Construction 101: Everything You Need To Know About Shackles


One of a crane operator’s worst fears—and a prevalent hazard—is an unbalanced crane that collapses under the excessive weight of the payload.


It is usually the site superintendent’s job to make sure that crane operators are not only given the right equipment to support the payload, but are also trained to use it.

Some of the most commonly used pieces of crane safety equipment include shackles. If your company relies on cranes to lift materials or objects, you need to have the right kind of shackles.


Let’s learn more about them:


The lowdown on shackles

No longer known by their previous name, ‘gyves,’ shackles are used to lift and secure heavy loads. They are typically available in a wide range of forms, shapes, sizes, and types—each one for a different job.


Shackles are used to lift, secure, or rig heavy objects. Each shackle comprises two main parts—the body and the bolt. The body is either U-shaped or horseshoe-shaped. The bolt (also known as the pin) connects both ends of this loop and holds them in place. The shackle creates a robust connection between the lifting device (i.e., the crane) and the payload, while also providing support to the payload.


Shackles are used in a wide range of rigging systems, including ships, boats, and industrial cranes. Heavy-duty shackles are more commonly used for industrial crane rigging, while lighter-duty equivalents are used to tow smaller objects such as personal safety gear, harnesses, and luggage.


Shackles may also be used in conjunction with slings and wire ropes.


Let’s take a look at common types of shackles:


Chain shackles

Chain shackles are more commonly known as D shackles, primarily because of their D-shaped structure. This shape appears distinct because it’s narrower than the O-shaped shackles.

D-shaped shackles are used in everyday construction scenarios and are better suited for moderate to heavy loads. However, they’re not recommended for side and racking loads where the lifting is not entirely vertical. When sideloading lifting, a typical chain shackle may bend or twist under force.


Chain shackles are manufactured in a number of different materials, including galvanized steel, stainless steel, zinc-plated, and alloy steel.


Bow shackles

A bow shackle, also known as an anchor shackle, has an O-shaped look and is typically larger in size than a chain shackle. In terms of the shape, the bow area is more clearly defined and is rounder.


Since it’s a rounded design, bow shackles can support loads from multiple angles and directions—including side loads. The shape also makes it easier for them to support heavier payloads. They’re also capable of accommodating wider lifting straps for all sorts of lifting and rigging activities, without excessively pinching and adjusting of the fabric.


Crane Warning Systems Atlanta is one of the pioneers of crane indicator systems. We specialize in links and shackles, crane wind speed Indicator, rated capacity indicators, wired crane camera systems, and crane A2B systems. You can browse through our collection to take a more detailed look at our collection.   

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