Launching a new piece of kit these days is a right challenge, even for non-PPE hardware like a rigging bollard. Along with all the product testing, manufacture and paperwork you have to hope you sell few of your new toys to get a return on your investment - in many instances developing new gear is simply not worth the effort.
But this reality has not put off Pro Climb, the Auckland-based tree rigging and training organization headed by Legends Foundation trustee Rossy Ross.
Following an extensive round of testing and development Pro Climb are launching their new Easy Rig fixed bollard this weekend at the ITCC in Portland. Treetools first blogged about this project late May, 2012.
Based on the original Pro Climb lowering bollard, the much smaller Easy Rig addresses a completely different market segment.
The Easy Rig was originally designed for arborists looking for a lightweight, easy to set-up, and easy to use fixed bollard. In many instances the swinging Port-A-Wrap style bollard is slightly complicated to install (if you are not doing it everyday) and can be 'fussy' to use for relative novices.
The Easy Rig is secured to the tree using a ratcheting truck tie down. The ingenious back plate features an extended 'lip' designed to stop the bollard from riding up when overloaded. A 50mm rubber can be installed if the tree is not to be damaged.
The diameter and operating length of the barrel is similar in dimension to the old-school Port-A-Wrap with the 60mm drum offering a rope bend ratio of 4:1. Compared to alternative swinging bollards, the Easy Rig is much easier to wrap and tend for your groundie, the guide pins accommodating ropes up to 15mm.
Pro Climb had the Easy Rig mathematically tested in the US (which all sounds very impressive) but Treetools wanted to know how the truck tie down on the Easy Rig might behave when a 500kg load was biffed into it - kiwi style testing at its best (think Johno in jandels)!
Rossy was so confident with his US calculations he helped Treetools set up a demonstration to prove a point. He even got Treescape international tree climber Dave Stejskal to come along to act as a witness (and helper).
In a simulated rigging job, a 500kg log was dropped into the Easy Rig, mounted to the tree with the truck tie down. All components in the system, rigging line, arborist block, top strop etc where over-rated, relative to the job, making the Easy Rig truck tie down the weakest link in the chain.
The video below shows the result. The US mathematicians are correct - our apologies for ever doubting your calculations Rossy! It appears legitimate testing IS worth the effort.
The Pro Climb Easy Rig will be available from Treetools later this week.
ADDENDUM: The Pro Climb Easy Rig is no longer in production.