Is the colour of your chain fittings important?
To paraphrase Henry Ford, who once said “You can have any colour you want as long as its black”. In the Rigging industry, many people recognised “yellow” being the primary colour for G8 chain fittings. However, with the advent of G10 becoming the dominant chain system around the world, the colour palette is enormous, from blue, silver, purple, green, pink, there are no limits to the colour of chain fittings, so is colour important?
Why are some people obsessed with the colour of their chain fittings, when in fact colour is only brand marketing?
YOKE use yellow for the G8 chain fittings and blue for G100, but there are many imports and also valued brands with similar colours. How to determine you are receiving the genuine product, we have been asked many times why a chain fitting is yellow or blue, but it does not have the YOKE brand on it, then of course we say its not YOKE.
As our partners around the world commonly use both G8 and G10 chain systems, and when both LEEA guidance and EN Standards do not mention or recommend any particular colour, then what should we be looking for to ensure we purchase the genuine brands if its not just colour. We have come to see many import brands which do not comply with standards being accepted because they were yellow or blue and people sometimes do not look deeper.
At YOKE, colour is primarily about brand visibility, the real key, as with all lifting products is to check the forged markings and the documentation. Hard stamped items are often added by the rigging shop or end user as an internal reference, not by the manufacturer.
For example, on a G100 product as a minimum, we will forge on all our components:
- The brand – YOKE
- Grade and Size - i.e. 13-10 13mm Grade 10
- Traceability Code – on all the forged components, we use 3 digits such as AAB
- Any 3rd party approval – we use DGUV in Germany, which is a well recognised quality mark – YOKE were awarded the H91 mark
Also the load pins, should be marked with the Grade and manufacturers symbol or brand name, but some products in the market do not have this.
In summary, colour is about brand awareness, to support the markings, we supply certification and safe use instructions, more and more in digital format, but also available in paper format if requested. For the assembled slings they can come with an RFID tag which the user can scan with a mobile device to view certificates, safe use instructions, Pre-use check history, and also to carry out further Pre-use check and maintenance.
When we get asked if the product they have is YOKE, as they see its blue or yellow, we just refer them to the markings and documentation to ensure they are safe and have the correct product. So as we say, “Is colour important?”