Using Lifting Slings with Shackles thumbnail

Using Lifting Slings with Shackles

A lifting operation involves many parts and pieces. Not only will you have a lifting apparatus, such as a crane, and the medium conducting the actual handling of the load, such as a lifting sling, but you may also find various other fittings and gear being used. One such example of this is a shackle, which can be used with lifting slings. We’ve explained how to use lifting slings with shackles below.

What is a shackle?

A shackle is a type of lifting gear that comes as either bow or dee. This refers to the way that it looks. For example, a dee shackle, also written as ‘D’, is shaped just like the letter itself. In essence, they are a type of connector and are used to connect loads and lifting equipment together. Using lifting slings with shackles provides an ideal connection for many types of lifting operations.

They are simple to use, thanks to an easily removable screw pin. Some designs also come with a safety bolt, which is used for operations that require a more permanent fitting.

Why is a lifting sling used with this piece of equipment?

One of the most common ways that shackles are used in conjunction with lifting slings is to create a safe anchor point around a hook. It’s crucial that you don’t simply put the lifting sling over the hook itself, as it could be in danger of slipping off. Instead, the shackle is attached over the hook, and then acts as the anchoring point to which the lifting sling is attached.

There are a few factors that one must consider:

Wire rope sling

If using a wire rope sling, then you must use a shackle that has a greater load capacity and diameter than the wire rope being used, but that is also less than half of the eye length, or less.

Synthetic slings

For a synthetic lifting sling, you can use a synthetic sling shackle that should either match the size and capacity of the sling. Or, you can use a standard shackle which has a capacity that is greater than both the load and the width of the sling. The diameter must also be large enough to avoid any abrasion damage or cutting, but must also be less than a third of the eye length.

If using in a choker hitch

If using this setup, then the shackle should have a capacity that is greater than the capacity of the single leg sling.

lifting slings with shackles

You must take care when placing your sling onto a hook

If placing onto a hook

In this instance, the pin of the shackle should rest on the hook easily, and not be hung up on the ears.

If using as a connector

The size of the shackle should be based on the total weight of the load, and it should fit properly onto the hook. It shouldn’t be at more than a 120-degree angle.

Interested to hear more about using lifting slings with shackles?

If you would like to find out more about how our lifting slings can be used in conjunction with other pieces of lifting gear, then we would be happy to share our knowledge. You can get in contact with us here.



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Lifting Sling Working Load Limits thumbnail

Lifting Sling Working Load Limits

All lifting equipment will have a working load limit, lifting sling working load limits are no exception. It is a simple, easy-to-read figure that will clearly define what the highest weight of a load is that your lifting sling can safely handle. This is a figure that has been decided after rigorous testing, and is in place to protect you, your equipment and the load that you are working with. We’ve detailed more on this below.

What are lifting sling working load limits?

You’ll likely see various abbreviations, phrases and terms being used in the lifting gear industry, and we understand that this can get a little confusing sometimes! However, the working load limit is one of the most important, and it’s crucial that you take note of how this applies to your own operation.

The lifting sling working load limits (WLL) refer to the absolute maximum that your lifting sling can lift, before results become unpredictable. This will be a figure that is set well below the minimum breaking load (MBL), but is done so that the service life of your lifting sling will be prolonged.

lifting sling working load limits


It’s important that you always know the weight of your loads

Please note that you may also see the WLL being referred to as the safe working load (SWL) or normal working load (NWL).

How does this apply to my lifting sling?

The first thing to be aware of is the fact that there are many types of lifting slings, and within each category, there will be a further variety of products. Each lifting sling working load limits will be based on a number of factors, such as the material that it is constructed from.

For some, this limit will be easily recognisable. Web slings and round slings, for example, will be coloured depending on the amount that they can lift. This is as follows:

One tonne = Purple   Two tonnes = Green   Three tonnes = Yellow  Four tonnes = Grey

Five tonnes = Red      Six tonnes = Brown   Eight tonnes = Blue    Ten tonnes = Orange.

Other slings don’t have this colour coding system, and so the WLL may change from piece to piece. But, in this case, you will be provided with guidelines by the manufacturer as to the lifting capabilities of your sling. It is imperative that you stick to these at all times.

