Author: Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is a Business Development Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

New CM Shackle Markings and Pins Lead to Improved Operator Safety

New CM Shackle Markings and Pins Lead to Improved Operator Safety

Over the past few years, our forging operations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have been working vigorously to improve product quality and deliveries. As you have seen with our In-Stock Guarantee, we remain committed to manufacturing the highest quality products in the market, stocking over 275 of our most popular chain and forged rigging attachment products and guaranteeing to ship them in 3 business days.

As part of this commitment to quality, we implemented some changes that resulted in even higher quality shackles. These changes include larger CM shackle markings and a new shackle pin design.

CM shackle markings

Enhanced Shackle Identification Markings

The forged identification markings on our CM shackles are now the largest and most user-friendly on the market.  The lettering has draft and rounded edges for use with synthetics. Some of the benefits of the larger and more legible lettering are:

CM shackle markings
Old Shackle Size
CM shackle markings
New Shackle Size

Improved operator safety by reducing the risk of users misreading or not being able to read important size and WLL information.

Reduction in replacement costs by decreasing necessary out-of-service issues due to worn and illegible identification.

Easier identification of the product as a CM shackle with a larger CM logo forged into the side.

CM shackle markings
Old Shackle Logo
CM shackle markings
New Shackle Logo

New Pins

We have also changed the shackle pins on our Screw Pin Anchor shackles (SPA) to provide more efficient thread fitting inside and outside of the shackle.

CM shackle marking
New High Strength Pin

Both the enhanced ID markings and the new pins are now on all shackles we ship today. We will continue to look for even more ways to improve the safety and durability of our shackles, to ensure we are providing the highest quality products to our customers.

This article was originally posted on June 13, 2013. Updates were made on April 6, 2017 to keep our information current.

Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is a Business Development Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Understanding DIN 15400 Specifications for Shank Hooks

Understanding DIN 15400 Specifications for Shank Hooks

shank hooks

When hooks and components are produced in accordance with the DIN 15400 specification, you can rest assured that the manufacturer has met stringent production criteria to produce a high-quality product. DIN 15400 is the “Standard of Excellence” used in the heavy crane industry. Our heavy-duty crane hooks produced by our Stahlhammer Bommern GmbH (STB) business in Germany are designed to meet this standard.

Specification DIN 15400 was developed in the early 1940’s to provide requirements to manufacturers for the production and finishing of shank hooks. This specification not only gives guidance for hook production but also includes dimensional requirements for nuts and trunnions. The standard specifies requirements intended to ensure the reliability of forged hooks.

DIN 15400 offers guidance for capacity ratings of hooks, similar to CMAA, based on various component input of crane usage. This is known as drive groups in the specification.

DIN 15400 includes requirements for threading of crane hooks, nuts and cross pieces to ensure a quality product is produced.

DIN 15400 also includes guidance for markings, testing, heat treatment, surface conditions, dimensional accuracy and mechanical properties.

Learn more about heavy-duty crane hooks from Columbus McKinnon.  Designed to stringent, globally recognized DIN standards, our high-quality un-machined and machined products range in capacity from 1 to 1250 metric tons.

Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is a Business Development Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

What is a Ramshorn Hook?

What is a Ramshorn Hook?

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 Shank Hooks in both single- and double-hook configurations.

Download our CM Shank Hooks brochure.

Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is a Business Development Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Know your Transport Binder Chain Assemblies and Load Binders

Know your Transport Binder Chain Assemblies and Load Binders

Binder Chain AssemblyDo you know the origin of your Transport Binder Chain Assemblies and Load Binders? If you’re comparing costs and quality, or trying to meet domestic-only product requirements for a project, it’s important that you know the country of origin.

In fact, there are a number of things to consider when buying and selling Transport Binder Chain Assemblies and Load Binders. I will highlight a few things you should look for to ensure you are comparing apples to apples and getting the product that best meets your needs.

