Tag: Columbus McKinnon

CMCO Distributor, REID Lifting, Proudly Sponsors the World’s Fastest Land Speed Record Attempt

CMCO Distributor, REID Lifting, Proudly Sponsors the World’s Fastest Land Speed Record Attempt

Bloodhound Supersonic Car
CMCO distributor, REID Lifting, sponsored the Bloodhound project with the donation of a bespoke gantry lifting system. Photo: Stefan Marjoram

The Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) is set to become one of the world’s greatest engineering feats, capable of traveling at speeds over 1,000 mph. Started 8 years ago, the Bloodhound project is attempting to smash the current land speed record of 763 mph by Thrust SSC, the first land vehicle to break the sound barrier. When complete, the car will be powered by both a jet engine and a rocket to help it achieve super high speeds.

During construction of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car, it came as no surprise that Bloodhound chose to use a REID Lifting PORTA-GANTRY frame from CMCO Channel Partner, Reid Lifting. This tall and innovative gantry lifting system, with an integrated CMCO chain block, has helped Bloodhound carefully construct each element of the car.

Bloodhound Supersonic Car
Bloodhound, a supersonic car designed to go over 1,000 mph (1,600 km/h)

REID engineers also are working closely with Bloodhound to create a 3,000 kg WLL custom lifting solution that will be used for the supersonic car’s first record attempt in South Africa in 2017.  A custom solution is required due to the uneven surface and unique conditions of the Hakskeen Pan, the desert plain where the momentous record attempt will take place.

Bloodhound Supersonic Car
The science behind Bloodhound is now being used in activities in 7,500 schools in the UK.

Taking Science to the Classroom

The science behind Bloodhound is now being used in activities at more than 7,500 schools in the UK.
However, the real driver behind the project is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Math). With this in mind, REID Lifting has chosen to not only sponsor the project with the donation of a bespoke gantry lifting system but is also involved in the Bloodhound SSC STEM Ambassador Program.

REID Lifting has sent Design Engineer, Luke Rossiter, and Machinist Apprentice, Tim Battersby, to local schools throughout South Wales and southwest England as official Bloodhound Ambassadors. Both having a strong interest in engineering, they will be sharing their passion for the project to encourage future generations to follow in their footsteps.

Thank you, REID Lifting, and our CMCO UK office for sharing this great story and being a part of such a stellar project.

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Safety Takes Center Stage at Columbus McKinnon with Second Annual Safety Calendar Contest

Safety Takes Center Stage at Columbus McKinnon with Second Annual Safety Calendar Contest

second annual safety calendar
Throughout Columbus McKinnon’s 140 year history, safety has always been an important part of the way we do business. Not only is the safety of our Associates important, but the safety of our customers is also a primary focus in the development of our products, services and training programs.

In the spirit of our focus on safety, we kicked off our second annual Safety Calendar Contest last year. We asked the children and grandchildren of our Associates around the world to submit drawings on the theme of “Safety at Work, Home or Play.” The children truly took this contest to heart and we received nearly 100 entries from 14 of our locations in 10 countries around the world. The entries we received were quite creative!

We asked an artist from Buffalo, N.Y., C. Mari Pack, to choose 15 winners and 16 runners-up that would be featured in the 2015 calendar. Judging was based on originality, artistic merit and expression of the safety theme.

In addition to creating great artwork, it is encouraging to see the safety messages our children are expressing. As the future workforce, it is important to instill a safety-conscious work ethic in children at a young age.

It’s our goal at Columbus McKinnon to help our customers lift, position and secure items in a safe and productive way. Throughout 2015 and into the coming years, we will continue to focus on safety and help our customers meet this goal. Happy New Year to all of you. Stay tuned for more great articles on material handling product safety, training courses and other helpful topics to keep you working safe all year long.

This post was written by Laura Miller, former Corporate Health & Safety Manager for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Know your Transport Binder Chain Assemblies and Load Binders

Know your Transport Binder Chain Assemblies and Load Binders

Binder Chain AssemblyDo you know the origin of your Transport Binder Chain Assemblies and Load Binders? If you’re comparing costs and quality, or trying to meet domestic-only product requirements for a project, it’s important that you know the country of origin.

In fact, there are a number of things to consider when buying and selling Transport Binder Chain Assemblies and Load Binders. I will highlight a few things you should look for to ensure you are comparing apples to apples and getting the product that best meets your needs.

