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.