June 15, 2022

6 Rules to Apply for Safe Rigging Hardware Practices

Working with rigging hardware is arguably one of the most dangerous professions. While the number of severe and fatal injuries involving overhead lifting equipment has been steadily declining, hundreds of accidents are reported every year.

Of these reported incidents, the vast majority are attributed to unsafe hardware installations, setups, or applications. Most of these accidents were caused by a load dropping, swinging, or slipping out of a sling, ultimately landing or crushing a person. When rigging hardware is not used as intended, it can lead to dangerous outcomes.

Thankfully, so many of these incidents can be avoided entirely simply by applying safety rules when installing hardware and using cable rigging products.

Here are 6 tips to follow for safer rigging equipment hardware practices:

1. Double Check Worker Qualifications

Perhaps one of the simplest safety precautions to take is to ensure that all operators are fully qualified for the task at hand. Workers themselves may be unaware of their training limitations or certification expirations. Managers and team leaders must take the time to check on the crane operator and rigging equipment handler’s training and licensing are up to date.

OSHA has set general requirements for crane operators that outline exactly what type of training is necessary for this position. Note that some types of cranes or rigging equipment do require additional training for special applications. All crane operators are also required to renew their licenses every 5 years and a re-certification test may be necessary.

2. Follow Inspection Protocols Thoroughly

Conducting a quick visual inspection of a rigging setup is not enough. Little mistakes can be easily missed, causing a load to fall or move unexpectedly during the lift. Team leaders are responsible for enforcing thorough rigging inspections and ensuring that only qualified personnel handle the job.

Inspectors should take the time to carefully check multiple aspects of all cable rigging products used in a set-up, including:

  • Ensuring that all rigging hardware has been installed and secured correctly
  • Matching the weight load limit of all equipment to the intended load
  • Looking for signs of wear, damage, or corrosion such as rust, warping, or cracks
  • Thoroughly checking that all clips are fully secured to hold cable elements, hitches, and slings in place
3. Prioritize Load Balance

Uneven loads are one of the leading reasons for accidents, as this could cause added tension on the rigging equipment and lead to breaks. According to the latest reports, 64% of accidents related to overhead lifting equipment were caused by a load swinging, dropping, or becoming unstable.

Again, allowing only qualified operators to handle overhead lifting can help to reduce the risk of unstable loads. All personnel involved with installing the rigging hardware or applying the load should be looking for signs of unbalanced weight. This includes checking that the suspension from the sling forms straight lines to the load hook and noting the crane’s center of gravity.

4. Utilize Multiple Load Spotters

A load spotter (also known as a signalperson) is responsible for monitoring during the lift and alerting if the load shows signs of imbalance or slippage. They must have a higher vantage point than the crane operator – and it is beneficial to utilize multiple spotters, especially for heavy lifts.

This position does require specific education. Be sure that all of your signalpersons come completed adequate training and know the proper voice and hand signals to use to communicate any safety issues.

5. Keep Up with Rigging Equipment Maintenance

Poor handling of your equipment will cause it to break, wear down, corrode, and be less useful. Even the most durable pieces of rigging equipment can be damaged if they are installed or stored improperly.

Be sure to follow all of the recommended steps for maintaining industrial rigging hardware:

  • Following a routine inspection schedule
  • Lubricating wire ropes
  • Cleaning hardware properly and drying completely before storing
  • Enforcing proper handling procedures
6. Stick to Using Top-Rated Equipment

Perhaps one of the underlying reasons why so many overhead lifting accidents occur can be linked back to poor hardware quality. Rigging equipment made from cheap metals will wear down faster and may warp or snap more easily.

Be sure to only purchase rigging equipment that meets strict safety ratings and is tested for quality assurance. All of your rigging hardware should clearly state that its safety factors and weight load limits have been tested and certified.

You should also only purchase equipment through a trusted rigging hardware supplier. Check that they have positive reviews and also note any affiliations they have with associations ensuring their product’s quality.

Over to You

Overhead lifting can be dangerous, but by following just a few safety precautions, the process can be much safer. If you are looking for top-quality rigging hardware that you can rely on, look no further than Elite Sales. We offer industry-specific equipment that is tested for quality assurance – and our team is here to answer any questions before placing your order.

April 22, 2022

Cable 101: Everything You Need to Know About Industrial Cable

You might be surprised to learn that industrial cable has been around for thousands of years. Metal wires are mentioned in ancient texts dating back to 4000 BC, and archeologists have found industrial cables made of bronze used in Pompei!

The construction of industrial cable may have changed a bit over the past few millennia, but many of the properties of these steel wires has remained. Over the years, we have discovered ways to create more sturdy cables by adding iron alloys like Chromium to create stainless steel cables. Cables now also come in a range of sizes, lengths, and diameters to optimize their use for specific applications.

Today we see industrial cable used for all types of purposes – from construction to exercise equipment and everything in between. As a steel cable supplier, we see lots of customers coming to us with questions regarding the different options available. You shouldn’t have to be an expert in all things industrial hardware to be able to choose the right cable for your application – so here’s what everyone should know regarding the basics of industrial cables.

1. How is Industrial Cable Categorized?

First and foremost, we need to explain the differences between wire ropes and industrial cable. While both of these pieces of hardware share many similar properties, they should not be used interchangeably. Yes, industrial cables are made of wires, but they are not the same as wire ropes.

Wire ropes are constructed from wires that are woven together similarly to a fabricated rope. This creates a flexible but strong material that can be used to add support to an object. This is why wire ropes are primarily used for overhead lifting or securement and tie-downs.

Industrial cables on the other hand tend to be much thinner than wire ropes and much more flexible. They can be wrapped around or threaded through hooks and loops to hold items in place and are used for more permanent fixtures.

