Wire rope is valued in the rigging industry because of its incredible strength and flexibility. However, not all wire rope is the same – it comes in many different grades, and some grades are better suited to your project than others.

How do you know which wire rope grade you need? Let’s find out.

What Are Wire Rope Grades?

The two main parameters used to measure wire rope grades are tensile strength and breaking strength. Tensile strength is the measure of a wire rope’s ability to withstand pulling forces without breaking. Breaking strength measures the maximum load a wire rope can bear before failure.

Wire rope grades are often represented by numbers such as 6×19 or 8×25. The first number represents the number of strands in the wire rope, while the second number indicates the number of wires in each strand. These designations provide insight into the wire rope’s flexibility, strength and abrasion resistance. Generally, wire ropes with a higher number of strands and wires exhibit greater flexibility and resistance to wear.

How Do I Choose the Right Wire Rope Strength?

Choosing the right wire rope for your project depends on many factors, such as intended application and load requirements. Consider the following when making your decision:

Working Load – How much of a load will the wire rope be subject to during rigging operations? Consider both static and dynamic loads, as well as potential vibrations or shock loads.

Safety – Industry standards recommend applying a safety factor of 5:1, which means the wire rope’s breaking strength should be at least five times the anticipated working load.

Environmental Factors – Consider the temperature at your rigging site, as well as exposure to chemicals, corrosive substances and moisture levels. Choose ropes with proper coatings to withstand these conditions.

Seek Guidance – Rigging equipment and wire rope manufacturers are available to help when you need them. Ask for advice about wire rope grades, constructions and strengths for your rigging project – they will be happy to assist.

Find the Best Wire Rope for Your Project

Choosing the right strength wire rope is crucial for a safe and compliant rigging site, but it is not an intuitive decision for everyone.

Southwest Wire Rope is happy to clarify wire rope grades and offer guidance so you can make informed choices. We supply high-quality rigging equipment and offer testing and various on-site services to keep your work site safe and successful.

Contact us today to learn more and to optimize your wire rope’s performance.

While wire rope is known for its strength and durability, it is not indestructible. Core failure is one of the most common hazards, posing a potential safety hazard to those on your job site. Thankfully, there are ways to increase the lifespan of your rope and keep your project running smoothly. Keep reading to discover the best wire rope maintenance tips.

Store Wire Rope Properly

Safely and intentionally storing your wire rope extends its working life. The best way to do this is on a reel, which helps the rope maintain its shape and function by not getting tangled or kinked. Reels also make wire rope easier to store and transport. 

When storing wire rope, be sure to keep it in a cool, dry, covered and ventilated area. Make sure the rope is stored at least several inches of the ground – water damage from flooding can corrode the rope and cause its lubricant to wear off.

Clean and Lubricate Rope Regularly

The importance of wire rope lubricants cannot be overstated. They reduce friction when individual wires move over each other, and have corrosion control properties. Make sure excess grease is removed after lubricating, as lack of proper cleaning may cause dirt and water to stick to the lubricated rope. Remove any buildup of mud, salt, rocks, dirt and other debris you notice as well.

Thoroughly Inspect Rope for Wear and Tear

OSHA and ASME have strict regulations when it comes to wire rope quality. Inspect your rope for any of the following: broken wires, corrosion, heat damage, bent hooks, kinks, a shrinking diameter, rust and permanent bends.

If the rope appears damaged or deviates from the norm in any way, pull it for inspection. It’s always better to be overly cautious than to risk injury or accident later. Establishing regular inspection services before and after each use are crucial for keeping your job site safe.

Make Sure the Rope is Strong Enough

When wire rope is not the correct size, type or cannot withstand the weight you are loading, it is a recipe for disaster. Veer on the side of caution and only lift loads you know the rope can support. Review the minimum and collective breaking strengths your rope can withhold to prevent snapping, fraying and breakages.

Wire Rope Inspection Services

Southwest Wire Rope supplies rope in various diameters and strengths and provides on-site spooling and inspection services to keep your job site safe, compliant and running smoothly. 

Contact us today to schedule services or request custom lifting and mooring products. We look forward to working with you.

One of the best ways to boost performance on your rigging site is by customizing your wire rope and hardware. Not only do custom solutions help operations run smoothly and efficiently, they also keep workers safe and compliant. Does your job site have the custom equipment it needs to succeed?

