Heavy Duty Rigging and Lifting Hooks
Rigging and lifting hooks for cranes, hoists and slings are an essential part of almost any rigging application. Choosing the correct rigging hook for your lifting application is just as important as choosing the correct sling or hoist. Lifting hooks come in a huge variety of designs, materials and sizes, all suited for different lifting applications. Some of the most popular types of hooks used in the rigging and lifting industry are:
- Eye Hooks
- Clevis Hooks
- Swivel Hooks
- Sorting Hooks
- Foundry Hooks
- Grab Hooks
- Drum / Barrel Hooks
Some of the above-mentioned rigging hooks are commonly used with hook safety latches and some are not. Further down we will talk about when riggers do and don’t need to use a hook safety latch.
Most types of industrial lifting hooks differ in two ways:
- The Top Attachment Mechanism
- The Body Style of the Hoist Hook
At Tri-State Rigging Equipment we pride ourselves on providing only the highest quality heavy-duty lifting and rigging hooks to our customers. If you are unable to find what you are looking for, or if you don’t know exactly what you need, call or email our sales team to speak with a rigging product specialist.
Eye Hooks, Clevis Hooks, & Swivel Hooks
The two primary methods of attaching a rigging hook to a crane, hoist, or lifting sling are with an eye or clevis at the top of the hook. In addition, lifting hooks can be equipped with a swivel top that is able to rotate either to help connect to the load or to rotate while under load.
Eye hooks are a great permanent solution for connecting a lifting hook to a sling. Eye hooks also allow for a great amount of flexibility in how you move and position the hook to connect to a lifting point. The permanent nature of eye hooks can be a drawback, however. If the sling eye hook is bent, cracked or stretched, the entire sling must be taken out of service since the hook is a permanent part of the sling.
Clevis hooks are a great nonpermanent alternative to eye hooks. Clevis hooks come equipped with a “U” shaped clevis top that is secured by a bolt or pin. They are commonly used as eye hook alternatives by rigging shops and end users who are not certified to weld alloy chain slings. Clevis hooks offer these end users a mechanical connection to chain slings that doesn’t require special certifications to be manufactured. The nonpermanent nature of clevis hooks also allows riggers to quickly and easily replace the hook if it is damaged in any way. Keep in mind that slings that have had hooks replaced are considered to be repaired and must undergo proof-testing before being put back into service. In addition, while clevis hooks don’t have the same free articulation as eye hooks, they can be pivoted side to side to help connect the hook to a lifting point.
As is mentioned above, swivel hooks allow the hook to rotate 360°. There are two distinct types of swivel hooks and it is extremely important to make sure the swivel hook you are using is the swivel hook your lifting application requires. The two types of swivel hooks are:
- Positioning Swivel Hook: These swivel hooks are used so the rigger can rotate the hook to get a properly aligned and secure attachment to the load. It is extremely important to know that positioning swivel hooks are not made to swivel while under load, rather they are designed only to swivel when your rigger needs to align and/or position the hook onto the pick point.
- True Swivel Hook with Bearing: These swivel hooks contain a bearing that allows the hook to swivel 360° under load. True swivel hooks are an ideal solution for rigging applications where it is important that the rigging equipment not twist while under load. Like positioning swivel hooks, true swivel hooks allow the rigger to rotate the hook while connecting to the load.
Sorting hooks, often referred to as “shake out hooks” or “lay out hooks” are most commonly used to lay out and sort objects like flat metal plates, pipes and all kinds of tube-shaped objects. Sorting hooks can be used in any single or multi-leg bridle sling assembly where the load fully engages the full depth of the hook. The unique design of sorting hooks requires that they must be used at a 30° to 45° sling angle to fully engage the hook. Lifting a load that does not fully engage the full depth of the sorting hook can significantly reduce the Working Load Limit of that hook.
Along with a few other types of hooks, sorting hooks are not designed to be used with a safety latch. Since the full engagement of a sorting hook is required for a safe lift, a latch would greatly hinder the practical use of sorting hooks to lift plates and cylinders.
While they are similar and the terms are often used interchangeably, sorting hooks are not the same as pelican hooks. In contrast to sorting hooks, pelican hooks are used in marine and nautical applications and are not intended for overhead lifting.
Like the name implies, foundry hooks are commonly used in foundries. Their unique design allows them to fit trunnions and handles on castings or molds used in foundry work. Foundry hook throats are wider and deeper than other rigging hooks and are one of the few hooks designed to be used without a safety latch. This is due to the dangerous high heat environments foundry hooks are used in which make it unsafe for workers to reach up to latch and unlatch loads.
Tip loading is very common in the environments where foundry hooks are found. While foundry hooks are safe to tip load in most situations, a reduction in Working Load Limit does occur and riggers should contact their manufacturer to properly reduce the rated capacity of foundry hooks when used to tip load.
