3 Important Rigging Practices

Renting a crane gives you the ability to lift heavy loads to vertical work areas. There are many factors that affect the safety of any crane-assisted lift, but the way the crane is rigged is one major factor when it comes to safety.

Companies who rely on rented cranes might not be using a crane on a daily basis, so it can be easy to overlook some important rigging practices when performing basic lifts. Be sure that you are implementing these three rigging practices to improve crane safety on your work sites in the future.

1. Inspect Rigging Hardware

Crane safety begins long before a lift is initiated. You want to take the time to inspect the crane, the rigging, and all rigging hardware for signs of damage before you hook up a load for lifting. Stretches, cracks, gouges, or multiple nicks in the rigging hardware can mean that the structural integrity of the rigging system has been compromised.

Pay close attention to rigging blocks, slings, swivels, and rope clips when completing a visual inspection. Even the most minor damage could lead to catastrophic failure, so avoid using damaged rigging hardware at all costs.

2. Use the Right Sling Hitch

There are a few different types of sling hitches available, so it's important that you are using the right hitch configuration for the load you will be lifting. Vertical sling hitches are best for loads that are balanced and compact. You should always use multiple vertical sling hitches on the same load to improve stability.

Choker sling hitches can be used to secure loads that are oddly shaped. You will need to use slings that are long enough to allow the choke to be completely contained within the sling, not on the eye or other fittings.

A basket sling hitch cradles your load during lifting. This makes a basket hitch the right choice for particularly heavy loads since the weight of the load will be supported from the bottom while being lifted from the top. Multiple slings should be used to create a basket hitch in order to maximize the safety of this hitch configuration.

3. Account for Environmental Factors

The environment in which you are operating your rented crane can have an effect on the safety of the crane's rigging. Wet or humid weather conditions can make it easy for rigging hardware to slip. High winds can create significant sway, making the rigging more susceptible to failure.

Your rigging practices should include a thorough assessment of the weather to determine if a lift can safely be completed at any given time. To learn more, speak with a representative from a crane rental company.