Civil rigging focuses on civil infrastructure projects. It requires a deep understanding of load dynamics and safety protocols. Obtaining a civil rigging certification enhances safety and efficiency, reducing accidents and fostering trust among stakeholders.

“We had a concrete pour scheduled for Friday before the long weekend,” said Justin Tanguay, of DJM Contracting in Rossland, B.C., “but our crane was down.”

Justin and his team were well aware that concrete was in high demand at the time. So, rescheduling a pour could completely mess up project planning. “There was something wrong with the slew motor on our…

Civil Rigging: Rigging Hitches - Choosing the Best Hitch for Your Lead

Civil Rigging: Rigging Hitches - Choosing the Best Hitch for Your Lead

Riggers need to be aware of various types of hitches, so that they can determine which configuration is best for the particular load they are lifting.

The four main categories of hitches are:

  1. Vertical hitch
  2. Bridle hitch
  3. Basket hitch
  4. Choker hitch

According to Ralf Notheis, Manager of Bigfoot Crane Academy, choosing the best hitch for a load is about ensuring stability. “When it comes to lifting loose material, long material, or anything else that’s difficult to balance,” says Notheis, “the rigger needs to be able to decide the best hitch to keep that load intact and secure.”

Within each category of hitches, there are variations that provide flexibility regarding the size and shape of the load. For example, certain hitches include multiple slings, which can be configured to maximize stability and minimize slipping or tilting.

For certain loads, especially those with loose bundles of objects such as pipes, particular hitches are required. Riggers need to know these requirements, so that they can quickly and confidently determine what hitch is needed in any given situation.

In cases when riggers are actively using multiple slings to lift loads, it is also very important to secure all unused sling legs when changing hitch configurations.

In Bigfoot’s Civil Rigging Course, riggers become familiar with the various types of hitches, and they are given practice in choosing the best configuration in a variety of scenarios.

The goal of Bigfoot’s training is to help riggers work safely and efficiently. Rigging hitches is just one of the many areas that riggers are educated about, so that they can bring confidence and professionalism to their job sites.

To learn more about how to choose the best hitches for your loads, enroll in our Civil Rigging Course by clicking the button below.


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Civil Rigging: Inspecting your Rigging - Checking Equipment with Confidence

Inspecting Civil Rigging – Keys to Safety

Inspecting Civil Rigging: Inspecting your Rigging - Checking Equipment with Confidence

Inspecting civil rigging should be something every rigger nows how to do. They also need to be able to check their equipment with confidence to determine whether it is safe and ready to use or it is unsafe and in need of removal.

According to Ralf Notheis, Manager of Bigfoot Crane Academy, there are basic standards for every piece of equipment that riggers use on a regular basis. “It’s essential for riggers to know the rejection criteria for hooks, shackles, and slings,” says Notheis. “If they don’t, then they’re putting themselves and others at risk of using damaged and dangerous rigging equipment.”

Most rigging hardware comes with the manufacturer’s name and specifications on it and should not be used if this information cannot be found or if the condition of the hardware does not meet the specifications. There are dependable ways to check for wear, cracks, corrosion, and deformation, so that unreliable equipment can be discarded.

In Bigfoot’s Civil Rigging Course, every rigger is taught how to identify not only if their equipment meets the basic standards of use, but also if it’s being used in the proper way. “Using the right hardware incorrectly,” says Notheis, “is as dangerous as using damaged equipment.”

An educated and equipped rigger is able to spot sling angles and hook connections that are incorrect. They are also able to identify makeshift fitting when they see it, so they can either avoid its use or determine whether it has been certified by a professional engineer.

Once again, the point of Bigfoot’s training is to keep riggers safe on the job. Defective equipment is the most common cause of accident and injury when performing lifts. However, using the right hardware in the right way makes rigging safe and efficient.

To learn more about inspecting civil rigging with confidence, enroll in our Civil Rigging Course by clicking the button below.


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Civil Rigging: Centre of Gravity - Balancing Loads Properly

After a rigger determines the weight of a load, the next critical step in planning a safe and successful lift is determining the centre of gravity (COG). If the COG is not directly below the hook, the result will be an unstable…

Civil Rigging: Determining Weight: The Key to a Safe and Successful Lift

Determining Weight for Civil Rigging

Civil Rigging: Determining Weight: The Key to a Safe and Successful Lift

One of the rigger’s most important tasks is determining weight for civil rigging, specifically the weight of the load. This is the first critical step in planning a successful and safe lift.

Do you know the three basic ways that riggers determine weight?

According to Ralf Notheis, Manager of Bigfoot Crane Academy, only the third way requires math skills. “Sometimes the weight of loads is already supplied to the rigger,” says Notheis, “either marked on the load itself or in the paperwork, such as blueprints, spec sheets, or manuals.”

However, every rigger must have the skill to measure a load by simple math, whether in cubic feet (Ft3), square feet (Ft2), or linear feet (Lf).

Of course, different materials, such as concrete, steel, or wood, are weighted differently and must be calculated accordingly.

Calculating the weight of unique objects such as concrete pipes provides a unique challenge, which emphasizes that the well trained rigger must be fluent in the necessary equations.

