Have you ever wondered how heavy items are lifted into position, such as the beams for a new roof or the steel girders on a construction site? Whilst most of the work is done by cranes there also need to be a wide range of lifting equipment accessories needed to make the lifting of items easier.
Many heavy steel items can be lifted by connecting the crane’s gear to a lifting eyebolt. These eyebolts are screwed into pre-drilled holes in the steel structure and provide an access point to which hooks and straps can be fitted. Some eyebolts have swivelling, pivoting and twisting connections to allow for manoeuvrability when the item is lifted whereas others are fixed.
Lifting shackles are used throughout industry to provide an easy to connect lifting solution. The shackles usually feature a screw pin attachment and should meet at least EN13889. The safe working load limit is shown clearly on shackles and they are usually galvanised or self-coloured to stop corrosion.
Swivel lifting hooks are an essential part of lifting gear and are usually fitted with some sort of spring clip to stop the shackle or eyelet pulling back over the hook. They are manufactured to strict tolerances and are of course available in a wide range of different sizes suitable for withstanding a variety of different loading.
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Chain slings, polyester slings and wire rope slings are all used in great numbers to provide a viable way of lifting different items. Like all lifting equipment they are put through rigorous testing before they are rated and will require inspection on a regular basis to make sure they are safe to use. Wire slings offer a wide range of end fittings and can be manufactured to your bespoke application, whereas polyester slings are a good all round sling which can be used if you are lifting objects of different shapes and sizes.
Lifting grabs and hooks
Some lifting applications might warrant a bespoke lifting grab or a lifting hook. In these cases the crane or lifting device is fitted with a grab or a hook which is used to lift a pipe or other standardized product. Grabs and hooks work perfectly on a production line when lifting of the same equipment is an automated process.
All items which have to be used for lifting are designed to rigourous constraints and have to undergo through testing to be used. They also have to meet many regulations such as ASME B30.26 and EN13889.
Chris Norris completed his mechanical apprenticeship in the dockyards of Barrow where lifting of heavy items took place every day. To keep up with the latest developments he visits websites such as dlhonline.co.uk.