The lifting industry is not just about machine strength. Success in this business also requires precision, planning, endurance, poise, and training. In a highly competitive market that faces increasing pressures on a monthly basis, only the fittest lifting operations will continue to thrive in changing economic headwinds.

In addition to the competence and experience of your crew, your equipment is the largest differentiator between your lifting operation and the competition. Investing in material that is built to stand the test of time by a leading supplier with an illustrious reputation will help ensure your machinery runs smoothly. In short, you need the best and strongest assets in order to thrive in the lifting business. Here are some of the most important components that will help you achieve that goal.

Wire Rope

Cut to precision lengths in dozens of diameters, customized wire rope can help bring your operation to the next level. For more than 50 years, the team at Southwest has been helping the industry’s biggest players outfit their facilities with the best wire rope in the business. Our technicians can work alongside you to help determine the optimal thickness and orientation for your operation.

Chains

Not all chains are created equal. Every chain is tested to ensure it lives up to the Southwest legacy. Our team is familiar with every major type of chain configuration and linkage, so we can help you secure heavy loads and maximize your lifting potential while keeping your crew safe.

Slings

Synthetic round and synthetic web slings are the crucial components that keep your operation tightly bonded while remaining fluid and flexible. With various colors, lengths, and strengths available, the possibilities are quite literally endless.

Custom Hardware

Tie everything together with components that are perfectly suited for the unique lifting demands of your team. We can custom fabricate:

These essential integrations of your below-the-hook device can be made in a variety of finishes with galvanized carbon or alloy steel.

Stand Out with Custom Lifting Gear

When it comes to lifting gear, every sling, strap, link, wire rope strand, and piece of hardware is vital to the overall success of the operation. Investing in customized below-the-hook products that are expertly fitted to your unique needs and capacity will help make your facility safer and your equipment more effective.

Southwest Wire Rope: Your Lifting Industry Partner

The professionals at Southwest have been serving the needs of the rigging and lifting industries with an unwavering dedication to quality and excellence for years. If you are in the market for industry-leading lifting gear, or need your system inspected by a certified inspector, turn to the pros at Southwest Wire Rope. We look forward to answering your questions and forming a lasting partnership. For more information, browse our service offering and get in touch.

In the rigging and lifting industries, proof tests are regularly performed to ensure that the equipment to be used can withstand the load it was manufactured to handle. These tests are performed for several reasons – specification requirement, manufacturer’s recommendation, and customer request are the most common.  

Why Proof Test?

As mentioned, we perform proof tests for a variety of reasons. One such test commonly performed in the business is a proof load test. A heavy-duty undertaking, a proof load test unveils the true strength of a piece of rigging or lifting gear. Here’s everything you need to know about this specific type of test, as well as how to keep your crew safe during one.

What Is a Proof Load Test?

A proof load test is just what it sounds like: it proves whether a piece of rigging equipment can bear the load it is designed to. The test is administered in a controlled, measured fashion with a particular multiple of the maximum designed load (generally 1.1 to 1.5 times) and a specified length of time. After the test is completed, the operator will issue a certification confirming the workable load of the wire rope or other rigging component in question.

Why Proof Load Testing Is Critical

Whether the rig is overdue for a full inspection, the newly minted wire rope is being put to the test, or older equipment is being evaluated to determine if it is still fit for use, a proof load test is an immensely valuable tool. Every rigging component in the operation should be tested regularly, and a proof load test is one of the most complete and strenuous methods for doing so. Testing also helps keep the rigging equipment and the business as a whole within the boundaries of the OSHA, Department of Labor, and manufacturers’ codes that govern the industry.

Entrust the Proof Load Test to Professionals

The best way to keep your employees safe during a proof load test is to entrust the entire ordeal to trained professionals. Proof load tests are incredibly dangerous if not done with the proper equipment and control measures, as breakage can occur.

At Southwest Wire Rope, we provide proof load testing and destructive (break) testing of various lifting devices up to 1.7 million lbs. Proof load testing can be performed using specialized rigging and custom built test jigs that replicate the ultimate field installation of complex and highly engineered products. As you can imagine, this specially designed equipment is operated by industry veterans. By outsourcing the tests to an industry partner like Southwest, you can keep your crew out of harm’s way.

