One of the biggest causes of injuries and fatalities in the lifting and rigging industry is accidents caused by falls. As heavy objects are being lifted, sometimes the lifting sling can fail and lead to potential catastrophes. To prevent these situations, it is critical that you must use the correct types of lifting slings for your lifting jobs. Read 3 factors you should consider when choosing the right lifting sling, and learn the different types of slings we carry at US Cargo Control.
1. Know The Weight, Strength, and Delicacy of the Load
It's important to know the weight and strength of the load that you intend to lift, as well as the WLL (Working Load Limit) of the sling. When you have an understanding of the object's weight and strength, make sure you provide support from all directions. Providing support from the sides will prevent the object from falling, preventing injuries and risk to the workers on site.
The other thing that you should note is the fragility of the load you are lifting. The goal is to not only lift an object but protect the object from getting damaged in the lifting process. For lifting heavy objects or objects made of hard metals, we recommend using chain slings to perform the job.
Saw random numbers on your load-bearing equipment and didn't know what they meant? Read what Working Load Limit, Breaking Strength, and Safety Factor mean.
2. Identify the Center of Gravity of the Load, and the Sling's Flexibility
When you're looking at the object you will be lifting, observe the object's shape and design to tell you where the center of gravity is. You do not want to miss the center of the load before you begin to lift because you can potentially thrust the load and cause damage. If you're lifting irregularly-shaped loads, consider using nylon slings as these have great flexibility and strength.
3. Do the Objects have Sharp Edges?
You're going to lift objects that have sharp edges. Although nylon slings work best for loads needed for flexibility, the fabric will not perform well because it will be fighting against sharp edges. They will cause ripping to the sling, and this will likely result in the object falling and getting damaged.
If you're having to lift objects with sharp edges, we recommend using chain slings or wire rope slings. We also carry corner protectors that can cover the edges of the object and protect your slings and chains.
What Are the Different Types of Slings?
Now that you know the three critical factors to consider when choosing a sling, you need to learn the many different types of slings there are. This will help you identify which sling is worth the investment for your lifting situations.
Known as synthetic web slings or nylon web slings, our nylon lifting straps perform well for lifting breakable, delicate objects. Its heavy-duty synthetic material has great stretch and flexibility that help the slings mold to the shape of the load. Not only that, the nylon lifting sling's material is treated to improve abrasion resistance and reduce wear, even in the most rigorous lifting applications.
They are lightweight, easy to handle, and offer a wider body with more stretch than a polyester sling. Its attributes make synthetic slings a popular choice for rigging purposes and are essential to have around, but they should not be used in extreme or rugged conditions. Nylon rigging straps will wear down more quickly than other types of slings if you go against its limits!
If you're depending on a sling that requires extra strength and durability, the chain sling is your best choice. The chain lifting sling is the strongest and most durable type of sling and is highly popular to use for heavy lifting operations. They will perform better than polyester round slings or nylon slings because they're more durable, tolerant to hot temperatures, and cut-resistant. When we say chain slings are tolerant to hot temperatures, this means they are useful for lifts in extremely hot temperatures or to secure extremely hot objects.
We offer three trusted brands of lifting chain slings, Crosby, KWB, and Pewag. We offer chain slings from these brands because we want you to have the highest-quality slings that will perform the lifting job successfully. We sell these in two types, standard and adjustable, and we also offer custom options if needed.
Polyester Round Slings
Polyester slings can be confused with nylon slings due to their material that is also made of a web-like fabric. The difference is that while nylon slings stretch easily, polyester round slings have a little stretch to them. These are useful to have for lifting operations where strength is needed, but not a lot of stretch needed.
Manufactured in the USA from a continuous loop of polyester yarn that creates exceptional strength, the round slings are versatile, pliable, convenient, and cost-effective. Because of their many benefits, you can use these in vertical, choker, or basket hitches, making them effective to lift a wide variety of cargo!
Curious about the differences between nylon slings and polyester slings? Read Polyester Slings vs Nylon Slings: Which Web Sling Type is Better?
Wire Rope Slings
Known as steel cable or wire sling, these are more durable than synthetic slings and more cost-effective than chain slings. Wire rope slings are an excellent choice not only for lifting, but also for hoisting, towing, or anchoring loads. Its fabrication offers abrasion-resistance and heat-resistance, as they are made by weaving individual strands or wire around a core.
Wire rope slings are favorable by riggers as they can come in a wide variety of materials, diameters, and configurations. Each steel wire rope configuration will offer different benefits and are suited to certain applications. For example, a smaller number of large outer wires offers better wear and corrosion resistance, while a larger number will provide better flexibility and fatigue-resistance.
If you would like to learn more about wire rope configuration, see our category on wire rope.
Tackle the Toughest Lifting Jobs with High-Quality Rigging Hardware
We know the importance of quality when it comes to rigging supplies. We carry a variety of rigging hardware, as well as lifting beams and spreader bars that are designed to lift heavy loads safely and efficiently.
We also do custom orders! Need a custom lifting sling? We can do that! We can customize a lifting sling to meet your specific needs.