Inside NATE’s Advanced Rigging Principles Training Hosted at USCC

In all, about 55 industry professionals attended the day-long event.

(and where to find free upcoming training sessions)

A few weeks ago, a large section of the USCC headquarters in Urbana, Iowa transformed from cafeteria to classroom in order to hold an important rigging principles training event for professionals in the communication tower industry.

In all, about 55 members of the industry attended the day-long event, all with the goal of advancing their knowledge of key rigging principles including using synthetic rope, rope inspection, rigging forces and lift systems, plus communication and execution of hoisting operations per the ANSE/ASSE 10.48 Standard.

rigging principles attendees at US Cargo Control headquarters
Attendees of the Advanced Rigging Principles training got together for a picture at the end

How it Happened

The free training was provided by The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), a non-profit organization that USCC is proud to be an active member of. They’re experts in the wireless and broadcast infrastructure industries and are always looking for ways to spread information and education. In the past, we’ve shared info about the NATE UNITE conference and trade show in Nashville, which some of our rigging product sales specialists attend annually and always learn a lot from.

A NATE representative was recently visiting USCC headquarters and after seeing our facility, suggested to the NATE office that they use our space. There were 12 locations picked all across the country, with the next closest ones taking place in St. Louis and Milwaukee.

Sections of the Advanced Rigging Principles Training

The Advanced Rigging Principles curriculum is organized into six sections:

• Section 1: Introduction to NATE and OSHA
• Section 2: State of the Industry
• Section 3: Primary Regulations, Codes, Standards, and Policies
• Section 4: Synthetic Rope
• Section 5: Rigging Forces and Lift Systems
• Section 6: Communication and Execution of Hoisting Operations

advanced fundamentals of rigging principles class hosted at USCC
During a break in the training, attendees chatted and ate lunch catered by USCC

Interested in Attending?

There are still a handful of opportunities to attend this free class at other locations across the United States. See the chart below for dates, locations, and how to register now.

Thursday, June 13, 20199:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CDT
Hilton New Orleans Airport
901 Airline Drive
Kenner, Louisiana 70062
Register Now
Monday, July 15, 20199:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. PDT
Hyatt House Seattle/Bellevue
3244 139th Ave SE
Bellevue, Washington 98005
Register Now
Thursday, August 8, 20199:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CDT
Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch
315 Chestnut St
St Louis, Missouri 63102
Register Now
Friday, August 23, 20199:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CDT
ENSA Access & Rescue 
727 East Veterans Way
Mukwonago, Wisconsin 53149
Register Now
Monday, September 16, 20199:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EDT
Sheraton Needham Hotel
100 Cabot Street
Needham, Massachusetts 02494
Register Now

Class not for you, but still need rigging gear? USCC has you covered. Browse our selection of lifting and rigging gear today, and reach out to one of our sales specialists if you have any questions.

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.

 

New Products: Van Beest Green Pin® Shackles and Turnbuckles

Van Beest Green Pin® Product Additions

US Cargo Control has made a number of additions to their website with two types of Van Beest Green Pin® products: turnbuckles and shackles. These Van Beest Green Pin® products fall under a price point that is very affordable, while maintaining high-quality standards.

Van Beest is a leading manufacturer of high-quality fittings for lifting chain and steel wire rope. The Green Pin® brand has earned a reputation as an industry leader in design and premium quality standards, and is compliant within a wide range of nationally- and internationally-recognized standards.

Van Beest Green Pin® Jaw and Jaw Turnbuckle
Van Beest Green Pin® Jaw and Jaw Turnbuckle

Green Pin® Turnbuckles

Turnbuckles are used for rigging or tensioning wires, ropes, rods, etc., typically within industries such as oil and gas, construction, shipping, mining and fishing. They are optimally designed for in-line rigging, tensioning or lashing. All Van Beest turnbuckles offered by US Cargo Control are intended for straight or in-line use only.

The Van Beest Green Pin® turnbuckles US Cargo Control carries includes galvanized jaw & jaw, galvanized jaw & eye, and galvanized eye & eye. All are drop forged high tensile steel SAE 1035 or 1045 and hot dipped galvanized. These turnbuckles range in size from 3/8” to 2-3/4” diameters, and lengths from 6” to 24”.

Green Pin® Shackles

Van Beest Green Pin® Bolt Type Anchor Shackle
Van Beest Green Pin® Bolt Type Anchor Shackle

Shackles are a tool used in lifting operations and stationary applications as removable links to connect rope, wire rope, chain, lifting slings and other fittings. They come in a variety of sizes, styles and types for use in many different applications. Green Pin® shackles are made in Holland to exacting specifications.

