Overhead lifting equipment, including crane rigging equipment, refers to essential hardware that is typically needed for material handling projects in construction and manufacturing. As you take a look at overhead lifting equipment inventory, you will notice that there are many options to choose from. Not only are there different sizes, but there are various brands, materials, styles, and quantity options.

So, if you are in charge of making equipment purchases for your business or project, chances are that sooner or later you will have some questions, like:

  • What overhead lifting equipment do I need for my project?
  • Where can I find the best prices?
  • How is mobile lifting equipment different from crane rigging equipment?
  • Where can I place an order for overhead lifting equipment?
  • Where can I buy a quality overhead hoist system?
  • What are the differences between galvanized, bright, or stainless-steel equipment?

With years of working as overhead lifting equipment distributors, our team of experts has helped to answer thousands of questions. We pride ourselves on helping both small and large construction firms with overhead lifting equipment and industrial hardware purchases.

Our staff is always on hand to answer specific questions, but we also want to address the ones that we get asked most often. So, let’s dive into the FAQs we get about overhead lifting equipment.

What Exactly Is Overhead Lifting Equipment?

First, let’s break down all of the pieces that fall under the umbrella of overhead lifting equipment, which includes mobile lifting equipment, crane rigging equipment, overhead hoist system, and more.

Lifting and Rigging Chains

Chains are used to hoist overhead lifting equipment because they are highly durable and able to bear heavy loads without stretching. There are different grades of chain to choose from depending on the weight limit and intended use. Grade 30, 43, and 70 are not rated for overhead lifting. Only Grade 80, 100, and 120 can be used for this purpose – since they are made from alloy steel for higher durability.

There are three different types of chain finishes: stainless steel, galvanized, and bright.

Stainless steel is the longest lasting and the strongest. It is also naturally rust and corrosion resistant, making it best for applications that may be exposed to water.

Galvanized chains are coated in zinc to protect the steel from rusting. Galvanized chain is less expensive than stainless-steel, but it is equally as durable. However, the zinc coating may wear off after repeated use.

Bright chains are not coated, leaving them susceptible to rust. However, bright chains are the least expensive and are generally stronger than galvanized.

Rigging Hooks

Hooks are used to connecting the chain to the material that is being lifted. These hooks are made from extremely strong alloy steel to ensure that it does not bend or break under a heavy load. There are various shapes, depending on the size of the load. Some of the most common rigging hooks shapes include:

  • Clevis Hooks: Source
  • Eye Grab Hooks: Source
  • Eye Hoist Hooks: Source
  • Swivel Eye Hoist Hooks: Source
  • Clevis Slip Hook with Latch: Source
  • Eye Type Self-Locking: Source

Rigging Hardware

There are additional hardware pieces that are used for different types of connections. For instance, these may be used to tie-down materials or create a secure connection between the web sling to the hook and chain on the overhead lifting machinery.

Overhead lifting equipment hardware include:

  • Blocks
  • Clips
  • Bolts
  • Nuts
  • Links
  • Shackles
  • Sleeves
  • Swivels
  • Thimbles
  • Turnbuckles

As you can see, there are many different types of overhead rigging equipment pieces, some of which are only used for specific applications. It is always best to consult with an expert when placing an order to ensure you have everything you need for your project.

When Is Overhead Lifting Equipment Necessary?

Overhead lifting equipment is needed for safely relocating heavy materials. The purpose of overhead lifting machinery is to move, position, load, unload, and stage materials and other pieces of equipment. This equipment is often used in construction projects, as well as in manufacturing, shipping, factories, and rigging.

This type of hardware is used with cranes, hoists, and monorails. Every piece of overhead lifting equipment has a specific weight load limit, which is determined based on specific testing and safety regulations.

It is necessary to purchase overhead lifting equipment that is specifically designed for certain applications. There are some factors to take into consideration to determine which type of hardware is best, such as:

Weather conditions: Selected materials are designed to be waterproof and corrosion-resistant. These types are best for use near water or when it could be exposed to rain, humidity, or snow.

