Wire Rope Balustrades – Popular Fittings & Assemblies thumbnail

Wire Rope Balustrades – Popular Fittings & Assemblies

Wire rope balustrades are an extremely versatile piece of equipment, finding uses in many places around the world. In this article we have covered a little more on just what balustrades are, as well as how they can be utilised; both for personal use and for business use.

What is a wire rope balustrades?

This equipment is comprised of two parts; the steel rope, and an end fitting. We do sell the end fittings separately too, but these balustrades come as ready-made kits, all set for installation.

With at least 10 different types of end termination, such as rigging screws, swage forks and thread eyebolts, there are multiple ways that balustrades can be used, making them suitable for many different environments.

And, given the strong and sturdy nature of the rope constructed from hard stainless steel, this kit is highly resistant to abrasion and corrosion, making it great for outdoor or harsh environments too. There are also galvanised options too.

wire rope balustrade

Here you can see wire rope balustrade being used on this yacht

They are essentially barriers, comprised of several horizontal parts (also known as balusters) that is used to create a lined blockade, with gaps in between each baluster. They make for contemporary and modern-looking barriers, that still perform a great job of blocking off a certain section or delivering a stable hold or level of protection to an object.

What makes this kit even more handy is that we can create and craft bespoke pieces for you, measured to your exact specifications. This allows you to choose between a range of materials, styles and end fittings to create the perfect final piece for wherever you want to install it.

One other big benefit of this type of barrier is that it doesn’t block out any of the view, meaning it still does the job while taking nothing away from the environment.

How can wire rope balustrades be used?

The primary use of this tool is to create a barrier, but given the contemporary feel and the fact that it doesn’t block out a whole view that just mentioned, it has become a piece of decorative design too.

This has seen it being snapped up by the home maintenance industry, where it can be used to form a barrier, while providing a nice feel to any space it occupies too. It’s commonly used in places such as garden decking, for balconies, to hold up shelving units, or on staircases; particularly spiral staircases.

You will also commonly see this type of equipment being used on boats too – again to form a barrier without taking anything away from the elegance of the boat that it is installed on.

Find out more from us today

If you like what you’ve read here and want to discuss how you can use this kit to protect and enhance the feel of your environment, then we would love to discuss it further with you. You can find our contact details listed here.



Image credit: Stocksnap
10 Applications and Uses for Cargo Restraints thumbnail

10 Applications and Uses for Cargo Restraints

Cargo restraints, which you may also see being referred to as tie down straps or ratchet straps are, like most of our equipment, extremely versatile and adaptable. This has seen them adopt a great number of uses and applications over the years; some obvious and to be expected, others a little strange! Below we’ve covered 10 of these applications and uses.

#1 Securing loads for transport in open-air trucks

An obvious one, but especially important. There were 22,000 road traffic incidents in 2013 that were caused by a falling item or object from a truck or lorry impacting another vehicle. This is clearly something that anyone in the transport industry wants to avoid, and heavy-duty straps are perfect for this.

#2 Securing loads within the back of a van or lorry

As well as tying down loads in open-air trucks or lorries, this equipment is also used inside the same vehicles as well. The primary aim here obviously isn’t to prevent the items falling off the vehicle, but instead to secure them from sliding around and being damaged inside.

cargo restraints

Here you can see cargo restraints tying a load down

#3 Securing a load itself – such as tying it around a box

Alongside the securing of a load down, have you ever considered using a strap to actually tie a load itself? Given their flexible and bendy nature, they can be wrapped around loads of all different sizes and securely fastened. We have often seen them wrapped around boxes to ensure that the contents of the box remain inside.

#4 Building furniture with cargo straps

A slightly more interesting use for a strap, but then can also be used in both the building, and the end product of furniture. We have previously heard of customers using it to tie together different parts of something like a bed. Sometimes, the strap can even be left on display to add an extra modern, contemporary feel to the furniture – more on this below!

#5 Used as a hoist

It can be used as a hoist; commonly used in workshops. Simply thread one end of the strap through a hook or loop attached to the ceiling and then you can clip this end onto a load, and use the other end to hoist it up.

#6 Slacklining

This is slightly different to the other uses that you’ll often see, but has become more and more popular in recent years. Slacklining is a popular hobby, where the strap is fastened around two close points, often trees, creating a tight line that one can walk on. It’s extremely similar to something like tightrope walking, and you can adjust the tension as you wish simply by adjusting the buckle.

Another great use for cargo restraints is for slacklining

#7 Mountaineering

Cargo restraints have a heavy usage in extreme adventure sports such as hiking, rock climbing and mountaineering. They commonly make up the safety gear and survival equipment that is used in these industries, to create things such as safety harnesses or rescue lines. Given their strong nature, they are the perfect fit for this.

