor Branstad

image of Tim Guenther, USCargoControl.com
Tim Guenther,
President & CEO

We were thrilled to recently welcome a special guest to tour our US Cargo Control facilities. Iowa governor Terry Branstad visited our office and warehouse at the end of February.

A group of local residents invited the governor to come and see the growth we’ve experienced over the past year with the development of our tie down straps manufacturing division.

Governor Branstad toursour warehouse area
Governor Branstad tours
our warehouse area

Governor Branstad’s visit was an exciting way to highlight the one year mark of our sewing and assembly group. In early 2013, we began our operation with just a few employees and minimal equipment. Now, 14 months later, we’ve added 50 people to our staff, and manufacture thousands of ratchet straps, cam straps, and other tie downs each day.

SewingWe knew the benefits of this venture would be huge since we could now better control the quality of our products, as well as better control the timeline of offering new products to our customers. But the opportunity to create jobs for local residents right here in our community has been one of the most rewarding.2M3A1835

Having the governor come and take note of what we’re accomplishing was an excellent confirmation that we’re doing the right things- for our customers, our employees, our community, and our economy.

-Tim