CM Offers 3 Types of Binder Chain Assemblies

Short Link Chain Assemblies with Domestic Hooks are our premium, 100% American-made Chain Assemblies that feature US-made short link chain and US-made hooks. CM is the only manufacturer of short link chain and set the standard for it years ago with the introduction of Gold Standard (gold chromate) chain. The smaller dimension of the short link chain is preferred by users because it allows for easier take up and better cornering. This means that the chain links are less likely to bend when they go around a corner.

Standard Link Chain Assemblies with Domestic Hooks, like our short link assemblies, feature US-made chain and US-made hooks manufactured and assembled at our Tennessee facilities. The longer pitch of the standard link chain translates into less overall weight. Standard link chain is common in most US-made assemblies.

Standard Link Chain Assemblies with Imported Hooks are competitively priced assemblies that feature domestic-made chain with imported hooks. This type of assembly is very common in the industry and is made by many competitors domestically.

View a comparison chart of our three types of binder chain assemblies.

Does your job require proof that your equipment was made in America?

Whether Binder Chain Assemblies or Load Binders, you should be able to find the name of the country of origin printed or embossed right on the unit. All CM domestic products will have a forged “USA” clearly visible. Binder Chain Assemblies

Competitors may put their markings in inconspicuous places where it is less likely to be seen. On some competitors’ ratchet load binders you need to really look to find “China” discreetly hidden on the side of the thumb switch. Always check your Ratchet and Lever Load Binders thoroughly to make sure they’re made in the USA.

For domestic chain and hooks, Columbus McKinnon goes one step further by featuring trace codes. These trace codes allow you to not only trace the steel that was used to make the product, but also the date of manufacture and the processes used in manufacturing the product.

Lastly, CM offers full disclosure with a Certificate of Conformity (COC) and a Certificate of Origin (COO) on all of our Transport Binder Chain Assemblies, Ratchet Load Binders and Lever Load Binders. These COCs and COOs are available for download on our Distributor website or by request from a Columbus McKinnon customer service representative.

Meeting Industry Standards

The transportation industry uses a large assortment of Binder Chain Assemblies that come from all over the world. Some of these products meet multiple recognized standards while others do not meet any specifications at all. It’s truly “buyer beware.”

However, Columbus McKinnon transport binder chains and assemblies meet all regulatory requirements for transportation in North America, including NACM 2014, ASTM A413 and D.O.T. requirements.

Comparing Costs: Apples to Apples

When comparing CM products and pricing to the competition, it is important to make sure that you are comparing equivalent products.

The majority of our competitors offer assemblies with domestic-made chain and imported hooks. These mixed assemblies are designed to be economical, and our Standard Link Chain Assemblies with Imported Hooks match up nicely in price and quality. Assemblies that use components with mixed countries of origin are fine for applications where domestic-made products are not required.

In contrast, you can’t compare CM Standard Link Chain Assemblies and Short Link Chain Assemblies that feature domestic hooks to the competition that uses imported components. Our 100% US-made assemblies are premium, high-quality products proudly manufactured in Tennessee. Comparing these premium units to imported products (whether fully imported or made with imported components) would be comparing apples to oranges.

So, there’s a lot to consider before you buy or sell your next load binder or binder chain assembly. For more information, contact a Columbus McKinnon Sales Representative at 800-888-0985. If you’re interested in getting professional, hands-on Load Securement Training click here.

Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is a Business Development Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

CM-ET Announces Online Lodestar Maintenance Training

CM-ET Announces Online Lodestar Maintenance Training


For over 30 years, CM-ET has been conducting this 1-day motor class to help familiarize entertainment technicians and riggers on safe and proper general maintenance and repair of the CM-ET Lodestar. Starting today, this popular class is available online!

Get trained today!
Students can expect the same level of information they would get if they attended one of our hands-on classes at our Training Centers, but without the inconvenience and expense of traveling. Get trained online and learn at your pace and on your own schedule.

Who should take the class?
This is a great course for beginners or anyone needing a refresher. For those individuals looking to take the more advanced hands-on CM-ET Motor Certification Technician course, this class is the perfect place to start.

Course Overview
This online course walks students through the disassembly of the classic model “L” CM-ET Lodestar.  Topics include:

  • Function and inspection of key components
  • Adjusting limit switches
  • Inspecting and adjusting the brake
  • Understanding CMCO specifications
    and inspection requirements
  • Types of proper documentation
  • Understanding basic electricity and wiring diagrams
  • Performing a Load Test
  • General maintenance, inspection and troubleshooting

Testing & Completion
Throughout the training, students will be tested on the material covered. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive a Certificate of Training.

