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Rigging Glossary: ABC’s of rigging, ‘A’ to ‘Crane’

Rigging Glossary: ABC's of rigging, 'A' to 'Crane'

Rigging Glossary: ABC’s of rigging, ‘A’ to ‘Crane’

Hercules SLR knows rigging, A through Z!

There are many terms and regulating bodies to know and remember when it comes to securing, lifting and rigging—some commonly used in the industry, some not.

Hercules SLR is here to help you keep up with the rigging industry and its jargon.

We’ve put together a guide of rigging terms that you should know, starting with A, B and C.

Rigging Terms: A-C


Acceleration Stress: Additional stress created by increase in load velocity.

Aggregate Strength: Wire rope strength found by total individual breaking strength of the element of strand or rope.

AISE: Association of Iron and Steel Institute

AISI: American Iron and Steel Institute

Alternate Lay: Lay of wire rope in which strands alternate between regular lay and lang lay.

Angle of Loading, or Angle Loading: The inclination of a sling’s leg or branch measured from the horizontal and vertical plane. The angle of loading should be five degrees or less from the vertical plane.

ANSI: American National Standards Institute

API: American Petroleum InstituteRigging Glossary: ABC's of rigging, 'A' to 'Crane'

Armoured Rope: Steel-clad rope

ASME: American Society of Mechanical Engineers

ASTM: American Society for Testing Materials

AWS: American Welding Society


Bail: U-shaped member of bucket, load or socket, usually used as a lift point. Can also be other fitting used on wire rope, or a swivel hoist ring’s attachment point.

Barrel: Lagging/body part of a rope drum in a drum hoist.

Base: Mounting flanges or feet, used to attach a hoist to its supporting structure or foundation.

Basket Hitch: A sling set-up where the sling is passed under the load and has both ends, end attachments, eyes or handles on a hook, or single master link.

Bearing Life (or Rated Life): The number of revolutions or hours, that an identical group of bearings used at a 90% constant speed will finish or exceed before the first signs of wear or fatigue develops. Essentially, 10 of 100 bearings will fail before their rated life. Minimum Life and L10 also mean Rated Life.

Becket: A wedge socket type of wire rope end termination.

Becket Line: Part of rope in a multi-ply reeving system that’s dead-ended on one of the blocks.

Becket Loop: A loop or a strand of small rope attached to the end of a large wire rope to facilitate installation.

Bird Cage: A common term used to describe the look of wire rope that’s been forced into compression. The outer strand forms a ‘cage’, and at times can displace the core.

Bleeding Line: Caused when the wire rope is overloaded. This squeezes the lubricant from the cable out and  makes it run excessively.

Block: A term applied to a wire rope sheave (pulley) inside plates. It’s fitted with an attachment like a shackle or hook.

Braided Wire Rope: Wire rope formed by plaiting component wire ropes.

Brake: Device used for slow or stopping motion with friction or power.

Brake, Eddy Current: Device for controlling speed in hoisting or lowering direction, done by putting a supplementary load on the motor. Interaction of magnetic fields creates an adjustable or variable direct current in stator coils, this starts currents in the rotor, which is how this loading happens.

Brake, Holding or Parking: Brake that automatically sets and prevents motion when power is off.

Brake, Mechanical Load: Friction device used for multiple discs or shoes, used to control load speed in only the lowering direction. The brake stops the load from overhauling the motor.

Braking, counter torque: See counter torque. 

Breaking Strength: Measured tensile load needed to make cable, chain, wire rope or any other load-bearing element break.

Breaking Strength/Ultimate Strength: Average force at which a product, like a roundsling, (in the condition it would leave manufacturing) has been found by testing to break when growing force is applied, at a uniform rate of speed on a standard pull testing machine.

Bridge Travel: Crane travelling horizontally and parallel with bridge runway rails.

Bridge Trucks: Assembly made up of wheels, bearings, axles and structural framework that supports the end reactions of bridge girders.

Bridle Sling: Sling made of multiple wire rope legs with a fitting that attaches to the lifting hook.

Bright Rope: Wire rope made of wires that aren’t coated with zinc or tin.

Brooming: Unlaying and making wire ropes’ strands and wires straight at the end while installing a wire rope socket.

Bull Ring: The main, large ring of a sling where the sling’s legs are attached. This is also called the master link.

Bulldog Clip: Wire rope cable clamp, or clip.

