Are Your Shackles Safe for Overhead Lifting?

Are Your Shackles Safe for Overhead Lifting?

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.

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

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3 Replies to “Are Your Shackles Safe for Overhead Lifting?”

  1. Hi Marc,
    There is a hole in the head of the screw pin shackle. There is no rule as to what size wire. I would use a wire that is easily bendable that can be wrapped around the body two to three times and go through the hole two to three times. A rigger should be checking the shackle frequently.

  2. Hi there. Thanks for your continuing online info work.
    Quick question – what do you mean by “mouse the shackle”? Is this when you secure the pin through the hole around the actual shackle itself? If so, how do you recommend doing this?

    Thanks again

  3. Great article and well explained. Shackles seems to be something no one thinks about in a lift but is an essential component to consider in a lifting scenario.

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