Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bucket Bails Break Bones

The ubiquitous plastic bucket - it shows-up unannounced, hangs around like an unwanted house-guest, and finally spills it guts and gets thrown in the trash.

Aside from the obvious bad rigging (you did see that, didn't you?), plastic buckets have a serious weak point:  The metal bail that forms the carrying handle.  This is nothing but a piece of bent steel wire that hooks into the plastic rim of the bucket.  Given sufficient (over)loading, the plastic bucket can deform and let-go of the bail (literally tearing the plastic), and/or the metal bail can bend and lose it's grip on the bucket.  Either way - this thing is going down.

We just love to over-stuff our carry-alls, and when you add-up the weight of hand-tools, nuts & bolts, drills, and all that other crud you forget to clean-out, the weight can become significant.  This wouldn't be such a big deal if you were just carrying this across the stage or shop, but there are times we forget logic and tie a rope on thee a try to hoist them up to elevated work locations.  Not such a good idea - What was once just going to fall  a few inches onto your foot now becomes a bomb falling from overhead - maybe 20 feet, maybe 50 feet, depending where you are going with it.  Either way, this can be deadly should the handle fail.

Safe lifting of materials is usually best accomplished when the lifting system encompasses the load, this places the load on the lifting device and not on the object being lifted.

The folks at The Circus Company (I guess circuses use these things to haul food and water for the animals) have a simple, yet effective solution:  Build a load-rated sling designed to fit those 5-gallon buckets we are so fond of.

These slings are rated for 200 Pounds and are inexpensive (relative to the cost of a new noggin').  The handle is constructed of reinforced Nylon, and has an extra layer across the hoist point.  It's pretty snazzy, too!

Don't be a doofus and drop your load  - secure it!

More info at: www.thecircuscompany.com

Fly the friendly skys . . .

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