What is the Actuator?

The Kenco actuator is an integral part to every Kenco Lifting Attachment. It allows for every pick to occur without any hydraulics. It is comprised of a shaft that rotates with every lift or set cycle of the lifter.

In the lift cycle, the actuator shaft (arrowhead) is at the proper angle that allows it to release from the receiving block. In this way the actuator is technically doing nothing. The scissor mechanics of the lifter cause the tongs to grip against whatever material it is lifting. The grip is secure and safe until the load is set back down.

In the set cycle, the actuator shaft will rotate slightly after pressure has been released from the lifter and it “relaxes”. This motion is best performed when tension is fully released from the rigging. The arrowhead will now be in position to lock itself into the receiving block. This allows the tongs to hold open so the operator can move onto the next load.

How Can It Become Damaged?

The actuator can last indefinitely when cycling properly. However, it can warped when the load is not being lifted vertically (ie drug or pulled to one side). If force is applied in any other direction, this can twist the actuator causing it to not latch into the receiving block properly. Over time, this will create a condition where extra force is needed to engage the actuator and eventually lead to failure.

Fortunately the actuator can be replaced and is available 24/7 at our online store. Choosing the proper size is crucial to the replacement process. As of 2023, there are no designating marks on the actuator to show if it is a Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large (not shown, fairly rare). Future designs will integrate this but for now, it is up to you to pick the proper size.

What Size Do I Have?

If you cannot tell what model lifter you have and need an actuator, you will need nothing more than a measuring tape. The following graphics shows the size of each actuator in the extended (longest) position.

kenco actuator side by side size comparison with tape measure

This measurement may not be necessary if you know the model or serial number of the lifter. Standards have been put in place to use certain size actuators with specific lifters however in the case of custom lifters or unknown status, it is best practice to measure.