In reality, the advent of performing the test and verifying the strength of the equipment is also keeping your crew safe. Using wire rope or lifting gear until failure is a dangerous proposition and never recommended. Instead, get your equipment certified with a proof load test and gain the peace of mind your professionals deserve.

Southwest Wire Rope: Your Rigging and Lifting Industry Partner

Don’t leave the safety of your equipment to chance. Partnering with a full-service provider who can offer in-depth product knowledge and inspection services will save you hours of confusion and stress when it comes to meeting code – all while maintaining the safety of your crew.

The professionals at Southwest have been serving the needs of the rigging and lifting industries with an unwavering dedication to quality and excellence for years. If you are in the market for leading rigging and lifting gear, need your system tested, or are simply looking for an expert opinion, turn to the pros at Southwest Wire Rope. We look forward to answering your questions and forming a lasting partnership. For more information, browse our service offering and get in touch.

Lifting hundreds of tons of material on a daily basis requires a lot: high-quality gear, a competent and well-trained team, efficient systems, and a drive to succeed.

Due to the nature of the industry, the regulators at OSHA and other regulatory bodies also require a lot. In the lifting space, safety always comes first. Meeting the codes that govern the operation of your plant or rig are in your best interest…but this can also be a time-consuming and difficult task.

In order to stay in business and run at maximum capacity, your lifting gear needs to be meeting or exceeding code at all times. Here are some tips for handling this simply and effectively – so you can focus on getting things done.

Start with the Right Equipment

When it comes to lifting gear, one faulty sling, strap, link, wire rope strand, or other piece of hardware can put the entire operation in jeopardy. Investing in equipment that is built to stand the test of time and is backed by the quality and reputation of a leading supplier will help ensure your machinery runs smoothly. Codes were developed in the first place to protect your crew from dangerous breakage, equipment wear, and malfunctions, so starting with the best materials is the most effective way to ensure you’re always in line with recent codes.

Break Test Your Wire Rope

A destructive or “break” test measures the tensile strength of wire rope by using magnetic and hydraulic arms to pull opposite ends of the rope apart. The test continues until the wire strands begin to fail, and eventually, the wire rope gives out. This is an extremely loud and dangerous endeavor – a break test should never be conducted without the proper equipment and certifications. Work with an industry provider who can conduct a wire rope break test using specialized equipment in a safe and controlled setting. The results of this test will be printed on a load testing certification, which will help you satisfy regulations.

Get an On-Site Inspection

When it comes to your health, you trust the expert opinions of medical professionals to give you a diagnostic update after performing the relevant tests. In the lifting industry, on-site inspection services serve the same purpose for determining the health and safety of your operations.

Working with a provider who offers on-site inspection services will keep your lifting gear in check. A qualified inspector will issue reports and grades on the strength and condition of your lifting gear, so you have a clear idea which elements need replacing. Regulators mandate these inspections as well, so scheduling the inspection in and of itself is necessary to meet code.

Know Your Safety Protocols

Every rigging and lifting operation is required to furnish and maintain a comprehensive set of safety procedures that regulate the facility, its equipment, and the personnel involved. If your team has grown, you have brought new equipment into service, or your operational procedures have changed, your safety protocols need to be updated to reflect this. In addition to updated manuals and emergency procedures, educating your staff on the fulfillment of these duties is vital. An incomplete set of protocols or an untrained staff is grounds for immediate shutdown, so consult with a lifting industry provider for guidance on development or updating of your plans.

Southwest Wire Rope: Your Lifting Industry Partner

Keeping your lifting gear at max capacity while satisfying the regulations of OSHA and other regulatory bodies is not something you should pursue alone. Partnering with a full-service provider who can offer in-depth product knowledge and inspection services will save you hours of confusion and stress when it comes to meeting code.

The professionals at Southwest have been serving the needs of the rigging and lifting industries with an unwavering dedication to quality and excellence for years. If you are in the market for leading rigging and lifting gear, need your system tested, or are simply looking for an expert opinion, turn to the pros at Southwest Wire Rope. We look forward to answering your questions and forming a lasting partnership. For more information, browse our service offering and get in touch.

Today’s rigging operations are expected to perform at their best around the clock. With demand surging and enormous growth forecasted for the industry, the main concerns are often lift capacity, output, and production time. However, when heavy machinery and powerful devices are involved, safety always comes first.

At the core of any reputable rigging operation is a dedication to the safety and security of its crew. At the end of the day, your people will determine the performance of your rig, so you need to protect them.

