Using Lifting Slings with Excavators / Earth Movers thumbnail

Using Lifting Slings with Excavators / Earth Movers

Lifting slings aren’t only used for lifting and lowering loads, but are also often used to help move people, equipment and machinery. Using lifting slings in Industrial sectors, such as the mining industry, which have the need for large, heavy pieces of machinery. Lifting equipment is needed to ensure that they are handled safely around a worksite.

Read on below to find out more on how you can use slings with excavators and earth movers.

What are excavators and earth movers?

Excavators, sometimes also referred to as hydraulic excavators or earth movers, are large, heavy pieces of machinery. They are essentially used to dig and move, typically earth. But, they also have uses for applications such as river dredging, forestry mulching and drilling shafts.

using lifting slings

An example of an excavator

They are most often used in the construction, mining, forestry, oil and gas and engineering industries. They have become critical parts of many of these industries, working in conjunction with other pieces of lifting equipment. While this equipment can lift, lower and move loads with a stable shape, excavators are needed to help transport the often large quantities of earth. Unfortunately, there is simply nowhere for lifting equipment to hook onto when it comes to earth!

Using lifting slings with this machinery?

While excavators still enjoy their own special usage on these worksites, they still depend heavily on lifting slings. They can’t be driven from worksite to worksite, and must instead be loaded onto the back of transport trucks. Slings are not only used to do this, but can also be used to help secure the machinery down too.

Excavators are a somewhat awkwardly shaped load, and some lifting equipment isn’t always capable of working with loads such as this. For this reason, this equipment is also the perfect alternative for tying around a load such as this.

It’s also important that this machinery isn’t damaged in any way. While wire rope is a great lifting tool, the metal that it is constructed from can sometimes cause abrasion damage to the loads that it is lifting. While lubricants can help to minimise this damage, sometimes it is better to go with a safer alternative such as some types of lifting slings.

You’ll even see this equipment being attached to the arm of an excavator, which can then operate as a crane! So, while this equipment is commonly used to move earth, it can double up as a multi-functional piece of lifting equipment too.

Given the large and heavy nature of excavators, it’s important all the necessary safety precautions are taken. We would recommend reading this guidance information here.

Would you like to find out more?

It’s not just lifting slings that are great for moving these large pieces of equipment, but wire rope too. You can find out more about this in our extensive article Wire Rope Uses Across Different Industries and Sectors.

If you are interested in finding out more specifically about using lifting slings, then we would love to help. Please find all of our contact details listed here.



Image credit: Photo Mix



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Rope Services Direct thumbnail

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Rope Services Direct

This post is a little different to our usual informative and useful (we hope!) content on the lifting gear industry and wire rope products. We want to take the time to wish all of our customers, both past, present and even future, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

A little thank you

Whether you are just a reader of our blog or you shop with us directly, it all helps to contribute to where we are as a company today! We are constantly looking to improve and adapt based on our customer’s feedback, and we’re always making changes along the way.

We recently changed our website a little, and while they were small changes, it all contributes in providing you with the best experience possible. We always have our eyes on the bigger changes too, looking for new insights in the industry we can share with you, or new developments in product ranges that we can use to bolster our own offering.

Our equipment is used in dozens of different industries and for many applications. Wire rope, for example, has become one of the most versatile and useful pieces of equipment around the world.


Have a great Christmas!


Not only is it used for lifting and lowering tasks, but it’s also used for things such as undersea communication cables and for internal structure support for buildings too. It’s even been used to complete famous construction projects like the Golden Gate Bridge too.

And, alongside our range of lifting slings, cargo and ratchet straps, fittings, fibre rope, balustrades, tools, assemblies and other pieces of lifting gear, we can help in more ways than one!

Want to have a chat?

Whatever your plans are for the holiday season, we hope that you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too. We’ll still be here operating in full swing come 2018, ready to assist you in any way possible.