Bumper or Buffer: Energy-absorbing device that reduces impact when two moving cranes or trolleys meet, or when they meet the end of its travel.

Cab: The operator’s compartment on a crane.

Cable: Term used to refer to wire ropes, wire strand and electrical conductors.

Cable Crowd Rope: Wire rope used to force the bucket of a power shovel into material being handled.

Cable-Laid Wire Rope: Wire rope made up of several individual wire ropes wrapped around a wire rope core or fiber.

Cable Laid Grommet-Hand Tucked: An endless wire rope sling made from one length of rope, wrapped around the core by hand, six times. The ends of the rope tuck inside the six wraps.

Cable Laid Rope: Wire rope made of six wire ropes wrapped around a fiber or core. hercules-slr-securing-lifting-rigging

Cable Laid Rope Sling: This mechanical joint is made via a wire rope sling from a cable laid rope. It has eyes fabricated by pressing, or swaging one or more metal sleeves over the rope junction.

Cableway, Aerial: Conveying system for transporting single loads along a suspended track cable.

Camber: The slight curve given to beams and girders to compensate for deflections caused by loading.

Cheek Plate(s): Stationary plate that supports the pin (axle) of a sheave or load when rigging.

Cheek Weights: Overhauling weights attached to side plates of a lower load block.

Chinese Finger: Wire mesh pulling grip. Normally, a line is inserted through the wire rope, and it tightens around the line when pulling force is applied.

Choker Sling: Wire rope with eyes spliced on each end. Used to lift the load.

Choker Hitch: Sling set-up with one end of the sling passing under the load and through an end attachment, handle or eye on the other end of the sling.

Clearance: The horizontal or vertical distance from any part of the crane to a point of the nearest obstruction (the area you can ‘clear’).

Clevis: U-shaped fitting with holes in each end where a pin or bolt is run through.

Clip: Fitting to clamp two parts of wire rope.

Closed Socket: Wire rope end fitting made of basket and bail.

Closing line: Wire rope that closes a clamshell or orange-peel bucket, and then operates as a hoisting rope.

CMAA: Crane Manufacturers Association of America

CMV: Commercial Motor Vehicle

Coil: Circular bundle of wire or fiber rope not packed on a reel.

Collector: Contact device that mounts on bridge or trolley to collect current from the conductor system.

Come-along: Lever-operated chain or wire rope devices designed for pulling, not lifting; also called pullers. Unlike hoists, the tension is held by a releasable ratchet. They are smaller and lighter than hoists of equal capacity, and aren’t meant to lift, but meant for activities like skidding machinery.

Conductors (Bridge or Runway): Electrical conductors located along the bridge girder, or runway that provide power and/or control circuits to the crane and trolley.

Conical Drum: Grooved hoisting drum of tapering diameter.

Continuous Bend: Reeving of wire rope over sheaves and drums so that it bends in one direction, as opposed to reverse bend.

Control Braking: A method of controlling hoisting or lowering speed of the load by removing energy from the moving load or by imparting energy in the opposite direction.

Controller: A device or group of devices that serve to govern, in some predetermined manner, the power delivered to the motor to which it is connected.

Controller (Spring Return): A controller which, when released, will return automatically to a neutral position.

Control Panel: An assembly of magnetic or static electrical components that govern the flow of power to, or from a motor. These respond to signals from a master switch, push-button station, or remote control.

Core: Member of wire rope round which the strands are laid. This could be fiber, a wire strand, or an independent wire rope.

Corrosion: Chemical decomposition caused by exposure to moisture, acids or alkalis.

Corrugated: A term used to describe the grooves of a sheave or drum when worn so as to show the impression of a wire rope.

Cover plate: The top or bottom plate of a box girder or junction box.

Crane: A machine for lifting and lowering a load vertically and moving it horizontally; the hoisting mechanism is an integral part of the machine. The term applies to fixed , mobile, powered or manually-driven machines.

Cranes are another group of definitions entirely! Really—click here to read our ‘Cranes’ Glossary.

Hercules SLR will continue our ‘Rigging Glossary’ with rigging terms in the alphabet D-Z—check our ‘Blog’ page for future rigging glossaries, and to read our ‘Crane Glossary’.

Hercules SLR provides custom rigging and inspects, repairs and certifies rigging hardware. Head to our  ‘Inspections & Repairs’ page for more information, or e-mail [email protected].

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