Industry news — 5 Top Tips for Wire Rope Care

5 Top Tips for Wire Rope Care

Rigging equipment lifts and moves heavy loads for hours on end, day after day. For this reason, it is imperative that this equipment is cared for, ultimately to ensure longevity and endurance.

If it fails, it can cause damage to product, property and worst-case scenario, an extreme safety hazard resulting in injury or loss of life. 

Since wire rope is a material of choice in heavier lifts , extreme safety hazards can be a real possibility if you’re using rope that’s in an unsafe condition. Ensuring your wire rope is regularly inspected will highlight potential problems before they have a detrimental effect on performance and safety and help you avoid the high cost associated with downtime or incidents.

Top tips for caring for your wire rope:

1. SEIZING YOUR WIRE ROPE

Seizing and cutting operations are not difficult to perform, but are crucial in the performance of wire rope. Proper seizing must be applied to both rope ends to protect the wire ropes from loosening – Carelessly or inadequately seized ends may cause distortion or flattening of the rope. If you use wire rope that is not properly seized it will cause uneven distribution of the load over the strands causing the life of the wire rope to be drastically shortened.

2. TAKE CARE WHEN HANDLING & UNLOADING

If you’re dealing with loading or unloading wire rope in a reel or coil, it’s important to know that dropping the reel during this process, can lead to serious damage to your wire rope. Thus, it is important to handle reels of wire rope with care and focus not to drop or damage the reel. Damage to the reel can also make it incredibly difficult to remove the wire rope from the reel, so it’s not only an important safety precaution but will also save you time and frustration in the future.

3. INSTALLATION BY TRAINED PROFESSIONALS

It is important to seek out proper training from certified professionals before taking on tasks like installing wire rope. 

Once you and your staff have proper training you will know how important it is to take into account the nominal diameter of wire rope to use with the equipment, as specified by the manufacturer. Installing an incorrect size will result in a failed rope or shorter service life as the rope can get pinched into a smaller space compromising its integrity. 

Wire rope diameter is determined by measuring the outer circle of the strands, which is the greatest dimension that can be measured with a pair of parallel-jawed calipers or machinist’s caliper square. 

Ranger measuring wire rope
4. KEEP UP WITH INSPECTIONS & ASSESSMENTS

Wire rope is often used for heavy lifting, which means it is used in situations where the rope is trusted to keep not just your load safe, but the people and the environment around it. To be confident in your wire rope, regular inspections must be prioritized.  RANGER offers LEEA-certified wire rope inspections, repairs, predictive & preventive maintenance to ensure workplace safety. This can be conducted on-site or in our own offices.

On top of these professional inspections, wire rope should also be visually assessed by trained and experienced workers at the start of every shift or when resuming stalled work. 

Things to look for when visually assessing a wire rope:

  • Broken Strands 
  • Surface Wear and Tare 
  • Internal Ware and Tare –  It is recommended to remove the cable whenever possible and flex them to ensure that all cables on the inside of the wire rope haven’t worn down due to environmental deterioration, distortion or fatigue. 

Still not sure if your wire rope is safe for use? Call Ranger or book in an inspection.

5. APPROPRIATE STORAGE METHODS

Wire rope needs to be stored in a well-ventilated, dry, and covered area and should not come in contact with the floor. Wire rope should be protected from dust, water, steam, salt, chemical fumes or adverse climatic conditions. If wire rope is stored outside, it must be covered so that moisture cannot get inside and cause corrosion. 

Bonus tip: Turning the reel occasionally is a good practice to get in the habit of. This will prevent the wire rope’s lubricant from wearing off. If ropes are stored for a long time, it is advised for you to get them examined periodically and apply a coat of lubricant to them.

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