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Which Sling Hitch Do You Need for Your Crane Project?

Which Sling Hitch Do You Need for Your Crane Project?

When you are responsible for a construction project, there are a thousand little details to plan and work out. Although you are working with heavy machinery and materials, the process can be a delicate balance of schedules and budgets. 

You want to make sure the client is pleased with the progress, but you can’t get the cart in front of the horse. Your team needs the right tools at the right times; however, you only have so much control over materials and subs. 

One of the scheduling challenges comes when you need to move the largest and heaviest materials. If you cannot get these things relocated or installed in a timely manner, your entire project may grind to a halt. 

At the same time, when you’re using a crane, safety must be the priority. You cannot be in a hurry when it comes to this part of your project, as mistakes can prove fatal. 

How do you avoid safety errors? You must learn as much as you can about cranes before you rent and attempt to operate one. Lifting heavy materials and equipment requires planning and precision. 


The size, shape, and weight of the objects you are lifting must be factored into the crane you choose. It’s not just the crane itself; however, there are many other components that can change per your specific needs. 

One of the decisions you will need to make is what sling hitch to use. Does your project require a vertical, basket, or choker? In this article, we will help answer that question.

What Is the Sling Hitch?

Per Safeopedia, here is the definition of a lifting sling:

“A lifting sling consists of cable, chain, rope or webbing and is used in conjunction with a lift or crane in order to facilitate lifting and balance the load.”

In other words, lifting slings play a critical role in moving heavy objects. It’s not just the sling itself that makes a difference; however, your choice of sling hitch matters as well. It comes down to three basic types of sling hitches: the Vertical Hitch, the Basket Hitch, or the Choker Hitch. 

1. The Vertical Hitch

The simplest basic hitch is a vertical hitch, often known as a straight hitch, which is used to link the load to the lifting device. The hoist hook is connected to one eye of a sling made of wire rope or synthetic material, while the other eye is attached to a specific point on the load itself.

This hitch has the ability to make use of the entire lifting capacity of the sling. Users should remember that when lifting with a single sling, a tagline should be employed to give additional load control and reduce rotation or twisting while completing an overhead lift.

The vertical hitch is useful for straightforward loads, but when lifting loose or unbalanced material, 

2. The Basket Hitch

For loads that are not necessarily balanced, basket hitches distribute the load evenly between a sling’s two legs. With this method, the load is cradled by putting the sling underneath it and securing both eyes of the sling to the hook individually. 

It works much the same way as a grocery basket, where the weight of your groceries is distributed when you hold the basket’s arms.

When the legs of the basket hitch are at a 90-degree angle, it doubles the hitch’s lifting capacity. However, the load capacity is reduced incrementally when the angle is less than 90-degrees.

Basket hitches are not the right solution for unbalanced loads as they can be difficult to control. 

3. The Choker Hitch

For better load control, a choker hitch is used to tighten a sling extra securely. When employing a choker hitch, one eye is looped around the cargo, then passed through itself before being fastened to the crane or hoist hook.

Because of the pressures induced at the choke point, the lifting capability of a choker hitch is reduced to 75-80% of that of a single leg vertical hitch. 

Because of the pressures induced at the choke point, the lifting capability of a choker hitch is reduced to 75-80% of that of a single leg vertical hitch. When the angle of choke is 120° or larger, the capacity drop is the least. Any angle of choke less than 120° can reduce the load capacity to as low as 40%.

How to Determine the Right Sling Hitch for Your Project

The easiest way to figure out what sling hitch you need for your load is to lean on the expertise of professional crane operators. If you are in charge of a construction project, it is wise to rent your crane from a company that will help you get your project started. 

When you rent a crane from Parker’s Crane Service, we offer inclusive services, including staff resources, risk management, full maintenance options, insurance and safety programs, and competitive rates. 

We want to make sure you have exactly what you need for a successful lift. Contact Parker’s Crane Service for more information about our cranes and crane rentals.