News Articles

General Data Protection Regulations 25th May 2018 thumbnail

General Data Protection Regulations 25th May 2018

Regulations are changing and your security is very important to us. Information regarding what data we keep, its storage, security, access and retention can be found in our Privacy Policy. Please also see our Letter of Authority which can also be found on the Privacy Policy page. We would kindly ask that you complete and return these to allow us to hold and process your data for the purposes of current and future trading with your organisation.

Please remember that you can withdraw your consent to the uses of your data any time.

Your contact if you need any further information or would like us to remove any existing data we have is Stephen Shaw.

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. 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.



Image credit: Pavlofox
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.



Image credits: Life of Pix and Tama66
10 Qualities to Demand When Buying Cargo Ratchet Straps thumbnail

10 Qualities to Demand When Buying Cargo Ratchet Straps

Cargo ratchet straps are a popular and widely used piece of equipment, particularly within the transport industry, where they are regularly used to tie down loads. These can sometimes be extremely heavy loads, or involve multiple loads. For this reason, it is crucial that you have only the highest quality equipment.

Whether you choose to shop with us here at Rope Services Direct or elsewhere (we won’t judge!), it’s important to know what to look for. To help, we’ve laid out 10 qualities to demand when buying cargo ratchet straps.

#1 The right product for the job

The first thing to note is that there are many types of cargo straps available. It seems like an obvious point to make, but it’s crucial that you get the right product for the job! Do your research, gain an understanding of what the requirements are for your task, and ensure that you are left with the best product possible.

Tied in with this is ensuring that you are being looked after by knowledgeable and high-quality sales reps.

This product is regularly used in the transport industry

#2 The width and diameter

Cargo straps and ratchet straps come in a whole range of widths and diameters to suit a multitude of tasks, and it’s important that you have the right one for the job. This ties in nicely to the point above.

Again, speaking with an expert should leave you knowing exactly what the right width and diameter should be for your piece of equipment.

#3 Bespoke pieces

One of the benefits to using cargo straps is that they can often be manufactured as bespoke to suit your operation. If this is the case, then you should be left with a piece of equipment that is high-quality, and that fits exactly to your specifications.

#4 Made from high strength material

Cargo straps should be constructed from high strength material, which will be 100% polyester. This is crucial, as they will often be tying down extremely heavy loads, and you simply cannot afford for them to break. Demand that any strap that you purchase has been thoroughly tested and re-tested before use.

#5 Water resistant

Part of a cargo strap’s high strength nature is the fact that it is water resistant. This is important, as sometimes straps will be used in open-air environments, meaning that they can easily be exposed to the elements. Not only should your straps be water resistant, but they should also not lose any strength when wet either.

#6 UV resistant

Alongside water resistance, your cargo ratchet strap should have great UV resistance too. Just as they may be exposed to moisture in an open-air environment, they may also be exposed to sunny rays on the other end of the weather’s spectrum too. They must be able to resist these rays!

It is also important that your cargo strap is resistant to chemicals, oils, moulds and mildew too.

#7 Low stretch properties and good durability

The final point about your cargo ratchet strap’s composition that ties in with its strength and properties is its low stretch nature and its durability. When buying a cargo strap, you should demand that not only will it be low stretch, therefore avoiding any unpredictable moving of loads, but also that it will last a long time too.

cargo ratchet straps

Here we can see cargo straps in action

#8 Comply with all laws and regulations

Whichever manufacturer you choose to shop with, you should be using one who complies with all relevant laws and regulations, and who produces equipment which passes all guidelines too. These will be:

#9 After care service

It’s not just about the quality of your cargo ratchet straps that you should be demanding from the get-go, but also the quality of the aftercare services that you will receive too. While all equipment will be manufactured with only the highest quality in mind, there may be times when things can go wrong.

For this, it is crucial that you have great quality customer support in place, whether this be for refunds, repairs, or something else. You’ll be able to guarantee yourself of this by shopping around with manufacturers to find the best one.

#10 The right end terminations

Just as there are multiple types of cargo strap and ratchet strap, there are also multiple ways that they can be finished too. Some have hooks, while others may have buckles. Consider which will be the best for your operation, and ensure you get the one that you ask for!

Would you like more information on cargo ratchet straps?

We hope that the above information has been useful in helping you to decide what the qualities are that you should not only be looking out for, but demanding, when buying cargo ratchet straps. Should you have any other questions, please get in contact with us here.



Image credits: Sean Johnston and skeeze
When to Use Natural Fibre Rope Slings thumbnail

When to Use Natural Fibre Rope Slings

The rope that you will find in the lifting gear industry today falls into two distinct categories; man-made or natural fibre. It can sometimes be hard to know which is the best one to use and when, and so we’ve put together this handy little guide on natural fibre rope slings to take the guesswork out of it for you!