Given the nature of this industry, it is absolutely crucial that the equipment used is strong, safe and completely reliable. For this reason, the equipment that we sell has been widely used for this type of application for many years.

#8 For individual transport

As well as heavy usage within industrial sectors and the transport sectors which are linked to it, individuals make great use of this equipment too for their own transporting needs. It can be used to securely fasten loads to the top of vehicles or the back of boats, making sure that none of those all-important items come loose.

#9 Use in home maintenance

As we mentioned above, these straps are beginning to even see a usage as artistic and modern day bits of furniture! Some homeowners have begun to use this item to hang objects or decorations around the home, creating something of a new, rather chic, movement in home design.

#10 To make clothes!

Some individuals have even decided to take it one step further by using this equipment to make items of clothing and other fashion accessories. Again, this is something that you wouldn’t have even comprehended 10 years ago, but given the rise of weird and wonderful new types of design and fashion that we see, it’s probably not completely surprising!

Interested in having your own cargo restraints to use?

As you can see, the equipment that we sell has a huge number of uses for many industries around the world.

If you want to purchase one of our products for a use listed above, or perhaps you have your own application (whacky or not!), then we would love to help. You can call us on 01384 78004, or find all of our other relevant contact details listed here.



Image credit: skeeze and Mariamichelle



The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Synthetic Webbing Slings thumbnail

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Synthetic Webbing Slings

Despite the incredible effectiveness and wide-spread usage for synthetic webbing slings, this handy piece of equipment does have a bad, and, unfortunately, an ugly side too! But it also has a lot of good in it; we’ve examined these three aspects below.

The good

One of the best things about this equipment, and what makes it so good, is its incredibly versatile nature. It seems to have an almost limitless number of uses, finding itself used for:

  • Lifting and lowering tasks where other equipment isn’t quite suitable
  • Safety harnesses and other protective gear for rock climbers and mountaineering
  • Creating slacklines around trees
  • Creating comfy hammocks (our personal favourite)
  • A safety procedure used by fire services to rescue civilians quickly

This highlights just some of the many uses, if you want to know more, you can find our contact details below.

The bad

The bad side is that, unfortunately, synthetic webbing slings won’t be liked by everyone. Although it has a large number of uses, this number isn’t infinite, and this must be remembered! There will, of course, also be times where there is other equipment that is more suitable, such as our range of wire ropes.

Wire ropes are a stronger alternative, hence their occasional preference, but there are many times when web slings are much better; such as when you need a lifting medium that is more flexible and won’t be at risk of causing any damage to a load.

synthetic webbing slings

You must be sure to regularly inspect your equipment 

But, like we said, you can’t use web slings for every single application, and it’s best to speak to us before deciding which piece of equipment you want to use.

The ugly

There is a slightly uglier side to this tool as well, and one that we hope you never have to see! Unfortunately, as with all equipment, this sling has a natural end-life to it, and one that will be reached much quicker if you don’t pay it proper attention!

It needs regular care, safe storage and thorough inspections; without these you may find that your sling just stops working on you one day!

Want to know more about synthetic webbing slings?

If you want to hear more on all the different aspects that make up this small, yet effective, tool, then we’d love to discuss it at greater length. Please get in contact with us here.



Image credit: geralt
Cargo Tie Down Straps – Perfect at Preventing Cargo Securing Violations thumbnail

Cargo Tie Down Straps – Perfect at Preventing Cargo Securing Violations

Cargo tie down straps offer a safe and secure way of tying down loads, and with multiple end fittings and terminations, they are able to work with an almost limitless amount of shapes and sizes.

Given this flexible and adaptable nature, below we have examined why these straps are perfect for helping to prevent cargo securing violations.

What do the laws say on tying down loads?

There are strict rules and regulations in place when it comes to the transportation of goods and the securing of cargo. In fact, it is something that involves the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain, the Freight Transports Association and the Road Haulage Association, so it’s safe to say, you have a lot of people that you need to please!

This, and given the fact that failing to secure loads properly is often the most common cause of violations when it comes to fleet vehicles, with it accounting for over 83% of violations in the US in 2013, it’s important that this is taken seriously.

cargo tie down straps

Here’s some cargo straps in action! 

And, also in 2013 but this time in the UK, there were 22,000 road impact incidents due to objects or pieces falling from vehicles, and these are obviously incidents that you want to avoid.

Why our cargo tie down straps are perfect

With so many things to think about when it comes to the transport industry, we know that you need easy solutions that reduce wastage and time, while making the process as efficient as possible. This is why our straps are the perfect answer.