From the rigging professionals at Southwest Wire Rope, here are 5 key components of a safe and effective rigging operation.

The Right Team

Rigging equipment is complex and advanced, but it still requires qualified professionals to run at its best. Your team members are your most important asset, so choosing a crew that is situationally aware and intentional in their actions goes a long way in creating a safe environment on the rig. Every worker should know the standard operating procedures for safety-related events and always put the safety of their colleagues ahead of performance.

The Best Equipment

We’ve all heard that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In the rigging business, one faulty sling, strap, link, or wire rope strand, or piece of rigging hardware can jeopardize your entire operation. Investing in equipment that is crafted to last and backed by the quality of a leading supplier will help ensure your machinery runs smoothly and your crew is protected from breakage or equipment wear.

Tests and Certifications

Instead of relying on the intuition that your rigging operation is safe, you can have peace of mind by proving it. Working with a rigging services provider who can offer Proof Load Testing, Break Testing, and on-site inspections will keep your rigging operation certified to the industry standard. To schedule a test today, click here.

Safety Protocols

When you first went into the rigging business, you were undoubtedly required to develop a comprehensive set of safety procedures that relate to facility management, personnel, and equipment operation. As your team has grown and your inventory has changed, it’s important to keep your safety protocols updated. If you need help developing safety procedures tailored to your rigging operation and equipment, get in touch with the team at Southwest today.

An Industry Partner

Keeping your operation safe yet productive is not an endeavor you should pursue alone. Partnering with a full-service provider who can offer years of industry experience and in-depth product knowledge on every piece of specialized equipment will save you hours of confusion and stress. As your operation changes to meet current demand, work with a provider who can help outfit, secure, and optimize your rigging and lifting facilities with special attention to the safety of your crew.

Southwest Wire Rope: Your Rigging Partner

The professionals at Southwest have been serving the needs of the rigging and lifting industries with an unwavering dedication to quality and excellence for years. If you are in the market for leading rigging equipment, need your rigging system tested, or are simply looking for an expert opinion, turn to the pros at Southwest Wire Rope. We look forward to answering your questions and forming a lasting partnership. For more information, browse our products and services or contact a rep today.

When you think about the major adjectives that describe a rigging operation, one of the first and most important answers would be “strong.” Strength is not only the defining feature of an effective rigging operation, but also the key to increased load capacity, and thereby output, which leads to higher profit margins and wages. Strength, then, is what we’re after.

One of the most reliable ways to increase the strength of a rigging operation is by investing in high-quality wire rope. Formed from a steel core and wrapped with concentric wire strands, wire rope is an extremely versatile asset that can bear hundreds of thousands of pounds of load, yet remain flexible. For more than 50 years, Southwest Wire Rope has been supplying some of the strongest and most recognizable wire rope products on the market.

To determine the true strength of wire rope, though, we need to put it to the test. Destructive or “break” testing can be dangerous, but is a useful measuring tool to gauge the strength of wire rope. Here’s everything you need to know about break testing.

What Is a Break Test?

Put simply, a destructive or break test measures the tensile strength of wire rope by using magnetic and hydraulic arms to pull opposite ends of the rope apart. The test continues until the wire strands begin to fail, and eventually, the wire rope gives out. This results in an extremely loud explosive noise and frayed metal remnants, which can be extremely dangerous. At the conclusion of the test, the true strength of the rope is evident based on the load reading at the point of breakage.

Can You Perform a Break Test Yourself?

A break test should absolutely never be conducted without the proper equipment, certified staff, and safety protocols. If you are unsure whether you can perform a break test at your rigging site, then the answer is undoubtedly no. Only specialized machinery operated by trained professionals is fit to manage a destructive test, and attempting a DIY test is a recipe for a regulatory violation and a potential safety hazard.

How to Get Your Wire Rope Tested

The only way to know the true strength of a piece of wire rope is to perform a break test in a certified testing facility. As wire rope specialists, the team at Southwest is trained in conducting safe, effective tests of all of our products. If you need your wire rope certified, are curious about the capacity of your rigging system, or are interested in stronger products, we can help. In addition to testing, Southwest is a leader in on-site rigging inspections, rental equipment, field spooling, and other services. Get in touch with a rigging professional today to learn how we can help outfit your rigging operation for maximum performance.

