Understanding The Difference Between Lifting & Rigging Equipment

Date Posted:9 January 2024 

Lifting and rigging equipment are indispensable tools for the safe and efficient movement of heavy loads within a warehouse or industrial environment. Say you’re a new retail business owner who needs to operate a warehouse for your merchandise. You might wonder, “What are lifting and rigging equipment — and why do I need them?” Additionally, you might ask, “What is the difference between lifting and rigging equipment?” In this blog, we’ll try to answer common questions about lifting and rigging equipment to help you set up smooth warehouse operations.

What is lifting equipment?

Looking at the basics of each equipment type is fundamental to answering, “What is the difference between lifting and rigging equipment?” And we can start with lifting equipment. This type of industrial equipment encompasses machinery designed to elevate heavy loads from one level to another, facilitating processes such as loading and unloading of goods. Here are some common examples of lifting equipment:

  • Forklifts — Forklifts are versatile industrial trucks equipped with forks for lifting and carrying palletised loads. They are widely used in warehouses for the efficient movement of goods, especially in tight spaces.
  • Pallet trucks — Pallet trucks are manual or electric trucks with forks that slide under pallets to lift and move them. This lifting equipment is ideal for short-distance transportation of palletised goods within a warehouse.
  • Scissor lift tables — Scissor lift tables consist of a platform mounted on scissor-like supports, allowing for vertical lifting of loads or personnel to different heights.

What is rigging equipment?

Rigging equipment, on the other hand, is a broader category of tools and gear used to secure, support or move loads through various means. Unlike lifting equipment, rigging involves both vertical and horizontal movement. Some examples are:

  • Wire rope slings — What is rigging equipment without wire rope slings? These are flexible assemblies of steel cables used to secure and lift heavy loads, commonly employed in construction and rigging scenarios where flexibility and strength are important.
  • Lifting hooks and jibs — Commonly used in manufacturing and construction, lifting hooks and jibs are attachments used with cranes to provide a secure point for lifting and suspending loads. These rigging devices are used in conjunction with slings and cables to create stable connections between the load and the lifting machinery.

What is the difference between lifting and rigging equipment?

While both lifting and rigging equipment are crucial in material handling, it’s essential to understand these key distinctions:

  • Primary function — Lifting equipment is primarily designed for vertical movement of loads. An excellent example is the common forklift used in warehouses, which enable tasks like stacking pallets on high shelves or transporting goods within confined spaces. Meanwhile, rigging equipment involves securing, supporting and moving loads in both vertical and horizontal directions. Picture a construction team lifting and placing steel beams into position. Rigging equipment, such as wire rope slings and shackles, provides vertical stability and horizontal precision during the manoeuvre.
  • Mechanical components — Lifting equipment focuses on mechanisms for lifting, such as forks, platforms and scissor supports. On the other hand, rigging equipment includes components like slings, shackles and turnbuckles for load securement and support. For instance, wire rope slings have steel cables that offer both strength and flexibility.
  • Movement range — What is the difference between lifting and rigging equipment? It becomes evident when considering their movement range. Generally, lifting equipment is limited to vertical movement within a designated area, while rigging equipment allows both vertical and horizontal movement. The latter provides a broader range of material handling capabilities.

Do I need both lifting and rigging equipment?

Now that we’ve answered the question: What is the difference between lifting and rigging equipment? The next question to ask is whether you need both for material handling operations. It depends on the specific requirements of your industrial setting. Lifting equipment is invaluable for vertical movement within confined spaces, while rigging equipment is essential in securing, supporting or moving loads horizontally. Ultimately, combining both types of tools allows for a more comprehensive approach, leading to workplace adaptability in diverse industrial operations.

Invest in material handling equipment with Verdex

Need lifting and rigging equipment in Australia? Verdex is your go-to source for high-quality products with swift delivery and excellent customer service. We specialise in lifting equipment, such as pallet trucks and forklift attachments, but we also offer lifting hooks and jibs for rigging. For a wider selection of equipment, we offer trolleys, workplace equipment, storage solutions and waste handling materials. Order online today, or contact us for any questions.

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