Continuous use: Certain hooks and slings are designed for easy detachment, whereas others are designed for more permanent connection.

Automation: Some of the latest overhead lifting machinery designs are fully automated with software direction. In this case, specific hardware may be necessary.

Where Do You Purchase Overhead Lifting Equipment?

There are plenty of places both online and in brick-and-mortar stores that offer overhead lifting equipment. However, to get the best deal, it is generally best to purchase directly from an overhead lifting distributor.

Most third-party stores purchase large quantities from a supplier and then mark up prices to earn a profit. But you can cut out the middle man completely by purchasing from the overhead lifting equipment supplier yourself.

There are many benefits to small businesses – as well as larger companies – by partnering with a distributor. First, it can save you money on larger bulk orders of materials like clips, nuts, bolts, and shackles. You can also purchase large lengths of chains, wire rope, and industrial cable.

Secondly, some suppliers will arrange for local pickups from their warehouses for faster order fulfillment and no shipping fees. This is extremely beneficial if last-minute orders are needed.

Finally, partnering with an industrial overhead lifting distributor gives you access to experts who know everything there is to know about this type of equipment. If you have any questions about which materials to purchase, have an issue with an order, or need help in any way, you can contact the supplier directly.

How to Operate Overhead Lifting Equipment Safely

Whether you’re using an overhead hoist system, crane rigging equipment or mobile lifting equipment, you need to ensure that all safety precautions are in place when operating them.

1. Before moving the load, make sure to:
  • Equip yourself with the relevant qualifications, certifications, and training as required by your jurisdiction.
  • Use a crane that’s capable of lifting and moving the load.
  • Plan the job beforehand. Allow adequate space for emergency vehicles to enter, if needed.
  • Steer clear of power lines, and other overhead wiring.
  • Examine the ground conditions for stability.
  • Inspect the crane properly before use.
  • Check that all loose parts, components and packaging have been removed from the load before performing the lift.
  • Discard any slack from the sling and hoisting ropes before raising the load.
  • Confirm that the load is not heavier than the lifting equipment’s maximum load capacity.
2. Of course, shifting loads safely involves:
  • Moving the crane smoothly without sudden, erratic movements of the load.
  • Adhering to agreed-upon signals from a singular designated slinger, except the stop signal.
  • Hoisting the load when everyone is at a safe distance from it.
  • Notifying or warning other when slowly starting to hoist.
  • Ensuring all hooks, slings, braking system, and hardware are suitable for the load to be lifted, that they’re in good
  • condition, and that all sling angles are appropriate.
  • Verifying that there are no obstructions on the path of the load movement.
  • Staying in the crane can in case of a power failure, while turning off all controls, and alert for help.
3. Here’s what you should never do when operating an overhead crane:
  • Avoid carrying objects that are too large to fit into pockets or belts when going up and down the ladders. It’s best to lift or lower them from the crane by rope.
  • Never operate a crane if parts of limit switches are defunct or if cables develop defects.
  • Refrain from attempting lifts beyond the rated load capacity of the lifting equipment.
  • Do not lift the load from the side. Centre the crane directly over the load before hoisting so the load doesn’t swing.
  • Never leave slings dangling from the load hook.
  • Avoid raising loads higher than necessary.
  • Never move the load from above people/workers.
  • Refrain from walking/having people on the crane runway.
  • Avoid leaving suspending loads unattended.


There is no need to be intimidated or confused when determining which overhead lifting equipment you need. The best way to ensure you receive high-quality equipment and sound advice is by letting the experts help you.
Elite Sales is a top-of-the-line overhead lifting equipment supplier with distribution centers in Miami and Tampa, FL, Houston, TX, and Dyer, IN. We carry a wide range of industrial equipment supplies for all types of applications.
You can contact us virtually and an expert from our team will answer any questions you have regarding overhead lifting equipment or help you place an order.