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What Is Rigging Equipment?

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Rigging equipment covers a wide array of tools used for various needs. The basic definition of rigging equipment is equipment used to hoist, lift, push or pull another object. This can range to small tasks to lifting objects that are extremely heavy. The equipment can also vary from very simple to highly complex.


One purpose of rigging equipment is to lift an object directly from the ground. A common type of tool for this is the jack. Jacks can come in may different styles and types. A toe jack is utilized by placing the toe, which is a flat piece of metal at the bottom of the jack, underneath the object needing lifted. Hydraulic or mechanical pressure is used to raise the toe. Another common jack is the bottle jack. It is different than the toe jack in that the head raises up and creates the lifting action. Inflatable jacks use air pumped in to lift objects. Journal or screw jacks have gears inside that create lifting action when a screw is turned.


Pushing an object is another method of moving it from one space to another. The two main types of rigging equipment used for this task are dollies and skates. A dolly is best defined as a platform with wheels that can transport another object. Load roller dollies are useful for transporting heavy objects without causing damage to floors. This is due to the wide roller system in place, as opposed to individual wheels. Skates are similar to dollies in that they utilize rollers. However, skates are simpler as they are merely placed underneath an object and then the object is rolled. Meanwhile, the dolly holds the object and can be steered. Skates are useful for objects that are too large for an individual dolly to be used.


Pulling objects is another purpose for rigging equipment. The item being pulled might be on wheels or rollers, or could need towing without this assistance. The basic equipment used for this feat are chains, hooks and tie downs. Typically, a chain and hook will be attached between the object needing pulling and the vehicle doing the towing. Other equipment that might be needed are shackles and couplings, to attach the hook and chain to the vehicle and towed object. Tie downs are utilized for securing objects being towed.


Hoisting is similar to lifting, but from above rather than below, such as using a jack. A common type of hoist is a chain hoist. Chain hoists use a pulley method in hoisting. The user pulls down on the opposite hanging chain to create the hoisting action. Lever puller hoists utilize a lever to create the pulley action. This style does not typically hoist much weight. Lever hoists are similar to lever puller hoists but are able to hoist greater weight due to the pulley system in place.

Heavy Equipment

Sometimes rigging needs require far more than hand-operated machinery. Forklifts are utilized to lift and transport objects where a jack and dolly prove to be too difficult or time consuming. Twinlifts are similar to forklifts and also can lift and transport large weights. Cranes can hoist much more weight and from greater heights than a hand-operated hoist can accomplish. Risers are, for the most part, very large bottle jacks utilized in lifting up extremely large objects to great heights.


Justin Baragona began writing in 2006. He was previously a political columnist for and Justin has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography and fine arts from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.