A new crane hook, which is released remotely from the ground or crane cab, eliminates the need for workers to climb or crawl into difficult positions to unhook rigging.

Kennards Lift and Shift has introduced the safe and efficient Rig-Release, which can be simply attached to any crane or other lifting device.

It is designed for specific tasks such as placing vertical poles or columns into position, centre lifting with a choke hitch or lifting into a vat or similar, difficult-to-access structure.

Two options are available from Kennards Lift and Shift.

The first is a manual unit, for use with loads up to five tonnes. The operator on the ground uses a cable to release the hook.

The second option, for loads of up to two tonnes, is fully remote. The hook is radio controlled, with the operator on the ground releasing the load as easily as he might change the channel on his home TV.

Allen Besseling, the managing director of Kennards Lift and Shift, said Rig-Release was developed in the US by the Caldwell Group, which had more than 50 years experience in coming up with innovative lifting solutions.

“They believe their latest invention will spark a revolution in rigging safety,” Allen Besseling said.

“Although we have only just introduced it in Australia, we have had a lot of interest from crane companies.

“The process is very simple. The Rig-Release hooks to your crane or spreader beam and you then attach the lifting sling or slings directly to it.

“Once the load is set and the load line is slack, you pull the release cord or activate the radio remote control to release the sling or slings.”

Allen Besseling said Rig-Release had obvious safety advantages in certain situations.

“The unit has been designed and manufactured so that unintentional release cannot occur,” Allen Besseling said.

“From an efficiency point of view, it does away with the need for a person to unhook the rigging, reduces installation time, allows faster work and requires only one person on the ground to release the rigging.”