Industrial cables are categorized by three main components: construction or wire strands, cores, and materials.

  • Construction of Wire Strands

Just like wire ropes, industrial cables are constructed from strands made of a number of wires wrapped together. The general rule of thumb here is that the more wires in a strand or the more strands in the cable, the more flexible it will be.

Most steel cables are available in either a 7×7 or 7×19 construction. The first number communicates the number of strands used in the cable, while the second demonstrates the number of wires per strand. A 7×7 cable has 7 strands of 7 wires, while a 7×19 is 7 strands made of 19 wires each.

  • Cores

The interior strand of an industrial cable creates a supportive structure for the strands to wrap around. This core may be made of fibers, like hemp or polypropylene, wire strand, or an independent wire rope core (IWRC). Fiber cores are quite flexible, but not very durable and not recommended for heavy-duty applications. Wire ropes or IWRC add strength and crush resistance, making them ideal for construction use.

  • Materials

Another key categorization for cables is the material used to construct the wires. While industrial cables are always made from steel, there are different grades and finishes offered.

Stainless steel cables are made from steel with added chromium alloys for additional strength and corrosion resistance. This is what gives stainless steel its shiny appearance. The amount of chromium determines the grade of stainless steel, as higher grades are stronger and more durable.

You can also find galvanized industrial cables, which are made from alloy steel and coated in zinc. This thin layer protects the steel beneath from damage by abrasion or moisture. This increases the cable’s breaking strength, so it is often used for heavier projects like hoisting or logging.


2. Things to Consider when Purchasing Industrial Cables

Since industrial cables are utilized for major projects and heavy-duty jobs, it is imperative to purchase the right type. Choosing a cable that is not strong or durable enough for the intended application can create dangerous scenarios.

So, before placing a purchase for an industrial cable, be sure to consider the following factors:

  • Safety Factors

This is a ratio that compares the strength of the cable or wire rope to the working load. This helps to create a safety net for additional factors that can place stress on the cable, such as the speed of movement, friction, and types of fittings.

For instance, an industrial cable may have a breaking strength of 10,000 lbs. However, you should not place a load that is 10,000 lbs., as additional factors could cause the cable to snap. If the cable’s safety factor is 5:1, this means that the working load limit is 2,000 lbs. (10,000 divided by 5).

  • Tension and Fatigue

Frequent movement and abrasion on the wires of a cable will eventually damage the cable, compromising its strength. Be sure to consider the load and stress factors placed on the cable, such as load shock, friction, and constant bending.

  • Abrasive Factors and Environment

Some types of cables are designed to perform better in specific conditions, such as near water. If the cable will be exposed to moisture, such as on a boat or outdoors, you’re better off going with a stainless steel cable. However, if it needs to withstand frequent abrasion, galvanized is the better choice.

  • Stretch Capabilities

Did you know that industrial cables can stretch? While the length disparity is minimal, some cables stretch further depending on the core used. This is helpful to note if the desired length needs to be exact.

3. Common Uses for Industrial Cable

Industrial cables are quite versatile and can be used for large projects like suspension bridges to small structures like swing sets. You will see cables used in the automobile industry, manufacturing, food and beverage, home décor, and even aerospace and aircraft.

Construction is perhaps one of the most common applications for stainless steel or galvanized cables, as they are used for structural support, rigging, and securement. Most industrial cable suppliers provide hardware that can be used for heavy-duty purposes, which is why Elite Sales offers both 7×7 and 7×19 cables. 7×19 is the strongest type of industrial cable, generally used for pulley systems as it is the most flexible. 7×7 cables are still somewhat flexible but offer greater abrasion resistance.


Ultimately, the most important thing to keep in mind when picking out industrial cable is the reliability of the supplier. You want to ensure that you are not only choosing the right type of cable, but also one made of high-quality materials.

Elite Sales has been offering the highest quality of industrial hardware for years. You can trust that we not only have great advice to offer but hardware equipment that meets your expectations and standards. To learn more about our industrial cable offerings, contact our sales team today.

April 8, 2022

How to Determine a Chain’s Working Load Limit

Any job site that utilizes heavy-duty industrial hardware will have a higher rate of job site hazards than the average workplace. Construction zones, transportation services, and manufacturing plants that rely on industrial chains for hoisting, tie-downs, or tension can create dangerous scenarios if they are not mindful of the working load limit. Miscalculations can cause even strong chains to warp or even break – leading to dangerous and disastrous consequences.

According to the latest research, over 2.8 million workplace accidents are reported every year in the US. But over 20% of these injuries occurred on construction sites, many of which involved malfunctioning hardware or faulty setups. This is why organizations like OSHA have put regulations in place regarding equipment usage and inspection.

Properly calculating the working load limit for industrial chains is just one of the preventative measures to take to lower these risks. Even though these chains are made from incredibly durable materials, the load-bearing weight should never exceed or even approach the breaking strength. The working load limit (WLL) of a chain is a safety precaution to prevent this from happening.

Here’s what you need to know about the WLL, how it is calculated, and how to work with it in your industrial application.

1. Understand the Differences Between Industrial Chain Grades

Before considering or calculating the WLL of a chain, you first need to understand the differences between the various grades. The grading system for chains is a number that represents the maximum stress per square millimeter the chain allows for. Industrial chains are categorized into 5 main groups of grades: 30, 43, 70, 80, and 100. Higher grades do exist, but these are the most common grades used within construction, rigging, and transport.

Lower-grade chains (30, 43, and 70) are most commonly used for construction, tie-downs, towing and logging. While these chains are quite durable and have working load limits of up to 15,800 lbs., they are not safe for overhead lifting or rigging applications.

Grade 80 chains are made from a steel alloy, meaning it contains additional metals for added strength and durability. Grade 80 chains have a breaking load limit of up to 190,800 lbs. and a WLL of 47,700 lbs. They are extremely rugged and often come in a black lacquer finish, which protects the links from damage and wear.

