Test Rig

200-ton capacity horizontal test rig is used to proof load test humble hooks in the South African gold mining industry.

Yale Lifting Solutions was recently approached by a long-time client in the South African gold mining industry to provide a 200-ton capacity horizontal test rig used to proof load test humble hooks. Humble hooks are safety devices used to connect winder ropes to the main personnel cages and ore conveyances on hoists in vertical mine shafts.

How does the test rig work?
A humble hook is installed in the test rig and the operator sets the testing parameters. The test rig then automatically carries out the test and, upon completion, produces a test certificate containing relevant testing information that can be printed out or saved electronically. Typically, the rig tests each humble hook to 65 tons, but has a maximum testing capacity of 200 tons if needed. Each rig weighs more than 5,500 kg. (12,000 lbs.).

Also, because safety is a critical part of the way Columbus McKinnon does business, each test rig is fitted with a safety cage to prevent possible injury should something fail during the testing process. By use of strategically positioned limit switches working in conjunction with the control program, the test rig will only operate if the cage is closed. Once this test is complete, the humble hooks undergo an ultrasonic test before they are put into storage awaiting installation on the hoist.

In South Africa, it is a legal requirement that a short length of the front end of each winder rope on a mine hoist is cut off on a regular basis. Then, this wire rope sample is submitted to a testing laboratory for destructive testing and inspection, to monitor the residual strength of the rope. It is normal practice to replace the humble hook at the same time that the front end is cut. The humble hook in service is removed and the tested humble hook is installed in its place. To date, this is one of the largest manufacturing projects Yale Lifting Solutions has carried out in its newly formed manufacturing department.


Q-A-chat.jpgRod, a Canadian crane services manager and recent safety webinar attendee, asked:

“Is changing a hoist brake a modification?

Tom Reardon, Columbus McKinnon training instructor, responds:

Changing a hoist holding brake is not a modification simply because the brake is being replaced.

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines modification as: “a change in something (such as a system or style).”

If we replace a holding brake on a hoist and it is original equipment from the manufacturer of the brake we are replacing and it is identical to the brake we are replacing, this replacement is not a modification. We have not changed the form, fit, function, size, system or style.

If we replace the original brake with a brake that will lend the same characteristics as the old or removed brake but is a different size, shape, bolt pattern, or is not according to the original equipment manufacturer’s specifications, it would be considered a modification.

Want to learn more? View our Safety Webinar on “ASME Safety Standards Top 10 FAQs.”


CMIP Balancer

The CMIP spring balancer was being used to provide support and relief for a horse with a badly injured hoof.

Normally, spring balancers, sold by our Columbus McKinnon’s Industrial Products (CMIP) division in Wuppertal, Germany, are used to relieve operators from the weight of hand tools. By using a tapered rope drum, the weight of the attached load is compensated so that loads up to 200 kg can be moved effortlessly along a vertical axis. Standard applications would include spot-welding guns, riveting machines or multiple-nut runners.

One unique use of CMIP’s spring balancers is a lifesaving application supporting horses. In November, product management in Wuppertal, Germany, received a rather unusual call; a horse clinic needed immediate replacement of the existing spring balancer used at its facility.

The spring balancer was being used to provide support and relief for a horse with a badly injured hoof. The horse was wearing a sort of harness that was hung into one of our spring balancers with a capacity of 170 kgs. However, the horse had a panic attack and destroyed the supporting structure. Without it, the horse could not stand upright on its own, which would have sealed its fate as muscles and circulation have to be stimulated by regular activity.

After a quick call and a 1.5-hour drive, the clinic manager picked up the new balancer in Wuppertal, returned to the clinic and by that evening the horse was able to stand up again, ultimately saving its life. This proves that you really never know where a CMCO product is being used. 

Do you have a unique CM product application story to share?


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Hoist Pre-Operational Safety Inspection Part 6: Operation Inspection

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Columbus McKinnon Adds Raised Lettering Pads to its Shackles

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CM shackles, sizes ½” through 1-1/2”, (including alloy, industrial, and Super Strong chain and anchor shackles) now feature a raised pad that allows customers to add their own lettering for identification and tracking. This pad is the approved area for any lettering that customers would like to add to the product. The recommended marking methods are: […]

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The Top 7 Benefits of Using Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) to Control Your Crane or Hoist

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A variable frequency drive, or VFD, is a type of AC motor controller that drives an electric motor by varying the frequency and voltage supplied to it. VFDs are also commonly known as variable speed or adjustable speed drives, AC drives, micro-drives or inverters – depending on the industry or application. In the material handling […]

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