Brad recently asked the following question in response to a blog post The Low-Down on Chain Tie-Downs:

“I wrote to my distributor and inquired about chain tags. Their representative replied that all they had in stock were CHAIN TAGS even though they listed CHAIN and SLING tags made by CM.
They sent me their part number for what I think is a sling tag. Is it okay to use that tag for my Grade 100 chains that I’m using as tie downs? They are not slings, just chains. As I understand it, my Grade 100 chains have to be labeled to prevent a Grade 30 rating by roadside inspectors. Your advice would be appreciated!”

Embossed chain

Henry Brozyna, our Technical Instructor responds:

Thanks for reaching out to us on your question.

When you contacted your distributor, they automatically assumed that the tag you requested was for a sling (either Grade 80 or 100), which is what prompted them to send you a sling tag. Slings must always be tagged; tie-downs do not.

Inspectors rely on the embossing on the chain to indicate the grade of that tie-down as well as to determine its working load limit. The standard states, that if the embossing is not legible, then the inspector will use the minimum grade for that chain size, which will be Grade 30.

For example: A driver knows his chains are Grade 80. He is using the appropriate number of tie-downs to properly secure the load. At roadside inspection, if the inspector cannot find any legible embossing on the chain, he will apply the Grade 30 rating. With that, the tie-downs can no longer be used. Now, the load does not have sufficient tie-downs to safely secure it during transport.

As for tags, the standard does not require them on tie-down chain, and it would be left to the discretion of the inspector to determine if it’s an acceptable substitution.

Why take the risk? The grade should be legible on the chain if it is being used. If the embossed grade is worn down, the chain should be replaced.

 

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Randy, an Instrument Technician in the energy industry and recent safety webinar attendee, asks:4 leg chain sling

“Why do only 3 of 4 chain sling legs take the load?”

Peter Cooke, Columbus McKinnon Training Manager and Safety Webinar Presenter, answers:

When using a chain to build a sling, tolerances for chain can make the legs slightly longer or shorter than one another. Because of this, the National Association of Chain Manufacturers (NACM) agreed to only count 3 of the 4 legs of a triple or quad sling to be rated the same. When you first lift the load off the ground the legs that are under tension will stay under tension, so it is important for the rigger to visually see how many legs are loaded before lifting the load off the ground.

To do this, tension up the legs, but do not let the load leave the ground. Safely approach the sling being sure to stay out of the path of tension. You can then quickly check the legs by shacking them slightly. Although you may find all four legs are taking the load, only three are used for calculating the max working load limit of the sling.

It is important to always check the manufacturer’s load charts and safety information prior to making any lift. You must be qualified to lift the load you are rigging.

Want to learn more? View our Safety Webinar on How to Size Your Chain Slings.

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Unified Industries Helps Automotive Manufacturer Solve Assembly Line Challenge

July 9, 2015





To help solve an ergonomic problem they were encountering on their assembly line, a large automotive OEM approached Columbus McKinnon’s Unified Industries and our Channel Partner for assistance. At the facility, employees working at the customer’s final assembly unload station were having difficulty moving the existing steel trussed overhead crane system – to the point […]

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Summer Concert Series: Where is your CM Hoist?

July 4, 2015





    Who doesn’t love the summer time and seeing a great concert with your favorite band? A few of our fans recently shared photos from their favorite summer concerts (top left, clockwise): Eric Church, country music in Buffalo, New York. Al Bano & Romina Power Performance. A duo from the past performing at the Roman […]

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In-Depth Alloy Chain Sling Inspection Part 5: OSHA Chain Sling Inspection

June 18, 2015





This article is Part 5 of a 5-part blog series that will cover what professional riggers should consider when performing an in-depth alloy chain sling inspection. Today, we’ll discuss OSHA chain sling inspection regulations and guidelines. Since first published on July 27, 1975, the OSHA Chain Sling Inspection section has undergone very few changes. These regulations have […]

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Recommendations for Skewing Issues on an Overhead Crane

June 11, 2015





Daniel, a salesperson for a Columbus McKinnon Channel Partner and recent safety webinar attendee, asks: “On my overhead crane, the rail to flange contact is opposite end-to-end of the end truck. On one end truck, the drive wheel to the flange is on the inside and on the other wheel, the contact is on the outside. […]

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In-Depth Alloy Chain Sling Inspection Part 4: Stretch and Chain Elongation

June 4, 2015





This article is Part 4 of a 5-part blog series that will cover what professional riggers should consider when performing an in-depth alloy chain sling inspection. Today, we’ll discuss stretch and chain elongation. A visual link-by-link inspection is the best way to detect dangerously stretched alloy chain links. Reach should also be measured from the […]

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Pfaff-silberblau Products Perform in “The Miracle of Bern”

May 21, 2015





Columbus McKinnon recently supplied Pfaff-silberblau brand products for a new musical venue in Hamburg, Germany. Stage Entertainment constructed the ultra-modern performance venue, “Theater an der Elbe,” capable of holding more than 1,800 spectators for the production of “The Miracle of Bern.” Stage Entertainment commissioned Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products GmbH, based in Kissing, for the design, […]

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In-Depth Alloy Chain Sling Inspection Part 3: Wear and Corrosion

May 14, 2015





This article is Part 3 of a 5-part blog series that will cover what professional riggers should consider when performing an in-depth alloy chain sling inspection. Today, we’ll discuss wear and corrosion. When used in rigorous material handling applications, chain can easily become worn or corroded. It is important to inspect chain for defects on […]

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Understanding the Difference between Chain Grades and How They’re Used

May 7, 2015

Chain has been around for over a thousand years. It is one of the most versatile and reliable ways to lift, tension and tie down materials in a variety of applications. In the past, people would use any type of chain to lift something, tie down a load or tow a vehicle. Proper inspection, safety […]

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