One of the most important aspects you should know when lifting any load is its weight.
This is especially true when using lifting equipment to aid in the lifting of somewhat heavy or cumbersome loads. The main reason for this is because all types of lifting equipment, generic whether it is a crane, more about hoist or a lifting sling, cure all have their own individual safe working load, which is the total weight they can lift safely, without any negative impact on the load or equipment.
Sometimes you will know beyond doubt what the load weighs, but often you will have little or no idea, which can put you in a potentially hazardous situation. Obviously there will be times when you will know that the equipment is more than capable of lifting the load and that the load is well within the SWL limits, for example, you have a hoist that is capable of lifting 500kg and the object to be lifted is clearly below half of that; (you do need to have experience of the weight of things, either by eye of by trying to pick up yourself to give you an indication).
With all that said, it is often the case where you have no idea what the load weighs, and is simply too big or heavy to pick up and so a guestimate is most definitely not an option. This is where the use of a crane scale comes in handy, they simply hook onto your lifting device and then to the load, i.e. mobile gantry – hoist – crane scale – sling – load. A test lift may then be performed, this is where the load is lifted just clear of the floor or its resting position, a reading may then be taken from the crane scale to see what the load exactly weighs.
Once the actual weight of the load has been determined, you will know for sure whether your lifting equipment is up to the task, and also it is much easier, and safer to adjust how the load is connected if necessary. If any of your equipment is below the safe working load capacity for the weight of the load to be lifted then it can be changed to equipment with the correct lifting capacity before the full lifting operation takes place, and so therefore ensuring the safety of both equipment and personnel.