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The Ultimate Guide to Load Shackles

There are lots of components that can make weighing heavy objects safer and easier. One of those components is load shackles. 

Not many are what these are and why they’re so important when it comes to weighing. They’re even more crucial when it comes to commercial or industrial settings. Below is your quick guide to load shackles.

What Are Load Shackles?

This is a u-shaped, load-bearing device that is designed to be connected to various rigs using a removable pin as a locking mechanism. They can be used to load or secure various objects in the connection of lifting slings, ropes, chains, or even to one another.

It’s most commonly used with a load cell to help with force measurement and weighing data. While small, load shackles are built to last, and they can withstand tremendous force and weight.

They are an effective solution when it comes to a wide range of heavy lifting, securing, and rigging. However, shackles are essentially useless on their own. They are best used alongside other lifting equipment and accessories. 

Different Types Of Load Shackles

There are two types of load shackles and each of them serves a specific purpose. Finding the right shackle for what you need can help you avoid accidents and help you increase productivity as well.

  • D-Shackles - These are the most common form of shackles you can find. Its body is narrower, and the entire rig is shaped more like a standard chain loop. They are generally used for moderate to heavy loads that are being lifted in line. They’re locking mechanism is either a threaded pin or a clevis-type pin.
  • Bow Shackles - These shackles are more widely shaped or more O-shaped than the D-shackle. It can handle multiple loads from various directions without creating any tension problems. The rounded shapes allow the bow shackles to support heavier payloads as well.

Some manufacturers also build custom-made shackles for specific purposes. Custom-built shackles are often different because of their size and their weight capacity. What’s important though, is that the shackles are able to do their job.

A load shackle with a weigher from Meltrons


Shackles are also differentiated by their pin type. The two-pin types are safety bolt shackles and screw pin shackles.

The most common pin type is screw pins. The threading on these types of pins can be threaded or partially threaded only. To allow for a more secure connection, make sure to completely thread the pin. Screw pin shackles are used on many occasions as well.

The safety bolt pin on the other hand is a split pin that holds a nut and a bolt in place. It acts like a clevis. The shackle is a multi-part component that is harder to set up than a screw pin shackle. On the other hand, it’s best used in scenarios where the shackle is intended to be used for an extended period of time.

Both types of pins can be used for bow-type or D-type shackles. What you use will depend on what you need but for commercial and industrial lifting, it’s the screw pin that’s mostly used. It’s easy to set up, secure, and more efficient for busy scenarios as well.

How Are They Used?

The good news is that shackles are pretty straightforward pieces. There isn’t any complex system that you need to understand. What’s important is that you understand which kind of shackle is best used for specific situations. Additionally, keep these do’s and don’ts in mind:


  • Check on your shackles before using them. They should be working well, and there shouldn’t be any cracks or damage to the mechanics.
  • Pay close attention to the manufacturer specifications of the shackles. These will give you a good idea of how to use the shackles more safely.
  • Make sure that you’re using the appropriate size of hook sling for the shackles. This ensures a tighter and more secure fit to the shackles.
  • Connect multiple slings to the body of the shackles and never connect one to the pin itself.


  • Perform the lift if the shackles do not meet the standards for safe lifting. Shackles should also not show any signs of excessive wear.
  • Never run a strap or a sling body over a screw-type shackle pin. This can move under load and can eventually force the pin outside its lock.

Load shackles are often the unsung hero of many industrial and commercial settings. They make these places a lot safer and more productive. If you’ve yet to use a load shackle on your own, may this guide serve as a way to help you understand what makes them such a vital part of heavy industrial work.