Grade 100 chains are 25% stronger than Grade 80 and are most commonly used for chain hoists and overhead or even aerial lifts. This style of chain is available in varying lengths and diameters, which can change the breaking load limit and WLL of the entire chain.

2. Calculating the Working Load Limit

Apart from deciding on the grade, length, and chain link diameter required for the intended application, the WLL is one of the most important factors to note before purchasing. This number is the absolute maximum tension that can be safely applied to an industrial chain without compromising its strength.

The WLL is far lower than the maximum breaking strength of a chain. This is to account for added factors that will create additional tension on the chain apart from the load itself. These factors could include:

  • Force of gravity
  • Wind
  • Load shock
  • Rotation
  • Speed of operation
  • Abrasion or friction

If you are buying from a reputable industrial chain supplier, the WLL should be clearly stated for each chain style option. This number is determined by dividing the minimum breaking strength by the safety factor rating for the chain.

The safety factor is a ratio that states how strong of a weight force the chain can withstand before breaking. For most industrial chains, the safety factor will be 5:1, meaning that if its working load limit is 10,000 lbs. it can technically withstand 50,000 lbs. before snapping. However, this chain should never be used for a 50,000 lbs. load.

3. Only Use Approved Chains for the Job

You should never use an industrial chain for a purpose apart from the applications it is approved for. Lower-grade chains can safely bear thousands of pounds, but they are not designed for heavier duty uses like overhead lifting.

Grade 30 and 43 chains are approved for use with construction, securement, and agricultural use. Galvanized or stainless-steel chains may also be used with marine applications, as they are corrosion resistant. Grade 70 has a far higher strength than 30 or 43 and is generally used for transport tie-downs. And remember that overhead lifting is reserved for Grade 80 and higher-grade chains only.

Finally, be sure to consider other factors that could lower a chain’s strength, such as its age or condition. The WLL is calculated with brand-new chains, not ones that are worn from previous use. This is why close inspection of chains is always necessary before using them for a new load or application.

Over to You

The working load limit for industrial chains is not overly complicated, but you should understand the basic concepts when using this type of hardware. Before placing an order from an industrial chain supplier, always double-check the WLL along with the accurate load calculation.

Finally, be sure that you’re buying top-quality chains made from solid materials for the highest grade WLL. This also ensures the longevity of the chains, so you are safely able to use them over and over again.

Looking for great quality industrial chains or need help calculating the WLL? Elite Sales can help – simply connect with us online to get in touch with an industrial hardware expert.

March 10, 2022

Every day we use our phones without giving much thought to the infrastructure that allows us to use these devices wirelessly. There are approximately 417,000 cellphone towers across the United States that support networks allowing us to send texts, go online, and talk to others instantly. But what you may not know is that nearly all of these towers rely on guy wires – so, what is a guy wire and what does its name mean?

Guy wires are essentially tensioned cables, similar to industrial wire rope or cable, that are used to add stability to free-standing structures. These are far stiffer than other types of wire ropes or cable though, as their primary purpose is added security.

The reason behind the name dates back to its first original use, which was attaching sails to a mast on ships. Dutch sailors called this a “gei”, which is where the modern name comes from now. There are other names and terms which can be used interchangeably for guy wires, including:

  • Strand wire
  • Stay wire
  • Guy strand
  • Guy cable
  • Guy anchors

While guy wires are widely used today for telecommunication towers and marine structures, there are countless more uses for this type of equipment. Many wire rope suppliers also sell guy wires as part of their product line.

If you use industrial wire rope for construction or to add stability to free-standing structures, you could benefit from switching to a guy wire. Here’s what you need to know:

1. What is a Guy Wire Made of?

Guy wires are made from high-strength grade steel that is based on the ASTM A475 Standard Specification. This applies to zinc-coated steel wires, which means that guy wires are typically galvanized for added protection from corrosion and wear.

Galvanization involves coating the wire in molten zinc, creating a thin protective layer over the steel. This protects the steel from corroding if exposed to moisture. Since guy wires are often used on free-standing structures or ships, the wires will be exposed to water frequently. This galvanized finish helps to diminish rusting that can occur from contact with moisture.

There are two main types of stranding for guy wires: 1×7 and 1×19. This means that each strand contains either 7 or 19 wires with one central core. 1×7 wires are smaller in diameter and have lower breaking strength ratings than 1×19.

2. What is a Guy Wire Used For?

We see guy wires nearly every day without even realizing it. They are a common fixture on electric and telephone poles and are used to secure the tall poles to the ground below. These wires need to be extremely durable and strong to withstand not only the weight of the poles and wires themselves but also external elements like strong winds.

The guy wire is also used widely on sailing boats and yachts to securely hold the masts. This is known as “standing rigging” and lateral guy wires are used on the starboard and port sides to keep the mast straight and firm, despite the friction from the incredibly strong winds catching in the sails.

Guy wires are incredibly versatile and are used to provide added security in all types of applications. For instance, guy wires are used by firefighters to support extension ladders. These wires are also attached to telecommunication antenna towers. These towers can be up to 2,000 feet high and require incredible stability to keep the structure erect. You may also see a guy wire used as part of a rigging or overhead lifting apparatus. Guy wires are often called “tag lines” when used with a crane and are designed to prevent loads from rotating or swaying.

3. Additional Guy Wire Hardware

Since most guy wires are used for permanent or semi-permanent securement, there are several pieces of additional hardware required for their attachment. Anchors are pieces that will be secured into the ground or to a permanent structure, such as another building.

