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How to avoid accidents
when using

Lifting Clamps

wire rope clips
Photo courtesy of All Material Handling Inc.

Lifting clamps have a variety
of applications, including
transporting plates and hoisting
lifting beams.

For optimum performance
and safety, here are some
“dos and don’ts.”


Connect it Right. What’s best for your load?

  1. Make sure that the clamp is not too small or too large for the job. Check the Working Load Limit (W.L.L) stenciled on the clamp. The minimum load is 10% of the clamp’s rated W.L.L.
  2. Don’t attach clamp directly to a crane/load hook. Best practice is to use a chain sling with W.L.L. greater than or equal to the clamp.
  3. Don’t use a connection that might release the clamp. Use a flexible connection between the crane hook and clamp shackle.

Which Way is Up? Are you lifing horizontally or vertically?

  1. For vertical and horizontal lifting, determine the center of gravity and make sure the load is divided proportionally over the clamps. (See drawing.)wire rope lifting clamp drawing
  2. When lifting plates with a vertical clamp, never lift more than one at a time.
  3. Never use a vertical clamp for horizontal lifting
  4. When lifting horizontally, never exceed lifting angles
  5. The capacity of all horizontal clamps is based on a sling angle of 60 degrees. Sling angles less than sixty degrees increase the load exerted on the clamps. Sling angles greater than 60 degrees reduce the gripping force. Don’t exceed 60 degrees.
  6. Never lift a plate from the bottom of the plate stack.
IMAGE above: Determine the center of gravity and
attach the clamps proportionally over the load.

Take it Easy! Before you lift, check one more time.

  1. Temperature: Make sure that the ambient temperature and the temperature of the load material are within the working limit of each clamp.
  2. Gripping and load surfaces: Are they clean and free of dirt, oil, grease or anything that might impede contact between the teeth and the load? Ensure cam segments and pivot are free of dirt.
  3. Clamp check: Inspect the clamp before each lift. Make sure it hasn’t been ground, welded or modified in any way. Don’t use a clamp that has been previously overloaded. Check for smooth clamp operation and adequate tension of locking lever (if applicable).
  4. Beyond the clamp: What is your sling assembly attached to? Is it defective? Any chance the lift will swing over workmen or any other personnel? Will the clamp touch any other surface during lifting?

Download Lifting Clamps PDF

Wire Rope industry Supplier Directory

Click to our Online Suppliers Directory and search
for “CLAMPS” to find some of the best
suppliers of clamps in the industry!

Caldwell Lifting Solutions
Suncor Stainless
The Crosby Group
Yoke Industrial Corp.
Wirop Americas
SlingMax Rigging Solutions
Campbell Chain & Fittings
Chant Engineering
Ken Forging - industrial hardware
Maskell Rigging
Loos wire rope, cable and fittings products
Associated Wire Rope & Rigging
All Material Handling
Landmann Wire Rope Products

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