Issue #46  •  Fall 2017


The Newsletter of the

Web Sling & Tie Down Association

Board & Committee Reports

President's Message

Technical Coordinator's Report

Load Securement Technical Committee

Roundsling Technical Committee

Testing Technical Committee

Web Sling Technical Committee


Kathleen A. DeMarco, CAE

Executive Director

443-640-1070 ext. 119

Fred Stringfellow, CAE

Management Liaison

443-640-1070 ext. 102

Cynthia Sanchez

Director of Meetings

443-640-1070 ext. 117

Kristin Grove

Association Coordinator

443-640-1070 ext. 110

Michelle Vito-Clark
Publications Coordinator
443-640-1070 ext. 130

WSTDA Events


WSTDA 2017 Fall Meeting
October 16-19, 2017
Hotel Solamar
San Diego, CA


WSTDA 2018 Annual Meeting
May 7-10, 2018
Naples Grande Beach Resort
Naples, FL

WSTDA 2018 Fall Meeting
October 1-4, 2018
Magnolia Hotel, Denver, CO



WSTDA 2019 Annual Meeting
May 6-9, 2019
Casa Magna Marriott Resort, Cancun, Mexico


WSTDA 2019 Fall Meeting
October 7-10, 2019
Intercontinental Montreal

Montreal, Canada






2017 WSTDA Fall Meeting Goes West to San Diego
October 16-18, 2017 • Kimpton Solamar Hotel •
San Diego, California

The 2017 WSTDA Fall Meeting features a new, condensed schedule of meetings, and a strong focus on industry education, with three new sessions. Join WSTDA for networking with industry experts and interactive discussions on technical issues and emerging new technologies.

The Fall Meeting is to be hosted at the Kimpton Solamar in the heart of San Diego’s historic Gaslamp District and the East Village, an emerging neighborhood known for its restaurants, shops and galleries. WSTDA has negotiated special WSTDA group room rates for reservations made prior to September 25 or as long as the rooms are available.


  • Featured Educational Session with Baron Lukas, CEO of ELS: Advancing Hydrocarbon Technology, on “The U.S. Shale Oil Revolution & an Uncertain Global Future.” His fascinating insight into the global energy economy will lead to a new understanding of its impact on your customers and your industry. Learn how oil, geo-strategy and globalization can enable American energy independence and alter the global geo-strategic picture.

  • Two “New Technology Spotlight” Sessions will focus on recent advances in sling webbing and synthetic chain. Belt-Tech Products, Inc. will present Nylon-Like Webbing, a new polyester yarn that combines the benefits of nylon and PET. Doleco USA and DSM Dyneema will jointly present boundary-pushing innovation synthetic link chains with Dyneema® that replace steel with synthetics.

  • WSTDA’s Technical Committees working sessions will drive current projects such as WSTDA Recommended Standards reviews, and interactive Discussion Forums provide opportunities to address emerging issues; attendees have the opportunity to submit discussion topics in advance.

  • Networking is a key component, and takes place during the interactive Discussion Forums, open Technical Committee meetings, and social events after busy days of programming. A special closing reception and dinner at Half Door Brewing Company on Wednesday, October 18 should not be missed. This private, WSTDA-only event will feature in-house craft beer, cocktails and delicious food on the patio of a renovated 1906 house with views of San Diego.

For detailed information and registration please visit the Fall Meeting site. Also, register online today!

2017 Fall Meeting Sponsors
(as of August 23, 2017)

Silver Sponsor
Belt-Tech Products, Inc.

There are several Sponsorship opportunities available for the 2017 Fall Meeting… increase your exposure and help to support WSTDA’s programs and activities by becoming a Sponsor. Click here for details on sponsorship opportunities.

WSTDA Standards, Manuals Now Available for Free Download

During the 2017 Annual Meeting, the WSTDA Board of Directors made the decision to offer all WSTDA Recommended Standards, Test Methods, and Operating, Care and Inspection Manuals available for free, single-use download to the public. These publications will no longer be sold in printed format.

Users who wish to download and duplicate WSTDA-copyrighted publications for the purposes of training or disseminating the information to associates may submit an online Request for License to Reprint Copyrighted Material from WSTDA. This royalty-free limited license is effective for two years.

Click here to download WSTDA Recommended Standards and Test Methods and/or to request a reprint license.

Click here to download WSTDA Operating, Care and Inspection Manuals and/or to request a reprint license.