The most common types of anchors used are:

  • Dead man anchors: Large holes filled with dirt or concrete with a rod inserted into the center as the point of securement.
  • Screw anchors: A long rode with screw blades that are drilled deep into the ground.
  • Expanding anchors: A rod with pivoting blades that is pushed deep into the ground. When tension is added to the rod as the guy wire is attached, the blades expand to hold the rod in place.
  • Grouted anchors: These are used to secure the anchor into hard soil or rock and held in place with liquid grout for added securement.

Guy wires share many industrial hardwire pieces with industrial wire ropes, such as bolts, thimbles, and clamps. These hardware pieces are designed to create a secure loop so the guy wire can be attached to a hook or shackle.

There are also some hardware pieces that are specifically designed for guy wires, such as pole bands. These are fittings that are installed around the entire circumference of a pole so guy wires can attach to add securement.

Over to You

At the end of the day, a guy wire is an incredibly strong and durable type of wire rope. Although the guy wire and industrial wire rope share similarities, they generally serve different purposes. If you are debating between using either of these types of equipment, you should base your decision on the intended purpose. If you are looking for steady stability for a structure, the guy wire is generally going to be the way to go.

If you are looking for any type of industrial wire rope, guy wire, or other hardware equipment, check out Elite Sale’s product catalog. We carry a vast variety of industrial equipment and would be happy to help you find the exact type you need for your next project.

February 25, 2022

Numerous pieces of industrial hardware are used to create a safe and sturdy rigging setup. One such piece is the shackle, a load-bearing connecting piece that helps to attach items such as slings, chains, ropes, or other hardware pieces together. Numerous types of shackles can be used, depending on the configuration and application.

Shackles are used across various industries, but they are primarily used in construction, manufacturing, and shipping for:

  • Rigging
  • Towing
  • Pulling
  • Lifting
  • Hoisting
  • Tie-downs

Just like other common pieces of rigging equipment, shackles are designed to fulfill a variety of purposes. So, industrial hardware suppliers have different types and sizes available.

Rigging and overhead lifting systems must be set up properly to ensure safety. Unfortunately, around 90% of overhead lifting and rigging site accidents are a result of human error – such as using the wrong pieces of industrial equipment.

Therefore, understanding what each variation of design, shape, and size is used for is crucial when purchasing rigging hardware. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Breaking Down the Parts of a Shackle

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The design of a shackle is fairly simple and only contains 4 main parts: the bow, ears, pin, and shoulder. It is good to know where each part of the shackle is and how to identify them, especially when inspecting a rigging setup for any signs of wear or damage.

  • The Bow: this is the curved shaped part of the shackle, often resembling the shape of a horseshoe. This can also be called the bail, body, dee, or bowl. This is designed in a rounded shape so it can be connected to a hook or loop easily and allow for some movement.
  • The Ears: These are the two sections on either end of the bow that create an opening for the pin to slid through.
  • The Pin: The pin is a steel bolt that extends the length of the bow and rests through both ears. The pin can be removed to detach the shackle and reinserted for a more permanent attachment.
  • The Shoulder: This is a raised part of the pin that will prevent the pin from sliding too far through the ears of the shackle when it is fully threaded.

Shackles can be made of a variety of materials, but most commonly they are made of stainless steel or galvanized steel. Stainless shackles are naturally more corrosion-resistant and durable, but stainless steel is more expensive. Hot dipped galvanized or heat-treated carbon shackles are a practical alternative.

2. Anchor and Chain Shackles

One of the key differentiators for shackles is the shape of the bow. The majority of shackles are available in either a chain or D-shackle or an anchor shackle design.

Source – Image Suggestion

As the name implies, a D-shackle is shaped like the letter “D” and has two straight edges with a rounded top. Also called a chain shackle, these have a narrower bow and are used to create in-line tension. These are sideloading loading, as this can create an uneven weight that twists or bends the bow.

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Anchor shackles (also called bow shackles) have a wider opening at the top and are more rounded on the entire bow. This larger opening makes the shackle ideal for sideloading or multiple sling-leg connections.

3. Shackle Pin Types

Another differentiation within types of shackles is the type of pin used for securement. Only certain types of pins are certified for overhead lifting applications, whereas others are best for frequent connection and disconnection.

  • Screw Pin Shackles


A screw pin shackle is one of the easiest designs to connect and disconnect, so they are not recommended for permanent attachments. Pin shackles are made to fit into the ears of the shackle by threading the pin through and screwing it into place. These can be unscrewed and removed fairly quickly, so it is very important to tighten the pins before each lift to make sure they are fully torqued.

  • Bolt Type Shackles


Bolt-type shackles have a more permanent pin attachment as it is held in place with a bolt and a screw pin. The pin is threaded through the ears and secured with a bolt that is tightened to hold the shackle firmly in place. A screw pin can be added through a small hole on one side of the pin to help keep it in place.

Bolt-type shackles are used primarily in rigging applications where rotation may occur. Since these types of shackles are more permanently secured, the rotation will not compromise the securement.

You may find an industrial hardware supplier that offers additional types of shackles, such as:

  • Synthetic sling shackle
  • Widebody shackle
  • Long reach shackle
  • Sheet pile shackle

These are used for very specific types of rigging configurations. But the traditional bolt type or screw pin is the most common type of shackle used in rigging, overhead lifting, and other industrial applications.


4. How to Determine Which Type of Shackle to Use

Before purchasing and installing any type of shackles, there are some important considerations to take into account. Although shackles are fairly small in size, this piece of equipment plays an important role in securing a rigging setup.

To determine the right type of shackle to use in any application, you must calculate and note the:

  1. Total weight of the load
  2. The types of slings used
  3. Type of hitches used on the sling
  4. The angle of the load

Some types of shackles are not created for specific types of applications. For instance, chain shackles should not be used for sideloading. Further, the greater the angle of the loading, the added stress it places on the shackle. If the load is at a more horizontal angle nearing 90°, then a shackle with a higher weight load limit should be used.

