A spreader bar is a priceless component for your project regarding heavy-duty lifting procedures and workplace safety. But what is a spreader bar used for?

Read on as we explain its use and how it differs from a lifting beam, as well as provide you with some safety tips and practices to implement when operating a spreader bar.

What Is a Spreader Bar?

A spreader bar is heavy-duty lifting equipment that consists of two slings, a bar, and two or more pick points. 

The spreader bar is held up by two chains or slings connected to the crane at an angle. The pick points at the bottom of the bar help distribute the weight evenly.

This design makes them extremely useful when handling wide or heavy-load objects. The evenly distributed force load is compressive, meaning that the bar doesn’t bend, which also helps with stability.

What is a lifting beam?

On the top of a lifting beam, a horizontal beam hangs at a direct single connecting point to the crane or hoist. Under the beam, there are two lugs that can be in fixed or adjustable positions. A hook or sling is used on the lugs to hold the object that needs to be lifted.

How is a lifting beam different from a spreader bar?

The main difference between the spreader bar and the lifting beam is how the load pressure is transmitted throughout the device.

This design of the lifting beam makes the load stress be placed on the beam itself and the bottom slings, which makes the beam slightly bend at both ends when lifting an object.

Meanwhile, spreader bars are designed to share the stress throughout without bending or breaking, which makes them extremely more durable and stable than lifting beams.

What Is a Spreader Bar Used For

Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Red Shadow

What Is a Spreader Bar Used For?

The spreader bar works by spreading the weight you’re lifting more equally across a larger area. Typically, using a crane means you will be lifting anything from a single point.

Because of this limitation, the lifting process can become difficult due to the unevenly spread force load by the object. So, what is a spreader bar used for?

A spreader bar is frequently used when an object is too heavy just to be lifted with a few slings. In such cases, you need something placed below to keep the load stable, and this is where spreader bars excel.

You can use spreader beams or regular spreader bars and combine multiple of them in various designs and configurations to do the job.

How to choose the right spreader bar for your project

You can always look at our spreader bar rental service that can help you with the appropriate spreader bar needs for your project. 

Our trained professionals at Tway Lifting Products can help you go over your requirements and provide you with a viable solution appropriate to your budget and time constraints.

Your situation will be assessed by a qualified rigging team that will have the necessary equipment shipped anywhere across the US.

Our ISO 9001-2008 certification achievement has proven us a consistent and quality standard equipment supplier.

Safety Handling Tips for Spreader Bars

Spreader bars are a very efficient tool when it comes to heavy-duty lifting tasks. However, they can be equally dangerous due to the nature of these tasks.

These are some of the safety precautions and tips you should keep in mind when using spreader bars to maintain workplace safety.

  • Understand how to use the slings and attachments properly.
  • Make sure the load you’re placing doesn’t exceed the manufacturer’s load rating.
  • Conduct thorough inspections of the lifting machinery before and after use.
  • Don’t leave an unattended load lifted.
  • You must use taglines to control long loads.
  • Check the load’s stability before lifting it.
  • Make sure no personnel stand near or beneath a suspended load.
  • Don’t use a spreader bar to lift people.
  • Don’t modify or remove any labels from the spreader bar.

Best Practices for Spreader Bar Use

A spreader bar is designed with a specific purpose. So, it’s important to understand what a spreader bar is used for to use them effectively while complying with safety instructions and the spreader bar’s rental service terms and conditions.

1. Designated individuals must only operate spreader bars

Only trained professionals should operate with spreader bars. That is, designated individuals or personnel with direct supervision under trained professionals should use spreader bars.

2. Follow instruction manuals

Spreader bar operators should use all necessary instruction manuals available for the device. 

The manuals should cover assembly instructions, proper adaptor attachment guides, rigging requirements, proper lifting techniques, and visual inspection guides.

You must always consult the manual on the manufacturer-rated load limits and not exceed them.

3. Conduct proper inspections

A designated individual should perform an in-depth inspection of all components and evaluate whether it’s safe for work.

If the machine is deemed unsafe for work, it should be marked as ‘out of service’. Only after proper maintenance and re-evaluation of the machine can the ‘out of service’ marker be removed by the designated inspector.

4. Comply with manufacturer labels and ratings

The spreader bar’s rigging components must adhere to the recommended rigging geometry and bear labels with the manufacturer’s capacity ratings.

The spreader bar should be treated with care when it comes to manufacturer ratings and labels. There’s a reason they’re there. No unauthorized personnel should rip out markers or make modifications to the spreader bar without consulting a designated professional.

5. Implement handling precautions

The spreader bar should be used with a good amount of precaution to eliminate or at least minimize any shock load pressure.

Spreader bar operators should make sure no swinging motion is produced due to sudden acceleration or movements of the load. Under no circumstance should the spreader bar be used to slide the load or perform side pulls.


What is a spreader bar used for? It’s used to compress heavy lifting forces and provide stability when doing so. The durability and stability that spreader bars offer make them an ideal solution to many industry challenges.