Traditionally, soft-shackles have been a popular element of a lifting rope, especially in the sailing and shipping industry. Post the industrial revolution, soft shackles, and even lifting ropes were mostly replaced by steel shackles and wire ropes. In recent years, however, soft shackles have made a name for themselves in the slackline and rigging industry once again.
One of the reasons for this change in popularity is the introduction of synthetic ropes like High-Modulus Polyethylene (HMPE). The high strength and durability offered by these ropes made for a great alternative to the cumbersome and heavy steel shackles.
Keeping up with this changing market demand, HHI has also rolled out various soft shackle products over the years. Our most recent addition has been the HHippo Link. It is a new improved version of the Houston traditional soft shackle with advanced features.
Here is everything you need to know about the new HHippo Link soft shackle:
A) What is HHippo Link Soft Shackle?
As mentioned before, the HHippo Link soft shackle offers a more advanced and improvised version of the conventional soft shackle. It is made from a high-modulus polyethylene rope, lending it excellent strength and durability.
Like any other soft shackle, it has a stopper at one end (a knot) and a round slice (a noose) at the other. It is a single-strand shackle. A unique braiding machine, developed by the research and development team at our HHI Houston facility, is used to make a braided polyester jacket coated with Fiber Lock as abrasion protection.
This jacket covers the body of the HHippo Link shackle, offering extended strength and durability. As a result, you can use it for a wide range of applications. Here are a few important features of the HHippo Link shackle.
B) Features of the HHippo Link Soft Shackle
This improved version of soft shackle packs a few powerful features.
- Light Weight: These soft shackles are super lightweight compared to steel shackles. You can, therefore, easily carry or transport them on the site.
- It Floats on Water: As it is lightweight, the shackle can float in water. So, using these soft shackles for rigging applications in the deep sea or on ships shouldn’t pose any issues.
- Low Stretch: For most rigging applications, the stretch is as important as strength. The lower stretch, the better, as it increases the lifespan of the shackle.
- Easy Handling: Being lightweight, rust-resistant, and soft, using the HHippo Link shackle is easy to use. You simply need to fold the shackle by placing the knotted end through the noose to tie a load. There is no need to use screws and bolts to secure the shackle. Also, it never binds or gets stuck even after attaching a heavy load. So, you can remove it easily.
- High Strength: These soft shackles come with excellent strength. There are fourteen variants, offering a workload limit of as low as 2,700 pounds to as high as 88,400 pounds. So, you can use these shackles for rigging heavy loads.
- No Rust or Corrosion: Being made from synthetic fibers, these shackles are resistant to rust, which is a common problem with steel shackles. Thus, you can use HHippo Link shackles in wet work conditions.
- Easy On the Equipment: Steel shackles are not ideal for rigging and lifting delicate workloads as they may cause irrecoverable damage. You can, however, use this soft shackle to handle any kind of delicate workload. It is also ideal for tri-loading.
- Excellent Abrasion Resistance: HHippo Link shackles offer excellent abrasion resistance. So, you can use them to handle a variety of loads. The Fiber Lock offers an added layer of protection against abrasion. However, make sure not to use them to lift parcels heavier than the rated workload limit.
C) How to Use HHippo Link Shackles?
Like any other Houston HMPE lifting slings, using HHippo Link soft shackles is easy. Here is a step-by-step guide.
- If the shackle is already open, you can pass it through the objects you want to lift. If not, remove the knot from the noose, and then pass it through.
- If the object has sharp edges, use extra padding to reduce the damage to the shackle.
- Now, pass the knot through the noose.
- Adjust the shackle to make sure both legs have equal length.
- Finally, make sure the noose is closed properly around the knot before starting the rigging or lifting work.
D) Safety Precautions
- Never use the shackles to lift loads heavier than the approved workload limit.
- Inspect each shackle before use.
- If you see abrasions or cuts on a shackle or fluffing of the fiber, replace it with a new one immediately.
- Usually, you should replace the shackles after 3-4 years of use even if they don’t look damaged.
If you are looking for a robust and versatile shackling option, HHippo Link soft shackles are your best option. They offer a relatively simple and inexpensive upgrade to make your rigging and lifting applications more secure and comfortable. If you want to know more about how these soft shackles can help you, drop us an email or call us. We will be more than happy to offer you the right shackling solution.