Looking for Industrial Hardware Shackles?

Ultimately, the best way to ensure that you have durable shackles that can withstand any load is to purchase them through a reliable industrial hardware supplier. You want to make sure that your hardware is forged from top-quality steel and is rated for your intended weight load.

Elite Sales is proud to offer only the highest quality shackles, along with other industrial hardware supplies. To learn more or to place an order, connect with Elite Sales online today.

February 10, 2022

The rigging and industrial hardware industry use lots of unique pieces of hardware that are not used for many other purposes. One such piece is the turnbuckle – so what is a turnbuckle exactly and what is its purpose?

A turnbuckle (also sometimes called a stretching screw or bottlescrew) is defined as “A device for adjusting the tension or length of ropes, cables, tie rods, and other tensioning systems.” While this hardware piece is relatively small, it can be used for large apparatus setups and can withstand weights up to 75,000 lbs.

Since its invention in the 1950s, the turnbuckle design has not altered very much. But there are many different types, designs, and sizes offered by industrial hardware suppliers – so it’s important to understand this information when purchasing turnbuckles.

1. Parts of the Turnbuckle

The turnbuckle is made of three key parts: the body, jam nut, and end fittings. These parts may be made of different designs or materials, so knowing the names and purpose of each component is quite important.

The Body

The body is the metal frame in the middle of the turnbuckle. This is the part that turns so the end pieces on either side will either extend or retract. This is what creates the tension.

A turnbuckle’s body may either be open or closed. The open body design exposes the threads of the end fittings, making it easier to see how far the turnbuckle is extended. A closed body turnbuckle (also called pipe body) encloses the threads. This adds slightly more support and a smaller frame that is ideal for smaller fits.

Jam Nut

This is a traditional nut piece that threads the end fittings into the body. The jam nut can be tightened to hold the end fittings more securely in place to the body.

End Fittings

There are two end fittings on either side of the turnbuckle. These serve as the connection point for the rigging equipment. There are several styles of end fittings that can be used, depending on the application. These components can also be mixed and matched – both end fittings do not necessarily need to match.

2. Turnbuckle Types

There are several types of turnbuckles. The primary difference is the end-fitting combinations. As mentioned before, the end fittings do not necessarily need to match.

The typical end fitting styles you will see offered by most industrial hardware suppliers are:

These different fittings are used to connect varying types of industrial hardware for rigging applications. For instance, an eye end fitting may be used to connect to a loop end of an industrial wire rope or cable. A hook would be optimal for an application that needs to be easily unattached, while a jaw end fitting creates a more secure, permanent connection.

Turnbuckles may also be made of different materials, depending on the application. Stainless steel turnbuckles are the most heavy-duty, as this metal is naturally corrosion resistant. Stainless turnbuckles would be recommended for applications exposed to the elements, such as for marine rigging.

Most industrial hardware suppliers will also offer turnbuckles in drop forged, hot-dipped galvanized finish for added protection.

3. When are Turnbuckles Used?

Turnbuckles are used for many types of applications across many industries, including:

  • Aircraft construction
  • Bridge construction
  • Overhead rigging and lifting
  • Shipping rigging and lashing
  • Theatre productions for lifting equipment
  • Pipe systems
  • Marine transportation

The primary purpose of the turnbuckle is to easily adjust the tension within a rigging assembly. This can be used for simple setups like fences or boxing rings as well as large projects such as suspension bridges and aircraft.

The most important element of a turnbuckle is the quality of its material and construction. Since this small piece of hardware is responsible for securing heavy loads, it must withstand tension and weight without warping or loosening. The material requires durability to withstand external factors like moisture levels, direct sunlight, temperature fluctuations, and weight load changes.

4. Turnbuckle Installation Process

Apart from the question of what is a turnbuckle, perhaps the most common one asked by our customers is how to install this piece of equipment. Proper installation is crucial – but thankfully, it is also fairly simple.

First, you will unscrew each end fitting to the full take-up length. Then each end fitting will be connected to the intended securement point. Next, you will rotate the turnbuckle so that each end fitting move in closer together in the center. This will create tension and become more difficult until you reach the desired tension. The final step is to tighten the nuts around each end fitting to the body for added securement.

It is important to note that turnbuckles must be inspected before use and any wear or damage requires replacement. If any parts appear corroded, rusted or damaged, the turnbuckle should not be used.

Wrapping Up

Choosing top-quality industrial hardware pieces should be a top priority for any application. This includes everything from larger setups to small pieces of hardware, such as turnbuckles. These comparatively small components are responsible for providing necessary tension and holding large applications in place.

If you are on the hunt for an industrial hardware supplier that offers top-quality pieces, look no further than Elite Sales. We carry a wide selection of turnbuckles in multiple styles, sizes, and materials for any application necessary – along with additional hardware pieces for rigging use.

Get in touch with our sales team today to place an order.

January 30, 2022

Industrial wire rope is used for a multitude of applications. Smaller wire ropes are found on exercise equipment and wire fencing, while ticker rope styles are used for aerospace and aircraft construction and suspension bridge reinforcement. Further, wire ropes are utilized by countless industries, including the military, construction, warehousing, automotive, and engineering.

Singe the application and requirements for wire rope is so varied, industrial wire rope suppliers offer numerous specifications. Narrowing down through these options can be tricky if you are unsure of the exact requirements your application needs. These options can impact the use, durability, and strength of the wire ropes, and some types are specifically designed for unique functions.

Here are 6 of the key wire rope specifications that must be considered before purchasing:

  • Material

One of the first wire rope specifications to narrow down is the material of the rope itself. While wire rope is generally made from steel, but it may also be made from iron, bronze, copper, and even titanium. Further, there are different types of steel grades and finishes available.


