Do’s & Dont’s With Shackles

Shackles come in many types and may be used in various rigging and load securement applications. However, as with all equipment, certain guidelines must be adhered to whenever using shackles to ensure safe operations.

This short list of do’s and don’ts is intended to inform or remind you of those guidelines.


  • Check the shackle pin and body for deformation, cracks, or excess wear before each lift.
  • Avoid sudden acceleration, deceleration, or shock loading.
  • Check with the manufacturer about chemical effects on a shackle when used in a caustic or acidic environments.
  • Remove damaged shackles from service immediately.
  • Remove any shackle from service where the rated capacity is not legible.
  • Check with the manufacturer about the loss of rated capacity when side loading or working in environments below -40° F or above 400° F.
  • Connect multiple sling legs to the shackle’s body, never to the pin itself.
  • If using a shackle with synthetic slings, ensure the shackle is big enough to avoid pinching or binding the sling.
  • When using a shackle with wire rope, the shackle must be equal to or greater than the wire rope diameter. Learn more about D/d ratio here.
  • Always ensure shackle pins are properly engaged.


  • Never load a shackle beyond its safe working load limit.
  • Do not force, hammer, or wedge a shackle that is too small into position.
  • Never allow shackle pins to come in contact with moving parts if the pin can roll and unscrew.
  • Do not weld onto a shackle body or pin.
  • Never substitute a shackle pin with anything other than the exact replacement pin from the manufacturer.
  • Do not exceed an included 120-degrees for the angle when using multiple sling legs.
  • Never side load a round pin shackle.

Make it a practice to keep these guidelines in mind whenever you’re using a shackle in your lifting operations. This information is general, only covering the main points for the safe use of shackles. It may be necessary to supplement this information for specific applications.

If you have additional questions or need high-quality, inspected, tested, and certified lifting equipment rentals, LGH has you covered. Click to chat with a live rental support specialist or call 800-878-7305 now.


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