CM Offers 3 Types of Binder Chain Assemblies

Short Link Chain Assemblies with Domestic Hooks are our premium, 100% American-made Chain Assemblies that feature US-made short link chain and US-made hooks. CM is the only manufacturer of short link chain and set the standard for it years ago with the introduction of Gold Standard (gold chromate) chain. The smaller dimension of the short link chain is preferred by users because it allows for easier take up and better cornering. This means that the chain links are less likely to bend when they go around a corner.

Standard Link Chain Assemblies with Domestic Hooks, like our short link assemblies, feature US-made chain and US-made hooks manufactured and assembled at our Tennessee facilities. The longer pitch of the standard link chain translates into less overall weight. Standard link chain is common in most US-made assemblies.

Standard Link Chain Assemblies with Imported Hooks are competitively priced assemblies that feature domestic-made chain with imported hooks. This type of assembly is very common in the industry and is made by many competitors domestically.

View a comparison chart of our three types of binder chain assemblies.

Does your job require proof that your equipment was made in America?

Whether Binder Chain Assemblies or Load Binders, you should be able to find the name of the country of origin printed or embossed right on the unit. All CM domestic products will have a forged “USA” clearly visible. Binder Chain Assemblies

Competitors may put their markings in inconspicuous places where it is less likely to be seen. On some competitors’ ratchet load binders you need to really look to find “China” discreetly hidden on the side of the thumb switch. Always check your Ratchet and Lever Load Binders thoroughly to make sure they’re made in the USA.

For domestic chain and hooks, Columbus McKinnon goes one step further by featuring trace codes. These trace codes allow you to not only trace the steel that was used to make the product, but also the date of manufacture and the processes used in manufacturing the product.

Lastly, CM offers full disclosure with a Certificate of Conformity (COC) and a Certificate of Origin (COO) on all of our Transport Binder Chain Assemblies, Ratchet Load Binders and Lever Load Binders. These COCs and COOs are available for download on our Distributor website or by request from a Columbus McKinnon customer service representative.

Meeting Industry Standards

The transportation industry uses a large assortment of Binder Chain Assemblies that come from all over the world. Some of these products meet multiple recognized standards while others do not meet any specifications at all. It’s truly “buyer beware.”

However, Columbus McKinnon transport binder chains and assemblies meet all regulatory requirements for transportation in North America, including NACM 2014, ASTM A413 and D.O.T. requirements.

Comparing Costs: Apples to Apples

When comparing CM products and pricing to the competition, it is important to make sure that you are comparing equivalent products.

The majority of our competitors offer assemblies with domestic-made chain and imported hooks. These mixed assemblies are designed to be economical, and our Standard Link Chain Assemblies with Imported Hooks match up nicely in price and quality. Assemblies that use components with mixed countries of origin are fine for applications where domestic-made products are not required.

In contrast, you can’t compare CM Standard Link Chain Assemblies and Short Link Chain Assemblies that feature domestic hooks to the competition that uses imported components. Our 100% US-made assemblies are premium, high-quality products proudly manufactured in Tennessee. Comparing these premium units to imported products (whether fully imported or made with imported components) would be comparing apples to oranges.

So, there’s a lot to consider before you buy or sell your next load binder or binder chain assembly. For more information, contact a Columbus McKinnon Sales Representative at 800-888-0985. If you’re interested in getting professional, hands-on Load Securement Training click here.

Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is a Business Development Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Sling Selection & Working Load Limits: What You Need to Know

Sling Selection & Working Load Limits: What You Need to Know

Chain slings are a combination of chain, hooks, rings and other attachments used primarily for overhead lifting applications. Slingssling selection are often used in conjunction with cranes and other lifting devices and allow riggers to create custom configurations to lift loads depending on the needs of that specific application.

Standard chain sling configurations consist of chain branches that are affixed on one end to a master link or ring with some type of attachment. When building a sling, ASME, NACM and OSHA recommend that only alloy steel chain is used. Columbus McKinnon’s Herc-Alloy chain, available in Grades 80 and 100, is made of superior triple alloy steel and is a strong and durable option for building chain slings.

