When it comes to lifting and rigging, knowing the hardware you are using is an important part of safety. A common piece of hardware used in lifting and rigging is a shackle. A shackle is a metal link, typically U-shaped, closed by a bolt or screw. Shackles are typically made from forged steel to provide very high tensile strength. Many US contractors have begun requiring domestically made shackles. This week our Gear Experts® are going to break down shackles.
Domestic vs. Foreign
It was mentioned above, but now it’s time to break it down further. Many US contractors have started requiring shackles that are made domestically. A domestic shackle is a shackle that has been made in the United States. They are often preferred to foreign made shackles due to better manufacturing and testing processes. Crosby, one of the most popular shackle manufacturers in the world, has a full selection of domestically manufactured shackles to meet your needs no matter what the job site requires.
Screw Pin vs. Bolt Shackles
Each job is unique and that means requirements are different. Not to mention, contractors may have preferences in addition to requiring domestic shackles. Apart from common things like U-shape size and capacity, the main difference between shackles will be whether they are a screw pin or a bolt shackle.
A screw pin shackle is pretty self-explanatory. It is a type of shackle where the pin has a male threaded end, which tightens into the female threads in the body of the shackle. These shackles are popular because of their ease of use and are most commonly used on jobs that don’t require heavy duty attachment.
A bolt shackle is pretty self-explanatory as well. It is a type of shackle where the pin has a male threaded end which is fed through the body of the shackle and secured with a bolt on the outside of the shackle. These shackles aren’t as easy to use as the screw pin shackles because of the requirements of securing the bolt to the pin. However, bolt type shackles are typically a better solution for jobs that require heavy duty attachment.
Standards: ASME B30
When it comes to lifting and rigging, which happens to include shackles – if you’re using them in a lifting and rigging capacity, the ASME B30 Standard is something that you need to be mindful of. The ASME B30 standard focuses on setting the standards for materials, rated loads, identification, inspection, repair, and removal. ASME B30 covers blocks and a range of other hardware used for lifting and rigging. We covered ASME B30 and provided a full breakdown of the standard in a previous blog post. You can find that post here.
If you’ve got questions about shackles, standards, or domestic manufacturers, click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.
→ Click here to see our full selection of shackles
→ Click here to see our full selection of Crosby hardware
→ Click here to see our full selection of lifting and rigging equipment
**The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any Fall Protection Equipment is used.
Shackles 101: The Video
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The MHP55 from Rock Exotica has changed the game when it comes to lifting and rigging. This super-efficient, light, and versatile block is a must have for many rigging plans. This week our Gear Experts® are going to discuss why this block is such a great piece of equipment.
ASME B30 Standard
The Rock Exotica MHP55 meets the critical ASME B30 Standard for lifting and rigging. More specifically, Chapter 26-5 which covers rigging blocks, like those you would use with a capstan hoist on a tower. We covered the ASME B30 standard in a previous blog post. Click here to check out that blog post.
This material handling 2.6 inch block features a red side plate to help differentiate it from other Omni-Block pulleys. The working load limit (WLL) is also a stout 4,500 pounds making it one of the strongest blocks in this category, even when compared to other steel blocks. A major advantage of this block is its ease of use. The side plates swing open, so you can install the rope while not detaching it from the system. Then, it locks back into place with a two-stage double-catch safety mechanism. The extremely efficient ball-bearing sheave reduces friction while lifting and rigging. It also has a swivel at the top to help the block align with the system. Last, but certainly not least, is rope compatibility. This block accepts ropes between 3/8 and ½ inch.
**The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.
→Click here to see the Rock Exotica MHP55 Omni-Block
→Click here to see our full selection of Rock Exotica Items
→Click here to see our full selection of Blocks
→Click here to see our ASME B30 Standard Guide
The Ultimate Rigging Block
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Whether you are lifting or rigging, the block you choose is one of the most important decisions you will make. Your gear is the difference between a job well done and an accident with unforeseen consequences. Our dedicated Gear Experts® have spent years sourcing the best, and most reliable equipment to help you get the job done safely. This week we are focusing on blocks and the ASME B30 standard.
We offer a wide range of blocks to fit all of your rigging and lifting needs. But, what exactly should you be looking for when choosing a block? Well, the most important things to look for are covered by the ASME B30 standard for lifting and rigging. More specifically, Chapter 26-5 which covers rigging blocks, like those you would use with a capstan hoist on a tower.
The rigging block should be able to permanently deform before losing the ability to support the load. This ensures that you should notice the block has been overloaded before it fails. We will cover inspection shortly, but remember that proper inspection is extremely important.
The side plates should be made of metal, wood, or a synthetic material. Obviously, you’ll almost always see steel or aluminum blocks in the tower industry. The sheaves and load-bearing straps or fittings should be made of metal as well.
Load weight should always be kept within the recommended limits of the manufacturer. It is also important to remember that this limit is the maximum load applied, not a single load line. What this means is that if the block is rigged at the top of the tower and you’re lifting something that weighs 1,000 pounds, there could be up to 2,000 pounds of total weight on the block. These concepts can get pretty complicated and are outside of the range of a blog post. For more information, check out a competent rigger training course.
ASME B30 26-5.5 covers proper identification. Each block has to have markings providing the manufacturer, rated load, and acceptable rope sizes. The block should also be maintained by the user to ensure these markings remain legible through the life of the hardware.
Inspection, Repair, and Removal
A qualified person should designate whether the hardware is suitable for rigging, and remove it from service if it’s not. Prior to use, all blocks should be inspected to verify compliance with ASME B30. A visual inspection should be performed each time the block is used. Permanently installed rigging hardware should have periodic inspections as well. Written records are not required for these inspections, but remember, if it doesn’t pass inspection you must remove it from service. Written records may not be required, but they are recommended. It makes it much easier to track inspection and keep everyone safe while on the job.
If a block shows any of the following during inspection, they cannot be used in the field and should be replaced.
- Missing or illegible identification
- Misalignment or wobble in sheaves
- Excessive sheave groove corrugation or wear
- Loose or missing nuts, bolts, cotter pins, snap rings, or other fasteners or retaining devices.
- Indications of heat damage or arc strikes
- Excessive pitting or corrosion
- Bent, cracked, twisted, distorted, or broken load-bearing components
- Excessive wear, nicks, or gouges
- 10% reduction of the original dimensions at any point on the device
- Excessive damage to load-bearing threads
- Evidence of unauthorized welding or modifications
- For hooks and shackles, removal criteria specified in those B30 standards
- Any other condition including visible damage that causes any doubt as to the integrity of the block.
Repairs of modifications must be specified by the by the manufacturer or a qualified person. The replacement parts should meet or exceed the original manufacturer specs. Unless advised by the manufacturer, modifications are not recommended.
Obviously, load ratings should not be exceeded. Make sure you’re keeping clear of the block, its running lines, load, or any other part of the system during lifting. This includes walking or standing under a suspended load or lifting line. Also, don’t stand next to a rig when the line is under tension.
As for rigging practices, avoid sharp angles or edges that could damage the block. And be sure not to drag blocks along abrasive surfaces. The load applied to the block should be in-line with the sheave to prevent side loading. Blocks with swivels help to avoid these problems. Also, make sure your rope is securely in the groove of the sheave. Shock loading should also be avoided.
This is not a comprehensive training. Before doing any lifting and rigging a competent rigger course should be completed. We also have a full line of training courses that are available for a range of different subjects. Those can be found here.
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Synthetic Rope Blocks
Rope blocks that are specially labeled for synthetic rope are hard to find, but your search ends here! We have just the block you need if you are looking for a synthetic rope block. Find out more information with this YouTube video!