Bull Rigging: What is That?

Bull Rigging Hou 001.jpg

Bull Rigging: What is that?

What in the world is Bull Rigging? Those of us not familiar with the term might be picturing grabbing a hold of a rigging configuration by the shackle and hanging on for an eight second ride. As fun as that sounds, it is not Bull Rigging. In short, Bull Rigging is the term used to describe a method or system of rigging commonly used where a crane (mobile/overhead) cannot gain access. Bull Rigging is often referred to as drifting, "tarzaning," or just simply hand rigging. It is often used in concert with other rigging activities such as transferring a load from a structure to a crane hook or vice-versa.

The equipment most likely used in Bull Rigging include:

  • Chain Falls
  • Come-a-longs or Lever Hoists
  • Rollers/Casters/Skates
  • Jacks (mechanical or hydraulic)
  • Winches
  • Rigging Blocks

The planing and application of using chain hoists and other similar devices to drift loads (moving horizontally while being suspended), skidding/skating loads (pulling a load horizontally on rollers or other equipment), or building a winch and block system to aid with either, takes great skill and careful considerations regarding the forces that we create when building rigging systems. 

Okay, so exactly what does it take to be a Bull Rigger?

To start, an excellent knowledge base of equipment uses and applications is a must! In addition, an understanding of the theory behind these unique load handling challenges make for an effective, and most importantly, a skilled Bull Rigger. The theoretical understanding should focus on these six points:

  1. Load weight estimation.
  2. Discovering the center of gravity (C/G) and its effect on the load.
  3. Finding load weight distribution and identify the share of the weight.
  4. Understanding tension when working with angles as well as level or off level pick points and respect the influences it has not only upon the rigging but also the supporting structure.
  5. Determining the force required to pull a load up an incline plan or hold a load back when lowering.
  6. Calculating mechanical advantage as well as associated block loading and frictional gain in a multi-part winch/block system.

To build your skills as a Bull Rigger, visit http://www.iti.com/bull-rigging-with-chain-hoists to learn more and register for upcoming open enrollment courses. 

Want to see some bull rigging in action? Check out the video!

 

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Judy Chenoweth

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