Safe Lifting Practices with Slings and Shackles

There are times when forklifts, pallets, and loading ramps are not sufficient for moving cargo around. That’s when you need slings and shackles. Lifting a load with slings and shackles also involves some sort of boom, be it from a boom truck or crane. Needless to say that there are a whole host of safety considerations when engaging in this sort of lifting operation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued its own guidelines dealing with safe lifting practices. They mention a number of very specific things having to do with slings and shackles. For the benefit of our readers, we have summarized OSHA guidelines below. You can go to the OSHA website and search ‘safe lifting practices’ for more details.

Choosing the Right Kind of Sling

OSHA’s guidance begins with a discussion about choosing the right kind of sling. They discuss slings made from chain, wire rope, fiber rope, and synthetic webbing. The needs of most of our customers are sufficiently met with webbing slings. However, it is always important to assess each load before choosing the right sling for the lift.

OSHA recommends synthetic web slings when practical due to their strength, convenience, shock absorbency, temperature resistance, and safety. Synthetic webbing slings should be used with caution when dealing with acids and other corrosive substances. They should never be used when they show signs of excessive wear, elongation, or distortion.

The Four Points of Safe Lifting

The OSHA guidance goes on to discuss how to lift safely using four points of reference. Those four points are as follows:

1. Size, Weight, and Center of Gravity

The safest way to lift with a sling is to ensure that the hook is located directly over the center of gravity. Slight variations are workable but getting too far off center can cause big problems. The heavier the weight and the larger the size, the more critical center of gravity is.

2. Lift Angle and Number of Legs

A lift angle is formed between each sling leg and its horizontal line. The smaller that angle is, the more stress is put on the sling legs. It is important to know this angle in relation to the amount of weight being lifted. Smaller angles dictate less weight per lift. Larger angles can tolerate heavier loads.

3. Sling Load Limit

Just like webbing straps and chains used to tie down cargo, slings have working load limits. Each sling has a rated capacity calculated by considering the type and size of the sling and the type of hook being used. It is critical that operators know the rated capacity of their slings before attempting a lift. Manufacturers generally mark slings at the factory.

4. Usage, Care, and Handling

OSHA’s fourth point of reference for safe lifting involves the proper usage, care, and handling of slings and shackles. Their guidance suggests that a history of improper usage increases the risk of accidents with every subsequent lift. In simple terms, bad habits are hard to break.

For each lift, proper care and handling of slings is essential. Slings should be cared for to prevent even minor damage. They should be inspected prior to and following every lift. And they should always be used according to manufacturer instructions and OSHA guidelines.

This concludes our basic summary of OSHA guidelines for safe lifting with slings and shackles. If you ever have a question about safe lifting practices, find the answer before you attempt a lift. Remember that lifting with slings and shackles is always dangerous no matter how many safety precautions you take.

 


The Differences Between a Bull Bar and Grille Guard

You may run across bull bars in your search for a good grille guard for your truck. Note that bull bars and grille guards are not the same thing. Furthermore, bull bars are hard to find for big rigs because they really aren’t appropriate for large, commercial vehicles.

We want you to be familiar with the differences between bull bars and grille guards so that you don’t buy the wrong thing for your truck. If you are in the market for grille guard, we have several models for you to choose from. Please take a few minutes and check out our inventory.

The Basics of Bull Bars

We are not quite sure where the name of ‘bull bar’ came from, but it really doesn’t matter in the context of this discussion. A bull bar is generally an A-shaped guard the affixes to a vehicle via the front of the frame. It has an outer frame, a single crossbar, and a skid plate at the bottom.

Bull bars are relatively small in comparison to the vehicles they are fitted to. They are intended only to protect the immediate front and center of the vehicle during a collision with an animal. A bull bar will protect the radiator, grille, and front bumper, but little else.

The biggest difference between a bull bar and grille guard is the fact that the former does very little to protect beyond the immediate center of the front end. There is no protection for headlights or turn signals. In the event of an off-center collision, a bull bar is rendered practically useless.

Their small size and lack of full protection makes a bull bar inappropriate for commercial vehicles. They are fine for pickup trucks and SUVs where owners are looking for minimal protection against damage from animal collisions.

The Basics of Grille Guards

Where bull bars are normally found only on SUVs and pickups, grille guards are found on trucks of all sizes. Big rigs fitted with grille guards are more readily seen these days, thanks to growing popularity within the trucking industry.

A good grille guard provides full coverage across the lower half of a truck’s grille area. The smallest of guards fully protects the front bumper and the truck’s grille and radiator. Larger guards extend fully upward to protect lights as well.

