Your guide to shackles

Lifting shackles are a steel alloy connecting link that are used in lifting and static systems to connect wire rope, chain and other fittings. The most common types of lifting shackles are bow and D shackles. Which shackle you should use is dependant on the application and lifting system configuration. The guide below will look at the different types of shackles & how to ensure they safe to use.

Types of shackles and how to use them

Dee Shackles

Dee shackle (also known as chain shackles) are shaped like an elongated D, resembling a chain link. They are the most common form of shackle and are found in various applications across many industries, usually in loads be lifted in line. Dee shackles are commonly secured using a screw bolt or a pin.

For side loads, where a lift isn't completely vertical, D shackles are not recommended. This is because they can twist or bend with the applied force. In most applications where there is side loading in the lifting configuration, a bow shackle is preferred.

Bow Shackles

Bow shackles take on a more O shape compared to the chain link shape of a Dee shackle. The most advantageous attribute of bow shackles are their ability to handle loads at various angles. This is because the rounded body of the shackle allow them to support heavier loads at various points.

Because of the wider body bow shackles are also ideal for use with lifting staps/web slings. It is important to note that when using a lifting strap you should be able to use it with the shackle without excessive pinching.

What are shackles used for?

Shackles are used in many industrial and commercial activities - with the alloy steel variants being used for overhead lifting & rigging applications. It is important to note that not all shackles are made equal and only shackles that have been tested, Tagged and have a stamped WLL should be used for overhead lifting.

Light duty commercial variants are commonly used with light tow ropes, personal protective equipment and for rigging in recreational equipment. These should in no circumstances be used in lifting applications.

Shackles offer an ideal solution for overhead lifting, securing and rigging work. They are most often used with other lifting equipment such as chains, wire rope and fibre ropes in lifting slings or with webbing straps. Shackles offer a reliable and secure attachment point between the sling and the object to be lifted.

Shackles are also available in a range of other finishes including;

  • Stainless steel
  • Zinc plated
  • Alloy Steel

Green Pin® Shackles

Our range of Green Pin® shackles designed for lifting applications are stamped with the following marks, to specify the quality & safe use of the shackles:

  • Working Load Limit    e.g. WLL 25 T
  • Manufacturer’s identification symbol e.g. GP, indicating Green Pin or Bs, indicating Van Beest
  • Traceability code    e.g. HA pertaining to a particular batch
  • Steel grade     e.g. 4, 6, 8
  • CE conformity code    e.g CE, Conformité Européen