WSTDA Annual Meeting Recap

WSTDA’s Annual Meeting brought industry experts and leaders to the beautiful Lake Tahoe this past May. The meeting provided an eye-opening economic forecast, a technical presentation on a new static-dissipating yarn fiber, networking opportunities, and participation in technical committee meetings and discussions. DETAILS

WSTDA Officers, Directors Elected at 2017 Annual Meeting

President Jeff Iden (right) recognized the WSTDA Technical Committee chairs for their work and commitment to the mission of WSTDA: (from left) Roger Ohman, chair of the Testing Committee; Rob Snyder, chair of the Load Securement Technical Committee; Ralph Abato, chair of the Web Sling Technical Committee, and Greg Babinchak, chair of the Roundsling Technical Committee.

The members of WSTDA elected the 2017-2019 Board of Directors at the 2017 Annual Meeting. The Board of Directors also appointed the association’s Officers for 2017-2018.

Jeff Iden, Cargo Equipment Corporation, Elgin, IL continues his term as President of the Association. Supporting Iden is a strong cabinet of Officers including Vice President Greg Pilgrim, Murdock Webbing Co., Inc., Central Falls, RI and Secretary/Treasurer Jim Bailey, Filtec Precise Inc., Tabor City, NC. Elected to the position of President-Elect was Della Picken, Belt-Tech Products, Inc., Granby, QC.

The 2017-2018 Board of Directors includes the above Officers as well as Directors Scott Fleming, Unirope Limited, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; Karl Heinz Keisewitt, Doleco GmbH, Dortmund, Germany; Trevor Waycott, Unitex Group USA, LLC, Piedmont, SC; Arnold Lopez, Kennedy Wire Rope and Sling Co., Corpus Christi, TX; Amanda Masters, Ben-Mor Cables/Sling Tech, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC; and Eric Parkerson, Mazzella Companies, Cleveland, OH.

2017-2018 WSTDA Scholarship Program Awards Two Education Grants

WSTDA’s Scholarship Program, launched in 2013 and promoted widely to qualified WSTDA-member employees and their legal dependents, attracted more than 20 applicants who competed for two merit-based awards of $3,000 each to help with tuition and educational expenses for attendance at a qualified college or university.

The 2017-2018 Scholarship recipients are:

Justin R. Streicher, of Rochester, New York, is a June 2017 graduate and valedictorian of Spencerport High School who served as president of its National Honors Society. Justin was an active member of math-related teams and activities including FIRST Robotics during high school, and will attend Northeastern University in Boston, MA in the fall to pursue a degree in environmental engineering with plans to launch a manufacturing company focused on hunting gear and products to help protect wildlife and habitats. Justin was sponsored by Richard Streicher, Vice President of Sales for Hanes Supply Incorporated in Rochester.

Gabriella R. Lasorsa, an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut, was also awarded a WSTDA Scholarship. Gabriella maintains a 3.96 GPA, was named to Dean’s List for both semesters of her freshman year, and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, a Gamma Phi Beta Philanthropy Committee member, and a member of the Pre-Med Society. Gabriella is a Physiology and Neurobiology major and works as a certified nursing assistant during school breaks, with intentions to move on to medical school and become a doctor focusing on pediatric cancer. Gabriella was sponsored by Richard Lasorsa, Vice President of Finance at Murdock Webbing Co. in Central Falls, RI.

Twelve WSTDA member organizations sponsored Scholarship applicants, some which sponsored multiple applicants. Member representatives were informed of the program via the WSTDA website, newsletter, direct email messages, and through announcements at the 2017 Annual Meeting.

The program is currently funded by the WSTDA operating budget, and donations are welcome to ensure its continued success. To make a donation, click the above link or contact WSTDA headquarters for information.


Bishop Lifting Products Acquires Matex Wire Rope

SBP Holdings, through its wholly owned subsidiary Bishop Lifting Products, announced the recent acquisition of Matex Wire Rope, Inc. headquartered in Kilgore, TX. For over 50 years, Matex has been a premier supplier of lifting solutions including sling fabrication, wire rope and rigging hardware, fall protection, cable service, recertification and custom lifting solutions. With branches in Shreveport, LA, and Pleasanton, Alice, and Midland, TX, the combined companies will now operate 20 branch locations throughout Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado.

Chant Engineering Mourns Founder Jim Chant

L. James “Jim” Chant, founder of Chant Engineering, passed away in June 2017, the company announced.

Born in Lewisham, in southeast London, England, Chant earned a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of London in 1949. Jim was a Chartered Professional Engineer, and for eight years he was also the US Representative of the British Institution of Engineering and Technology, one of the world’s largest engineering institutions.

In 1959, Jim was recruited to be part of the nascent US space program. He and his wife Barbara, with their growing family, emigrated to the USA on the ocean liner Hanseatic. The family first settled in New Jersey before moving a few years later to Pennsylvania. After working for other engineering companies, Jim founded L. J. Chant and Associates in 1970 in the basement of his home. This company later became Chant Engineering Co., Inc., from where he just recently retired as CEO.

Today Chant Engineering is still a family owned and operated business run by Jim Chant’s son, Phil Chant, its President since 2000.