The difference between man-made and natural fibre rope

Before getting into exactly when you would be best using natural fibre rope, we thought it would be important to clearly define the difference between this and the man-made variety. The latter, sometimes also referred to as synthetic, is man-made, and has been created using materials and chemicals that imitate the properties of natural fibre rope.

Typically, man-made rope will be manufactured from materials such as polypropylene, nylon, polyethylene or polyesters. The man-made variety generally has a longer service life than that of natural fibre rope, around 30% longer, and is more resistant to water.

natural fibre rope slings

This type of product has some great qualities

It is also stronger than natural products, having around a 20% stronger tensile strength than its counterpart. Finally, it won’t shrink when wet, whereas natural rope will.

So, when should you use natural fibre rope slings?

There seems like a lot of preferable positives to using man-made rope over the natural type, but there are also plenty of reasons to use the latter too! It is designed for more lightweight applications, and also to provide its user with a better grip. This makes it the safer alternative when wanting to tie knots, as synthetic products can slip easily.

Also, natural fibre rope won’t melt at high temperatures, while synthetic will. The natural rope will only be damaged by heat if set on fire! Finally, as it is natural, it is much better for the environment than synthetic products, which are created using dangerous chemicals.

There are four main types of the natural variety, and we have detailed these below.


This is great as it can be dyed a variety of colours. Commonly used for applications such as packaging, hanging pictures or sash cords that you’ll find on window blinds.


Mainly used for fabrics such as sacking or hessian, but can also be used for the twine and ropes that you’ll find in some contemporary stairs or boating applications. Strong nature, but rough in texture.


A tough, durable rope. It is extremely resilient against saltwater, making it great for boating applications. Also used for architectural applications too.


Also a strong, durable product that is resistant to saltwater, and also sunlight. This makes it another highly popular type of rope within the marine industry. Alongside this, you’ll find it being used in the construction and agriculture sector.

Looking for more information on natural fibre rope slings?

As you can see, there are several types of rope. While newer synthetic rope has many benefits, there is still plenty of use for the natural type in the world today! If you would like more information on how this equipment can help you specifically, then you can get in touch with us here.



Image credit: drmakete lab
Wire Rope Use in Garden Trellis Systems thumbnail

Wire Rope Use in Garden Trellis Systems

If you’ve been following our blog, then you’ll know by now that wire rope is one of the most versatile and adaptable pieces of equipment on the market! It is used in dozens of applications across many industries around the world, and it seems that we always have a never ending stream of articles being published showing you yet another use for the equipment. Well, today, we do have another use to write about. This is how the equipment is used in garden trellis systems.

What are garden trellis systems?

A garden trellis, often just referred to as a trellis, is a type of architectural structure which is made from some kind of open framework. It is most commonly used in order to support the growing of climbing plants, and is a great way to display them in an aesthetically pleasing way too.

garden trellis systems

An example of a trellis in a garden

They have become incredibly important and widely-used pieces of architecture, sometimes out of necessity, but sometimes just to add to the environment that they are placed within. Whether for simple home use, or for larger use in places like palace gardens, garden trellis systems are now a staple part of many gardens around the world.

Why is wire rope used?

A garden trellis system can be made from a variety of materials such as wood, plastics or, our personal favourite, rope constructed from metal wire! There are several reasons to use different materials. The first is aesthetic; what will fit in best into the surroundings and add the most value to what you are trying to achieve with your look.

Wire rope, although seemingly more industrial in nature given its metal construction, has grown in recent years as a popular aesthetic product. Wire rope balustrades, for example, are now widely used in home maintenance for structures such as decking. Not only are they safe, but they look great too.

But there are also other important considerations that you must think about too. Firstly, as the plant, vine, shrub or tree begins to grow up along the trellis, it will add extra weight to it. The trellis therefore needs to be strong and supportive. Our rope, being made of metal, is therefore one of the strongest options for those looking to create a garden trellis.

Alongside this, the trellis will most likely be outside, exposed to the elements. So, for this reason, it will need to be able to withstand all types of weather, be it sun, rain or even snow. Wire rope is great for this, as it is constructed and manufactured with resistance in mind.

Are you looking to purchase some equipment?

Are you interested in constructing your own garden trellis? Or perhaps you want to use the equipment for other forms of home maintenance, such as for garden decking? Or, maybe you work in an entirely different industry!

Regardless, we would be more than happy to help. To find out more about our wire rope, or our other range of products, please get in contact with us here.



Image credit: jill111
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
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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.