Tailored Wire Rope

Quality custom wire rope can mean the difference between a successful project and a failed one. Rope can be customized through a number of factors, including strand configuration, core type, wire size and specialized coatings or fittings. Consider the needs of your project – how flexible, corrosion-resistant or able to withstand the elements does your rope need to be?

The environment you are working in can also affect how you customize your wire rope. For example, in marine applications, weight plays a critical role, which means that rope used in this environment should be incredibly durable and able to withstand underwater conditions. Galvanized aircraft cable (GAC) wire rope needs to be both strong and flexible for industrial lifting projects; factors such as diameter, length and the number of strands in the rope can affect this to varying degrees. If you are unsure about which wire rope would best suit your project, reach out to a rigging expert today.

Tailored Hardware

Like wire rope, rigging hardware that is not tailored to your project can make your site dangerous, inefficient and substantially delay projects. Hardware such as hooks, swivels, shackles and hoists can be engineered to handle load distribution, lifting heights, load capacities and environmental conditions to keep your site performing optimally.

Again, consider your project before customizing your rigging hardware. For work that requires precise alignment, a hook or swivel can provide the needed rotational freedom. If you have to lift an extremely heavy load to a great height, hoists can be customized with amplified safety features. The length of a spreader bar can be tailored for optimal load distribution, and attachment points can be modified by integrating specialized connectors or fittings, such as custom swivel hooks, eye bolts or lugs.

Custom Inspection and Maintenance

The last thing you want to do is reduce your equipment’s lifespan after putting in the effort to tailor it to your project. That’s why it’s so important to perform regular maintenance and inspections on custom wire rope and hardware, just as you would a standard piece of equipment.

Implement a comprehensive inspection schedule and always remember to follow manufacturer guidelines while maintaining your hardware and rope. When in doubt, reach out to your rigging equipment’s manufacturer – they know it better than anyone.

Straightforward Custom Rigging Solutions

You have a lot of work to do, which means high-performing, efficient, safe and reliable rigging equipment is a necessity for your job site. By requesting custom solutions, you can ensure all of these things, and more.

Southwest Wire Rope is here to get your project off the ground. We supply wire rope, fittings, slings, chains and more in a variety of strengths and sizes. Our on-site inspection services can help you identify which custom equipment would most benefit your site.

Contact us now to learn more about our professional rigging services.

Wire rope is an invention that we take for granted today, but its impact on America’s major industries can’t be overstated. Its textured history has led to a more innovative, productive and efficient country. Let’s explore how wire rope became such a behemoth here in our country.

The Origin of Rope

It is impossible to talk about wire rope in America without first understanding the rich, layered history of rope in early civilizations. The oldest ropes date back to approximately 12000 BC, and remnants of old rope have been found in Finland and Egypt, dating back 4000+ years.

Since its creation, rope has allowed us to pull and lift incredible loads that would otherwise be impossible. In 1586, the builder Frederico Fontana supervised the erection of an obelisk in Rome that took 900 men, 75 horses and many reeving systems to lift, but only through the power of rope.

Wire Rope’s Invention in Germany

In the early 19th century, the German mining official, Wilhelm Albert, developed the modern wire rope as we know it. His goal was to create a rope that was superior to hemp rope, and improve transportation within mines. When Albert’s rope was tested in 1834, it had six times the load capacity of hemp rope. Wire rope’s quality was further refined and its popularity quickly spread to Europe and North America.

Wire Rope in America

The most notable early use of wire rope in America came in 1841, when John A. Roebling used it to build suspension bridges, including the Brooklyn Bridge in 1869. Many mining and railroad companies sought to capitalize on Roebling’s success, and a number of railroad initiatives were spearheaded in 1830 and 40s Pennsylvania.

Deep shaft mining grew in popularity over the next several decades, and with it, the use of wire rope to hoist loads on inclined plane railways. The German engineering company Adolf Bleichert & Co. dominated globally in the 1870s, building aerial tramways that used wire rope and extending its reach to systems across America.

Wire rope also had a profound impact on San Francisco in the 1880s. Horses and steam engines struggled to pull trams up the city slopes, so an early version of the cable car that utilized wire rope was used instead.

Wire Rope Today

In 1983, Southwest Wire Rope’s “Gold Strand” wire rope was introduced, recognizable for its distinctive gold-colored strand. For over 40 years, Gold Strand wire rope has been synonymous with quality and innovation, and is recognized by professional rigging companies worldwide.

