Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices: Types, Uses and Standards

January 30, 2020 at 5:00 AM

Below-the-hook (BTH) lifting devices are important attachments that facilitate the efficient and safe transportation of various types of loads. They include coil hooks, coil grabs, mechanical lifters, spreader bars, and magnet lifts used in conjunction with cranes and hoists.

T&M Cranes offers below the hook solutions from manufacturers such as Caldwell, Bradley, Drafto and Bushman. We help many of our customers in steel mills and foundries, steel service centers, manufacturing and fabricating, and paper mill industries improve both the efficiency and safety of both lifts and loads.

There’s a wide variety of below-the-hook lifter applications, which is why there are different types of below-the-hook lifting devices. Most manufacturers produce standard lifting devices configured to handle common lifting tasks such as lifting and moving bars or pipes, stacking coils, sheets and plates, and moving pallets and various structural shapes.

Customized below-the-hook devices are also quite common. These are engineered lifters designed to pick up and transport very specific loads.

The size, shape, weight or center of gravity of the load can all impact how a custom-built below-the-hook device is manufactured.

Types of below-the-hook devices and their uses

Our engineering and sales staff take the time to fully understand your application before recommending the best below-the-hook devices and to solve your most difficult problems.

  • Coil hook: A coil hook allows for the lifting and transport of steel and other kinds of coil materials through its inner diameter.
  • Motorized Coil Grabs: This rack and pinion style grab allows for handling of a wide range of coil sizes with minimum manpower. Optional motorized rotation allows the crane operator to spot the coil with precise positioning.
  • Mechanical lifters: A mechanical lifter has two or more rigid parts that move in unison to attach a load to a hoisting device.
  • Sheet lifters: A sheet lifter utilizes two claw-like mechanisms for grabbing loads of wood or sheet metal.
  • Pallet lifters: A pallet lifter is equipped with a fork to lift pallets from underneath.
  • Gripping lifters: These lifters utilize indentation or friction-causing pressure to grip a load.
  • Beams: Typically made using fabricated metal or structural shapes, beams are suspended from a hoist providing one or more load lifting points to efficiently secure and control load movement. There are three types of beams: lifting beams, spreader bars, and spreader beams.
  • Vacuum lifters: These create a vacuum to attach the lifter to an object through the use of an electrical extraction pump and sealed pads.
  • Die turners: A die turner is designed to turn or rotate (instead of flip) large dies using a crane and rigging equipment.
  • Drum turners: As the name suggests, drum turners are used to turn the drum over for the purpose of emptying or filling them.
  • Magnet lifts: Magnet lifts are used to release or carry flat or round ferrous materials with or without using electricity.

Below-the-hook lifting devices standards

T&M Cranes’ experienced engineering staff will work with you to make sure your design meets your expectations. We are especially experienced custom designed solutions that are utilized in heavy and even severe environments and adhere to all standards.

Due to the critical function of these attachments, there are below-the-hook lifting device standards that pertain to individual designs and specific marking requirements that manufacturers must adhere to. ASME B30.20 and ASME BTH-1 (named after the American Society of Mechanical Engineers) are the two most important standards when it comes to the design and markings of a below-the-hook lifting device.

A lifting yoke, lifting basket, spreader bar, or lift fixture, for example, must individually bear its own rated capacity. It should also, at the very least, have a name tag or plate, or some other permanent marker showing the following data:

  • If it is fabricated onsite, it must bear the contractor’s or manufacturer’s name
  • Weight of the lifting device if it exceeds 100 pounds
  • Serial number
  • Label showing initial or periodic inspection
  • Rated capacity
  • Re-rated devices must be labeled with the new rated capacity

At T&M Cranes, we specialize in manufacturing all types of overhead cranes and related components. If you require a customized below-the-hook lifting device or have questions about any of our products and services, please reach out to one of our industry specialists.