As we’ve already mentioned, they can be combined with a number of end terminations or fittings, giving you a multitude of options when it comes to the way in which you want to tie a load down.

Alongside this, the strap itself also has many options, meaning you can choose from a range of colours and materials to best suit your own operation. Whether you’re after rope or chain, and hooks or buckles, there are many solutions available.

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits to our products which can go a long way in helping you to avoid any securing violations is that they can be bespoke. This means that we can manufacture an item for you that fits your specifications exactly, making the securing process much easier for you.

Finally, all of our straps are made from high strength polyester, meaning you won’t have to worry about any breakages during a load moving. This material also has the added advantage of being highly water resistant, as well as being extremely durable and maintaining low stretch properties. This is on top of the fact that they are also resistant to UV, various chemicals, oils, moulds and mildews!

Find out more from us directly about cargo tie down straps

If you’re in the transport industry and are looking for the best way to secure your loads, then we can help. For more information on our range of products, please find our contact details listed here.



Image credit: skeeze
Buying High Performance Webbing Slings thumbnail

Buying High Performance Webbing Slings

Webbing slings have a great number of uses, seeing themselves used in industries ranging from lifting and lowering to survival gear for hikers. Many of the applications that they are used for exert a high amount of pressure on the sling itself, and it’s vital that it is able to cope with this high level of performance. We’ve covered a bit more on high performance webbing slings below. Continue reading

Training Staff on Lifting Sling Safety thumbnail

Training Staff on Lifting Sling Safety

We stock a wide range of lifting slings here, and each has a different purpose and works in a different way. The below article is a guide on how to train your staff on lifting sling safety in general, with what factors to consider and things to look out for.

We don’t go into huge detail on each individual different type of lifting sling, but you will find the following information useful for general lifting sling safety training. For more information on your specific type of lifting sling, please refer to our contact information at the bottom of this page.

Safety must always come first!

Why do you need to think about staff training?

It’s an obvious point to make, but staff training is important for any piece of work that needs to be completed, whatever the industry. But it’s even more crucial when it comes to industries such as the lifting industry, where incredibly heavy loads and items are often being worked with.

Without proper training, you could cause serious damage to your equipment, harm to your employees, and incur nasty legal costs! Aside from training your staff for common sense reasons, it’s actually required by law too.

The main guidelines that are followed in relation to the lifting industry is the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER). These require that staff plan all lifting operations properly, and that the planning and safe overseeing of said operations is done by a competent person. Obviously, for someone to be competent, they need the proper training.

It is also worth referring to the governments guidelines on training and competence, which states “all people using equipment at work must be adequately trained to ensure health and safety in its use, supervision or management.”

You can find more information on health and safety training here, which builds on obligations laid out in the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Factors that your staff need to consider

Below are the general areas where your staff need to be adequately trained in the proper use of lifting slings and lifting sling safety.

Using the equipment

The most important and most obvious place to start is how to actually use the equipment. Lifting slings will have different end terminations such as hooks, some are made from a variety of materials, and some need to be used in certain ways.

It’s obvious, but it’s important that you’re staff are fully familiar with the lifting slings that you have, how to use them, and what to do if something goes wrong.

Weight limits

All lifting slings will have different safe working loads (SWL), which is the maximum limit that a sling should be lifting. It is absolutely vital that your staff know these limits, as well as the limits of the loads, and that these limits are never exceeded.

A lifting sling will also have a maximum breaking load (MBL), which is the point at which your sling will break, and so the SWL should be stuck to at all times. Your staff must know the difference between these.


Your staff must know how to safely and properly store lifting slings away. There will be certain conditions and environments that aren’t conducive to providing your slings with a long service life, and it’s important that your workers know this.

Risk assessments, inspections and planning

Anyone that will be working with the lifting sling needs to be adequately trained in how to plan a lifting operation, and how to oversee that operation safely. Part of planning a lifting operation also involves writing up a detailed risk assessment, and this must be done properly to abide by the law.

lifting sling safety

Staff training is crucial in the safe use of lifting slings

They must also know how to inspect the equipment, what to look out for, and at what point a lifting sling should no longer be used.

What lifting slings do we sell at Rope Services Direct?

You can purchase the following lifting slings from us here at Rope Services Direct:



Please refer to each individual web page for more information on what these products do, or our contact information below if you have further questions.

Get in touch with us to find out more about lifting sling safety

If you want to discuss our lifting slings further, ask about which may be suitable for your application, or want to find out more about staff lifting sling safety training, please get in touch with us here. We can help give demonstrations with products and equipment and offer you our expert knowledge and insight in the proper use of lifting slings.


Image credit: Alexas_Fotos and Startup Stock Photos