Tools You May Not Know We Rent: Headache (Overhaul) Balls

Overhaul balls – sometimes referred as headache or overhaul hook balls – are used to add weight to single-line crane hoist rope. This is done to provide ballast to the line, ensuring the rope remains taught for proper spooling on the drum. Use of overhaul balls also helps prevent twisting of the rope that would otherwise cause permanent damage to the crane.

You may wonder why they are sometimes referred to as “headache balls” and the reason is quite simple. Given the intended purpose of this piece of rigging hardware, occasionally a worker not paying attention may bonk their head. Accordingly, overhaul balls earned their light-hearted nickname among those in the industry that have had or witnessed the experience.

With a few different styles of overhaul balls available from LGH, your application determines which style is best for you.

Overhaul Hook Balls

image of an overhaul hook ball
Swivel Top:

This overhaul hook is used to both add necessary weight at the end of the crane wire rope and provide a hook that otherwise would not be there. The swivel top ensures that the ball and hook both remain stationary should any twist occur in the wire rope. Having the swivel means that these are more versatile and can be used in far more applications. These are available in capacities ranging from 4 to 10-tons and weights ranging from 58 lbs. up to 216 lbs.

Fixed Top:

Fixed top overhaul hooks are not stocked in LGH’s rental fleet but are available for purchase. Utility hooks provide the same capacity and weight range as the swivel counterparts but are utilized in less critical applications. When the rope is unlikely to rotate and/or load movement is less of a concern, fixed top is sufficient.

Split Overhaul Balls

image of a split overhead headache ballThe other style is the split overhaul ball with two variants – bolt type and ball and pin style. Both are composed of two cast iron halves that clamp to the wire rope using bolts. Given their construction, split overhaul balls are utilized only as a means of adding ballast to the line. Between both styles, weights available range from 50 lbs. to 154 lbs. Split overhaul balls can counter the weight of the line, combining multiple, when necessary, to ensure line stability while paying out or retracting.


For additional questions about your next hoisting or rigging project, please chat with a live rental support specialist or reach out to us at 800-878-7305.


Chat Now

Quick Quote