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Pick A Rope

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Swing into your local Vermeer dealer for all your climbing rope needs.

If you climb trees for a living, then you’d know that your rope is quite literally your lifeline, so selecting the right rope is vital to your safety.

We speak with Adrian Greed, Senior Parts Interpreter at Vermeer, to find out which climbing ropes are the top picks for arborists. Adrian has been helping arborists find the right ropes, devices and gear for over 17 years from Vermeer’s Melbourne dealership in Derrimut.

Selecting The Right Rope

Mr Greed identifies a few keys points for selecting a climbing rope.

“When picking a rope, you need to know which one will provide the best results for your intended use,”Mr Greed said.

“For climbing rope, you’ll generally want one that is less stretchy or elastic. Elastic ropes put more strain on the climber and they’ll have to exert more energy when getting from point A to B.

“At Vermeer, we stock a variety of double braided and kernmantle climbing ropes, which both offer a range of elasticity and strengths.”

Vermeer’s most popular Kernmantle climbing ropes include the Xstatic rope by Teufelberger and the Kernmaster Safari Climbing Rope by Yale Cordage. The Xstatic rope maintains high tensile strength with minimum elongation, while the Kernmaster Safari Climbing Rope is relatively static under low loads, but the core will begin to ravel and absorb energy under loads more than 317.5kg before returning back to the static state.

Their most popular double braid climbing ropes include the Poison Hi-vy by Yale Cordage and the Banshee climbing rope by Notch. The Poison Hi-vy is versatile for all climbing styles, affordable and ideal for climbers looking for limited ‘bounce’, and the Banshee is a new 24-strand climbing line for tree care professionals looking for a rope that combines lightweight with a resilient roundness.

“Selecting the right rope will also depend on which mechanical ascending devices you want to use it with,” Mr. Greed said.

“Ropes will generally range from 10-13mm diameter, so be sure to check your devices to see what size rope it is compatible with. The thicker the rope, the easier it is to grip but also the heavier it becomes.”

Whether you are using a double rope technique (DRT)/moving rope system (MRS) or single rope technique (SRT)/ stationery rope system (SRS), you’ll need a rope that can hold its knots.

“The softer and more flexible a rope, the easier it will hold knots. Soft ropes will also create less friction, therefore, be less likely to cause the rope to melt or fuse,” Mr Greed explained.

“Lastly, the colour of the rope can also assist in this decision. Most professional climbers will opt for a bright colored rope so they are easily spotted by their groundcrew. So they can look out for the rope when using a chainsaw.

“If you are in the market for a new rope and want to check out the range of climbing ropes available from Vermeer, drop by and give it a go at one of our rope testing facilities.”

Knowing When It’s Time To Hang It Up

“Like most of our customers, you’re probably going to be climbing and using this rope very regularly. Knowing when to cut up and throw away a rope is vital to your safety,” Mr Greed said.

A rope’s ability to function depends on how you use it, how well you care for it and how you store it.

A Minimum Industry Standard for rope use in arboriculture (MIS302) has been released as part of a book series by Arboriculture Australia Ltd in consultation with the national arboriculture community. MIS302 contains an in-depth description of rope selection, rope qualities and rope use. The book explains that when inspecting your rope before and after use, a few things to note are:

  • Is there any heat damage, such as glazed areas?
  • Is there an inconsistent rope diameter, possibly due to internal damage?
  • Is there any discolouration caused by chemical contamination?
  • Is there any loss of rope bulk?
  • Are there any cut strands or puffs (pulled strands)?
  • Is there any inconsistent texture?
  • Are all rope ends secured, without risk of unravelling?
  • Pay close attention to areas where rope wear is more likely, such as near the splice or working end

To prolong the life of your climbing rope, it is recommended to clean the ropes often and according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store the ropes appropriately in accordance to their construction, keep out of direct sunlight, and transport carefully between jobs.

At the end of the day, knowing when to replace your ropes is all about whether or not you feel safe to climb with it. If you are unsure, chances are it’s time to replace the rope.

For more information on Arboriculture Australia Ltd’s Minimum Industry Standards, the first four books are available now from Vermeer in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide for purchase, and don’t hesitate to contact your local Vermeer Parts Counter if you’d like advice on rope or any of the latest arbor gear.

For more information and to find your local dealership visit http://vermeer.com.au

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