Imported Rigging Hardware

Joined
Apr 26, 2019
Location
Cincinnati
Like many of you on here I learned not to buy imported rigging hardware. The main reasons I was given was because, for liability reasons, imported hardware is hard to track back to the actual manufacturer (thus making technical data hard to find) and that products made outside the U.S. are not necessarily made to the same standards. I know my information is 10 -15 years out of date. With the changing global markets, I know that "Made in China" does not necessarily mean low quality anymore. I have been seeing more imported hardware being stocked by what I would consider reputable vendors (Sappsis, Fehr) so my question:

In your recent experience, does the standard of buying domestic still stand or are we getting to the point were buying imported is acceptable?
 

cbrandt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Location
Michigan
For rigging hardware, I still only buy domestic when possible. As @Jay Ashworth says, they can and will make it to any quality asked for, including best quality. The difficulty I've fun into when looking at rigging is that when I'm presented with a non-domestic option, it is often through a reseller or dealer that I don't implicitly trust. When I buy it from a domestic company with a domestic source, I have a much higher degree of trust that it is made to the standards promised.

That isn't to say that American==good and foreign==bad. A lot of very good rigging comes out of Europe, Korea, and even China. I'd say the biggest requirement is to trust your dealers and sources.
 

egilson1

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Location
Boston, MA
As mentioned, trace-ability is the big consideration. Most major US manufactures are producing rigging products produced China. CM and ETC included. Do I use imported hardware? Absolutely. For instance I don't buy domestic wire rope. its way to expensive. I buy Korean wire rope. Well manufactured, traceable, and a good value. I have a local supplier who provides me with imported chain. I asked for and received the certificates about its chemical composition and testing. SHOULD something happen, I've got a paper trail that I did what would be considered reasonable under the circumstances to comply with a "Standard of Care" clause.

Now from materials stand point for instance, Chinese no named shackles tend to break at above the ultimate strength like a domestic shackle would, but HOW it breaks is slightly different. Where a domestic shackle will sheer at the shank of the pin where the Chinese ones tend to pull out the threads, leading one to assume that the tolerances on the threading is not as tight as a domestic shackle.

The key part is the rigging hardware you use should be marked with Country of Origin, Manufacturer name/logo/mark, and a working load limit. Obviously some items like wire rope and chain under 1/4" aren't marked directly, but documentation for those items should be in hand.

Ethan
 

Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
And to follow up on both of those replies:

The difference for *me* between a Chinese manufacturer and an American one is that I would expect the Chinese manufacturer to mark the product however you told them to, even if those regulatory marks are lies.

I would expect an American manufacturer to know better.
 

gafftapegreenia

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Location
Michigan
I would trust imported hardware from a reputable rigging supplier well over whatever is in the rope isle at the Home Despot.
 
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kicknargel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Location
Denver, CO
I agree here and trust hardware imported and stamped by a reputable US company (like FEHR, etc). However, I've gotten stuck on job sites (corporate) where a house rigger wouldn't install these. So I'm stuck with domestic.
 

MNicolai

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
Location
Sarasota, FL
But you're trusting *the supplier*, not the manufacturer, is my point.
Adding to Jay's point, this is exactly why Sapsis has a full page disclaimer before you enter their web shop. I'm sure they've done their due diligence but their sale of products does not guarantee their suitability nor chain of liability for any particular application you may be purchasing them for. Worth adding that Sapsis also sells quick links, though you certainly shouldn't be using those for overhead lifting.