Wire Rope Clips: No Reason to Saddle a Dead Horse

Wire rope is an exceptionally versatile tool for heavy hoisting and pulling applications. With its high tensile strength, light weight and flexibility, wire rope is a desirable alternative to chain. It’s also an inexpensive item found on many job sites, so it’s only natural there would be a large market of accessories that allow for the fabrication of eye ends to be used for temporary latching or fencing on a job site. Of these accessories, the most commonly misused hardware is the wire rope clip.

There’s a well-known saying intended to aid in remembering which way to attach a wire rope clip, that reads “never saddle a dead horse.” Wire rope clips are designed with a U-bolt on one end and a saddle and nuts on the other. When installing the wire rope clip, the U-bolt should always be set on the dead end of the wire while the saddle attaches to the live wire. Even one improperly fastened clip will reduce the capacity of your fabricated eye.

The simple explanation for this technique is that, inverting the clip and fastening the saddle on the dead end, the U-bolt crushes down on the live load and drastically reduces the wire rope’s capabilities. While a wire rope sling should never be fabricated on site for anything that will be used regularly, there are situations, although rare, that it would create the need to fabricate a sling for a job, for strapping a load on a truck or something similar. It’s obvious that maintaining a predictable capacity is extremely important in ensuring the safety of your workers and the load, so utilizing the proper techniques is equally vital.

Just as you wouldn’t put a saddle on a dead horse and rely on it to get you where you’re going, you wouldn’t want to improperly fasten a wire rope eye and trust that nothing will go wrong with your setup. For any lifting and rigging questions you may have, reach out to your local sales rep or our helpful staff over the phone at 800-878-7305 or online at www.rentlgh.com.

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