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Lifting and handling of precast is as important to the final product as designing, mixing, placing and finishing. As you may know, it can take a lot of thought and planning before selecting the correct lifting system to ensure a successful and safe lift.

There are many types of lifting options to select from in the precast industry. These options include “dog bone anchors” (for back-stripping), flat steel anchors (for handling precast from the edge to prevent spalling), coil inserts (more commonly used in connections) and systems that directly connect to the hook, using no clutches or lift plates.

Determining the Lifting Anchor’s strength is a key element to the lifting and handling process. The quality of the anchor steel must be high so that it remains consistent in meeting a minimum specification. The ultimate strength should be tested, too, by loading the anchor until mechanical failure occurs. Results of this test must yield a 4:1 Safety Factor.  To determine the ultimate strength, the load is divided by four to establish the Safe Working Load (SWL). The lifting clutch, bolt or hook, and recess formers that are used with the product must be tested, also, to ensure accuracy. Manufacturers are required to list the mechanical ultimate and/or safe working load with the 4:1 Safety Factor (FYI).

Concrete Strength is the second component of a lifting anchor system and must be determined at the time the load is applied to the anchor. Concrete strength will be lowest during the removal from the form. The anchors used to remove the form must be designed for that strength. Edge lift anchors are generally used during final placement when the concrete is at a higher strength.

Be sure to consider the following when selecting the anchor and lifting system:

-       Shape and center of gravity
-       Rigging & the rigging configuration available
-       Removal from the casting bed
-       Storage and handling at the plant
-       Shipping and preparation for final handling
-       Final position erection
-       Weight per cubic foot
-       Concrete strength (PSI)

For more information on lifting anchor systems, please visit us on the web at www.patterson-online.com or call us, toll-free, at 1-800-332-7090. We’re happy to help you choose the right system and