Rigging Rope For Arborist Rope..........Explained Here By Ray, Arborist Specialist at Gap Power

2/17/2016 - 12:24:59 PM


Visit our new website at www.gaparboristsupply.com

One of the questions that we are asked frequently is which type of rope is best to use for Arborist work? Many possibilities exist depending on how the rope will be used. However, it is important to use a rope that is clearly identified by the manufacturer as suitable for tree climbing or rigging. Just because a rope has a suitable tensile strength doesn’t mean that it can stand up to the rigors of being used in a tree. Each rope is manufactured differently, and will perform best when used as the manufacturer intended. Ropes manufactured for tree rigging operations are typically made with a blend of materials, polypropelene-polyester, nylon-polyester, polyester-polyester, or some other combination. Rigging line is never a solid nylon line. A rope that is made for general purpose work will likely fail quickly when used for tree work; sometimes with disastrous results.

When selecting rigging ropes there are not as many options as with climbing lines. There are two basic options, single braid or double braid rigging lines. The single braid lines are less expensive than double braid lines and will hold up better than double braid lines when the tree is used as the friction device. If you are using wraps around a limb to lower sections, you are going to want a single braid 12 strand rigging rope. 12 strand rigging ropes such as Samson Arbor Plex, All Gear Forestry Pro, and Yale XTC-12 are all single braid arborist rigging ropes that will hold up well to abrasion against bark. One of the concerns with using the tree as the anchor point for rigging is that the friction is inconsistent compared to a Porta Wrap, Low Friction Rigging Rings, or another friction device such as an Ox Block or Stein lowering devices. 12 strand single braid can be used with rigging hardware, but you are losing the capacity to lower larger limbs by selecting this rope over other stronger ropes. Single braid lines typically have a tensile strength that is considerably lower than that of double braid lines, but because the 12 strand ropes have more elongation that double braid ropes they will be more forgiving if an inexperienced ground man doesn’t let the line run.

Another type of single braid rope is the 3 strand rope. 3 strand ropes are much less expensive than 12 strand or double braid rigging rope. 3 strand rope can be useful, especially when used with the continuous rope puller. The rope that we have found to work best with the rope puller is Samson Pro-Master. Other 3 strand ropes tend to be softer, and slip when engaged in the gear of the rope puller. Even other Samson brand ropes don’t work as well as Pro-Master when used in this system. A continuous rope puller can be used for hauling, tensioning rigging systems, or putting consistent tension on a tree to drop it in the proper direction. While 3 strand ropes are considerably less expensive than 12 strand ropes, they aren’t as durable as 12 strand when rigging naturally.

            Double braid rigging ropes typically have a higher tensile strength, less stretch, and have better knot tying and handling characteristics than the single braid rigging lines. These ropes will be more expensive than single braid ropes, but if used properly they will outlast single braid ropes. The cover and the core of double braid ropes share the load Taking wraps on a branch will prematurely wear the cover. The common brand names are Samson Stable Braid, Husky by All Gear, and Yale’s Double Esterlon. The higher tensile strength allows you to lower larger sections of wood. The trick with rigging is to effectively manage tension and friction to safely lower limbs.

When choosing a rigging rope, it is important to remember that the rigging hardware should match the rope being used. A 4:1 bend ratio should be used, so a 1/2” rigging rope should have a 2” sheave on the block. If using wraps around a branch, a 2” branch should be used for a ½” rope. Around a Porta Wrap you can use a 3:1 bend ratio. Whichever type of rope you choose, the best way to optimize the life of the rope is to use it at a 10% safety factor, and then cut that in half. So for a double braid rope with a 20,000 lb. tensile strength, it will have a working load limit of 2,000 lbs., and then cut that in half for a working load of 1,000lbs. With this scenario, when pushing the limits of the rigging system you will have an added safety factor and are less likely to prematurely wear the rope. Additionally, the load may be much higher than the weight of the wood being rigged. Before performing any job, you need to inspect the components of your rigging system to make sure that they are in proper working order. Inspect the rope for abraded fibers, glazing, inconsistent diameter, or tears and cuts in the rope fiber. Rigging, like all arboricultural work, needs to be performed with safety for people and structures as the primary concern. Selecting the proper rope for the application, and inspecting the rope for integrity is one step for keeping crews safe on the job.


that makes a lot of sense to me primary concern for people and stucture / keeping crew safe on job.
alan lane
1/16/2017 - 1:15:26 AM
Good info as far as it goes - Thank you. But I'm left unsatisfied because I hoped to see discussion of elastic behaviour under light and heavy loads and rigging vs hauling line - to what extent will a textile rigging line be suboptimal used in a MA system for pulling a tree down compared to non-stretch materials such as dyneema or wire cable.
Stephen Pill
3/10/2018 - 4:51:48 PM
Leave a Comment

stolen tools recovered  arborist lift  compact tracked lift  spider lift  DeWalt  nascar  Ditch Witch Repair  mini loader repair  stand on loader  Dingo Repair  paint room  paint buildup  Tool Sale  Open House  Auction  Specials  Black Friday  October   Equipment Auction  Annual Auction  Milwaukee Sale  Discounts  Honda EU2000 Generator  Honda EU2200 Generator  Honda 2200  Honda 2000  hurricane  CARE   Stump Grinder  Wood Chipper  Tree Removal Rental  Branch Chipper  Honda Gap Power  Stihl Gap Power  laminated plank  OSHA Plank  dingo  mini track loader  Alturnamat Colors  Honda Snow Blower Shear Pin  Dewalt Water Supply  floor nailer  18 guage  Honda snow blower  Mats  Alturnamats  splicing rope  rope splicing tools  JLG  Skytrak  Pettibone  Edelrid Arborist  srt climbing  Wet Core Drilling  why wet core drilling only  Dry Core Drilling  Top Dressing  Compost  honda water pump parts  Honda generator parts  honda mower parts  honda snowblower parts  parking  alturnamats on grass  blower newtons  blower ratings in newtons  compare stihl blowers  Silica Dust  OSHA  tree roots  arborist  air spade  mower  brush cutting  leaking pipe  Stabila  Spectra Precision  laser  concrete grinding  concrete polishing  erosion control matting  curlex wood fiber  straw matting  erosion control  tree rope  knots  sweeper  cleaning parking lots  tiller  Honda Snowblower  snow blower  tracks  SCR aftertreatment  emissions  tier 4  DEF fluid  Stihl service  stihl parts  Stihl repairs  plastic mats  mud mats  ground protection  pressure washer  pressure washer repairs  Deck code  Simpson  Deck Building  Gift Cards  hours  store hours  generator reviews  Honda Generator  EU2000i generator  2 cycle repair  ethanol problems  chain saw repair  aerate  lawn care  overseed   Standby Generator  charging a phone  Portable Generator  safety gear inspection  safety harness  trailer rental  trailer safety  trailer hitches  men's night  food  Lithium Battery  Miter Saw  Arborist Equipment  Tree Removal  Honda Inverter Generator  Group Photo  Team Pictures  Inspect Pipe  Camera Snake  Underground Pipe Inspection  blocked drain  unclog a drain line  Sewer Camera  documenting maintenance  equipment maintenance  service record   rental equipment delivery  low cost delivery  nail delivery costs  tool delivery  generator delivery  Hydraulic Concrete Chain Saw  ICS Chain Saw  Gas Powered Concrete Chain Saw  Concrete Cutting Chain Saw  Stihl Concrete Chain Saw 
Back to Top