Most steel wire ropes are made from plow steel, which contains .5 to .95 percent carbon. Most wire ropes are available as either IPS (improved plow steel) or EIPS (extra improved plow steel). These improvements are based on the amount of carbon added in. So IPS are 10% stronger than traditional plow steel and EIPS is 10% stronger than IPS.

Steel Grades

A steel grade measures the material’s strength and pliability. The higher the grade, the most weight the wire rope can sustain. Each level of grade is about 10% stronger than the next.

The lowest grades for wire rope are mold plow and plow steel. These are often used for hauling and logging, but are not approved for overhead lifting applications. Industrial wire ropes are most commonly made from improved plow steel (IPS) or extra improved plow steel (EIPS).

Stainless steel wire ropes have an additional grading system that uses numbers to measure the amount of chromium added. 302-grade is an extremely tough type of stainless steel that is highly heat-resistant due to its high carbon content. 304 is highly versatile and corrosion resistant as it has chromium and nickel added. Grade 316 is considered the most commonly used type for wire ropes as it has a bit more flexibility with lower carbon content.

  • Construction

The next wire rope specification is the construction of the rope, meaning the number of strands woven together to form the rope. The general rule of thumb here is that the fewer strands in a rope, the stiffer it will be. So, when flexibility is necessary, you should opt for a wire rope with a higher strand count.

The number of strands and wires are written out as strand X wire count. A strand is made up of individual wires wrapped together, then each of the strands is woven together to form the rope. So, a 6 X 19 wire rope is made of 6 strands of 19 wires each.

Industrial wire ropes come in a large variety of strand counts, but the most common configurations are:

  • 6 X 15
  • 6 X 19
  • 6 X 25
  • 6 X 26
  • 6 X 27
  • 6 X 36
  • 6 X 37
  • Patterns and Lay

Industrial wire ropes can be made of different patterns and arrangements. This impacts the wire rope’s performance and flexibility, so different patterns may be better suited for certain applications.

There are five main categories of strand patterns:

  • Single Layer – This is made of strands that are all the same diameter wrapped around a central core.
  • Filler Wire – The interior layer is made of uniform strands, then half the number of strands are added in a smaller diameter. The outer layer contains the same amount and size of strands as the inner layer.
  • Seale – A larger internal code strand is surrounded by two layers of an equal number of strands. One is a smaller diameter while the outermost layer is the same size as the inner core.
  • Warrington – This rope is made from two alternating diameters which are woven together so the smaller strands fill in the “valleys” between the larger strands.
  • Combination – If two or more of these patterns are used together, it is called a combination or combined wire rope.
  • Preformed vs Non-preformed

The performance of a wire rope is the description of the lay or the direction the strands are wrapped in. This subtle difference can actually influence many factors, like the rope’s flexibility and fatigue resistance.

There are 3 types of lays for industrial wire ropes:

  • Regular Lay – The wires of the rope align with the axis, so the direction of the strands is opposite to the strand lay. This reinforces the wire rope to protect it from crushing and makes it more resistant to rotation.
  • Lang Lay – This is the opposite of the Regular Lay, so the wires and strands are going the same direction as the core. This increases the fatigue resistance of the rope and is best for abrasive applications.
  • Alternate Lay – When both Regular and Lang lays are used, it is known as an Alternate Lay. This is only used for specific applications and is not very common.
  • Finishes

Next, you will need to narrow down the finishes for the wire ropes. A bright wire rope has no coating, so the steel is completely exposed. This is only recommended for applications where the rope will not be exposed to moisture or water, as the steel is not rust-proof.

Galvanized steel is coated in a thin layer of molten zinc. This provides a protective barrier for added durability and corrosion resistance. The zinc coating gives the rope a more matte appearance.

Stainless steel is naturally corrosion resistant and has a naturally shiny finish. Stainless steel is also the strongest and most durable, but also the most expensive.

  • Lubrication

Although wire ropes are incredibly durable, the steel will wear out faster if it is exposed to harsh elements. Constant friction and changing temperatures and humidity in the air can weaken the metal and lead to wires breaking or corroding.

Wire ropes may be lubricated to reduce friction and protect the rope from corrosion. This is optional, but it can be beneficial for certain uses. Wire rope lubricants can be made from minerals or oils and may be either thin and runny or thick and tacky.

Looking for an Industrial Wire Rope Distributor?

If you’re in need of high-quality wire rope and don’t know where to start, your first step is to connect with a reliable supplier. Elite Sales specializes in industrial hardware and carries a wide variety of industrial wire ropes. Our experienced team also knows just about everything regarding wire rope specifications – we can help you narrow down your selection. Contact us today to learn more.

January 15, 2022

The difference between wire rope and industrial cable is important to understand. Both are renowned for their incredible strength and durability. While smaller cables and wires are used in everything from swing sets and exercise equipment, more robust models are used in suspension bridges and skyscrapers.

While wire ropes and cables are used all the time in today’s world, they have only been around for less than 200 years. The first wire rope was created in Germany by a mining engineer with wrought iron. However, today’s cables and wire ropes are made nearly exclusively from steel.

But this is not the only detail that both wire ropes and industrial cables share. This is often why these pieces of hardware are confused and their terms are used interchangeably. So, what is the difference between wire rope and industrial cable?

Understanding Industrial Wire Rope

As the name implies, a wire rope is constructed similarly to ropes made from fabric like hemp, but in this case, it is made with thin metal strands. These are woven together to form a strong yet flexible material that is used for support, overhead lifting, and securement. Wire ropes are used in industrial applications commonly with cranes, hoists, swivels, shackles, or hooks for attachments.

The demand for durable wire ropes has been steadily increasing since it is extensively used in massive industries like oil and gas, construction, marine fishing, and mining. While COVID-19 slowed down production in 2020 and 2021, the market size is expected to grow by 8% through 2026 and will exceed $17.5 billion.

