Rigging jobs require a lot of specified equipment, and it’s a rigger’s job to know exactly what tools to use in what combination to keep your heavy equipment, and everyone on the job site, safe. Choosing what type of tools to use in which situations takes experience and expertise, and just like many other industries, the technology at our fingertips in rigging changes daily. But there are some unsung heroes that we just couldn’t get through any rigging job without.
Rigging Job Support Equipment
The real ‘rigging’ portion of a rigging job involves slinging and lifting heavy equipment, but that’s never the start or the finish of the journey. In most rigging jobs, there are a variety of tools not specific to the industry that we simply couldn’t move heavy equipment without.
When you’re moving heavy equipment, you usually aren’t moving it from point A to point B within in the same facility (although we do that, too). Most of our clients need to move their large machinery from one side of town to the other or across the country, and we cannot transport these heavy loads without flatbed trucks.
It’s not the most glamorous or complicated aspect of the rigging job, but it does have its difficulties. Loads must be secured to the flatbeds with special equipment, tarping secured, routes planned, and state regulations for oversize loads followed. We keep a fleet of trucks to serve our rigging projects at Rowe Transfer and have the expertise to transport any oversize load any distance, because transportation is one of our key services.
Speaking of the equipment that actually moves heavy equipment, no rigging job would be complete without a forklift. Once we’ve transported heavy equipment across the road, a forklift helps us make the final transfer from the truck bed into your facility. These mighty little tools lift many times their weight and operating one to transfer loads weighing 30,000 pounds or more is no simple task. Riggers need to be experts in knowing a forklift’s capacity and understanding how best to use them to transfer heavy equipment.
Every transportation company uses pallets to secure their loads, but when you call a rigging expert it’s because you have equipment that’s delicate or difficult to move. Maybe it’s heavy manufacturing equipment. Maybe it’s a multi-million-dollar piece of medical machinery. Maybe it’s temperature- and vibration-sensitive lab equipment. Whatever the load, if it requires rigging, it requires securing and stabilization that only pallets can provide. Knowing precisely how to arrange and secure pallets to A) ensure your heavy equipment is stable on the road and B) it’s easy to move when it arrives at your facility is something of an artform.
Pallet skates might be the most elegant tool in the rigger’s arsenal. By simply sliding a team of these under a heavy load’s pallets, we can transform an oversized load that would overwhelm a forklift into a mobile, sliding trolley—though usually a pretty massive one. Pallet skates keep loads close to the floor, meaning the equipment and the people around it stays safe.
When sliding on skates pulled by forklifts is too ungainly, or a load is just too heavy, a self-propelled crawler is a rigger’s best friend. These little tools move like robotic vacuums across the floor, carrying up to 100 tons on their backs! They’re remote controlled, and it takes a certain level of skill to understand how to load and maneuver heavy equipment on them. But once again, they enable rigging teams to move equipment without high lifts, which is always our goal at Rowe Transfer.
Rigging Equipment that Carries More Than Its Weight
Cranes, slings, and spreader beams get all the attention when we talk about choosing the right rigging equipment, but some of the smallest rigging equipment makes the biggest difference to ensuring a rigging job gets done right.
Rigging hooks are specifically designed to eliminate any movement or slippage when you’re moving heavy objects. As the point where the rigging meets the equipment, it’s incredibly important to choose the right rigging hook style (eye, clevis, swivel, choker, etc.) with the right size throat for each job, as the entire job is quite literally hanging on them.
Pulleys and Blocks
Pulleys and blocks reduce the amount of force and energy required to lift and move heavy equipment. They make every rigging job easier, in every sense of the term. Both blocks and pulleys come in a wide variety of designs and load-carrying ranges, and it’s a rigger’s job to choose the right combination of pulley systems and blocks with the right rope to carry the load. This can get complex and requires technical calculations involving the rig angles and weight distribution, as well as the capacity limits of other rigging equipment used on the job.
Shackles help quickly connect or disconnect rigging equipment. They look and function like heavy duty carabiners. Very heavy duty. As in, shackles usually come into play when equipment weight 6,000 to 11,000 pounds. Keep in mind, they can be as small as 3/16 of an inch, and usually don’t get any larger than 3 inches. These small pieces of rigging equipment form the connections that make lifting and moving heavy equipment possible.
Riggers use eye bolts to anchor a rigging system. These tiny tools can hold many times their weight in place: At the bottom of the spectrum, quarter-inch eye bolts generally have a weight capacity around 600 pounds. At the top, two-inch eye bolts can anchor up to 35,000 pounds. Creating stability on a rig cannot be underestimated and even though they are small, eye bolts found the safety and security of many rigging jobs.
Expert Rigging Company in East Tennessee
Safety should always be the top priority for any rigging job and ensuring the rigging team and equipment stays safe boils down to choosing the right equipment. You should minimize lifting where possible. You should use every tool available to reduce the weight strain on equipment and create stability in the rigging system. It’s not easy to be an expert in equipment ranging from the humble rigging hook to the mighty self-propelled crawler, but it’s necessary to get the job done safely and right.
Our team of experts have years of experience moving heavy equipment of all shapes and sizes. We specialize in set up rigging systems for complex moves, and always prioritize safety, as our stellar safety record shows. We always keep in mind the myriad of things that can go wrong in rigging projects and take every precaution to minimize risk using the latest technology and decades of rigging equipment expertise. Reach out to Rowe Transfer for your next rigging project at 865-523-0421 or online.