What is a material handling cage?

A material handling cage, also known as a material basket, is a steel cage designed for the safe lifting and transportation of materials and equipment around a job site.  Designed to be lifted by crane or forklift, these cages are an excellent tool for increasing productivity and safety on the job.

Material cages can come in all different shapes and sizes.  Some may prefer to go with a low-cost wire mesh style basket while others will opt for something that can handle more robust loads.  At Lakeshore Industrial we manufacture a high end, heavy-duty style basket.  Our cages have been built to withstand capacities of up to 8,000 LBS.  We do this by overbuilding our cages.  In instances that may call for a 2” square tube design we will often go above and beyond and use a 2” x 3” tube for extra strength.  

Some of the common features with material baskets include expanded metal or solid steel sides, outward swinging gates, and drop-down ramps.  To keep smaller materials inside the cage we always recommend going with the expanded metal or solid steel sides.  When lifting these baskets, it is important to remember people may be below, and you never want to risk objects falling from great heights.  Drop down ramps are a great option when using pallet jacks to load material into your cage, offering a convenient solution when no forklift is available. 

While there are not a lot of OSHA regulations when dealing with material handling cages, there are some general safety guidelines to follow.  You should always use a lifting assembly that is rated to handle the correct load.  Lakeshore Industrial provides a wire rope bridle assembly that is rated at a minimum of a 2 to 1 safety factor.  These cages are also lifting heavy materials that may bang around inside the cage, so it is important to keep up with inspecting your cage before every use.  Some things to look for are large dents, bends, or cracks in the tubing.  Any of these things may affect the structural integrity of the cage and you should begin looking for a replacement.

Be sure to click the link below to see some real examples of the different material handling baskets that we offer at Lakeshore Industrial.