Southwest Wire Rope: Your Rigging Industry Partner

The professionals at Southwest have been serving the needs of the rigging and lifting industries with an unwavering dedication to quality and excellence for years. If you are in the market for leading rigging equipment, need your rigging system tested, or are simply looking for an expert opinion, turn to the pros at Southwest Wire Rope. We look forward to answering your questions and forming a lasting partnership. For more information, browse our products and services or contact a rep today.

In the rigging world, we are always pushing for “more.” More lift power, more loads, more hours on the rig, etc. This industry is full of diligent, hard workers who strive to get the absolute most out of their crews and their equipment.

One such way that many operators attempt to increase output is by increasing the capacity of each load. More productive loads means jobs get completed faster and more efficiently, and the next project can begin. So, how can we increase the strength and speed of our operation through better lift capacity? Keep reading to hear some ideas from the veterans at Southwest Wire Rope.

1. Pay Attention to Position

As you probably learned during your first training hours, position and angling are immensely important when it comes to lifting. While a straight vertical lift of a single, stable object can be completed at near maximum capacity of your machines, every additional variable you introduce will reduce your lift strength.

The same principles that govern lifting motions of your body apply to lifting loads as well. Lifting a small weight near your torso is much easier than lifting the same weight when your arm is fully extended. The added tension in an extended arm makes the job more difficult. As the boom of your crane extends and becomes more angled, load capacity decreases substantially. 

2. Invest in Stronger Equipment

The obvious method to increase your lift capacity is to invest in a larger, stronger crane. Beyond purchasing new power equipment, however, there are various approaches to making the most of your crane.

Changing the type, thickness, or orientation of your slings and chain setup can make a dramatic difference. Increasing the diameter by one-eighth of an inch, for example, can increase your nominal strength by 12 tons.

At Southwest Wire Rope, we’ve spent the past 56 years becoming experts in fabricating the highest quality rigging and lifting products on the market. From rope and chains, to synthetic web and round slings, along with all the hardware you’ll need, we can help you outfit your crane with the best equipment to ensure it’s running at maximum capacity. If you need guidance on which attachments work best for you, we’re here to help.

3. Get a Professional Opinion

This brings us to the third, and often most productive, method to increasing lift capacity: 

bringing in a rigging consultant. An on-site inspector is vital to staying within the codes of the various regulators, but can also provide valuable advice on which hardware and lifting products might be useful to increase your capacity.

Working alongside a rigging expert who has both practical knowledge on the operation of cranes as well as industry expertise on the outfitting side of the business can pay dividends. Our team will help you create the best lifting solution for your business through our decades of experience backed with rigorous testing. Get in touch with us today to get started.

Southwest Wire Rope: Your Rigging Industry Partner

The professionals at Southwest have been serving the needs of the rigging and lifting industries with an unwavering dedication to quality and excellence for years. If you are in the market for leading rigging equipment, need your rigging tested, or are simply looking for an expert opinion, we can help. We look forward to answering your questions and forming a lasting partnership. For more information, browse our products and services or contact a rep today.

One of the most commonly used and important pieces of equipment in a rigging operation is the sling. Crafted in unlimited lengths and specifications, slings made from synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester are excellent for bearing weight while remaining flexible and maneuverable. At Southwest Wire Rope, fabricating customized synthetic slings is one of our specialities.

Over the past 56 years, Southwest has become one of the most illustrious names in the rigging supply industry through our commitment to quality products. That’s why we take the longevity and condition of our equipment seriously. Synthetic slings, though durable and strong, will not last forever. It’s absolutely vital that you be able to identify the warning signs of the expiration of a sling’s life. Continuing to use a synthetic sling when it is past prime condition endangers not only the productivity of your entire operation, but also the safety of your employees. Keep reading to learn the telltale signs that it’s time to remove a synthetic sling from service.

The most obvious and threatening sign that a sling must be retired is damage. This may manifest through the appearance of holes, tears, or even minor cuts along the length of a sling. While synthetic slings are crafted to be incredibly strong, a small cut can compromise the entire integrity of the sling and eliminate its ability to effectively bear weight.

Damage can also pertain to conditions such as acid or alkaline burns, melting, charring, or weld splattering. Any of these traumas can degrade the fibers of the sling and cause a breakage.