Get Trained Today!

Peter Cooke

Peter Cooke is a former Training Manager for Columbus McKinnon Corporation, having specialized in Rigging & Load Securement.

Five Intense Days at CM-ET Mega School: An Alumni Review

Five Intense Days at CM-ET Mega School: An Alumni Review

CM-ET Mega School

We love to talk about our entertainment training. We believe in teaching people how to be safer in their work environments. As much as I enjoy hearing stories from our training team, what gives me even greater pleasure is hearing this same enthusiasm echoed from one of our attendees.

Bart Wells from Cory’s Audio Visual Services recently attended our CM Entertainment Mega School. We hosted 45 attendees for 5 days together with instructors from across the country. Bart’s comments really grabbed my attention. But rather than me tell the story, I will let Bart do it himself:

CM-ET Mega SchoolIf you have ever considered attending a manufacturer hosted workshop or training seminar then you know that you run the risk of signing up for a ‘Sales Pitch’ with some education tossed in. Rest assured that if you attended the CM Entertainment Mega School – a 5-day hoist, truss, and rigging seminar – it is 100% education without any ‘selling’ going on the entire week.

“The week begins with a 2-day intensive ‘dive’ into the Lodestar electric chain hoist. Dave Carmack walks you, step by step, through every moving and electrical part of the hoist. Dave’s intimate knowledge of the hoist’s design, engineering and construction make it easy for him to demystify the hoist and allow every student to feel comfortable pulling it apart and putting it back together again.

“With the Road Technician Certification Class (RTC Class) the end of the second day brings an exam. If you passed, you will be rewarded with a CM certification identifying you as a qualified CM Motor Technician. This IS NOT a “gimme” course with a certification that is guaranteed just because you attend. The test is difficult and people do fail. But if you pay attention you will get all the information you need to pass from Dave.

“Day 3 covers truss theory and safe working practices with truss, taught by the president of James Thomas Engineering, Tray Allen.

“Days 4 and 5
are a formula filled frenzy of safe rigging practices, fall protection and rigging calculations. Eric Rouse shares his knowledge of theatrical and aerial rigging while easily relating it to the arena environment as well. His honest approach to safe and practical rigging practices provides the understanding that we are responsible for knowing our craft and keeping ourselves and our peers safe.

“Perhaps the most exciting part of the course is the math. Eric presents the most common formulas that are used in calculating bridal lengths as well as being able to provide load, force and tension calculations for any scenario. This overview provides attendees with the tools to not only “know” that something is safe, but to be able to back it up with numbers.

“In the end the CM Entertainment Mega School is truly a week of education. The instructors are working members of the industry, not salesmen. If you come to the course with the intention of learning 5 new things, you will leave the course with a great deal more than you ever expected. Do not miss the opportunity to become a better, safer and more educated member of the entertainment industry. Attend a CM-ET Mega School this year.”

Barton Wells
Cory’s Audio Visual Services

Helpful CM Entertainment Links:
The LDI Show and Stories from Vegas That We Can Share
What is Wrong with this Entertainment Application?
CM Entertainment Website
CM Entertainment on Twitter

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

The LDI Show and Stories from Vegas That We Can Share

The LDI Show and Stories from Vegas That We Can Share


Last weekend Columbus McKinnon attended the 25th LDI show in Las Vegas and it was an event to remember. The show featured product innovations and refinements in lighting, sound, projection, special effects and more. Attendance at the show was the highest we have seen in the last three years. Whether you were there or not, below are five valuable nuggets from the show that you may have missed:

  • Innovative Products that were previewed and demonstrated during the three-day show, as written by Frank Hammel of PLSN News.
  • Daily in-depth commentary by Miles Dudgeon from Live Design called “Walking The LDI Show Floor.” Miles makes you feel like you are right there with him and includes many interesting observations.
  • Do you wish you had taken some snapshots to remember your time at LDI? If so, regret no more. Check out the images from #ldi #ldi2012 shared via @livedesignmag
  • Are you curious to know the recipients of the LDI 2012 Awards? If so, here is a complete  listing as presented this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
  • Last but not least, our big news at Columbus McKinnon is the launch of our new CM Entertainment website. It proved to be a crowd pleaser at LDI. Check it out and let us know what you think.

We look forward to bringing you more great products, services and training in the years to come!

