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Example Load and Rigging Calculations

This example provides the basic steps for performing load and rigging calculations. Bob’s
Rigging & Crane Handbook (latest edition) or equivalent handbook should be used as reference.

1. Determine the total weight of the load and rigging through:

a. Documents, shipping labels, name plate
b. Information from a qualified person (engineer, designer)
c. Weigh the load
d. Calculate the load

2. Determine the required working load limit (WLL) of the crane/hoist. The WLL of the
weakest component must be sufficient to handle the load and associated rigging.
a. Determine the WLL of all hoist components and
b. Verify that the WLL is sufficient

3. Determine the WLL for all rigging components.

Example Problem:
A container filled with seawater is to be hoisted. Determine the following based on the diagram
a. The weight of the container of seawater
b. The load on each of the 4 sling legs
c. The size and type of eye bolt to be used

Page 1 April 2007, Rev. 0

Calculating the weight of the container:

Length (L) x Width (W) x Height (H) x Density = Weight.

The average density of seawater was determined to be 64 pounds per cubic foot. If uncertain,
always verify density and other factors or calculations with a knowledgeable/competent person.
3’ x 3’ x 2’ x 64 lbs/ft3 = 18 ft3 x 64 lbs/ft3 = 1,152 lbs.

Calculating the load on each of the sling legs:

The vertical load for each sling = number of legs divided by the weight of the container
1,152 lbs divided by 4 legs = Vertical load for each sling = 288 lbs

Calculating the tension in each sling leg:

1/sin 450 x vertical load = sling tension. 1.414 x 288 lbs = 407 lbs
The tension in each sling leg is 407 lbs. NOTE: calculate sling tension using 1/sin of angle or
use “Load Sling Factor” from the applicable table in Bob’s Rigging & Crane Handbook.

Page 2 April 2007, Rev. 0

Determining the size and type of eye bolt.

Always use forged, shoulder-type eye bolt for angular lifts.

De-rate eye bolt according to table:

For 450, the factor is 0.3

Direction Adjusted Working

of Pull Load Limit
45 Degrees 30% of WLL

90 Degrees 25% of WLL

Page 179 Bob’s Rigging & Crane Handbook

Direction of pull = 450; therefore, de-rate eye bolt to 30% of WLL.

From Table 1, select an eye bolt where 0.3 x WLL is greater than 407 lbs.

From Table 1
Forged Eye Bolt Working Load
Size (inches) Limit (lbs)
1/4 500
A ½ inch forged shoulder type eye bolt is the
5/16 800 best choice.
3/8 1,200 0.3 x 2,200 = 660 lbs, which is >407 lbs.

1/2 2,200

5/8 3,500

Page 179 Bob’s Rigging & Crane Handbook

Rules of thumb:
• Never rig below 300, which doubles the sling tension
• 450 or higher is preferred
• 600 is good
• 900 is best

Contact: EH&S Office, x3347.

Page 3 April 2007, Rev. 0