The Hazards of Defective Spreaders
tec container spreader article

New technologies and advancements have enabled the material handling industry to access a wide range of equipment. However, these advances have given rise to counterfeit and poor quality imitations.

At Tec Container Asia Pacific, we believe that customers always want reliable and dependable products. So it is of vital importance that our customers are aware of the differences between genuine Tec Container products and the counterfeited/poor quality imitations prior to their final purchase decision.

Taking container spreaders as an example, we have identified some serious defects in some counterfeit and cheaper container spreaders available in the market place.


  • Lifting lugs for attaching chains to deformed containers are missing. This is an important time saving feature as a container spreader fitted with proper lifting lugs can be used to lift damaged or deformed containers quickly and efficiently.
  • The transmission rod does not have protection.
  • Signalling plates are not available. Therefore, the crane driver will not know if the twist-locks are open or closed.
  • No security pin is available, which is an extremely serious fault nowadays. The use of a security pin has already become an essential component of a container spreader.
  • Cheap container spreaders do not have bearings within the transmission, so the operation of the twist-lock rotation is not smooth.
  • Cheap container spreaders do not have a bronze washer, thus the twist-locks turn “iron against iron”, which causes problems after a few months of use.
  • Cheap container spreaders have fixed rods that are not removable or replaceable.
  • The twist-locks are of poor quality and do not seem to have heat treatment. Often they are not marked with identification of manufacturer, hence untraceable.


  • The finish of the defective spreader is extremely poor (between 60 and 100mu when a minimum thickness is 150mu), and the paint fades off easily.

  • Many parts are not sand-blasted prior to welding and some surface imperfections have been spotted.
  • The defective container spreader has been painted with the transmission and even with the twist-locks mounted. This causes the twist-locks to be partially painted and some parts of the spreader are stained with the transmission paint.

  • Instead of using vinyl plates for the marking of the SWL, they use a spray. This way of marking the spreaders does not comply with the regulations and will lead to a very short product life span.


  • The slings are not consistent with the SWL indicated on the spreader and have a textile core, and are broken easily.

  • The master link has been painted after the mounting of the slings; all the areas that adjoin the slings are stained with red paint.
  • The slings have no plates with serial numbers, thus no traceability.
  • The rope that activates the turn of the driving triangle is not a nylon but steel cable, which is dangerous and can easily damage the entire transmission (as shown below).

We know that price is an important factor when you are purchasing a new container spreader or other container lifting equipment, but the risks from defective spreaders must also be considered.

A container spreader that does not meet the high standards required in this industry has enormous potential to cause damage to cargo, ports and terminal infrastructure or injuries or worse to stevedores or seafarers in the case of an accident.

Quality is a fundamental consideration when you are purchasing an intricate industrial product such as this.

If you would like to know more about Tec Container Asia Pacific, please click here to contact us or email our team directly: