Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices

A Below-the-Hook (BTH) lifting device is classified as a device used for attaching a load to a hoist.


Rigging is the simplest form of BTH devices, which includes but is not limited to: chains, hooks, shackles and load rings.   Despite its simplicity, rigging is a versatile solution when lifting loads of different sizes and shapes, or when consistent lifting points cannot be guaranteed. AFE Crane trusts Crosby Group rigging for most applications.

Lifting Beams

The most common type of BTH devices are lifting beams.  These lifting devices are often used to combine multiple loads into one lifting point, or to use multiple cranes or hoists to lift a heavy load in tandem. Lifting beams can be built with a large range of capacities and spans depending on the customer’s requirements.

A lifting beam is often made from structural members and uses multiple rigging points for the hoist hook(s) and for attaching the load.

Other Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices

Spreader beams are similar to lifting beams but are only able to support the load at the ends of the beam.  In addition, spreader beams are only designed to use one lifting point.

When lifting sheet material such as sheet metal, plywood, and glass sheets, a vacuum sheet lifter is an effective and economical solution.  Sheet lifters use vacuum pump systems and suction pads to lift the sheet material.  Depending on the weight and the size of material, multiple pumps and suction pads may be required to lift the desired sheet.  Sheet lifters typically hang below a hoist hook but can also be rigidly mounted to a double girder (top running or under hung) crane.  Sheet lifters can easily rotate or manipulate the part for fabrication or the next assembly step.

Custom Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices

If none of the above are suitable for your application, contact us and we will work with you to improve your Below-the-Hook lifting capabilities.  A custom BTH device is commonly used to lift uniquely shaped or long loads, spread the load to multiple hooking points, or simply to add safety to the lifting operation, for both personnel and your product.  A custom BTH may be manually controlled, or may incorporate electronic or pneumatic devices.  AFE Crane will be sure to design your BTH device to fit your needs, while also complying with the latest version of the ASME B30.20 and ASME BTH-1 standards to ensure safe lifting.

AFE Crane can improve safety on many existing overhead material handling systems. In this application we utilized two hoists and an additional axis of motion to help reduce the potential hazards in our customers facility.

Our custom built, 180′ long load bar with a lifting capacity of 4000 lbs. It has (2) hooking points for attaching hoist/lifting provisions, and (13) load hooking points. The load beam also splits into (3) sections for transportation.

AFE Crane designed a load bar that lifts fuel tanks and places them on the main assembly line.  By incorporating actuators, a PLC and multiple sensors, we were able to make the assembly process safer than the previous manual lifting device.

More Types of Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices:

  • Coil/Roll Lifter
  • Tongs
  • Pallet Lifter
  • Manipulator Lifter
  • Magnet Lifter
  • Grapple
  • Sheet Grab
  • Load Leveler
  • Roll Over Device
  • Load Rotator

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