below the hook lifting device, below-the-hook lifting equipment

Below-the-hook mechanical lifting devices come in many variations, each suitable for a number of applications. In each variation, a lifting device attaches to an apparatus that can pick up a load and hold it firmly in place as it moves from one place to another. While the general concept remains the same, different mechanical lifting devices use different components to get the job done.

permanent magnetic lifter

Types of Mechanical Lifting Devices

If you are considering below-the-hook mechanical lifting devices for your workflow, it’s important to get a sense of your options. 

  • Gripping lifters - Gripping lifters quite literally ‘grip’ their loads with tong grabs. These use friction or an indentation to maintain the grip over a load while it is moved.
  • Sheet lifters - Sheet lifters use ‘claws’ to wrap around sheets and pallets of wood. For metal sheets, vacuum or magnetic lifting systems are sometimes used. 
  • Lifting beams - Lifting beams have adjustable lifting points that shift along the beam to support different loads. The adjustable nature allows the lifting beam to better handle unbalanced loads.
  • Magnetic lifters - Magnetic lifting devices can be made from permanent magnets or electromagnets that can be turned on and off. These are an efficient way of being able to quickly pick up, move and release metal loads without the need to rig each load.
  • Vacuum Lifters - Vacuum lifters use powerful suction to pick up flat loads. The suction can be turned on and off to pick up and release loads.
  • Pallet lifters - Pallet lifters use forks that slide into wooden pallets to lift them. These lifters require the operator to set the load down fully before moving the forks out from the pallet. While this is a reliable option, it is not the most efficient option among mechanical lifting devices.

OSHA Compliant

For any industrial use, mechanical lifting devices must be OSHA compliant. Any lifting equipment that is not compliant with OSHA standards must be removed from operation immediately. 

ASME B30.20

The provisions laid out in ASME B30.20 apply to the marking, construction, installation, inspection, testing, maintenance, and operation of below-the-hook lifting devices, used for attaching loads to a hoist. These provisions cover vacuum lifting gear that is used in close proximity to lifting magnets, magnetic devices operated remotely, grapples, structural and mechanical lifting equipment, and scrap and material handling. 


ASME BTH-1 gives the structural and mechanical design and electrical component selection criteria for ASME B30.20.  This expands required knowledge to include things like markings, tags, designs, and labels for below the hook lifting equipment.


To remain in OSHA compliance, mechanical lifting devices and parts must not only be in working order but also have the proper tags and markings to prove their authenticity. The following tags are required for mechanical lifting devices to remain OSHA compliant. 

  • ASME BTH-1 service class
  • ASME BTH-1 design category 
  • Cold current amps
  • Lifter weight
  • Serial number 
  • Rated load
  • Rated voltage
  • Manufacturer’s name
  • Manufacturer’s address 


When determining which option of mechanical lifting devices is right for you, it’s important to determine the service class. Service classes are determined by the number of load cycles performed in a day. 

  • Service class 0 - Up to 20,000 cycles per day
  • Service class 1 - Up to 100,000 cycles per day
  • Service class 2 - Up to 500,000 cycles per day
  • Service class 3 - 25,000,000 cycles or more per day

You will need to find a lifting device in the service class that meets your daily lifting requirements. 


Frequent inspections are essential for below-the-hook lifting devices to remain in OSHA compliance. All inspections must be carried out by an expert and no equipment should be put into operation without having a thorough inspection carried out first.

manual lifting magnets

Best-In-Class Mechanical Lifting Devices

Permadur Industries has the right equipment for your business needs. Our staff can work with you to determine the best solution for your particular needs and will help educate and train your staff on the differences in the application and use of our equipment correctly, effectively, and safely. We are an American manufacturer of below-the-hook lifting equipment that specializes in permanent lifting magnets. We are also here to support your needs year after year with maintenance after installation support. Contact us for more information.