If you would like to enquire about joining our team, want to suggest an article that we should cover for the blog, or want to source your own piece of wire rope or other equipment, we would love to help. We offer an extensive range of products, and will always offer our expert advice that is tailored to your specific needs.

Want to have a chat? Please get in touch with us here.



Image credit: Public Domain Pictures
The Use of Lifting Strops in Factories thumbnail

The Use of Lifting Strops in Factories

Alongside our popular range of wire rope products, we also have an extensive selection of lifting strops too. They operate in many of the same industries and environments as wire rope, offering benefits where rope sometimes cannot. One such environment is in factories.

Types of factories

There are many types of factories to suit a wide range of industries. Manufacturing industries are some of the most common, and this sector contributes around £6.7 trillion to the global economy each year.

Such types may include automotive or aerospace factories. Other types can be environments such as chemical plants or oil refineries.

lifting strops

Slings are heavily used in factories

The use of lifting strops in these environments

There can be several reasons that slings may need to be used in these places. Perhaps to:

  • Operate on the production line, helping to complete the final product by lifting various parts and pieces
  • To lift and lower finished items onto transport trucks, ready to be distributed
  • Moving machinery and tools around the factory
  • Lifting workmen, allowing them to operate at height

It’s a given that wire rope is a stronger alternative to lifting slings, which is no surprise considering it is constructed from metal. When it comes down to a pure strength competition, rope is the favoured choice to many types of slings in factories.

But slings offer many additional benefits where rope is sometimes not suitable. Their lightweight and flexible nature means that they are much more portable around factories. And, this flexible nature offers a further advantage. Lifting slings can be utilised in many different ways to create different types of end-product.

For example, they can be tied into different knots, such as a basket hitch, which allows them to work with loads that may be awkward shapes.  And, thanks to their light nature, they won’t cause abrasion or scratching damage to the load, where the metal of wire rope might.

There may also be times that using metal won’t be suitable, as some factories may contain harmful substances or chemicals. While the metal used in wire rope does have resistance to corrosion, some lifting sling material offers complete resistance to acids and alkalis. And, alongside this, they are by no means ‘weak’ in nature. In fact, some can lift up to 10 tonnes, or sometimes more. This is more than suitable for many requirements in factories today.

You’ll find that there are even a number of ways that you can enhance your lifting slings, helping to make them ‘high performance’. Things such as a PVC coating can help to further protect them in harsher factory environments.

It is worth noting that we stock one product, a wire rope sling, which uses wire rope as a lifting sling.

Are you looking to secure your own equipment?

Do you work in a factory and are looking for reliable, high-quality lifting strops that can match your needs for safety and efficiency? Or perhaps you would just like to find out more about this innovative equipment?

Whatever your needs, we would be more than happy to help. Please get in contact with us here.



Image credit: SpaceX-Imagery
Wire Rope Clips and Grips – the Available Options thumbnail

Wire Rope Clips and Grips – the Available Options

There are many fittings available for your wire rope, used to help enhance its number of uses. One such type of fitting is wire rope clips and grips; we’ve detailed more on these handy pieces of equipment below.

What are wire rope clips and grips?

A wire rope clip or grip is fairly simple in nature; it is formed of a threaded bolt, in the shape of a ‘U’, that has two nuts, and a forged saddle. They are strong and robust steel cable fittings, and they are great for creating non-permanent eye-loop ends or for creating end to end connections, on rope.

wire rope clips

An image of one of our rope grips
You would typically need to make a connection like this when a socket or splice isn’t a practical alternative, or if you are only looking to make a temporary connection.

The options available from us

At the time of writing, here are the current options available from us:

  • Mild steel – 3mm to 50mm
  • Stainless steel – 2mm to 24mm

You can see a list of prices for our stainless steel pieces here. If you are looking for more information about our mild steel range, please refer to our contact details at the bottom of this article.

We frequently update our pages with our latest stock, please make sure to check the pages regularly!

How do you use this piece of equipment?

