The spreader beam and lifting beam are often the most used lifting equipment. However, people tend to confuse the two and which they should use for specific jobs while constructing. This confusion tends to cause ambiguity, especially if you are looking to hire a spreader beam for your construction needs.
In this article, we detail the difference between the two types of beams and the different kinds of spreader beams available to you.
Spreader Beams versus Lift Beams
So what’s the difference between a lifting beam and a spreader beam?
First, let’s consider their similarities. Both the spreader and lifting beam provide support and stability when you need to lift loads high up than usual. You can also use them to keep your lifting slings at a 90-degree angle, helping to prevent any damage to your hardware rigging.
They differ, however, in terms of how they handle the load. The lifting beam experiences bending stress on the beam when it lifts weights. A spreader beam experiences compressive stress as it raises the load.
Spreader Beams: Your Options
Now let’s discuss spreader beams.
Spreader beams are some of the most uncomplicated lifting machinery out there. They usually consist of a long bar, and two slings held apart. It can, however, have some more complicated options.
This exciting piece of equipment has a design such that when it’s lifting loads, it converts it into a compressive force. It does this by splitting the legs of the slings and evenly distributing the load’s weight. It then connects the slings to a lifting machine, usually a crane.
The beam has two points of connection called lugs. These lugs come into play when you need to attach the lifting sling to a crane or any other lifting machine.
There are several types of spreader beams, including:
- Fixed – offers stability and load-bearing support
- Telescopic – when you need to adjust the distance between the endpoints; best for large-scale construction
- End cap – for heavy loads ranging from 5.6 to 250 tonnes
- Modular – for when you need on-site length customisation
Benefits of Spreader Beam Hire
Hiring a spreader beam presents considerable advantages for your construction sites. Here are the most obvious ones:
- Cost efficiency – Spreader beams are smaller, less expensive to hire, and much lighter in terms of weight. They are easier to manoeuvre than the lifting beam.
- Size – They are great for lifting wide and long loads.
- Weight distribution – The lifting points help evenly spread the weight of the loads. These points reduce the stress the machine would typically experience at a single load point. This design makes it ideal for lifting heavy or full loads.
- Security – Its ability to spread weight means it is much better at controlling loads from bending over, sliding, or tipping over while in motion. It reduces the risk of loads damaging or crushing if they fall.
There are some disadvantages, such as:
- It needs a lot of overhead space to contain the lifting slings on the beam.
- Uneven loads will need a tag line to keep the load from spinning or sudden movements that could tip the load over.
- Spreader beams struggle with loads that need various lifting points below the beam.
The Bottom line
The right spreader beam can do a lot of good to your construction site. However, it is also essential that you speak to a specialist. With a specialist, you not only get the right advice and guidance, but you also gain access to the latest models of spreader beams.
If you are looking for spreader beam hire and need to talk to an expert, get in touch with us today.