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Wire Rope

Important Warnings

WIRE ROPE IS A MACHINE. Understand and respect it.

Like any machine, it needs proper care and maintenance for optimal safety and long service life. For a better understanding of wire rope we highly recommend the Wire Rope Users Manual by the Wire Rope Technical Board.

Rated Capacity.

The load which a new wire rope may handle under given operating conditions and at an assumed design factor. A design factor of five is chosen most frequently for wire rope. (Operating loads not to exceed 20% of catalog breaking strength). Operating loads may have to be reduced when life, limb, or valuable property are at risk, or other than new wire rope is used. A design factor of 10 is usually chosen when wire rope is used to carry personnel. (Operating loads not to exceed 10% of catalog breaking strength). Responsibility for choosing a design factor with the user.

Attachments must have at least the same work load limit as the wire rope used.

Rope sockets, thimbles, sleeves, hooks, links, shackles, sheaves, blocks, etc., must match in size, materials and strength, to provide adequate safety protection. Proper installation is crucial for maximum efficiency and safety.

Keep out from under a raised load.

Avoid shock loads.

Inspect wire rope regularly.

(For wire rope sling inspection, reference Wire Rope Slings in this catalog).


Check general condition as well as localized damage and wear, especially at wire rope attachments. Inspect all parts that come in contact with the wire rope. Poor performance of wire rope can often be traced back to worn or wrong sized sheaves, drums, rollers, etc.

Look for kinks, broken wires, abrasion, lack of lubrication, rust damage, crushing, reduction in diameter, stretch or other obvious damage.

When in doubt about the extent of the damage, retire the wire rope in question immediately. Actual remaining strength of damaged or used wire rope can best be estimated by experienced wire rope inspections. Only laboratory analysis and tension tests can conclusively establish reserve strength.

Destroy, rather than discard, wire ropes to be retired.

It might be used again by someone not aware of the hazard or the defect. This is best achieved by cutting it up into short pieces.