What Millwrights & Riggers Do

Millwrights and riggers are important in the construction industry. A rigger uses machinery to lift or move large items, while millwrights specialize in assembling, leveling, erecting and aligning specific machinery. Because there are so many different types of machinery in the construction industry, riggers and millwrights have varying duties and responsibilities.

Types of Millwrights & Riggers

Millwrights and riggers are two different professions, but they both utilize specialized tools & equipment to complete their tasks.

A rigger is defined as a professional whose job is to move and lift large objects. A millwright performs a very similar function to a rigger, but there are some key differences. A millwright is a specialist in equipment and machinery that is used to align, level, erect, and assemble equipment.

Some of the different types of equipment that millwrights and riggers may use include industrial forklifts & cranes, precision levels, optical levels, laser alignment tools and more. The duties of a millwright or rigger vary depending on the type of equipment that’s being moved, aligned, leveled, or assembled.

When choosing a rigger or millwright, always consider how much experience they have, and if they hold any certifications.

Common Applications for Millwright & Rigging

There are a variety of factors that influence the most common duties and applications for millwrights and riggers. A machinery’s weight and size are two of the most influential factors. The machinery’s tolerances are another factor that influences a millwright or rigger’s duties.

Some of the most common applications of millwright and rigging include plant and factory relocation, new machinery installation and heavy machinery hauling.

A Millwright’s Duties

Regardless of the industry or application, millwrights are responsible for laying out the machinery location, erecting machinery components, aligning & leveling and final anchoring. Millwrights also identify any specific tolerances and specifications associated with the machinery.

Millwrights Versus Industrial Mechanics

While there are some similarities and overlaps between millwrights and industrial mechanics, they’re actually separate vocations with different core responsibilities and distinct educational requirements.

Industrial mechanics typically focus on heavy equipment maintenance and repair, and must be familiar with all of the various types of equipment and machinery in a plant. Comparatively, a millwright has specialized knowledge and skills, and will usually switch between heavy equipment repair, industrial construction, industrial maintenance, and machinery erecting work.

In a typical industrial construction project, you’ll see a millwright installing, dismantling, reassembling, and transporting heavy machinery, while an industrial mechanic ensures that the equipment installed by the millwright stays in proper running condition.

A Rigger’s Duties

One common application for riggers is that they have to utilize chokers, winches, slings, and other rigging tools to hoist and load equipment. Riggers must locate the load’s center of gravity to ensure that it remains properly balanced when lifting and setting. In addition, riggers identify the load ratings; these ratings are based on the amount of weight that the rigging can handle.

Riggers also use both verbal commands and hand signals to help direct and communicate with the machine operator. A rigger who performs this function must be experienced since they function as the operator’s ‘eyes.’

Certifications for Millwrights & Riggers

Much of the equipment that millwrights and riggers use on a regular basis is highly specialized. This means that they require training to use them properly. Typically, an employer will provide regular training in addition to the training offered by third party training organizations.

Riggers can receive certification testing and training from the local union hall . A rigger has to study and demonstrate their rigging utilization skill sets in order to become certified. Riggers also have to complete and pass practical and written tests, both of which determine their level of competency.

Choosing the Right Millwright or Rigger

Millwrights and riggers both have similar skill sets, but they are two different positions. You should carefully consider your project’s needs as well as their certifications, training, and experience when selecting a rigger or millwright.

If you need further assistance, reach out to CCI Industrial Constructors We’ve been helping companies since 1997, and specialize in machinery installation. No matter what type of project you’re working on, we can help you find the right solutions.

Call us today at (248) 951-9429 or contact us online to learn more about our machinery installation services.