Made from tough, tubular stainless steel, a grille guard is intended to provide maximum protection during collisions with either animals or other vehicles. A good grille guard can leave a truck virtually unscathed following an accident.

Protecting Your Truck

Any desire to protect the front end of your truck should be met with a grille guard rather than a bull bar. Even if you can find a cheaper bull bar for your rig, it is not worth the investment. Bull bars might be great for pickups and SUVs, but they are a waste of money for big rigs.

Buy a grille guard and get maximum protection at the same time. Note that grille guards and trucks do have compatibility issues, so you need to make sure that the guard you buy will fit your truck. Also note that you should be able to purchase a guard that doesn’t require any drilling or welding. It should attach to the front of your truck very easily with the appropriate brackets.

Mytee Products carries several different models of grille guards at this time. If you don’t see what you need, please give us a call anyway. We still might be able to help you find and acquire the right grille guard for your truck.


4 Things to Know About Demolition Tarps Before Purchase

Demolition tarps are an alternative to dumpsters for clearing away construction debris. They are ideal for remodeling companies, roofers, and others engaged in residential or commercial construction.

Mytee Products now carries a limited selection of demolition tarps for your convenience. Each of our tarps is made with heavy-duty vinyl and includes built-in, reinforced lifting points. We offer three sizes of demolition tarps: 12′ x 12′, 12′ x 20′, and 20′ x 20′.

With all the formalities behind us, here are four important things to know about demolition tarps:

1. They Have Weight Limits

This should be obvious, but there are people who buy demolition tarps without being aware of the volume of construction debris they plan to dispose of. Unlike a dumpster, you cannot apply the principle of ‘if it fits, throw it on the pile’ to a demo tarp.

Exceeding the weight limit of a demo tarp means risking tarp failure when it is eventually lifted into the air. Pay attention to load limits when you order. If none of our tarps can handle the kind of weight you are thinking, you’re probably not going to find something to meet your needs in a single load. Consider buying two tarps instead.

2. They Aren’t Necessarily Disposable

Demolition tarps are typically thought of as disposable tarps. That makes sense when you consider the non-commercial products often pitched by residential waste haulers. Their demo tarps are intended to be disposable by design. But that is not true of every demo tarp.

Our demolition tarps are designed to be used time and again. We cannot guarantee how many uses you will get out of your tarp, but it will be more than just one. As a multi-use device, a commercial grade demolition tarp should offer years of reliable service.

3. Permits May Still Be Required

It is understandable that someone might want to avoid renting a dumpster if local permitting issues add to the burden of doing so. But opting for a demolition tarp instead may not be a suitable workaround. More often than not, local permitting relates to the demolition job itself rather than the means of hauling away waste. So opting for a demolition tarp in order to avoid applying for permit really isn’t wise.

Also note that some municipalities requiring permits for dumpsters also require the same permits for demolition tarps. There is no way to know for sure without checking with your local authorities. If you do need a permit, get one. Don’t take any chances with the law.

4. Not Everything Is Appropriate for a Demo Tarp

Finally, keep in mind that demolition tarps are not appropriate for every form of construction waste. There are multiple things to consider in this regard.

First, there are some kinds of construction materials that could potentially damage a demolition tarp if you’re not careful. This may not be an issue if you’re planning for a single use but be aware if you have any plans to use your demolition tarp more than once. Be careful of glass, pieces of metal with sharp ends, and the like.

A second thing to consider is that your local municipality may have recycling requirements. You may not be allowed to dispose of glass along with construction debris, for example. Your local laws may require you to recycle certain kinds of wood and stone materials. The point here is to check local regulations before you decide how you are going to handle construction waste.

Demolition tarps have many uses and it we recommend doing your research before you invest in them or any other tarps.


What to Look for in a Grille Guard

Take a good look around and you will probably notice more truck drivers installing grille guards on the fronts of their tractors. Grille guards are one of the hottest items in the trucking industry right now. Why? Because they are functional, affordable, and aesthetically attractive.

A well-built guard can mean the difference between preserving the front of your rig and having to pay thousands of dollars to repair it after a collision with an animal. A grille guard also minimizes damage in collisions with other vehicles, and it makes your rig look better at the same time.

Are you in the market for one? If so, here’s what to look for as you shop:

1. Grille Coverage

The number one reason for installing a grille guard is to protect the front of your truck. So grille coverage is really the first priority. You have to ask yourself how much of the front of your rig do you want to protect with the guard. Then consider the actual size of your tractor in relation to the amount of area you need to protect.

