CM-Entertainment Mega School Each year Columbus McKinnon hosts a 5-day CM-Entertainment Mega School, to train up new entertainment riggers.

This year’s mega school, held in Orlando, Florida, was extended from the normal 5 days to a 10-day event. This one-of-a-kind class combined our 5-day Mega School with a 5-day Rope Access Certification course giving participants the chance to earn a total of 36 ETCP credits. It’s the ultimate entertainment rigger training!

Here are some of the highlights:

Part 1 of CM-Entertainment Mega School covers all aspects of hoist maintenance and troubleshooting.

CM-Entertainment Mega SchoolThe first half of this ETCP-recognized training course covered the design and operation of hoists, maintenance needs, inspection requirements and troubleshooting procedures. It also delved deep into electrical theory and troubleshooting of the CM Lodestar and CM Prostar hoists.

Participants received 12 points towards their ETCP Certification renewal. Upon passing, participants will receive a CM-ET certification card and document, both of which are good for five years.

The instructors this year were Eric Rouse who taught the entertainment rigging and myself, who taught the motors class.

Part 2 of our CM-Entertainment Mega School explores rigging terminology, equipment and entertainment concepts.

CM-Entertainment Mega School
The second part of our school was an intense exploration of rigging terminology, equipment and concepts for the entertainment industry. This year we partnered up with a company named HARP Rigging.  Nick Fleming from HARP, taught a level 1 SPRAT Class.  David Brown taught fall protection awareness, while Will Todd taught Truss Design and Theory.

The Rope Access Certification Course was a 5-day course consisting of four days of training and one day of evaluation.  This class encompasses everything a prospective student needs to understand and demonstrate to achieve rope access certification –   ranging from understanding anchors to performing a rescue of your fellow technician. Participants in this course received 24 points towards their ETCP Certification renewal.

Are you interested in next year’s Mega School? If so, please check our training site for updates on our next CM-Entertainment Ultimate Mega School or feel free to contact me directly.

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lifting shackles

Chain Style Shackle

lifting shackles

Anchor Style Shackle

When determining the best shackle for your lifting application, there are many options to choose from. Shackles are typically available in two styles: chain style and anchor style.

Chain shackles are best-suited for straight line, single connection pulls because of their U-shape. Anchor or bow shackles have a more generous loop. This allows them to be side loaded or used for multiple connections.

Whether you use chain or anchor shackles, there are three types of pins that are used to secure a shackle, each with their own benefits and limitations.

lifting shackles

Screw pin shackle

lifting shackles

Bolt, nut and cotter shackle

lifting shackles

Round pin shackle

 

 

Screw Pin Lifting Shackles

Screw Pin Shackles allow for quick and easy removal of the screw pin, which makes this style ideal for applications where the shackle is removed frequently. While the threaded pin can resist axial forces, it should not be cyclically loaded. Additionally, it is unreliable and vulnerable to backing out in applications where the pin is subjected to a torque or twisting action. In some applications, it is recommended to “mouse” the screw pin to prevent it from unscrewing. This type of shackle is suitable for overhead lifting.

Bolt, Nut & Cotter Lifting Shackles

Of all shackle types, bolt, nut, and cotter shackles provide the most secure pin arrangement, resisting axial and torsional loading. This type of shackle should be used in semi-permanent applications where the pin is removed infrequently. Bolt, nut, and cotter shackles are suitable for overhead lifting.

Round Pin Lifting Shackles

Round Pin Shackles allow for easy removal by simply removing the cotter that holds the pin in place. These shackles perform well where the pin is subjected to a torque or twisting action. They are not recommended for use where the pin is subject to an axial load. Round pin shackles are not suitable for overhead lifting.

For more information on shackles, check out our safety webinar on the Proper Use of Shackles or our other blog articles on shackles.

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What is a Ramshorn Hook?

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by  on September 8, 2016

ramshorn hooks

Photo courtesy of @cranenation via Instagram

A Ramshorn hook is a shank hook with two throat openings, sometimes called sister hooks, double hooks or twin hooks. They are used in applications with shipyard cranes and container cranes. Ramshorn hooks can be used on any type of crane block.

Why Use a Ramshorn (Double) Hook?