There are several components to be aware of when selecting industrial wire rope:

  • Material and finish
  • Strength and weight load limit
  • Flexibility
  • Resistance to abrasion, crushing, corrosion, and rotation
  • Patterns and Lay
  • Core construction

There are various mechanics which attribute to the strength and recommended use of wire ropes. For instance, a wire rope constructed with more strands will be more flexible than one with fewer. The diameter of the wires also contributes to flexibility and strength.

Wire ropes come in bright, galvanized, or stainless-steel finishes. Bright wire ropes may only be used for applications where the rope will not come into contact with moisture, as the material will corrode. Galvanized and stainless-steel ropes are corrosion resistant, and stainless steel is the strongest material available.

Other factors to be aware of when purchasing wire ropes are the core and pattern or lay. Wire ropes may have a fiber, independent wire, or wire strand core to support either flexibility or strength. The lay or direction in which the wires are woven also impacts the rotation resistance.

Understanding Industrial Cable

Although cable shares many of the same properties as wire rope, it is most easily classified based on size. The key difference between industrial cable and wire rope is the diameter of the strands. The smallest diameter of strands for a wire rope is typically 3/8”, while cables can have wires as small as .032”.

Since industrial cable wires are smaller, they are far more flexible and a bit more versatile. Like wire ropes, cables are used in construction, engineering, and machinery. But industrial cable is also commonly used in aviation and aircraft.

Another slight difference between industrial cables and wire ropes is the materials. Industrial cable is not offered in a bright finish, only galvanized and stainless steel. This is because the increased flexibility naturally decreases abrasion resistance. Galvanized and stainless steel are better at resisting fatigue and abrasion than bright steel.

Industrial cables do have the same core offerings as wire rope: fiber, independent wire, or wire strand. However, another difference is the strand groupings. Industrial cables are most commonly offered in either 7×7 or 7×19 construction, while wire ropes have far more groupings.

When Should You Use Wire Rope vs Industrial Cable?

While the differences between industrial cable and wire ropes may appear subtle, it is critical to select the correct hardware depending on the application. Weight load limits are generally the first indication of whether a wire rope or industrial cable will be used. Since wire ropes have a larger wire diameter, they can withstand heavier loads.

The required range of flexibility is also an important factor. For applications such as pulley systems, industrial cables are often recommended. Their construction is more flexible and abrasion-resistant, and it even offers a bit of stretch to combat cable fatigue.

No matter what, safety and overall construction quality need to be of top priority when selecting this type of hardware. If you are unsure of which to use, consult a knowledgeable wire rope and industrial cable wholesaler for assistance.

Have More Questions About Wire Rope and Industrial Cable?

If you have further questions regarding the construction and use of either wire ropes or industrial cable, you can reach out to the Elite Sales team. We’ve built a reputation as a trustworthy and experienced wire rope and industrial cable supplier – and our team is here to help you out.

We believe that purchasing high-quality wire ropes and cable is the best way to ensure its strength and performance. That’s why we only offer the best-rated hardware on the market. Get in touch today to place an order.

December 23, 2021

Industrial hardware equipment accidents happen all of the time. Some are rather insignificant and a part may just break or get damaged. However, more serious incidents can result in thousands of dollars in damage or severe injuries, and even fatalities. But who is at fault if a piece of hardware malfunctions – the manufacturer or the hardware supplier?

Hardware distributors could face hefty lawsuits if they are deemed negligent by selling equipment that is not up to code. There have been many lawsuits and court cases involving hardware suppliers. In fact, the three industries that face the most product liability claims are heavy machinery, electrical equipment, and industrial equipment suppliers. Further, the number of product liability lawsuits has increased by 300% just since 2019.

Thankfully, there is a way for hardware distributors to protect themselves from this type of legal trouble. The solution? Product liability insurance. Here’s what all industrial hardware suppliers need to know about it.

1. Product Liability Insurance Protects Suppliers Legally

All insurance policies are designed to protect the policyholder if specific circumstances occur. Product liability insurance will protect a hardware supplier should the equipment they sell cause injury or damage to the buyer.

It’s important to note that this policy does not stop a customer from filing a claim or winning their case for a defective product. If there is evidence that the hardware was defective and caused injury to damage to the buyer, the payout will come out of the insurance policy. This protects the business from having to fork over hefty payouts themselves.

Of course, there are limitations to product coverage. Most product liability insurance policies include coverage for damages that are a result of design flaws, product defects, or inadequate warnings from the manufacturer. However, the policy may not provide coverage under all situations.

2. Product Liability Insurance is not the same as a Product Warranty

Industrial hardware suppliers need to understand that this type of insurance is not the same as a product warranty. Most distributors offer a warranty or product guarantee, such as a full product replacement if a defect is found within the first year of purchase.

While warranties can protect a hardware supplier from some legal complaints, they typically do not extend to severe damages or injuries.

For instance, say that a customer purchases a wire rope. However, during the installation process, a wire strand snaps and scratches the installer’s hand, which requires stitches. The product’s warranty would provide the customer with a full wire rope replacement. However, the supplier could be held responsible for the medical costs – in which case, they would use their product liability insurance coverage.

Having a solid warranty and product guarantee is just a starting point for protecting your business. But to ensure that you are completely legally protected, you will need additional insurance.

3. Product Liability Insurance is an Affordable Investment

Nearly all businesses have some form of liability insurance in place. While it is not required by law, it is highly encouraged. Product liability may be an add-on to a general liability insurance coverage or a standalone policy.

Hardware suppliers should really view this as an investment rather than a necessary operational cost. As with all insurance policies, you don’t think about it much until it comes in handy – or you wish you had better coverage. For companies in a higher liability risk category (like industrial hardware), the more coverage you purchase, the better off you will be if worse comes to worst.