The largest trucks will not get much coverage with a small guard. The other side of that coin are large grille guards that would be too big for smaller trucks. You can have too much of a good thing, especially if a grille guard is wider than the front of your rig.

2. Strength and Durability

Stainless steel is the go-to material for manufacturing high quality grille guards. Do not settle for anything less. You want something that is strong and durable, something that will last for as long as you keep driving.

Look for a grill guard manufactured with heavy-duty steel; 14-gauge steel should be sufficient for most needs. Also check to make sure the guard is of tubular construction. Geometry dictates that tubes are a lot stronger for this kind of application than rectangular shapes.

3. Compatibility

You ideally want a grille guard that attaches easily without any modification on your part. Guaranteeing that is a matter of buying a guard that is compatible with your particular truck. Yes, there are compatibility issues.

Each of the grille guards we carry has its own dedicated page on our website. On each page you will find a product description that includes compatibility information. If you cannot locate your truck model and year on the compatibility list of a particular guard, please contact us before purchase. We would rather help you find the right grill guard than have you buy one only to find out it will not work.

4. Aesthetic Appeal

Finally, we wouldn’t think about explaining what to look for in a grille guard without talking about aesthetic appeal. As a professional truck driver, you take great pride in your rig. We get that. We wouldn’t want you to settle for something that makes your truck look less than appealing.

The reality is that a good grill guard can truly enhance the looks of your rig. We trust this is important to you even if you never enter your truck in competition. And if you are a show competitor, it goes without saying that not just any grill guard will do. You want one that fits correctly, provides an appropriate amount of coverage, and looks spectacular when cleaned and polished.

Grille guards are all the rage right now. If you are in the market for one, we hope you’ll consider the Mytee Products inventory. And while you’re here, feel free to take a look at all the other cargo control and general trucking products we carry.


Why Smart RV Owners Cover Their Rigs

RV and trailer owners are under no legal mandate to cover their rigs during the off-season. There aren’t any standard manufacturer recommendations, either. Yet Mytee Products has no problem selling RV and trailer covers year-round. The more covers we stock, the more we seem to sell.

There is a reason that Smart RV owners cover their rigs during the off-season. In fact, there are five reasons. Each one is explained below. If you own an RV or camping trailer that is not normally covered over the winter, you might want to reconsider your storage strategy.

1. UV Rays Aren’t Good for RVs

You already know that UV rays are not good for your eyes, right? Well, they aren’t good for your RV either. Constant exposure to UV rays can break down the seals around windows, doors, air conditioning units, etc. That could mean leaks that lead to quite a bit of interior damage.

UV rays aren’t a problem when you cover your rig. Whether you live in a climate that still sees plenty of sun during the winter or you are confined to a colder, more overcast environment, a cover keeps damaging UV rays out.

2. High Interior Temperatures Aren’t Good

Allowing the interior temperature of your RV or trailer to get too high isn’t good for its internal components. High temperatures can slowly degrade cabinetry, plumbing, and even electronics. You ideally want to keep internal temperatures at 80° or less whenever possible. Covering your rig during the off-season does the trick.

3. Water on the Roof Can Cause Problems

One of the biggest problems that RV and trailer owners face during the off-season is the accumulation of snow, ice, and water. This is generally not a problem during the season because travel takes care of any accumulated water. But during the off-season, there could be problems.

A cover keeps water from accumulating directly on the roof surface. In so doing, it prevents backups that could lead to leaks around vents and A/C units. The more water you can keep off the roof during the off-season, the better off your rig will be.

4. Finishes and Graphics Fade

The finish and graphics on any RV or trailer will gradually fade over time. But there’s no need to accelerate the process by leaving your rig unprotected in the off-season. Throw a good quality RV or trailer cover on your rig and you’ll notice your finish and graphics don’t fade nearly as fast. That will help maintain the rig’s resale value as well.

5. Dirt and Debris Can Stain

Have you ever seen older RVs and trailers with obvious black streaks and splotches? Those are likely stains left by mother nature. All sorts of dirt and debris she deposits on your rig can break down and leave stains in its wake. From decomposing leaves to dead insects, there are lots of things in nature that could leave their mark behind.

Once again, an RV or trailer cover is the solution. Let your cover get stained and streaked rather than your rig. You are going to fold up and store it away during the season anyway. Better that your cover should look ugly than your rig.

Remember that a proper fit is key to using an RV or trailer cover to its maximum potential. Mytee Products offers a variety of sizes for most standard RVs and trailers. So be sure to check sizes as you shop. If you cannot find something appropriate to your RV or trailer, please contact us and let us know. There’s a good chance we can locate what you need.