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What Is a Spreader Bar Used for and How to Use It?

What Is a Spreader Bar?

Table of Contents:

1. What is a spreader bar?
2. How do spreader bars work?
3. Spreader bar applications
4. How to safely use a spreader bar?
5. Ensure the high quality of your spreader bar or lifting beam 

On construction sites, in mines, and everywhere where lifting large and heavy loads is as frequent as breathing, it is imperative to use an appropriate lifting device. Anyone who has ever worked on such sites will immediately think of a spreader bar. And they will be correct as hardly any piece of equipment on the market can do the job better.  

However, lifting heavy loads is not a walk in the park and one must know how to do it properly and most of all, safely. Today, we will dive into the ins and outs of the safe and efficient use of a spreader bar

What is a spreader bar?

To start with, let us briefly introduce the piece of equipment to those unfamiliar with it. The purpose of a spreader bar is to provide an even weight distribution while lifting heavy objects. This steel (usually) tool can come in two forms: 

  1. Fixed spreader bars, which serve well in lifting smaller objects. 
  2. Adjustable spreader bars(combination lifting beams), which are used to lift larger objects. 

Thanks to the distribution of weight provided by spreader bars, no bending or snapping when pressure occurs. It is also very easy to control the loads and lift them stably and steadily

How do spreader bars work?

Spreader bars consist of a long bar with two single lifting points located on opposite sides on top of it. The lifting points can connect to the lifting machine thanks to the lifting slings. In the bottom part of the spreader bar, there are two or multiple lifting points that can be connected to the load. Thanks to the even distribution of these points the spreader bar can provide a steady, balanced, and controlled lift with no shifting. Spreader bars usually come in the form of round tubes or squares. 

A significant advantage of using spreader bars is their ability to lift many loads at once. They also work great in the case of lighter loads. Thanks to their build, spreader bars save operators time as they can make fewer trips while transporting various loads at once. That is what we call a real performance boost! 

Spreader bar applications

Due to their extreme usefulness, many industries use spreader bars, especially those where the need to lift loads occurs regularly. These include manufacturing, engineering, construction, and any other material-handling industries. Spreader bars are perfect for lifting loads and moving heavy objects (e.g., sheets of metal, beams, pipes) as well as lighter items, such as crates, or boxes. 

How to safely use a spreader bar?

Even though the idea of the spreader bar operation seems straightforward, in reality, it requires knowledge, appropriate skills, and experience. It is also advisable to use the correct technique to maximize the capacity of your lifting machine. Let's have a look at some general guidelines below. 

Determine the load 

Before any lifting can take place, the operator must carefully examine several aspects of the load, to choose the right type of spreading bar for the job. The factors that must be taken into consideration include the material of the load, its weight, and dimensions. They also must determine the load lifting points and its center of gravity. 

Choose the right spreader bar 

Depending on the factors described above, the operator can now select the appropriate attachment, which will handle the load and allow them to perform balanced and safe lifts. What is the type of spreader bars an operator can choose from? 

Adjustable spreader bars 

Thanks to their telescopic mechanism they can extend beyond their initial length. The longer the extension, the larger the load adjustable spreader bar can lift. If you have varying sizes of loads in one project, using an adjustable spreader bar will be a perfect choice. 

Basket-style spreader bars 

They usually have four attachment points distributed evenly on a square-shaped bar. Thanks to that the bar not only distributes the load evenly but also increases control and its stability. Basket-style spreader bars handle oversized loads with ease. 

Lattice spreader bars 

A lattice is a structure made of strips of metal that are linked together, leaving square spaces between them. Such built ensures a rigid and stable lifting process

The above types of spreader bars can also be modular. This means the ability to assemble and disassemble them if necessary. Thanks to that the operator can easily transport and store the spreader bars. Modular bars are also customizable, and strong

Attach the load  

The next step is to attach the identified lifting points to the spreader bar with the use of the right connectors. To attach the load, simply pass the lifting slings or hooks through the load's lifting points. 

Position the bar 

To ensure safety and maintain balance while lifting and carrying, the operator must center and level the spreader bar

Connect the spreader bar with the slings 

The next step is to connect the load to the spreader bar by attaching the slings to the attachment points. Make sure that the slings you use are properly sized and compatible with the load. Do not lift loads without conducting a security check first. Such checks must also be coordinated with all the members of the lifting crew to ensure a safe environment. 

Commence lifting 

The operator must smoothly and in a controlled way direct the crane and the spreader bar, avoiding sudden moves. which is below the crane’s hook. The team assists in monitoring the lift, ensuring that a possible instability is caught early enough to notify the lift operator. 

Once the load is in the desired location, the operator should slowly lower it, maintaining stable and controlled movement

Disconnect the spreader bar 

Once your lifting task is complete, you can disconnect and disassemble the spreader bar. Make sure you leave the load on a stable surface and leave the area cleared. 

If other lifting tasks need to be performed, modify an adjustable spreader bar according to the new specifications, and repeat the whole process. 


The lifting process does not finish once the lifting part is done. Proper use of the spreader bar includes the ability to store it appropriately. Start with inspecting whether the spreader bar incurred any damage that may have affected its balance. 

Clean the equipment of debris, dirt, or moisture before you store it. You should also consider using corrosion protection. Storage should be in a clean and dry place, away from sunlight and temperature changes.  

However, the most crucial factor is storing the spreader bar horizontally. In that way, you can avoid bending or putting stress on the attachment points in the appropriate position. If you plan to store several spreader bars, ensure they do not touch one another, as it may cause unnecessary stress. 

Ensure the high quality of your spreader bar or lifting beam

Perhaps the most important factor when it comes to using a spreader bar (or any other lifting equipment) is ensuring its optimal condition. It can only be achieved if you purchase the equipment from trusted suppliers. offers you a range of telehandler and forklift spreader bars made of American steel and with high-quality precision. Moreover, we offer advice and guidance in any aspect of your project. Get in touch to find out what else we can offer.