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French Lockjack accident highlights need for product knowledge

Richard Tregoweth - Friday, December 21, 2012

Before you read this blog post Treetools can state categorically: the ART Lockjack is not unsafe when configured correctly!

An experienced French climber has taken a 15m fall while climbing on an ART Lockjack.

The wooden toggle on his Lockjack snagged in the carabiner, pulling down the device to prevent the locking cam mechanism from functioning correctly.

The climber suffered serious injuries in the fall but, thankfully, is on the road to recovery.

The climber involved had replaced the Lockjack's original carabiner with an alternative of a different shape. This allowed the wooden toggle to enter between the spine and the barrel on the carabiner and 'lock' securely into place.

When loaded in this configuration the climber will plummet to the ground. One would have thought this ' caution' was common knowledge within the industry.

The ART Lockjack must be used with an appropriate carabiner: ISC Gator, DMM Zodiac, DMM Shadow, DMM Ultra O, Petzl Am'D and Petzl OK. The CT D-shape also works.

This incident demonstrates the need for climbers to have a very clear understanding of the limitations of the product they have purchased - watching a YouTube video may help but it can also be a hindrance.

Apart from 'reading the manual' dealing with an authorized ART retailer is probably your best source of product knowledge.

Where possible Treetools makes sure climbers are well versed in the correct configuration of this device.

In-store this is easily achieved by having the climber use the Lockjack on our demonstration tree where the 'cautions' can be clearly explained.

The internet presents other challenges: Treetools urges all ART Lockjack customers to read the manual very carefully, keep the original configuration or only use approved carabiners.

And call us if you have any doubts at all - we do not want an accident like this happening in New Zealand!

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