It is also important to note that lifting slings can be used in various ways to lift loads. For example, they can be used in a straight lift, a choke lift, or a basket hitch. This is because their lightweight and flexible nature allows them to be arranged easier.

Depending on what type of setup you use, the WLL will change. We recommend that you refer to your manufacturer’s advice and guidelines to see how this applies to your specific lifting sling.

Are you looking for more information?

If you would like more information about lifting slings and their lifting capacities, then we would be more than happy to assist you. Please get in contact with us here.



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Features and Benefits of Wire Rope Hoists thumbnail

Features and Benefits of Wire Rope Hoists

Wire rope hoists are lifting mediums which have a range of uses within many industries today. In this article, we have summarised just exactly what they are, the main types of hoists available, as well as the various benefits they have over other hoist systems. Please read on if you wish to find out more.

What are wire rope hoists?

A wire rope hoist is a lifting medium used extensively within environments where heavy duty lifting occurs, such as heavy foundries, factories and manufacturing plants. Electrically powered, these hoists are similar to conventional standard electric hoists, which instead use steel chains in order to lift loads of varying weights.

This equipment is used in many manufacturing plants

However, because ropes made from wire have higher SWLs (safe working loads), they are often more suitable for heavy lifting than standard chain hoists, meaning they are becoming increasingly popular within the industrial sphere today.

The benefits of this equipment

Wire rope hoists have a range of benefits, which often makes them the preferred lifting medium when compared to other hoists. Some of these benefits are:

  • Its suitability for heavy duty lifting – wire rope hoists are able to lift much heavier loads than other hoists, because wire rope is manufactured using multiple wires, meaning the weight of a load is spread across many different pieces of strong metal. While chain hoists can lift up to around 30,000kg, some rope hoist systems can lift a staggering 90,000kg. This makes them much more suitable for industries where heavy lifting occurs on a regular basis.
  • Its safety – Safety is another huge benefit of this equipment. The fact there are many wires and strands means that if one breaks, some strands will still be intact to hold a load while it is safely lowered.
  • Its high resistance – the lifting medium is extremely resistant to corrosion, rust and abrasion, and so will likely not spoil. There is also the offer of buying a galvanised version, whereby the rope has an even greater resistance to these harmful elements.
  • The range of options available – there are a range of different rope hoist systems available today, meaning there is something for everyone’s lifting and lowering needs. These different systems are explained in more detail below.

wire rope hoists

They have a good resistance to harmful corrosion such as this!

Different wire rope hoist systems

There are many different types of rope hoist system used in industries today. These include: standard headroom/monorail, foot or base mounted and crab unit hoisting systems. Although all are used to lift loads of varying weights, they differ slightly in their application:

  • Standard headroom/monorail hoists – typically used on single girder overhead crane systems, these hoists are best used when there is no working height restriction under the beam on which the hoists are attached. The hoists come with their own trolley systems, to accompany all your lifting and lowering needs.
  • Foot or base mounted hoists – these extremely handy pieces of equipment that have the option of being used as either a static hoist or a mobile lifting hoist, meaning they have a wealth of different uses within industrial environments. This is because the hoists can be fixed to a gantry system, or mounted to trolley systems such as crab unit trollies.
  • Crab unit hoists – these hoist systems are ideal for tasks where heavy lifting is going to occur. Crab unit systems are used on double girder cranes, running along the top edge of both girders. Out of the three different hoist systems, crab units allow for the maximum possible height of lift under the beam. However, a downside of these hoists is the fact that because the system runs along the top edge of the girders on which it is placed, more height is required above the girder.

Get in touch with Rope Services Direct today

A popular alternative to conventional standard electric hoists, rope hoists offer a number of advantages within the industrial sphere today. Furthermore, the fact there are a number of different hoists available means there is definitely something suited to your lifting and lowering needs!

We hope the above article has been helpful in explaining exactly what wire rope hoists are, as well as the range of benefits they have and the types that we stock here at Rope Services Direct. However, if you wish to find out more about lifting hoists, please do not hesitate to contact our team today, who are always happy to answer any questions you may have. You can find our contact details here.



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