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Shackles 101: Important Dos and Don’ts You Should Know

A steel load shackle with a gray background.

Shackles are the primary connecting link in all manner of crane systems that allow different rigging subsets to be connected or disconnected efficiently and safely. However, it’s essential to understand the specifications and limitations of shackles before using them to avoid accidents. In this blog, we’ll discuss the essential dos and don’ts about shackles. Let’s begin!

DO: Perform a pre-use inspection

Carry out a pre-use inspection before the lift. It’s mandatory by law, as well as a best practice, to ensure safety at construction sites. It’s particularly important when a shackle is connected on a semi-permanent basis. If the inspection highlights issues, refrain from using the shackles before fixing or replacing them.

Shackles should be pre-inspected to ensure that:

  • The body and pin are both of the correct brand, size, and type

  • The threads of the pin and the body are in an optimal condition

  • All the necessary markings are readable

  • Any component of the locking system does not vibrate out of position

DO NOT: Replace shackle bolts or pins with standard objects

Never replace shackle bolts or pins with standards objects. Always use the right-sized, manufacturer-recommended pin to ensure safe operations. Also, rig a screw pin shackle properly to prevent the pin from unscrewing. We recommend using shackles made from stainless steel like W880 load shackles for maximum strength and reliability.

A stainless steel W880 RaycoWylie load shackle.

DO: Use loose spacers

Use loose spacers to prevent eccentric loading on shackles. Please refrain from using welding washers or spacers to minimize the width between the shackle jaws as it can affect the weighted load limit. When performing overhead lifting operations, use bolts or screw pins in the shackles to maximize safety.

DO NOT use an incorrect sized shackle

Avoid using a shackle that’s not the right size for the hook. Make sure to pick the correct sized shackle to ensure proper load-bearing contact with the hook. Moreover, always place multiple sling legs in the shackle bows, and not against the shackle pins, to avoid any crane-related accident at your construction site.

DO: Adjust the sling properly

If the lift operations are performed with one sling, it should be centered (zero to five degrees) in the bow of the shackle. If you’re using two slings, then the maximum angle should exceed no more than 120 degrees. Also, check the manufacturers’ manual and make sure the shackle is symmetrically loaded.

Buy Quality Crane Safety Equipment

If you want to buy high-quality crane safety instrumentation, contact Crane Warning Systems Atlanta. We’re the leading Rayco Wylie crane safety systems distributor in the United States that offer an extensive of crane safety instrumentation, including W880 Load Links and Shackles, and more. Call 1-877-672-2951 for more details about our products

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