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How to calculate safe working loads

Updated February 21, 2017

The term "safe working load" refers to the tons of weight that can be suspended from a wire cable. In order to accurately calculate safe working load, you will need to know the diameter of the rope in question. You can manually measure the diameter of the rope and use the data in the equation to determine the safe working load. The safe working load equation is recommended by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command.

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  1. Multiple the diameter of the wire rope by 2. For example, if the diameter is 6 inches, the formula would be (2 x 6=12).

  2. Multiple the previous result by 8. For example, if the diameter is 6, the resulting formula would be (12 x 8= 96).

  3. Use 96 as your safe workload total. To reiterate, the formula is 2d x 8=swl, where "d" is represented by the diameter of the rope in inches.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wire rope diameter

About the Author

T.M. Wit was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio. He has advanced studies in mathematics, probability, business and economics. When he's not freelance writing he enjoys golfing, bowling and poker. He has worked in information systems in Asia and the United States.

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