Our Van Beest Green Pin® shackle line was recently expanded to include eight types of shackles, totaling 121 items offered. We carry a variety of wide mouth tow shackles, wide body sling shackles, bolt type shackles, screw pin shackles.

Choosing the right parts and fittings for your application can be a daunting task. Our sales specialists are always happy to help consult with any questions you may have. Give us a call at 866-444-9990.

Why Add Zinc to Steel?

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

Details_of_rigAs explained in the previous post about carbon steel, there are four main types, and two of those involve a layer to add zinc to steel. These two types are hot galvanized dipped and zinc plated. Both of these styles are extremely popular, and it’s not hard to see why. There are several benefits to doing things this way, but one of the most obvious is that steel can be extremely vulnerable to rust, especially in areas with a heavy exposure to saltwater. Zinc acts as a natural barrier to rust, making the steel more durable to conditions that might otherwise begin to chip away at it.

Why add zinc to steel?

Aside from the obvious benefit of inhibiting rust and protecting the carbon steel underneath, zinc actually does this by oxidizing itself. Think of it as almost as “self-sacrifice” by the zinc that keeps the steel strong. This dramatically increases the life span of the steel, as well. It’s a very short process that takes only minutes to do, and since zinc is common and inexpensive, it’s a natural fit to combine with the steel needed to build a wide variety of goods.

Which is better: hot dipped galvanized steel or zinc coated steel?

There are pros and cons to going either direction.

hot dipped galHot dipped galvanized coatings may not look as smooth but they tend to last a lot longer. Also, the zinc oxidizes before the steel which means that raw steel is still in better shape to hold up against decay. It lasts a very long time and looks more rugged, but it is also more expensive than a simple zinc coating.

 

 

zinc platedZinc coated carbon steel is more economical since it is inexpensive. However the coating is much lighter than with hot dipped steel, so the coating will wear away much more quickly – no seventy years of coating here. It does look cleaner and a lot smoother if appearance matters.

 

 

Which should you choose?

Not everyone needs the additional sturdiness or durability that comes with a zinc alloy being added to carbon steel, however most people like the idea of making sure their investment is much more likely to rust or buckle under the pressure of time. While people may disagree over which method is best for them, there’s no question that zinc is a welcome addition to carbon steel in most instances, and the decision towards one or the other will depend on the applications the zinc-coated equipment will be used in.

 

New to Boating? Don’t Forget the Shackles

If you’re the proud new owner of a boat, you should become familiar with common rigging equipment like shackles.

Shackles are an extremely strong U-shaped piece of equipment that connects items together, securing with a pin, spring, or bolt. While most commonly thought of for industrial uses, shackles come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are used in boating to secure an anchor, hold lines in place, etc.

Anchor/Bow shackle
Anchor shackles are also known as bow shackles. Both names refer to a shackle with a larger “O” shape look. This design can take loads from many directions without developing significant side load. The larger loop shape reduces its overall strength, but it’s also able to handle a larger strap.

Chain/D-shackle
Chain shackles are also known as D-shackles. Both names refer to a shackle with a “D” shape design. A d-shackle is narrower than an anchor/bow and generally has a threaded pin or pin close. The smaller loop is designed to take high loads primarily in line. Side and racking loads can bend or twist a Chain/D-shackle.

Twisted shackle
A twist design allows you to hook it up from the same direction the pin is facing, so it’s great for situations where hook up can be limited.

Pin types
Both anchor/bow and chain/d-shackles come with different pin options. Keep in mind that the pin that locks a shackle can be a deciding factor on which type will work best for the job. A few options include screw pins, captive pins, bolt pins, and round pins.

Screw Pin Shackles are popular because they have a simple pin that’s easy to disconnect and connect.

Captive pin shackles have a pin that cannot be removed from the bow so it can’t accidentally fall out and into the water.

Bolt pin shackles have an oversized bolt pin with a pre-drilled hole for a cotter pin to slide through to keep the bolt tight.

Round pin shackles are similar to bolt pins that use a cotter pin, but with a round design rather than a bolt.

Snap shackle
Another variation of the D-shackle is a snap shackle, however it’s an all-inclusive design with  a spring-activated mechanism so it can be used quickly and with one hand. These are handy for jobs where speed is important, or when an item needs to be hooked and unhooked often. However, snap shackles are not recommended to secure heavy-duty loads.

There are natural advantages and disadvantages of all the shackle options, so you might want to experiment with a few different types to get a feel for what will work best for your specific needs.

A few other items to consider adding to your boating supplies:

A boat winch strap is designed specifically to launch and retrieve the boat to and from a trailer.

Buckle boat straps ensure safe transport.

Marine tape is a white, flexible waterproof tape that’s designed for heavy duty marine use, but also works great for recreational supplies, like attaching to life jackets and vests, ring buoys, inflatable rafts, etc.