Why Chain Slings Are Better Than Synthetic Slings on Cranes

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Mary's Heavy Construction Equipment Blog

Welcome to my corner of the internet. My name is Mary, and this blog is going to be focused around heavy construction equipment. Years ago, my husband and I ran a construction company together. Now we're semi-retired, and for the last ten years, we have been doing a bit of freelance work. I miss the big machines, and I decided to start a blog about it. If you work with heavy construction equipment on a regular basis, I plan to have tips and ideas in this blog that are designed to help you. I invite you to grab a cup of tea, get comfortable and explore these posts. Thanks for reading!


Why Chain Slings Are Better Than Synthetic Slings on Cranes

27 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Cranes use a variety of overhead lifting slings to hoist loads. Those slings include chain slings, metal mesh slings and synthetic slings. This article discusses why you should request for chain slings instead of synthetic slings when you hire a crane for your construction project.


Chain slings are durable because they can be used safely in environments where high temperatures exist. However, synthetic slings may fail when exposed to high temperatures. Additionally, chain slings are also very durable because they are not affected by ultraviolet radiation or chemical attacks. This strength and durability makes them ideal for dirty or oily environments. The durability of chain slings is further boosted by the fact that they are not weakened during the tensioning process. Synthetic fibres stretch as they are tensioned. This stretching eventually weakens synthetic slings to the point where they are risky to use. You are better off opting for a chain sling that can stand any work conditions without breaking.


Chain slings can easily be constructed in the field. They can also be adjusted with ease. For instance, the length of the different arms of the sling can be shortened or lengthened by removing or adding links to the assembly. This is not possible with synthetic slings. Consequently, it is easy for an operator to misuse a synthetic sling because he or she wasn't able to customise it in the field. Thus, it is better for you to ask for chain slings because those slings can easily be altered in response to the changes in the loads that you would like them to carry.

Ease of Inspection and Maintenance

It is advisable that you select a sling that will be easy to inspect or repair while the crane is at your construction site. Chain slings meet that ease of inspection and maintenance. For instance, the operator may only need to conduct a visual inspection to confirm that all the links in the chain sling are undamaged (that is, they have no cracks or burrs). Synthetic slings require sophisticated equipment to confirm that the load-bearing fibres are still capable of performing at high levels of effectiveness. Thus, the slings may have to be taken to a maintenance shop before they are cleared as safe to use. This can waste precious time because the rental crane will sit idle as those elaborate tests and inspections are performed.

Request for chain slings when you rent a crane and you will get value for money because the crane's operations will not be affected by the use of slings that don't offer the same performance characteristics as chain slings.