From construction to manufacturing, several industries rely on lifting and rigging equipment. But when it comes to moving heavy loads, safety trumps everything else. Be it a construction project or a manufacturing plant, maintaining a safe work site begins by choosing the right equipment for the job.
However, choosing a suitable piece of equipment, especially online, can be daunting. Yes, more and more hardware vendors are now selling rigging supplies online. Still, this market is in its infancy. As a result, many riggers continue to struggle with online shopping. It is not like ordering a cheeseburger.
You will have to consider various factors, ranging from technical specifications to shipping costs. That’s why ordering rigging and lifting equipment online is a tough nut to crack. But it doesn’t have to be.
Let’s see what you must remember.
1. Understand Your Rigging and Lifting Needs
Before you Google or visit your go-to vendor’s website, you need to understand your operation needs. Ask yourself the following questions.
- Will you use the equipment for a specific job or multiple rigging applications?
- How long do you need it to last?
- What specifications do you need?
- What is the required working load limit?
- Does it need to be certified?
- How much are you willing to pay for the maintenance and repair?
- What is the work environment like?
Think all this through. If someone else from your team or organization is going to use the rigging equipment, consult with them. Asking around and doing some research will help you choose the right equipment. Lifting and rigging equipment is usually expensive. It is better to invest in the right equipment from the get-go.
2. Buy from a Trusted Industrial Hardware Supplier
In the world of eCommerce, trust is everything. You don’t want to buy lifting and rigging equipment from the first vendor you come across. If you know the supplier, you can transact confidently. When you buy from a trusted supplier, you can be sure that:
- You will receive the equipment you paid for
- The equipment is in excellent working condition
- You can get it replaced should the need arise
- You can find and order the spares when required
What if you find a piece of innovative lifting equipment from a new vendor? Or what if your old supplier is out of stock? You can still buy from a new supplier. However, you have to take a few more precautions.
First, conduct a thorough background check on the online supplier. Go to the Contact Us page and call the business to verify. Ask around to check if someone in your line of business has heard of this new vendor. Then take it a step further and talk to their clients. Don’t buy lifting equipment before you are 100% satisfied with the vendor’s credibility.
3. Buy Only Certified and Tested Lifting and Rigging Equipment
The rigging and lifting industry is heavily regulated. When safety is on the line, close is never close enough. That’s why so many regulations, product tests, and certifications need to be in place. Before hitting the order button, check if the rigging equipment confers to the relevant standards and regulations. It could be ASME safety and product specification standards or additional provisions laid down by the local government.
Likewise, you should also buy only certified and tested products. Depending on your rigging applications, you may need products with specific certifications. For example, if you are buying steel wire rope slings for offshore rigging applications, you would need products with DNV 2.7-1 and DNV 2.7-3 type approval certification (TAC). Make sure the online vendor sells only certified and tested products.
4. Look for Products from Well-Known Manufacturers
The online hardware supplier can sell products from dozens of manufacturers or brands. It’s best to buy rigging and lifting devices made by well-known manufacturers. Let’s say you want to purchase bolt-type shackles. As you may already know, Crosby is one of the leading manufacturers of bolt-type shackles, among other equipment.
If the online shop features bolt-type shackles from local manufacturers and reputed brands like Crosby, it’s better to go for the latter. Branded products may be slightly expensive, but they last longer. On the other hand, local equipment may not last long, fail to perform as promised, and even break down before the warranty expires.
5. Avoid Too Good to Be True Deals
Many online stores offer discounts and special deals. But if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Stir clear of such vendors and offers. Never buy rigging and lifting devices that are too cheap. When you purchase such products, you don’t know if:
- You will receive the equipment/product you ordered
- The equipment will work as promised
- The product will last
- The equipment is from a reputed brand/manufacturer or a cheap substitute
Remember, the internet is rife with “bait and switch scams” like this. If you see any offers that look too good to be true, walk away immediately.
6. Consider Terms and Conditions
Before you start browsing the website, check out its terms and conditions. They often include shipping charges, taxes, estimated delivery time, and replacement/return policy, among other things.
When it comes to lifting and rigging hardware, shipping costs are usually high. You may also have to shell out extra money for special packaging. The website should list all these essentials, including the estimated charges, transparently before the checkout.
Sometimes, you may receive a product with different specifications. When that happens, you should be able to replace or return it hassle-free. If you are unsure how the replacement/return policy works, talk to the supplier. Address all your concerns before placing the order.
Buying rigging supplies online offers convenience and speed. However, the eCommerce arm of the lifting and rigging industry is still in its infancy. You have to be careful when ordering equipment online. Considering these six precautions will help you buy lifting equipment online safely and confidently.
Holloway Houston is a reputed supplier of high-quality lifting and rigging equipment from leading manufacturers. Thanks to our online and offline presence, our customers get the best of both worlds. Plus, we offer rigging equipment inspections and testing.
Start your online shopping now! Or contact us if you want more information.