J-hooks are designed to have a slimmer and lower profile than other hoist hooks. This unique design allows J-hooks to be used in lifting and rigging applications where sling, grab and foundry hooks are too big and thick to perform the job well. It must be kept in mind that the slim, low profile design of J-Hooks also means that they will have a lower Working Load Limit than most other hoist hooks.
J-Hooks are most popular in industrial and manufacturing applications and are most often used with eye bolts or an engineered lifting point. Commonly, J-Hooks are custom engineered to fit specific rigging applications and can be designed with three different eye orientations:
Style A and B both have an eye that is parallel with the body of the J-Hook, while style C has an eye that is perpendicular to the body of the J-Hook.
Grab hooks are specially designed with a narrow throat that grabs and shortens a chain. Grab hooks are most commonly found in adjustable chain sling bridle assemblies and allows riggers to adjust the length of each leg of a chain sling bridle independently. A grab hook works by engaging the chain links to securely shorten a rigging chain. There are two main types of grab hooks and it is very important to know the difference:
- Standard Grab Hook: These grab hooks are the most popular and most economical grab hook option on the market. The only drawback, however, is that you must reduce the Working Load Limit by 20% whenever using a standard grab hook to shorten a length of chain.
- Cradle Grab Hook: These grab hooks are designed with a cradle for the chain to lay in when engaged with the hook. Although cradle grab hooks are more expensive than standard grab hooks, they generally require zero reduction in the Working Load Limit when being used to shorten a length of chain.
Drum & Barrel Hooks
Just as the name implies, drum and barrel hooks are used to lift drums and barrels. These hooks are designed with an extra wide lifting point that goes under the lip of whatever drum and/or barrel you are trying to lift. Drum and barrel hooks are designed to be used in multi-leg sling bridle assemblies at sling angles of 30°-45°. This is because, for the most part, it is impossible to pick up a drum or barrel at a single pick point using a drum or barrel hook.
Lifting Hook Safety Latches
The use of hook latches or the lack there of is a highly contentious topic in the rigging and lifting industry. Some people say you must always use a safety latch, while others say you don’t need to use safety latches. There is good reason for this debate as there is little in the way of explanations and interpretations regarding the standards governing the use of hook safety latches in overhead lifting.
Here at Tri-State Rigging equipment we suggest that hook latches be used whenever possible and whenever there are provisions to do so. To come to this conclusion, we rely on the following excerpts from and interpretations of OSHA and ASME standards:
- In section 5(a)(1) of The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 OSHA lays out the General Duty Clause which says that in the absence of specific OSHA standards regarding a hazard, each employer must, “furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.” This means that employers are responsible for protecting their employees from serious recognized hazards. Under the General Duty Clause OSHA often considers the guidelines of industry consensus standards, such as those published by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), when evaluating whether there has been an OSHA violation. Below are provisions and interpretations that would be pertinent under the General Duty Clause regarding hook safety latches:
- Section 2-1.14.5, Hooks, of ASME B30.2- 2001, Overhead and Gantry Cranes: "Latch-equipped hooks shall be used unless the application makes the use of the latch impractical or unnecessary."
- OSHA standards interpretation: The requirement for safety latches is only specified in OSHA 1910.181(j)(2)(ii), which states that "Safety latch type hooks shall be used wherever possible."
- OSHA standards interpretation: OSHA’s requirements for safety latches on sling hooks differ depending on the activity for which the sling is being used.
No matter how you interpret the standards that govern the use of throat latches, it is important to evaluate each lifting application independently to determine whether the use of a hook safety latch is unnecessary, impractical, and/or makes the lift more dangerous; or whether it is required and necessary for your specific rigging application.
Self-Closing Latch Kits
Self-closing latch kits are spring loaded safety latches that can either come standard on a hook or be added post-sale. These latch kits are not as heavy-duty as the sling hooks they are attached to and therefore can subtract from the working life span of a hoist hook. A damaged rigging hook latch can be replaced but depending on whether your hoist hook and latch are domestic or imported, it may be more economical to replace the whole hook than it is to replace the hook latch only. Self-closing latch kits are, nonetheless, a perfect solution for most rigging applications that require a safety latch, excluding more rugged and heavy-duty rigging applications where the integrity of the hook safety latch may be put to the test.
Positive Latching Hooks
A positive latching hook is a hook whose latch only engages once it is under load. These crane hook latches are more heavy-duty and are engineered to be an integrated component of the hoist hook. Unlike self-closing latch kits, positive latching hooks can withstand even the most demanding environments. They are virtually indestructible and once the load is in the air, positive latching hooks cannot open until the hook is no longer supporting the load. These special features make positive latching hooks the hook of choice in heavy-duty environments where chain slings are often the lifting equipment of choice.
Tri-State Rigging Equipment is a service provider and distributor for all heavy duty crane hooks for rigging and lifting; serving clients from coast to coast, Canada, Mexico and especially focused in the states of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Tennessee, Kentucky, Iowa, and Oklahoma.