As you set up your rigging equipment, you have to decide how to secure your loads. While you might use different types of products for different lifts, bow shackles are a good all-around option that you'll probably use frequently.
While regular bow shackles work well on certain types of lifts, you should also look at safety pin shackles as you buy your kit. How do safety pin bow shackles work and what are the advantages of using them?
What Are Safety Pin Bow Shackles?
Rigging bow shackles have a curved shape. They run up straight at the bottom and then flare round into a circular shape at the top like a bow.
To use a regular bow shackle, you push a screw pin through holes in the two straight parts at the base of the device. You then twist the pin to secure the shackle.
Safety pin bow shackles work in the exact same way. However, their screw pins have a nut at the end. Here, the pin will protrude out of the second hole more than it would on a regular bow shackle. You then attach the nut to this end of the pin and tighten it until it sits flush against the side of the shackle.
What Are the Benefits of Using Safety Pin Bow Shackles?
Regular bow shackles are robust and effective. They work well on many different types of rigging jobs. They can cope with movement, angled lifts and heavy loads.
However, these shackles do have a couple of downsides. The screw pin that secures the shackle can sometimes work itself loose, especially if a load moves a lot during a lift. Sometimes, a rubbing strap might even affect the position of the pin. If the pin comes out, then the shackle won't hold a rigged load.
It's also sometimes hard to see the pin to check that it is still in place when you make a visual check on a load from the ground. Most of the pin sits flush inside the shape of the shackle; straps can obscure it from view.
If you want a more secure connection, then a safety pin shackle is a better option. These shackles have the extra security of a tightened nut at one end. They are less likely to lose their pins through movement or rubbing straps.
You'll also find it easier to check that the shackle is closed and secure from the ground. The nut sits on the outside edge of the shackle, so straps won't obscure it. If you can see that the nut is in the right place, then you know that the shackle is secure.
To find out more about safety pin bow shackles and other lifting security devices, contact your rigging equipment supplier.