What is Rigging?

Rigging with slings

We’re often asked, “What is rigging?”  With that, we light-heartedly respond, “Do you remember the ‘I pick things up and set them down’ commercial?” While this is a broad way to describe rigging in construction, our definition is the process of lifting, relocating, or moving equipment with specialized tools.  Others define it as the system of ropes, cables, and chains used to support a sailboat.  Rigging also has ties to the entertainment industry which is broken into two groups, theatrical rigging and arena style rigging.

At Boulter, we’ve provided rigging services to companies in the manufacturing, food and beverage, retail, healthcare, education, even the creative arts industries.  Types of rigging projects may include but aren’t limited to, machine installations, sculpture relocations, setting a beverage tank, and removing a production line.

Rigging relies heavily on equipment.  Typical rigging systems include shackles, slings, turnbuckles, wire rope, chains, chain hoists, porta powers, jacks, and skates, which are commonly used with a fork truck or crane.  For example, to install a CNC machine, a professional may use forklifts to lift the machine, a skate system to guide the front, and heel bars and a lifting jack to set it in place.  For a more comprehensive list of rigging equipment, check out our blog post, “When we say toolbox”.

Riggers are the individuals trained to work with the lifting equipment.  Before determining the best course of action to get the piece to its location, riggers will examine the object’s size, weight, and balance point.  With any project that requires rigging services, working with a trained rigging professional will greatly reduce your risk of equipment damage.

Safety should always be the main priority for rigging operations. Without proper knowledge of the equipment, process, and hand signals, a job can take a dangerous turn quickly.  To prevent workplace injury, OSHA regulates the safety of rigging equipment and operations.  OSHA qualified riggers must possess a recognized degree/certificate or have extensive knowledge, training, and experience, and can successfully demonstrate the ability to solve problems related to rigging loads.

Boulter makes challenging jobs look easy, giving you peace of mind that your project is done right the first time, every time.  To find out how we can assist with your next project, schedule a Zoom meeting with one of our specialists.  You can book a meeting directly on their calendar without the hassle of back-and-forth communication.

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