In order to use a wire rope grip or clip, follow these simple steps:

  • Loosen the nuts, which will help loosen the ‘U’ bolt
  • Insert your two pieces of wire rope through this ‘U’ shape (or one piece that you’ve bent to form an eye shape)
  • When your rope is in the correct position, tighten the nuts to hold the rope in place
  • Please use a wrench to ensure that the nuts are tightened as much as possible. Hand tightening doesn’t provide a strong enough fit

You’ll find that it is commonplace to use several clamps for your two pieces of wire rope in order to create the safest and most secure connection possible. A single grip is relatively inexpensive, so it is easy to purchase several in order.

For example, a 2mm stainless steel rope grip is only £0.64!

What other types of fittings do we have?

There are many types of fittings and terminations available to users, all designed and manufactured with a specific function and benefit in mind.

To find out more about the variety that we have, please visit our fittings page here.

Interested to know more about the range of products that we have?

Wire rope clips and grips, and our extended range of fittings, are just a small snapshot of the many, many items that we stock here at Rope Services Direct. With our state-of-the-art onsite facilities, we not only stock items, but we manufacture and test many ourselves too.

If you would like to find out more about this, please get in contact with us here.

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Wire Rope Weight Guide

While wire rope is a relatively simple piece of equipment, there are several terms and factors that you must be aware of before you, or any of your staff, operate this gear. Below you will find a handy all-in-one wire rope weight guide.

Limits that apply to all lifting gear

One of the most important pieces of information, and this applies to any piece of lifting gear that lifts loads, are the safe working load and minimum breaking limit. These are two separate limits, but both apply to the same piece.

wire rope weight

It’s important not to exceed the wire rope weight limit

The safe working load (SWL), also referred to as the working load limit (WLL) or the normal working load (NWL), is the figure that you should be operating at whenever using it. It will change depending on the strength of your rope, and is the figure that the manufacturer has deemed safe to work at. You may also see this being referred to as simply the safe load.

On the other hand, the minimum breaking limit (MBL) refers to the absolute maximum a piece of equipment can be operated at before it breaks. This will have been tested by your manufacturer, and is a figure well above that of the SWL.

Take note of all advice offered to you by your manufacturer, as this will help to prolong the service life of your equipment.

Breaking limits

To help demonstrate the breaking limit of wire rope, The Engineering Toolbox have put together this handy table. It lists the strength of improved plow steel (IPS) wire rope that is uncoated and has a fibre core.

They have also offered an example of the strength of 3/8” wire rope that has a safe working load of 10.9 kN. To determine the strength, the calculation m = F / g is used, where:

  • m = mass in kilograms
  • F = force (weight) in newtons
  • g = acceleration of gravity (9.21 m/s2)

Using this equation for the 3/8” wire rope, you would calculate the strength as:

m = (10.9 103 N) / (9.81 m/s2), which equals 1111 kg.

If maths isn’t particularly your strong suit, then fret not! The above information isn’t imperative to know, but is a useful reference point should you like to know how strength is calculated.
These calculations will have been worked out by your clever manufacturers beforehand using this equation. So, whatever safe working load is provided to you, it’s absolutely crucial that you stick to it. It isn’t just a random figure!

How can you help to protect your wire rope?

To ensure that all of the guidelines and limits are followed, it’s essential that you train your staff properly. Having the right awareness with a piece of equipment is actually part of the law, as it requires competent people to be planning and operating all lifting equipment.

This training must include proper training with how to use the equipment, sufficient knowledge of weight limits, and what signs of damage to look out for in gear.  Should you, or any of your staff, exceed the SWL or notice any damages at any time, please contact one of us immediately.

Other information to be aware of

Alongside these wire rope weight guides, it’s also important that you familiarise yourself with the relevant laws too. We have detailed all ISO standards that relate to wire rope here, and you can read more on the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) here.

If you would like to discuss anything that you’ve read above about the wire rope weight guides in more detail, then please feel free to contact us here.



Image credit: Pavlofox and Engineering Tool Box