Ramshorn hooks offer many benefits to the user. Not only do they allow for better rigging options due to the wider profile and double throat combination, they also provide better load distribution when using multiple slings in a rigging application.

Featuring an additional throat opening, Ramshorn hooks prevent slings from bunching up as they more frequently do with single hooks. This second throat also helps to prevent sling damage when under load. Featuring a wider hook profile, as compared to single hooks, Ramshorn hooks allow for more stable load control when properly rigged. The wider profile also provides better load distribution and allows for more controlled lifts.

Compared to single hooks, Ramshorn hooks commonly have a smaller frame with a much higher capacity, helping to reduce the weight of the overall crane lifting gear.

Not all Ramshorn Hooks Are Created Equal.

Ramshorn Hooks

There are two types of Ramshorn hooks: the Ramshorn Form A hook, which has a solid lower hook design, and the Ramshorn Form B hook. Columbus McKinnon offers the Form B version because of its versatility. This hook provides all the advantages as mentioned above with the addition of a hole in the lower hook to attach rigging hardware. This feature gives the user the option to change their double hook into a sling hook if so desired.

All Ramshorn hooks are manufactured to DIN 15402 standards. Just like our single hooks, these double hooks can be furnished in various configurations including unmachined, machined, and machined with nuts for full suspensions.

In 2015, Columbus McKinnon acquired Stahlhammer Bommern GmbH (STB), the leading manufacturer of heavy-load single and ramshorn hooks in Europe. Now available in North America, our offering includes a comprehensive line of CM Heavy-Duty Crane Hooks in both single- and double-hook configurations.

Download our Heavy Duty Crane Hook brochure.

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Load Securement: Don’t Take it for Granted

August 11, 2016






In many cases, the importance of tying down a load on or in a truck is underestimated. It’s interesting to talk to trucking people and find out that they are very in tune with what is expected of them with regards to the vehicle they drive and the maintenance of that vehicle. But when it […]

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How Crane Collision Avoidance Systems Help Prevent Accidents & Reduce Maintenance Costs

July 14, 2016






I sat down with subject matter expert and Magnetek controls product manager, Casey Cummins, to discuss the benefits and features of crane collision avoidance systems. Q: What is a crane collision avoidance system? Casey: Collision avoidance systems are electronic devices that can be installed on your crane to help prevent accidents before they happen, protecting people, […]

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Summer Concert Series: Where is your CM Hoist?

June 30, 2016






Who doesn’t love the summer time and seeing a great concert with your favorite band from the past or present? A few of our fans recently shared CM Hoist photos from summer concerts they’ve attended, which included a snapshot of our #CMLodestar motors. Like us, they love seeing CM Hoist products in action! We know that […]

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Yale Lifting Solutions Provides 200-Ton Test Rig for Hook Proof Load Testing

June 9, 2016






Yale Lifting Solutions was recently approached by a long-time client in the South African gold mining industry to provide a 200-ton capacity horizontal test rig used to proof load test humble hooks. Humble hooks are safety devices used to connect winder ropes to the main personnel cages and ore conveyances on hoists in vertical mine […]

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Is Changing a Hoist Brake Considered a Modification?

May 12, 2016






Rod, a Canadian crane services manager and recent safety webinar attendee, asked: “Is changing a hoist brake a modification? Tom Reardon, Columbus McKinnon training instructor, responds: Changing a hoist holding brake is not a modification simply because the brake is being replaced. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines modification as: “a change in something (such as a system or style).” […]

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Can Spring Balancers Save Lives? Yes They Can!

May 5, 2016






Normally, spring balancers, sold by our Columbus McKinnon’s Industrial Products (CMIP) division in Wuppertal, Germany, are used to relieve operators from the weight of hand tools. By using a tapered rope drum, the weight of the attached load is compensated so that loads up to 200 kg can be moved effortlessly along a vertical axis. Standard applications would include spot-welding guns, riveting machines or multiple-nut runners. One […]

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Understanding Crane Operator Hand Signals for Mobile, Overhead, Gantry and Tower Cranes

April 28, 2016






When working as a crane operator in a facility or at a jobsite, especially those with lots of traffic, it is crucial to understand and use crane operator hand signals. As required by OSHA 1926.1400 Cranes and Derricks, these individuals, or signal persons, must know all signals for mobile, tower and overhead cranes and must […]

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