In coming years, wire rope will continue to aid industries across America as a powerful rigging tool in mining, manufacturing and construction. At Southwest Wire Rope, we pride ourselves on 50+ years as a quality wire rope provider. 

Explore our products online or contact us to learn more. 

In marine applications, the importance of reliable rigging solutions cannot be overstated. Whether you’re sailing the high seas or managing a bustling marina, the right rigging equipment is crucial for safety, efficiency, and overall operational success. In this blog post, we’ll explore the best rigging solutions tailored for marine applications, emphasizing the significance of using top-notch marine rigging equipment.

Stainless Steel Rigging Components

For marine environments, where exposure to saltwater is inevitable, stainless steel stands out as the go-to material for rigging components. Its corrosion-resistant properties ensure longevity and minimal maintenance requirements.

Dyneema and Synthetic Ropes

In marine rigging, weight plays a significant role. Dyneema and other synthetic ropes offer an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, providing the necessary strength without adding unnecessary bulk. Synthetic ropes exhibit minimal stretch, contributing to better control and stability in various marine applications, from sailing to lifting operations.

Wire Rope and Cable Assemblies

Wire ropes and cable assemblies are versatile solutions in marine rigging. From securing loads to supporting mast structures, their adaptability makes them essential in a variety of applications. These robust materials are designed to withstand heavy loads and harsh marine conditions, making them ideal for tasks that demand durability and strength.

Swivels and Shackles

Swivels play a crucial role in allowing free movement and rotation of attached components. High-quality shackles complement swivels by providing secure connections, ensuring safety and reliability in marine rigging setups.

Rigging Hardware Inspection and Maintenance

The harsh marine environment can accelerate wear and tear on rigging equipment. Regular inspections are essential to identify signs of damage or fatigue and address them promptly.

Establishing a routine maintenance schedule, including lubrication and corrosion prevention measures, can significantly extend the lifespan of rigging equipment.

Customized Solutions for Specific Applications

Marine rigging requirements can vary widely based on the type of vessel or specific application. Opting for customized rigging solutions ensures that your equipment is precisely suited to meet the demands of your marine operations.

Your Source for Quality Marine Rigging Solutions

Choosing the best rigging solutions for marine applications involves a careful consideration of materials, design, and functionality. By prioritizing quality and investing in durable, corrosion-resistant equipment, you not only enhance the safety of your marine endeavors but also contribute to the overall efficiency and success of your operations. Southwest Wire Rope is your partner for all things rigging. From a wide range of wire rope to on-site inspection services, we’ve got you covered. Reach out today for your custom marine rigging solution.

Both round and web slings make for versatile lifting equipment, with many potential applications across rigging. They provide a lightweight option for rigging without sacrificing strength or durability. Their flexibility offers an advantage over other rigging setups that require material to secure around harsh angles. The use of synthetic fibers in their construction makes them more durable than natural fiber rope with greater resistance to the elements than wire rope. Here we will discuss the intricacies of round and web slings, including their construction and most common uses. 

Most Common Applications

Web slings and round slings certainly have their similarities, but their value is their few differences. Each one has specific applications and tasks in mind with their design. Let’s break each down.

How They Work – Briefly

While many out there reading this are likely seasoned veterans who are well acquainted with all types of slings, there may be a few who are just getting started in their rigging careers and could use the refresher.

Slings work as follows:

It is important to remember that round and web slings are not intended for extended use or for permanent rigging. They are intended to be a lightweight solution to lift loads that will be unloaded relatively quickly. 

Easy To Use, Easy To Source

Synthetic slings are a versatile piece of rigging equipment. Their lightweight design coupled with their strength and durability make them a go-to in every rigger’s kit. Southwest Wire Rope is here to provide you with a wide array of slings to handle whatever you throw at them. If you are in need of new slings on your worksite or need help assembling a complicated rigging setup, reach out to us today!

When you need synthetic rope, wire rope, spooling services or chain on-site, you likely don’t have the time to wait. You need it now. The same can be said for all rigging equipment. If you do not have a local wire supplier, who can you turn to for rigging solutions? Southwest Wire Rope is here for you. If no one on-site can come up with a solution, you want a resource that is trustworthy, knowledgeable, can resolve your issue and keep your jobsite functioning efficiently. 