All chain slings should come with a metal identification tag that is affixed to the chain. The tag should include the following information: sling size, reach, working load limit, serial number, manufacturer name, grade of sling and number of branches.

Proper Chain Sling Selection

When choosing a chain sling there are a few things to consider:

  1. Weight and configuration of the load(s) to be lifted
  2. Type of chain sling required, according to weight and configuration
  3. Size of the body chain according to the working load limits. Be sure to take into consideration the effect of the required angle (see information below).
  4. Reach required to give the desired angle. This is measured from the upper bearing surface of the master link to the bearing surface of the lower attachment.
  5. The share of load on pick points and location of the center of gravity

What Determines a Sling’s Working Load Limit?

The working load limit indicates the maximum load that should be applied to the sling and should never be exceeded during use to ensure operator safety.
Sling working load limits are determined by the following:

  • Type of hitch
  • Material strength
  • Design factor
  • Diameter of curvature (D/d)
  • Angle of loading

The working load limit of a sling can also be affected by the conditions the sling is used in. For example, rapidly applying a load can produce dangerous overloading conditions. Also, the twisting and knotting of links or sling components can decrease a sling’s working load limit. Environmental conditions, such as elevated temperatures, can affect the working load limit of a sling as well.

Since slings are most often used at an angle, let’s review an example of how angle of loading affects a sling’s working load limit. In the diagram below, the percentages shown represent the maximum working load limit of the sling when used at the designated angle. In some instances the working load limit of the chain is reduced to 50%!

For example: One 3/8″ Grade 80 double sling used at 90˚ would have a working load limit of 2 times the working load of a 3/8″ Grade 80 single or 2 x 7, 100 lbs. = 14,200 lbs.

The same double sling used at 35º would have a maximum working load limit of 57% of 14,200 lbs. or .57 x 14,200 lbs. = 8,094 lbs.

sling selection

For another example of how the angle of use can affect the working load limit of a chain sling, check out this past blog post: What is the working load limit of a 2 legged chain sling?

Want to learn more? View our Safety Webinar on Chain Sling Inspection

Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is a Business Development Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

CM launches the Bandit – our lightest and most compact ratchet lever hoist ever

CM launches the Bandit – our lightest and most compact ratchet lever hoist ever

Bandit-BlogColumbus McKinnon is very excited to introduce its newest product, the CM Bandit 3/4 and 1-1/2 ton ratchet lever hoist, to the Canadian marketplace. The CM Bandit is loaded with Bandit-imagefeatures and benefits that will make it one of the most versatile hoists on the market today.

What makes the CM Bandit so great?
We listened to our customers and took the time to fully understand what they needed from a ratchet lever hoist. With that in mind, we designed the CM Bandit to be lightweight and compact for easy portability and use in confined spaces. We also included features like easy free chaining, a 360°rotating handle and bolted-on hooks with wide throat openings for ease of use.

As always, we kept user safety in mind. The Bandit has a screwed-on, comfort-fit rubber grip to prevent slippage; forged safety latches on the upper and lower hooks for positive and secure load engagement; double reduction gearing for lower handle effort; an enclosed Weston style break to prevent contaminants from entering; and an optional load limiter to help prevent overloading of the hoist. It also includes 100% load-tested, zinc-plated chain and parts for corrosion resistance.

Bandit-HMIWe are proud to say that the Bandit is the world’s first ratchet lever hoist to be HMI-Certified. This means that Columbus McKinnon and the Bandit has met strict HMI requirements,  including a Declaration of Conformity for technical, service and support.

We are very excited to bring this new product to our customers, knowing it addresses all of their ratchet lever hoist needs. To learn more about the CM Bandit, check out our product videos available on Youtube. These videos explain how the product works and show you all the features in action.

Our videos include:

Coming Soon to the USA
For those of you in the U.S. stay tuned. We’ll be launching the CM Bandit here in America on October 17. Check back closer to our launch date for more information.

Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is a Business Development Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Top 5 Reasons Why the CM Super Strong Shackle Rocks

Top 5 Reasons Why the CM Super Strong Shackle Rocks

CM Super Strong ShackleHistory has proven the American-Made CM Super Strong Shackle is one of the most popular shackles on the market. Here are the top 5 reasons I think that’s true:

1. It’s Super Strong
That’s an obvious one, right? But in many cases, by using the Super Strong Shackle, you can use a smaller size shackle while maintaining the required strength and ductility. Our Super Strong Shackles are carbon type shackles which average 17%-50% greater strength than a comparable shackle. As a result of this strength, these shackles have a 6:1 design factor.

2. A Wide Product Offering
We have a full range of sizes and finishes in our Super Strong Shackle product offering.  Below are two brochures available for you to download. Our  CM Shackle Technical Brochure highlights performance characteristics and test data, and our Super Strong Shackle brochure features our complete Super Strong Shackle product offering.

CM Super Strong Shackle
CM Shackle Technical Brochure

3. Proud to be Compliant with the “Buy American Act”
Our chain and rigging attachments are made in the great state of Tennessee, USA. In accordance with the Buy American Act, we can provide you a Certificate of Compliance at your request. Learn more about the Buy American Act.

4. Meets RRC-271 Specifications
The Super Strong Shackle has to be de-rated to meet the specification of RRC- 271. What does this mean? The Super Strong Shackle has the same dimension of the standard carbon shackle that meets RRC 271, however, it’s much stronger. For example, a 1” CM Super Strong Shackle has a WLL of 10 ton, but RRC 271 requirements are 8-1/2. Because they exceed the requirements and are marked with higher strengths, the Super Strong Shackles cannot be represented as meeting RRC 271.

5. It’s In-Stock. We Guarantee It!CM Super Strong Shackle
Columbus McKinnon is committed and prepared to ship our most popular chain and forged attachment products in 3 days – and we guarantee it! This is our In-Stock Guarantee (ISG). Currently, we offer more than 275 hoist, chain and rigging products that are guaranteed to be in stock and ready to ship.

Our In-Stock Guarantee features a number of popular Super Strong Shackles from 3/16” to 1.” Check out our In-Stock Guarantee video

Check out our recent blog article: “What makes our American made Super Strong Shackle super?”

Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is a Business Development Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Coffing and CM Ratchet Lever Hoists: Great Benefits and One-Handed Free Chaining

Coffing and CM Ratchet Lever Hoists: Great Benefits and One-Handed Free Chaining

Ratchet lever hoists by Columbus McKinnon have countless benefits. Their lightweight design makes them easy to handle and transport. Some are even small enough to fit into your lunch box! Lever hoists are an extremely adaptable tool that can be used for a variety of applications.  When you choose a hoist with one-handed free chaining feature, you have one of the easiest to use ratchet lever hoists on the market.

True One-Handed Free Chaining

Our Coffing LSB Lever Hoist and CM 653 Lever Hoist features true one-handed free chaining. This feature allows tslack chain to be pulled in either direction for easy chain adjustment or connection to the load. The LSB and 653 lever hoists have a neutral position that allows smooth free chaining with just one hand while the hoist is in a vertical or horizontal position and not under load. Many competitive hoists require you to hold the chain while re-engaging the mechanism, forcing you to use both hands. The Coffing LSB and CM Series 653 offer TRUE one-handed free chaining operation which makes it easier for you to get the job done.

If the hoist is under load and the lever is put into the free-chain, or neutral position, the load will not lower, which is an ASME requirement.  All Columbus McKinnon hoists made for the US and Canada meet ASME standards.

The Coffing LSB and CM Series 653 capacities range from 3/4 to 6 tons, with 5, 10, 15 and 20-foot standard lifts. We have just published a video which explains the free chaining of our Coffing LSB lever hoist in more detail. Take a look and let us know what you think!

Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is a Business Development Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.