Get to Know Modulift® Modular Spreader Beams

Available in a variety of capacities and shapes, Modulift® Modular Spreader Beams are versatile and provide the most ideal solutions when it comes to most lifting requirements. With Lifting Gear Hire’s capacities ranging from 24 – 1000 tons, the modular configuration and interchangeable components enable the beams to be reused over many lifts and because of this versatility, they’re truly one of the most dependable and trusty pieces of equipment to have on a jobsite.

What You Need to Know

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Designed for one-man assembly in most cases
  • Flexible configurations to meet a variety of lifting demands
  • Available with a variety of top and bottom rigging
  • Lifts various loads – large and small
  • Multiple beams per application

The beams need to be matched to your specific lift requirements. This equipment is highly customizable, making it useful for a variety of applications. However, because they’re designed to be used for so many types of jobs, you’ll need your beam to be modified and configured to the specifications demanded by your type of lift.

Although similar in nature, be aware that the difference between a lifting beam and a spreader beam are the pick points. Compression style modular spreader beams allow for rigging applied only to the shackles on the end units, whereas lifting beams usually will have multiple locations from which to choose.

 The design of the beams allows for ease of portability and a lower cost of transportation, making it a highly cost effective tool for your jobsite. 

Common Problems

Some of the more common issues that are found with the beams are also easily resolved by obtaining the correct information prior to rental. Below are some of the more frequent errors that are customers have come across in their projects.

  • Improper beam selection
  • Not following recommended beam configuration
  • Improper torque values
  • Not observing drop link orientation and +/- 6 degree from vertical plane
  • Not observing drop link orientation +/- 6 degrees from horizontal plane
  • Adjusting for off-CG loads; should only adjust above the beam, not below

Proper Beam Selection/Recommended Beam Configurations

A familiar problem found is improper beam selection and not following the recommended beam configuration. You’ll need to know exactly which beam is required for the success for your project. Also be advised that each beam is modified or customized for your specific lift requirement. This means you must know the exact capacity and configuration to ensure your lift is conducted safely. Even a slight miscalculation or not following the recommended beam configuration required for your lift can have undesired consequences.

 In order to conduct a safe lift, please consider the following when making the correct beam selection and the recommend beam configurations.

Proper Beam Selection:

  • What is being lifted and how much does it weight?
  • Single beam or multiple beams required?
  • Hook type: single, double, or quad?
  • Must know the location of a CG
  • Headroom challenges?
  • Ensure that either end unit drop link shackle WLL not be overloaded
  • Does bearing to bearing points require a more specific measurement than every 1’ increment?
  • Slings: Wire rope, less stretch but heavy. Synthetic, more stretch but lighter

Recommended Beam Configurations:

  • No more than 5 total struts (less end units)
  • Larger struts in center, adding shorter struts moving toward end units
  • Substitutions must be approved before customer delivery

Torque Values

If you need to brush up on your terminology, torque is the twisting force that causes rotation or the measure of how much a force acting on an object causes that object to rotate. Since your operating in an industry and using equipment that highly invoke the laws of physics, it’s necessary to pay close attention to your torque values when it comes to spreader beams. These are your recommended torque values you’ll need to consider. 

  • Mod 24- 110H (M20 bolts) 110 lbs/ft
  • Mod 400/ 110* and above (M24 bolts) 184 lbs/ft

* Be aware on hybrid that both M20 and M24 are used. Follow proper bolt torque values per manufacturers specifications.

Drop Link Orientation and +/- 6 Degrees from Vertical Plane/Horizontal Plane

Modulift® offers a +/- 6 degrees from the vertical plane and the horizontal plane. Exceeding this criterion on either plane increases compression inside the beam to forces that are often difficult to calculate. Overloading the beam can occur if you ignore this recommendation.

If your lift requires a specific pick point other than every 1’ on center, you can meet this angle by adding longer bottom rigging if necessary. For every degree off of horizontal, a degree adjusts on the vertical plane, which could also affect carrying capacities, but many meet your center to center requirements.

Adjusting for Off-CG Loads

  • Adjust non-symmetrical and off-CG loads above the beam only
  • Add shorter or longer slings where applicable
    • Turnbuckles
    • Additional shackles
    • Hoists
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