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.

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.

 

Everything You Need to Know About US Cargo Control

 

Check out our updated “About Us” video and read more about everything we have to offer below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55QIogFp7X0?rel=0

Video Transcript

At US Cargo Control, “what you want, when you need” is more than just a slogan or philosophy. It’s the foundation on which we were built. With humble beginnings in our founder’s garage, it was always our goal to make our customers feel understood and taken care of. Even now, more than 10 years later, with in-house manufacturing, thousands of cargo control products, and a 133,000 square-foot facility; our goal remains the same. To understand our customers better than anybody, and to get you what you want, when you need it.

In the trucking, rigging, and moving industries- product and service needs are time-sensitive. Getting you what you want, when you need it looks a little different for every customer.  Our dedicated teams allow us to be highly responsive in finding the right solutions for all of our customers.

Whether visiting us at uscargocontrol.com or speaking to your dedicated service representative over the phone – we always strive to get you what you want, when you need it.

 

What’s important to you?

Here are more details on how we can help deliver the cargo control products you want when you need them.

 

US Cargo Control team

Dedicated Teams of Cargo Control Experts

Throughout the years, we have carefully assembled a dedicated staff that thrives on being product and industry experts. Every last one of them seeks to make your job safer and easier, and your equipment allocation more efficient. We are always happy to take your calls and promptly answer any questions about product, price, shipping, or custom order needs. Let us know what’s important to you, and we’ll do everything we can to make it happen.

 

US Cargo control tie down strapQuality Products with Custom Capabilities

We offer thousands of cargo control products, both foreign and domestic. From quality moving supplies to lifting and rigging gear, and of course a huge selection of heavy-duty trucking and transportation equipment– more variety means more choice for you. In addition, we manufacture custom tie-downs, cargo nets, tarps and more in our 23,000 square-foot manufacturing facility. Don’t see what you’re looking for on our website? Just ask and we’ll do everything we can to get you what you want.

 

 

custom pricing for cargo controlCustom-Pricing Programs

We understand your business and its goals are unique and believe our pricing should reflect this reality. Bulk orders, special shipping requests, and payment plans. Partner with us and together we can create pricing programs that work for your individual needs.

 

 

 

US Cargo Control warehouseSwift Delivery

Our central Midwest location means delivery time is just 1-3 days to most of the United States. With thousands of items in-stock and to ready to ship, orders placed before 4:00pm Central time ship out the same day. Plus, you get free shipping on orders of $199 or more.

 

Your Single-Source Cargo Control Supplier

At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words. So what are you waiting for? Put us to the test and challenge us to deliver on all your cargo control needs.

Shop our website anytime, or call us at 866-444-9990.

7:00am – 6:00pm Monday through Thursday (Central time)

7:00am – 5:00pm Friday (Central time)

 

 

Examining the 4 Types of Carbon Steel

*This is the first in a four-part series about steel used in rigging supplies and rigging hardware.

Steel isn’t a cut and dry subject like many people tend to believe.  While most think of steel as a single strong metal and that’s it, the truth is there are three common types of steel seen in the rigging industry alone: carbon steel, alloy steel, and stainless steel.  While having three might not sound complicated at all, they break down and separate even more.

So what exactly is carbon steel?

Carbon steel is the most common type of steel by far and that’s not just in the industry.  Carbon steel is the most widely produced steel in the world.  Any steel that has .12% to 2.0% carbon added is able to be classified as carbon steel.  The particular type of carbon steel most likely used in construction or industry will depend directly on what your needs are.

There are four types of carbon steel:

1. Hot dipped galvanized

2. Painted

3. Self colored

4. Zinc-coated

Hot dipped galvanized steel

hot dip galvThis type of carbon steel is the most common form of coating on any US Cargo Control rigging items such as rigging shackles.  You can tell this type of steel because it tends to have a rough look.  The zinc coating is not smooth or precise.  However that coating also allows it to last a very long time.   On the plus side this helps prevent structural decay, can last up to 70 years, and is cheaper than stainless steel.  The cons?  This won’t last in salt water and the zinc can react differently in some environments making it less than ideal.

 

Painted steel

paintedPainted steel is simply self-colored steel that is layered with rust resistant paint.  It’s what many consider the normal end result of self-colored or plated carbon steel.

 

 

Self-colored steel

two toneSelf colored refers to a plain carbon steel that has a very thin coating of protectant applied at a factory.  The plating allows for a specific color or set of colors to then be added on. This plating doesn’t affect the strength at all but it does protect from rust as well as sets it up to be painted in custom colors.  This is actually a pretty common choice.

 

 

 

Zinc-coated steel

zinc coatedThis type of steel is also commonly referred to as anodized steel or electro-galvanized steel, so if you hear either of these two, it’s referring to the same thing. This is another way of combining zinc with steel, but this is a more controlled process that allows for a much smoother and clean finish.  It looks and feels better, but the downside is that the zinc doesn’t last as long compared to being galvanized.