When you hear the word “shackles”, what immediately comes to mind? Most people would answer something like “locked up in shackles!” or something related to Pirates of the Carribbean. Shackles are used in a lot of places: trucks, boats and off-road vehicles are just a few.
Sometimes we find applications for products in places we never expected. One of our product lines is Suncor Stainless, and they supply a wide range of Stainless Steel products, including hinges, tank straps, marine hardware and various connectors, including Shackles like this one!
Shackles are very strong and can be used to quickly connect a chain, multiple chains, wire, rope or anything else that may require a quick, strong connection for lifting, pulling or even “holding”.
Anatomy of a shackle
Shackles generally consist of two components: the BOW and the PIN. The Pin can vary depending on the manufacturer or the application, and can sometimes be a threaded pin (like ours) or a bolt. Often, when a bolt is used as a pin, there’s a nut to keep it secure as well as a pin hole for a cotter pin to prevent the but from coming loose accidentally. The Screw Pin type threads into one side of the bow, and the hole in the end of the pin is used for a wire lock. Keep reading for more information about wire locks.
Shackles have an enormously high load capacity. The 7/16” diameter shackle we’ve used in some applications, for example, have a rated capacity of 2,000 lbs!
Recently we found a great application for Shackles that we thought was fun!
In 2018, Steeves Agencies introduced a tiny new division called Recreation Revolution which quickly became Canada’s largest Snowdog dealer.
Snowdogs are machines that are designed to pull heavy loads in sleds over ice and snow and are widely used for ice fishing, trail grooming, but have a ton of other uses too. The driver stands (or sits) in a sled behind the Snowdog, and additional sleds can be added for extra cargo capacity. These units can pull up to 1,000 lbs!
Snowdog sleds have an eye-bolt hitch end, which doesn’t lend itself to quick connections easily like a snowmobile trailer or other Snowdog sleds (sometimes people pull more than one sled). We found that our Stainless Steel shackles (specifically item #S0116-FS12) work great for this purpose. They are easy to attach, are rated for up to 2,000 lbs, and won’t rust because they’re all Stainless Steel! Is it overkill? Yes indeed!
There are certainly other options: carabiners, for example.. But nothing beats the strength of a shackle like this, and no one wants a “random disconnect” while you’re out in the bush. If you’re looking for reliability and strength, a shackle like this is the way to go.
Shackles attach with a threaded shaft, and most threaded fasteners are subject to loosening with vibration. To ensure that nothing comes loose during your travels, use a wrench or pliers to tighten the shackle securely. Make them TIGHT. For added peace-of-mind, a wire lock is also a great idea- use a piece of wire (like a twist tie) and loop it through the hole in the bolt, and around the arm of the shackle. This prevents the bolt from unthreading when there’s a lot of vibration. You can also use zip ties, but these are less reliable in cold weather. Wire locks are the best, most reliable way to secure your shackle pin, but it does require some tools. Here’s a google example of how to properly apply a wire lock to your shackle. This video shows how to attach a wire lock to an anchor shackle (a very common use for shackles like ours). It takes a little time, but when you want to make sure that anchor (or sled) remains attached all the time, it’s worth a little effort.
There are many sizes of stainless steel shackles available from Steeves, and we stock a few of them. If you’d like to know more about shackles for manufacturing or new products, or if this sparked some interest, we’d love to hear from you. Use our handy contact form, or reach out by phone (1-800-318-1119)! We look forward to helping you find the right part for your project.