We have 3 locations in the Gulf Coast region that you can count on.

It may not seem like having a local wire rope and rigging gear supplier would make much of a difference, but it can truly make or break your ability to complete your project on-time or satisfy your customer within budget. Here we will discuss some of the advantages of having local and knowledgable Southwest Wire Rope as your go-to supplier. 

Supplies When You Need Them

Even with meticulous planning, you can find yourself short on necessary equipment. No matter the issue, you need a solution to your problem as quickly as possible. This is when having a local full-service rigging supplier with three locations in Southern Texas and Louisiana can make all the difference. By quickly sourcing rigging equipment, you are able to mitigate delays in completing your project while maintaining the strictest safety standards. This can be a difficult balance to strike, but with each aspect being critically important, using our local sources will allow you to quickly replace, repair or inspect rigging equipment.

Solutions, Not Guesswork

Another reason to count on Southwest Wire Rope is that you can leverage the rapport you develop as a customer into an opportunity to take advantage of our years of knowledge and experience. Should you encounter a fresh problem that no one on-site can solve, having a supplier that is rich in industry knowledge provides massive added value to your overall network when taking on projects. Why not have such an impressive resource for both rigging equipment and knowledge at your disposal? Doing so increases efficiency and productivity and maintains safety even through challenging projects.

We Have the Equipment and Solutions You Need

Southwest Wire Rope is here to provide you with both the rigging equipment and rigging solutions you need to keep your project on track. We have full capability and capacity to meet all your rigging needs including custom wire rope, hardware, synthetic, chain and wire rope slings. Lean on our decades of combined experience in the rigging, mooring, specialty wire rope and steel cables industry for everything you need. When you need to fit unique rigs that maintain safety, that is our priority and expertise. Reach out today and let us help your project run smoothly and safely.

The Gold Strand is synonymous with Southwest Wire Rope. For over 50 years we have been the mark of quality in rigging components. Our Gold Strand can be found on docks and job sites all over the world. Our wire rope is trusted in rigs every single day. In a word, the gold strand means everything to us. 

The gold strand means trust, quality and innovation. Here we will explore what each of those means to us and why they are so important.


When you see the Gold Strand on your job site, you are immediately put at ease. You know that the best possible wire rope is on hand. You know that you are working with specialists who are committed to doing the best job possible. The Gold Strand is a commitment to safety as it becomes clear that you are working with professionals who know what it takes to have a safe, productive day on-site. The Gold Strand is a way to signal to others on site that you can be trusted. The importance of trust can’t be overstated and the Gold Strand is a way to build it on your site without saying a word.


The Gold Strand wire rope is the definitive symbol of quality. For over 50 years, our wire rope has been used in rigging on construction sites, docks and film sets. In all of those years we have exceeded expectations. There is a reason why these professionals come back to our wire rope time and time again. That reason being that we take care in the manufacture of our wire rope so that it is consistently the strongest and most durable available on the market. 

Our wire rope wouldn’t have the trust of such varied industries if it were not for the attention to detail put into the sourcing of materials and the construction of each strand. By consistently offering high quality wire rope, we give these industries little reason to look elsewhere for rigging solutions.


In both our products and services, we have remained innovative. Offering much more than our signature Gold Strand wire rope, we offer solutions for all types of rigging needs. We offer on-site spooling, field inspection, testing and rentals all in an effort to make the absolute best available to you on your job site. Every industry we work with is a demanding, time constrained endeavor so we take it upon ourselves to ensure that we can meet the needs of those who rely on our products on a daily basis.

Decades as the Trusted Source of Wire Rope

Southern Wire Rope has been providing wire rope and rigging solutions for nearly 60 years. With that experience we have earned the trust and confidence of rigging professionals around the world. We offer a variety of services that provide the solutions needed to keep your job site productive and safe. If you have questions about how we can help your operation, reach out so that we can partner with you in finding a solution.

In rigging, we all know that the setup is only as strong as its weakest link. Any failure is a potentially dangerous situation that puts your entire operation in jeopardy. Every component must be relentlessly reliable. Synthetic rope is one such tool that bears heavy responsibility. While incredibly strong and durable, it often immediately supports a load; if it were to fail, the results would be catastrophic.