So how much should you pay for product liability insurance? Well, there is no clear-cut answer of course. Most insurance companies suggest coverage that is equivalent to about 25% of the business’s annual revenue. If this sounds like a hefty cost remember that buying insurance is going to be far less expensive than even a single payout in a major lawsuit.

4. Be Sure to Read Your Policy Before Signing

Not all product liability insurance policies are created equal. Some will offer coverage under a wider umbrella of circumstances than others – so you’ll want to read the policy closely before signing.

Note that the cost and coverage of your policy’s premium are determined by various factors about your business. Some of these factors include:

  • Products sold
  • Average sales and revenue
  • Position in the supply chain (manufacturer, distributor, etc.)
  • Coverage limits
  • Claim history

You should also pay close attention to situations that will not be covered by your policy. Most product liability insurance policies do not extend to your business, only to customers. So, say that one of your employees is injured by defective equipment on company property. This would fall under your workers’ compensation policy, not product liability.

Over to You

There are many risks that come along with industrial hardware – so you need to make sure that you are buying from a supplier that guarantees product quality and integrity. Elite Sales has proudly supplied premium industrial hardware equipment for decades. We guarantee that our equipment meets the highest standards, with up to $20 million in product liability insurance coverage to back it up.

To learn more about our top-quality products, send us a message online.

December 9, 2021

Passing a rigging equipment inspection is an incredibly important part of the process for a plethora of reasons. Of course, a project cannot begin until it passes a full inspection. This is to ensure safety for anyone on-site and prevent accidents that could cause millions of dollars in damage.

According to the latest data, there have been nearly 250 fatal and serious accidents involving rigging equipment since 2010. Further, there have been over 800 major OSHA violations related to overhead lifting equipment adding up to $2.3 million in fees. The most common incidents that resulted in injuries and onsite fatalities were due to:

  • Load swing, drop, or instability
  • Loads dropping because of wrong equipment setup or equipment failure
  • Incorrect lock out/tag out system

Nearly all of these incidents can be completely avoided by thorough rigging equipment inspections. Remember that failing an initial inspection is not necessarily a sign of failure or negligence; it is an opportunity to correct and replace any rigging equipment to ensure the highest level of safety for the entire crew.

That said, here are some useful tips from a rigging hardware supplier to help you pass inspections and avoid the repercussions of failing:

1.  Enforce Proper Equipment Installation

Inspectors will be paying close attention to how your equipment is installed and set up. This includes everything from large wire ropes to small hardware pieces like sleeves and shackles. Every single piece of equipment needs to be installed and held in place exactly as directed – otherwise, it causes serious safety hazards if not done as directed.

The first step is to make sure that only certified personnel are in charge of setting up the equipment. This must be a qualified rigger, according to OSHA. This means that they have completed the necessary training and meet specific requirements for the job at hand. For instance, larger rigging equipment setups may require additional training and certifications.

It is also highly recommended to have another professional double-check the installation before the official inspection begins. A second set of eyes may notice small mistakes which can be quickly corrected.

2.  Double Check Weight Load

The weight load calculation needs to be fairly precise and there should always be some fluctuation allowed to account for variables, such as wind speed. Not only does the load need to be properly weighed, but all rigging equipment must be accounted for including:

  • Type of crane or equipment used for lifting
  • Lifting slings
  • Rigging hardware pieces
  • Hook blocks
  • Ropes
  • Lifting beams
  • Shackles and hoist rings

The weight load also needs to be as evenly balanced as possible before it can be lifted. If the load is an odd shape that is unbalanced, the setup needs to be adjusted properly to ensure that the heavier end has further support.

3.  Replace Rusted or Damaged Equipment

Surprisingly, one of the most common reasons a setup fails a rigging equipment inspection is due to worn-out hardware. If your rigging equipment shows signs of moderate to severe wear, it is time to replace it. Even a small nick or rust spots can compromise the durability of the entire setup, so every piece of rigging equipment needs to be in acceptable condition.

Opting for less-expensive equipment made from weaker forms of steel can be the reason why hardware pieces erode so quickly. Lower-grade steels are mixed with other metals like aluminum, which is a weaker element.

Instead, you should only buy hardware that is made from a guaranteed higher grade of stainless steel from a reputable rigging equipment supplier. The most common materials used for rigging equipment are stainless steel, galvanized, and bright. Stainless steel is typically the most durable and long-lasting but galvanized and bright may be a valid alternative in some situations. Each of these finishes offers benefits for specific applications – and a good rigging equipment wholesaler will be able to point you in the right direction.

Hardware maintenance should also be a priority for all rigging equipment setups. Putting a bit of effort to make sure all hardware pieces are stored and cared for correctly can extend the usage of the pieces significantly. Any equipment left outdoors should be covered to protect it from moisture, direct sunlight, and heavy winds, which can cause damage and erosion.

4.  Tighten Your Clips

Finally, before a rigging equipment inspection, the rigger should go through and tighten clips as much as possible. Clips are used to secure rigging equipment like wire ropes, but if they are not torqued all the way, it can cause the setup to slip.

This also extends to cable elements, hitches, and slings. Be sure that all of these elements are connected properly and tighten any connection points so that nothing can slip or stretch during the lift.

Looking for Top-Quality Rigging Hardware Equipment?

If you want to ensure that you pass your next rigging equipment inspection, you likely need to replace old parts with new, highly-rated hardware. Elite Sales proudly offers some of the best quality hardware pieces on the market designed for heavy-duty overhead lifting applications.

Elite Sales has operated as a rigging equipment wholesaler for many years and our staff has decades of experience. Our team is always available to offer direction and advice regarding any of our equipment. Simply reach out to us online to get started and learn more.