There is a certain order in which lifting accessories are usually used; they tend to follow this order: Crane – beam connector/anchor point– hoisting device – load connector – load itself.
The Anchor Point:
The beam connector could be either a beam clamp or trolley; both facilitate the easy attachment of a lifting device.
Standard beam clamps fix firmly to the top cross beam of the crane structure, they will reside in the same position until moved.
As for the beam trolley, these encompass wheels which, when clamped firmly on, will sit on the horizontal beam, this will enable the trolley, whether loaded or not, to be moved back and forth across the beam, this can be done manually, or if you have a powered trolley, by the push of a button.
The Hoisting Devices:
The lifting/hoisting device comes next; this will simply hook onto the beam clamp or trolley by means of the devices top hook.
Lifting devices fall into two main categories; powered and manual; powered devices include electric hoists and air hoists, these can make lifting loads quicker and easier because they allow loads to be precisely lifted and lowered at the touch of a button on a pendant control device.
Manual lifting devices include manual chain hoists/chain blocks and ratchet lever hoists, these types of hoisting devices will need a little man-power to raise the load, chain blocks require gradually pulling down on a chain, and lever hoists lift and lower by means of raising and lowering the handle/lever in an up and down cranking motion.
The hoisting device will then need something else attached in order for it to be connected to the load – the load connector.
These are usually some form of slinging device which is suitable for most types of loads, they could be chain slings, web slings, round slings, fibre rope slings or wire rope slings.
Chain slings offer the most versatility as they come with either 1,2,3 or 4 legs to attach to the load, and can be used in various hitch types, to suit the loads size and weight.
If you need to lift sheet materials, like steel sheeting then there are specific tools to attach to the lifting device which can hold these sheets firmly.
They may be a plate lifting clamp, plate lifting dog or a lifting magnet. They are all quite different in the way they work; lifting magnets are placed directly onto the flat surface of the sheet steel and use a magnetic force to hold them securely:
plate clamps possess 2 jaws which clamp around the edge of the sheet material;
and plate lifting dogs scoop under the edges and work with a chain sling to apply the necessary force to hold the sheet in place.
All of these tools and devices can be easily connected together in various configurations to suit your requirements; other tools to make these connections even easier are hooks and shackles and maybe eye bolts, all of which are readily available in many versions, sizes and lifting capacities.