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

What the VPPPA is Doing to Address Safety in the Workplace

What the VPPPA is Doing to Address Safety in the Workplace

The 2012 National Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) conference was held in Anaheim, California this month.  The conference consisted of industry leading companies that are involved in voluntary protection programs from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Department of Energy (DOE) or other government agencies. These agencies are responsible for developing and implementing cooperative recognition programs. During the conference, Columbus McKinnon had the opportunity to present a workshop on Rigging Gear Safety Inspections.  

Everyone came together for networking and education.

VPPPA conference participants  included health and safety managers, employee safety team members, industrial hygienists, union representatives, consultants, environmental health specialists, human resource managers and government agency representatives from OSHA and the DOE.

The VPPPA Conference allows workers to have a voice.

The VPPPA has grown and diversified itself since its inception in 1982, continuously adding members and addressing newly identified safety and health issues. Columbus McKinnon is a proud member and supporter of the VPPPA and its mission. The conference allows workers to have a voice and presents the tools to improve their workplace, become more efficient, and save money each year. The conference provided an educational experience that exceeded our expectations. Over the course of 3 days an estimated 200 workshops were conducted. The workshops, open to all attendees, gave workers the opportunity to learn or improve their knowledge of safety and health issues. They are conducted by industry professionals proficient in a particular subject manner. Presentations were followed up by a Q & A session.

Columbus McKinnon is recognized as an industry leader in material handling manufacturing, but did you know Columbus McKinnon is also a leader in material handling safety? We conducted a Rigging Gear Safety Inspection workshop at the VPPPA. Our hands-on workshop identified potential hazards in the manufacturing, construction and entertainment industries. Common misused material handling gear such as slings, shackles, wire rope, and below the hook lifters were discussed.

We take material handling seriously.

Columbus McKinnon offers material handling safety training in various full-day courses to allow workers to participate in a hands-on experience. Workers can get their questions answered by industry professionals. The experience and the knowledge gained through our training courses allows companies to improve safety in their workplace and become more efficient. Click here to learn more.

Did you attend the VPPPA conference?  If so, what did you learn? What inspired you the most? Please share your experiences with us in our comments section.

Chris Zgoda

Chris Zgoda is a Corporate Trainer for Columbus McKinnon.

What Makes Our American-Made Super Strong Shackle “Super”

What Makes Our American-Made Super Strong Shackle “Super”

Designed and forged in Chattanooga, Tennessee, American made super strong shackle CM Super Strong shackles are carbon-type shackles with strength ratings that are up to 50% stronger than comparable sized carbon shackles. As a result, they are designed with a 6:1 safety design factor.

By using a special blended material, Columbus McKinnon is able to manufacture Super Strong shackles without requiring the quench and temper process. This gives our Super Strong shackles a higher working load limit (WLL) and greater design factor.

Our microalloy material is designed to be air cooled from normal forging temperatures. This air-cooling process eliminates the potential for errors in hardness and strength or quench cracks in the heat treating process.

The strength level of the microalloy forgings will be higher than the normal strength to hardness correlation allowing for greater ductility before failure.  The microalloy has the ability to distribute strain throughout the section more uniformly than conventional steels.  At the same hardness the microalloy will be stronger.

Below are Comparison Testing results of CM Super Strong Shackles versus Standard Carbon Shackles.  While all of the CM shackles performed above their ratings, the Super Strong shackle performance was superior.


American-made super strong shackle

Questions often arise about the difference between our Industrial/Government shackles and the Super Strong shackles. An Industrial/Government shackle is a Super Strong shackle de-rated to meet – not exceed – the Federal Specification RR-C-271. That means it has the same dimensions and performance characteristics as a Super Strong shackle but is stamped with specifications to meet government requirements.

1″ Super Strong shackle will be stamped 10 Ton WLL
1″ Industrial/Government shackle will be stamped 8 1/2 Ton WLL

But don’t just listen to us. Listen to an impartial opinion and see the results of a test performed by Arizona Wire Rope. This distributor tested on a Tonzilla 500,000 lb pull tester comparing the CM Super Strong shackle to our competitor’s shackle. Check out the results for yourself!

We have a full range of sizes and finishes in the Super Strong Shackle product offering. Click here to view our newest CM Shackle Technical Brochure.

Troy Raines

Troy Raines is the Chain & Rigging Product Engineering Manager at our CMCO Chattanooga Forge Operations.

Investing in America. Ready for the World. Spotlighting our Wadesboro, NC Operations

Investing in America. Ready for the World. Spotlighting our Wadesboro, NC Operations


At Columbus McKinnon, our success in the global marketplace is dependent not only on the knowledge and expertise to design and manufacture hoists, cranes, and rigging equipment; but also the business processes to facilitate consistent quality across our broad portfolio of products.

Our commitment to introducing new and innovative products, along with our desire to appeal to and reach overseas markets, prompted our Wadesboro, North Carolina Hoist Operations to seek ISO 9000 Certification — the international quality standard.

This is a tremendous investment in our facility and people, as well as a rededication to our local community. “We have been wanting to do this for years; the incoming products were just a catalyst,” says Joe Ombrello, General Manager of our Wadesboro Operations. “Having the ISO Certification enables us to go to new markets including Asia and Europe.”

Manufactured in Wadesboro, these hoists and overhead cranes are marketed to industries such as manufacturing and assembly, entertainment, utilities, power generation and mining:

Click here to see ALL of our American-made product built in Wadesboro and our other U.S. facilities.

The ISO 9000 certification process started in late 2010 with the guidance of the Industrial Extension Service at North Carolina State University (IES). The process began with the basics. “We started training our leadership in what ISO meant,” says Justin Dawkins, who began at Columbus McKinnon as an engineering student and is now Interim Quality Assurance Manager. “Then we began progressing through the standard, developed a quality manual, and developed training programs and processes within each area. ”

In April 2012, Columbus McKinnon received a banner from IES in recognition of its ISO achievement in a ceremony on the production floor of its 186,000 square foot plant. “It’s really an achievement of people in the plant, so we want to do something for them,” says Ombrello. The plant employs almost 220 employees.

Only three months into the roll-out of ISO 9000, Columbus McKinnon anticipates a 25 percent reduction in the cost of non-conforming material in the long term. The savings could be significant, allowing for reinvestment into the company.

Alongside the ISO 9000 certification process, our plant also engages in continuous improvement. Our JLC electric chain hoist product series just underwent a lean manufacturing improvement process. These units were previously built in batches and painted as complete assemblies prior to shipping. As a result of lean, we have now implemented a true one- piece flow pull system.  Our parts get painted prior to assembly so the unit is ready to ship once assembled. What does this mean to our customers? Reduced manufacturing times from 5-10 days down to 2-3 days.  Should our customer need a 1 day turnaround,  we can meet this request.


As focused as our plant is on quality, our Associates still make time for giving back to the community. Over the past several years our Wadesboro facility has been involved in Relay for Life, at one point leading the county as one of the top 3 fundraisers. Our HR Manager and 18-year Columbus McKinnon veteran, Bob Stowe, speaks regularly at local high schools, addressing work skills and career preparation to current students. He also serves on a regional work force development board involved in aligning training opportunities with career opportunities. We believe in supporting manufacturing technologies and equipping the workforce of our future.

Excerpts of this post were taken from an original blog post “Columbus McKinnon Lifts Quality Standard,” written by the Industrial Extension Service at North Carolina University.

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Columbus McKinnon Associates Complete Century Ride for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Columbus McKinnon Associates Complete Century Ride for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society


Earlier this month a team of two from Columbus McKinnon completed a ride of their lives – a 100-mile “Century” bicycle ride around Lake Tahoe  – to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Our team consisted of Rakesh Jobanputra, Cindy Dominske and Joshua Karczewski (Cindy was unable to join the team for the ride, but had a major role in fundraising efforts and support.) The ride was through mountainous and hilly terrain and each rider completed the 100 mile track (no tag team efforts here!)  This was truly an amazing experience for our riders, not to mention what a BEAUTIFUL place. Above is a team photo of all the Western & Central NY Riders and Coaches. There were approximately 3000 riders from all over the country. The fundraising minimum was $3,800 per rider.

With the support of associates and friends, our CMCO team was able to raise over $14,000! All of the support and donations will go a long way to help find a cure for blood cancers.  The event itself raised over $5 million. Talk about making a difference!

Joshua shared the following story with me about his favorite moment:

The  fundraising team who raised the most money was doing their ride for a 3 year old boy who was the son of one of the riders. During the inspiration dinner the night before the ride, they were presented a special award for raising the most funds. This young boy was diagnosed with leukemia last month and he was on stage with his dad. The boy leaned into the microphone and said, “Thank you for riding for me.” There was not a dry eye in the place. It made us all remember why we were there doing this. God bless that little boy and all the others like him who are put through such a rough experience way too early in life.

Below is photo of our Western New York team:


Over the past 14 years, more than 19,500 team members have raised over $65.8 million for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. For those interested in making a donation to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, you can do so here.  Thank you for your support!

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.