In construction, rigging is the equipment and devices used to move, lift, suspend or support a load. It includes chains, wire ropes and slings. The equipment connects these rigging materials to a load, vehicle, supporting structure or lifting machine such as a crane or hoist.
The first step in selecting the right rigging equipment for a job is to know what the load is and how it will be attached to the rigging hardware. This information can be obtained from documentation, such as drawings, structural manuals or a bill of lading.
Another important consideration is the environmental and weather conditions of the jobsite, which can affect which rigging equipment to use. For example, if the site is in an area with saltwater, it is important to invest in stainless steel hardware and attachments that are resistant to corrosion.
Depending on the task, rigging equipment is divided into two main categories: spreader bars and lifting beams. The former are generally more suitable for lighter loads while the latter are for heavier ones.
Rigging hardware, such as slings, tyres, cables, wire ropes and chains, is used to hold and distribute a load's weight safely onto moving devices such as cranes or hoists. These rigging components come in many different sizes and configurations to suit specific jobsite needs.
A sling is a flexible rope that can be looped around a load or hung from an object, such as a crane hook or lifting beam. Slings are available in various designs, including choker hitches, basket hits, bridle hits and vertical hitches. They are often connected to a hook with a shackle or other hardware such as eye bolts.