When inspecting the sling for damage, also pay special attention to the fittings and hardware. If the fittings are stretched, nicked, or distorted in any way, the entire sling apparatus should be replaced.

This indicator is more elusive. If the sling identification tag is missing, damaged, or not completely legible, it’s time to retire the sling. With the long list of regulatory requirements from ASME, OSHA, the Department of Labor, and various manufacturer’s, you cannot afford to have even one piece of equipment in degrading condition.

Furthermore, if the ID tag of the sling is smudged or worn, it could indicate that the daily operations of the sling are more risky or damaging than expected.

When it doubt, sub it out. If any conditions arise that might jeopardize the strength or alignment of a sling, it should be replaced with a freshly fabricated one. If a sling becomes twisted or knotted, its load capacity instantly becomes reduced and its function less reliable. Synthetic slings also come with thin covers that protect the underlying fibers from damage; if the stitching of the cover is worn or broken through entirely, the sling is operating dangerously and must be removed from service.

How To Test the Durability of Synthetic Slings

When using slings of various thicknesses and lengths, it can be difficult to keep track of their capabilities. Consult a product specialist at Southwest Wire Rope to confirm the approximate capacity of your sling. Because slings come in an endless variety of shapes and sizes, only an industry professional can give proper guidance.

Booking an on-site rigging inspection is also an excellent way to ensure the safety of your equipment. A Southwest team member can perform a comprehensive gear inspection to make sure every piece of your equipment is functioning properly and up to code. We also have the equipment to perform reliable break testing of various lifting devices, with load test certificates furnished upon completion of every test.

Southwest Wire Rope: Your Rigging Industry Partner

For the last 56 years, the professionals at Southwest have been serving the needs of the rigging and lifting industries with an unwavering dedication to quality and excellence. If you are in the market for synthetic slings, need your equipment tested, or are simply looking for an expert opinion, we can help. We look forward to answering your questions and forming a lasting partnership. For more information, browse our products and services or contact a rep today.

In 1966, a man named Charlie with experience in the shrimping business noticed a strong demand for reliable wire rope and service in Gulf Coast industries. He began buying and stocking material and making assemblies, and soon after, Southwest Wire Rope was born.

56 years later, Southwest has become one of the strongest names in wire rope and chain fabrication, inspection, and testing in the world. Throughout that time, as our company grew and our experiences with it, we have worked alongside and supplied industrial titans. Here are a few key truths about the industry that we have learned along the way. 

 

Expertise Matters

One of the most important differentiators between Southwest and our competitors is our industry expertise. We have found that being deeply knowledgeable about the materials we provide and their capabilities allows us to provide better service, create lasting partnerships, and craft better solutions for our clients.

We receive requests for quotes or information every week, and many of these inquiries come from individuals in the purchasing department of their company who have very little experience with the wire rope product line. If the recipient of that call at Southwest were not intimately familiar with the industry, they could not guide the potential client to the right solution for their operation. Decades of experience helps us to create thriving rigs and lifting operations across the country.

 

Reputation Is Powerful

From the start, Southwest Wire Rope has been driven by integrity, organization, and quality. In 1983, we introduced our identifying trademark to the industry: “Gold Strand” wire rope. Marketed around the world by many wire rope distributors, this rope featuring a tell-tale gold strand represents those guiding values that are woven into every product created by Southwest.

Over the course of the last six decades, our commitment to excellence has helped foster a reputation for industry-leading quality in the wire rope space. Our reputation is one of our most treasured assets, and we fight each day to protect it.

 

Professionals Need Professional Materials

Since our founding, we have been a company of rigging professionals who serve rigging professionals. One thing we know better than most, is that those professionals need professional materials.

This is why we pursue relentless attention to detail in our fabrication and testing. We can provide the highest level of precision on rope lengths that our competitors simply cannot match. We pride ourselves on maintaining an industry-leading product offering with intricate specifications and customization available to all our customers – all made in-house at a single facility.

In this business, every pound, link, strand, and sixteenth of an inch matters, and we approach our work that way.

 

Southwest Wire Rope: Industry Experts

For the last 55 years, the professionals at Southwest have been serving the needs of the rigging and lifting industries with an unwavering dedication to quality and excellence. If you are in the market for wire rope, need your equipment tested, or are simply looking for an expert opinion, we can help. We look forward to answering your questions and forming a lasting partnership. For more information, browse our products and services or contact a rep today.