10 Types of Material Handling Equipment You Never Knew We Sold

The product selection at USCC is much more diverse than just roadway cargo control equipment.

From pallet lifters to personnel baskets, we have the industrial material handling equipment you need.

Even though we’re best known for our high-quality ratchet straps, the product selection at USCC is much more diverse than just roadway cargo control equipment.

We have an entire selection of rigging and lifting equipment that includes everything from Crosby shackles to Pewag chain slings.

And if you’ve read our blog articles before, you know all about how to use our plate clamps plus the main benefits of buying a manual chain hoist over an electric chain hoist.

But, did you know we also sell a large selection of industrial material handling equipment from Machining & Welding (M&W), a material handling solutions provider out of Cokato, Minnesota?

Here’s a look at the 10 types of material handling equipment you probably never knew we sold, plus what it’s used for.

1. Bottle Lifters

propane tank or gas mover for forklift lifting

This one needs little explanation. It’s specifically designed to lift heavy bottles of compressed gas and other types of cylinders that need to be elevated on a job site or in a warehouse.

We sell two sizes of bottle lifters: a 2-tank lifter with 750 lb. WLL and a 4-tank with 1,500 lb. WLL. Both types have adjustable straps to hold different sized tanks and lockable doors for extra security.

2. Concrete Barrier Lifting Clamp

concrete block lifting device grabber

Concrete barriers are used for all sorts of things, but most commonly you see them on highways being used as traffic barriers. No matter where they are, those concrete barriers are heavy and this is the piece of equipment needed to move them.

This concrete barrier lifting clamp has a large eye for a crane hook to slide into and can handle barriers with a top width of between 6 and 12 inches.

3. Forklift Lifting Beams

forklift lifting beam

Unlike our other lifting beam and spreader bars that are designed for use with a crane, these compact but powerful forklift lifting beams are made specifically for a forklift.

You just slide the beam on the forks, tighten it up, and then secure a shackle and hook (or whatever lifting hardware you’re using) through the eye in the middle of the beam. It essentially turns your forklift into a mini-crane that can safely lift up to 10,000 lbs.

4. Crane Pallet Lifters

manual pallet lifting bar for crane or hoist

Just like how the forklift lifting beam turns a forklift into a crane, this adjustable pallet lifter essentially turns a crane into a forklift with its parallel forks and precise pallet grabbing ability.

This pallet lifter is designed to efficiently move pallets, skids, and crates up to 4,000 lbs. and can be used with either a crane or overhead hoist. The fact that it’s adjustable means you can ensure the load stays level while in motion.

5. Plate Lifting Hook

steel plate lifting hook for chain slings

These massive hooks are specifically designed for lifting steel plate and come with a safety shackle for quick connection. It’s recommended that they only are used with three and four-leg chain slings and the plates should always be at a horizontal 45-degree angle.

The working load limit on these made in the USA plate lifting hooks ranges from 4,300 lbs. up to 15,000 lbs and the powder-coated finish helps ensure they’re a long-lasting hook.

6. Container Lifting Lugs

lifting lugs for lugger container

These strong lifting lugs are able to handle various types of large metal containers but are primarily designed for lugger containers and other material containers with bottom lifting slots.

We have both lefthand and righthand lifting lugs, as well as straight lugs that are typically used with a spreader or lifting beam. These container lifting lugs have a 19,000-lb. working load limit.

7. Bar Tong Lifters

pipe lifting equipment for hoist

This interesting piece of industrial material handling equipment is specifically designed to lift and move round bars and pipe and can be used with either a hoist or a crane. It fits pipes and other cylindrical objects as wide as 4 inches, has a built-in lifting shackle for quick connection, and a 1,000-lb. working load limit.

This bar tong lifter is powder coated yellow for increased visibility.

8. Reel Lifters

reel turner material handling equipment

These reel lifters (or reel turners) allow you to flip reels, such as reels of cable, from rolling to non-rolling position quickly and easily. They have a durable carrying handle and wide eye for a fast connection.

We sell reel lifters with a 3,000-lb. WLL and ones with a 4,5000-lb. WLL.

9. Material Baskets & Personnel Baskets

lugger basket for material
personnel basket for job site transport

Whether you need to safely lower scrap materials from an elevated job site, or get the crew safely up to the job site, we have you covered with a wide variety of material baskets and personnel baskets.

The material baskets offer a variety of high-strength anchor points and lifting versatility, and there are convenient features on the personnel baskets like removable roofs and non-slip steel floors.

10. Forklift Pocket Lifters

pocket lifter for forklift material handling

This last type of material handling equipment is another versatile way to turn your forklift into a convenient lifting device. You can attach these lifters to those awkward objects that have no pockets for the forks to slide into.

We have forklift pocket lifters in a variety of widths (4 inches to 7 inches) and working load limits (3,000 lbs. to 5,000 lbs.). They’re durable and great to use on the job site or in the warehouse.

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.