Belt-Tech USA, Inc. Introduces NYLON-LIKE Sling Webbing

Belt-Tech USA Inc. recently announced the introduction of its new-to-the-industry sling webbing, NYLON-LIKE.

The product combines the tenacity, elongation, durability and alkali resistance properties of Nylon with the low moisture regain, low stiffness, low shrinkage, and heat, acid and UV resistance properties of PET. NYLON-LIKE offers a UV resistance 9x superior to the industry’s average and excellent chemical resistance. The webbing is offered in 1” through 6” widths.

A New Technology Spotlight session on NYLON-LIKE will be presented at the 2017 Fall Meeting in San Diego, CA.

WSTDA Membership Continues to Grow

WSTDA continues is upward trend in membership, welcoming one new member since we published the last issue of Uplifting News. WSTDA Membership, having grown by over 20% in the past six years, stands at 130 Member organizations spanning 28 U.S. states and seven countries.

Please join WSTDA in welcoming its newest Regular Member:

American Rigging and Supply Co., LLC
555 Chactaw Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70805
Phone: (225) 344-7144
Primary Contact: Greg Denova

2017-2018 Membership Directory Goes Paperless

Following a directive by the Board of Directors, the 2017-2018 Membership Directory, listing all Members as of August 1, 2017, has been published in PDF format suitable for download and printing.

“Rather than printing the directory booklet and mailing to all Members, at significant cost, the Board decided to go paperless this year, and reformat the booklet so that Members can download and print if they desire,” said Jeff Iden, WSTDA President. “Having the Directory in PDF format also allows our staff team to update it immediately, when new Members join. With the printed booklet, new Members would not be listed in the Directory until the next printing.”

The Membership Directory provides detailed contact information for all Members, as well as listings of members by location and product category, contact information for the Board and Committee leadership, and staff contact information.

The Directory is available to Members by logging in to and selecting the link from the “WSTDA Online” menu. The online Members-only services also provide an online search and lookup for Members, by company, individual contact, product type, and location.

LEEA CEO Geoff Holden Retires

Geoff Holden, CEO for UK-based Lifting Equipment Engineers Association, recently announced his retirement after serving for nine years at the helm of the organization. Holden leaves behind a legacy of over 1,098 members in 62 countries, a credit to his hard work and dedication to LEEA during his tenure.

Following his wife's retirement earlier this year, the couple plan to enjoy spending their time in Cornwall where Geoff fully intends to throw himself into his favorite pastime, sailing.

As part of the restructure, LEEA is pleased to announce that Andrew Wright has taken up his new post as General Manager, and will serve as acting CEO while the LEEA Board of Directors begin the process of selecting a new CEO, later this year.

WSTDA formed a collaborative relationship with LEEA during Geoff’s tenure as CEO, and Geoff and Robert Wilson, LEEA’s Regional Manager – Americas, have participated in WSTDA Annual and Fall Meetings for the past several years, bringing updates on LEEA training and certification programs.

WSTDA wishes Geoff the very best in his retirement and congratulates him on a successful term as the leader of LEEA.

Industry Mourns Loss of Henry Hughes

Henry Hughes, of Tarboro, NC, a longtime respected member of WSTDA and AWRF in the weaving industry, passed away earlier this year following a brief illness. He was 83.

Henry graduated from North Carolina State University in 1955 with a degree in Textiles, then served two years in the US Army.

He began his career in Danville, VA in 1957, and then founded Phoenix Trimming Company in Tarboro, NC in 1964. Phoenix Trimming was acquired by Murdock Webbing in 1992 and serves as Murdock’s second manufacturing facility.

Henry gave back generously to his community by serving for years in various civic roles and on numerous corporate boards. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed golf, hunting and fishing.


When Expert Testimony is Admissible or Inadmissible
By Gerard P. Panaro, WSTDA Legal Counsel

One of the advantages to the warning labels that have been developed by WSTDA is that they were developed (and are reviewed and updated) with the assistance of experts in the field (human factors experts), focus groups, and industry input. If challenged by a plaintiff’s attorney in litigation, WSTDA could call upon the expert testimony of the professionals who helped develop the labels. (Of course, the plaintiff might well have experts of its own and the defendant could challenge the admissibility of their testimony as well.)

One caution to keep in mind, however, is that experts are not automatically permitted to testify in litigation; an expert may testify only with the permission of the court and the decision whether or not to permit specific expert testimony is based on several criteria the courts have developed. Sometimes, it can be a “close question” whether a given expert meets the criteria in a given case and a trial court’s decision can be appealed. MORE


© 2017 Web Sling & Tie Down Association

9 Newport Dr., Suite 200 • Forest Hill, MD 21050 • phone: 443-640-1070 • fax: 443-640-1031 •