Rigger (industry)

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A rigger at work on (TVA) Douglas Dam, Tennessee, June 1942

A rigger is a person who specializes in the lifting and moving of extremely large or heavy objects, often with the assistance of a crane or derrick.


The term comes from the days of sailing ships, where a rigger was a person who worked with rigging, that is, ropes for hoisting the sails. Sailors could put their rope skills to work in lifting and hauling. In an era before mechanical haulage and cranes, ropes, pulleys and muscle power were all that was available to move heavy objects. In time, rigging became a trade in itself, giving rise to the modern usage, with its roots all but forgotten.


Riggers attach loads of construction equipment to cranes or structures using cables, pulleys and winches. Quick load calculations are necessary for each load and engineering principles are always in play. Riggers use various suspension techniques to get their load around obstacles on a construction site to the desired location.[1]

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