As with all civil rigging training, the emphasis is on being practical and staying safe. Everything a rigger needs to learn about determining weight is provided in a way that makes sense on the job. The trainers help to create a good environment for learning so that the rigger can grow in confidence and be ready for the challenges of their work.

To learn more about how determining weight for civil rigging, so that you can confidently lift them, enroll in our Civil Rigging Course by clicking the button below.


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Civil Rigging: Hand Signals - Communication on Job Sites

Hand Signals - Communication on Job Sites Civil Rigging

Crane Hand Signals

Clear Communication on Job Sites – Civil Rigging

Why are crane hand signals for clear communication on job sites so important for Civil Rigging?

Knowing the correct crane hand signals and how to properly communicate them can mean the difference between safety and injury on the job.

According to Ralf Notheis, Manager of Bigfoot Crane Academy, “Miscommunication is dangerous and has been the root cause of countless accidents on jobsites. But with proper training, many of these costly and dangerous mistakes can be avoided.”

Anyone who has been on a busy and noisy worksite knows the essential importance of hand signals. For the safety of everyone on site, riggers need to be able to communicate clearly with the equipment operators in a way that ensures understanding. Both parties need to be proficient in a common language and they need to give each other their careful attention as they go about their work. Effective communication between riggers and operators using recognized signals is crucial.

Notheis emphasizes that clarity is critical, which means that an operator must never move equipment based on an unclear signal.

“There are some very practical ways to help ensure clear communication through hand signals,” says Notheis, “such as wearing tight-fitting gloves and positioning hands so they are more visible to the operator.”

No matter what kind of heavy machinery you’re working with, learning how to effectively use correct hand signals is essential.

To learn more about how to communicate clearly on a job site, check out our Civil Rigging Course by clicking the link below.



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Two men helping lower shoring with an excavator into a hole.

Civil Rigging Terminology

Why is it so important to understand terminology for Civil Rigging?

Because every piece of equipment serves a special purpose and contributes to a safer and more efficient work environment.

Ralf Notheis, Manager of Bigfoot Crane Academy explains, “When a qualified rigger asks for a shouldered eye bolt and another worker hands them a shoulder-less eye bolt, they can tell the difference and insist on the right hardware to complete the lift safely.”

In civil rigging, there are many different types of hooks, clutches, slings, and shackles that are commonly used on job sites. Do you know the difference between a grab hook with a cradle and a regular grab hook?

In addition to hardware, there are several types of underhook attachments, each related to very specific tasks. Are you familiar with the safety factor your underhook attachments must have?

To maintain the safe usage of underhook attachments, each piece of equipment must display at least five items of technical information related to their identity and performance. Do you know what those five items are?

Beyond hardware and underhook attachments, slings are the third main area that require a good understanding of terminology. There are four common types of slings, which again, all have their own unique functions. Whether they’re made of chain, wire rope, or synthetic material, each of these sling types can be depended upon to do the job that they were designed to do when used correctly.

“That’s one of the primary goals of this course,” says Notheis, “to train riggers to a level where they know the terminology and they properly understand their equipment.”

To learn the language of civil rigging terminology, so that you and your crews can go home safely every night, enroll in our Civil Rigging Course by clicking the button below.


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Civil Rigging: An Introduction to Safety and Certification Close up of crane hook

An Introduction to Civil Rigging

Why is the Bigfoot Crane Academy offering an Introduction to Civil Rigging Course? Just ask Ralf Notheis, Manager of the Academy.

“There is a huge need for this,” says Notheis, who speaks with passion. “There are way too many workers out there who are inadequately trained to do what they’re doing. They’re taking unnecessary risks with their lives every day.”

When talking to this professional, it doesn’t take long to figure out that he is very dedicated to one thing: safety.

Bigfoot’s Civil Rigging Course offers essential safety training for any construction worker or civil worker whose job involves lifting loads.

Notheis is thrilled that more and more riggers are becoming qualified through Bigfoot’s training, but he also knows that very soon qualification will not be enough. According to Notheis and other industry authorities, the time is quickly coming that every rigger will need to be certified.

“When that requirement comes,” Notheis projects, “we’re not talking about hundreds of people that will need training, but thousands, maybe even tens of thousands.”

This course gives owners and managers an opportunity to become industry leaders, it gives safety officers an opportunity to create the best work environment possible, and it gives workers the opportunity to do their job confidently and go home safe every night.

To stay ahead of the curve on safety and certification, learn more about our Civil Rigging Course by clicking the button below.


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Safety Officer wearing a safety vest and writing on a clip board.

Bigfoot Academy Courses are Tried, Tested, and True.

bigfoot academy courses instructor writing on clipboard


During the past two years, Bigfoot Academy Courses’ have been tried, tested, and found true in major cities in Canada with specialized rigging training for all of their civil workers. In the process of training hundreds of workers, Bigfoot has garnered valuable feedback from participants and improved critical aspects of the course.

Today, the course is being offered as a one-day (eight-hour) training experience, which is always a mixture of classroom learning and onsite coaching. Bigfoot’s Academy is providing some of the best training experiences in the industry.


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