You will likely never see natural rope used in a rig as they are weaker and less durable than their synthetic counterparts. With this in mind, let’s discuss the advantages of synthetic rope.

Synthetic Rope – What Is It?

Synthetic rope is made from nylon, polyester, or polypropylene fibers. These ropes can be made using one or a combination of these synthetic fibers. Much like a natural rope, these fibers are drawn out into strands and then woven together. The end result is a durable, strong rope that can bear markedly more weight and tension than its natural counterpart.

Uses and Applications

Because of the materials used, synthetic rope is better able to withstand friction, making it more durable. It should be noted that how much you use the rope and its length of service will directly affect how long it lasts. Sporadic use could see it surviving for up to 10 years, whereas heavy use will require replacement every year or two. Synthetic rope is great for outdoor uses, as it is resistant to rot and mildew that can arise from exposure to moisture.

Synthetic rope is useful for a host of additional purposes. Its resistance to moisture makes it ideal for use in marine applications, but it has various advantages outside of the rigging sphere. It serves as an excellent climbing rope due to its abrasion resistance – it can handle rough edges of the terrain without fail. This is also what makes it perfect for rigging in film and theater. Where creative problems often require creative solutions, crews know they can rely on these ropes to hold the scene together. Synthetic rope can also be used effectively in towing and hauling applications.

Find Top-Tier Synthetic Rope

Southwest Wire Rope has been a leader in wire rope and rigging supplies in the Gulf Coast region since 1966. We provide quality supplies and reliable service to each one of our clients so they can meet the tough demands of the industry with confidence and excellence. We are happy to share our decades of experience to help you find the best solution for whatever undertaking you have in front of you. From synthetic rope and slings to wire rope and chains, we have a comprehensive product offering to completely outfit your rig.  Get in touch with our team today to level up your operation.

Wire rope is arguably the most important asset that a rigging equipment provider can supply. It forms the backbone of every operation, helping to execute every lift and move heavy loads with precision and security. Without wire rope, the rigging, overhead lifting and securement industries couldn’t meet demands.

For these reasons, it is absolutely crucial to make sure wire rope is properly maintained. Storing wire rope safely and intentionally will help lengthen its working life and improve the safety of your daily operations. Keep reading to discover the key considerations and tips for storing wire rope.

Wire Rope Spooling

The best method of storing wire rope is on a reel. This helps to maintain the shape and function of the rope over time by avoiding kinks and tangles, which can damage the integrity of the rope and reduce its safety and usefulness. Reels also help centralize wire rope into space-efficient units that can be transported and even stacked.

Once spooled onto a reel, it will be simple and easy to remove the desired length of wire rope when needed. Whether you are working with drilling rigs, cranes or winches, we recommend that you have your wire rope installed and removed by an  experienced professional.

Conditions and Safety

Wire rope is a vital piece of equipment, and it should be stored as such. Water, salt, dust, steam, temperature extremes and chemical fumes can wreak havoc on the structure and strength of wire rope. Therefore, store your wire rope supply in a cool, dry, covered, and well-ventilated place. An  indoor location is best, but if you must store wire rope outdoors, make sure it is covered with waterproof material.

Additionally, make sure no part of the rope is touching the ground, and that the base of the wire rope reel is elevated at least a few inches in case of flooding. Water immersion can cause the wire rope to corrode and its lubricant to wear off. . When in doubt, check with your rigging equipment provider about wire rope spooling to ensure it is done right.

Rigging Inspections

Inspections of various pieces of rigging equipment are required by law on a regular basis – and wire rope is no exception. Work with your rigging equipment provider to have your wire rope inspected if it has been stored for an extended period of time. A full-scale rigging inspection can also help you determine where and how to store your wire rope on the front-end of a project. A qualified rigging equipment inspector will be able to address the quality and condition of all your rigging and lifting gear, furnishing detailed reports on their findings.

Work With Wire Rope Experts

At Southwest Wire Rope, our team has been serving the needs of the rigging, overhead lifting and securement industries with unwavering excellence for 56 years. If you’re searching for a rigging equipment provider, wire rope spooling and storage help or a certified inspector, turn to the professionals at Southwest Wire Rope. Our experienced team can provide insights and recommendations for the type of wire rope, end fittings, hardware, and operational procedures that best suit your facilities and equipment. We look forward to answering your questions and forming a lasting partnership. For more information, browse our service offering.