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Newbie safety lanyard/flipline question

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by norcalshoot, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. norcalshoot

    norcalshoot ArboristSite Lurker

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    I Hope this topic is not beaten to death already, But I searched and couldn't find the answers I was looking for.

    I Have not been in a tree yet but am trying to get a set up to prune and limb up trees on my property. I have two experienced climbers willing to teach me spur climbing. One of them is letting me borrow a set of spurs and a saddle so I can try it and decide if I want to invest in my own gear. However, I will need to come up with my own safety lanyard/ flipline. Between the two people that will help there is some controversy
    One friend says steel core, the other says rope. I understand that it comes down to personal preference. Because I am buying these to try it out I would like to spend as little $ as possible without cutting any corners as far as safety goes. from searching around this forum I gather that many prefer rope for small jobs and pruning and use the wire core only for large jobs. Am I on the right track with that?
    I am leaning towards rope lanyards. The factory Kits seem really expensive for what they are and I think i need two right?. Correct me if I am wrong please, But aren't they just climb rope with some eyes spliced and clips?
    My main question for you all is can I put together my own rope lanyards with some good stiff rope and avoid buying these expensive factory made lanyards yet still be efficient and safe? If so please explain how and what rope to use.
    I have asked the folks who are going to teach me but the one has only used wire core while the other has only used the rope safety that is issued by is employer, Davey
    I will be working only in redwoods and firs mostly 2-3 foot diameter but I have I have a few around 5 feet that I would like to clean up, if it makes any difference
    Thanks in advance

    Travis
     
  2. ROPECLIMBER

    ROPECLIMBER ArboristSite Operative

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    They are your trees but almost no one here spur climbs prunning jobs, I dont own any trees so I cant spike the he!! out of them yet, don't think I would want to damage them like that especially if I did own them, I thought Davey stopped gaffing trees too, I would get someone with rope and saddle and rope setting excperience to show you how to set your rope and assend and then position to safely prune aloft, with out spikes,
    Paul

    700 TV probably 1000 laptop but wont spend 100 for a properly spliced positioning lanyard, thats going to actually be a life line with a hip prusick so to have control and balance, and not have to reach around to adjust like the old buck straps, sorry if I let my sarcasim out,
    basic 120' 1/2" climb line $70-150
    generick sherral no freals saddle $120-500
    spliced eye prusick 20-50
    spliced eye split tail 15-30
    micro pulley 25-50
    throwing line $20
    throwing bag $15
    big shot with pole adapters and 2 sticks ??
    plain hip prusik lanard around $75
    corrona razzor saw $22
    scabard $18
    petzel brain bucket 80-150
    climbing Tophandled chain saw 300-600
    eye protection 3-300 mine are perscreption
    hearing pertection .12- 50.00
    saw chaps 75-150
    pole prunner 79-129
    poles 20-38
    pole saw head and good blade 50-100
    THE TREE CLIMBERS COMPANION by Jeff Jepson $priceless
    these are just a few things that came to mind and prices are off the top of my head,and before taxes,and you can probably spend 1000 prety quick go to westspur and sherril online, I like the packages on the rigging but the climber is so deversified that its probably better to by your stuff as you need it, you can climb with a rope,snap harness and a buck strap glasses earplugs and a helmet,preety cheap set up and a corona saw and scabard, you put a termanation knot ont the snap and leave a tail long enough to tye your climbing hitch, old school but I climbed that way for years the disadvantage it when you want to reposition in the tree you have to untie your friction hitch then re tye it where if you had a split tail then you could lanyard off and unclip your split tail or working end with one of the carabiners sling around the side you want to work then re clip, much mor effecieant they even have a micro pully with 2 and 3 atachment points so your beaners wont have to rub on your termanation knot or sliced eye,
    again sorry about the sarcasim its 5 till 3 and need sleep , spend a little more and get a splicable rope the spliced eyes really come in handy as you advance your climbing technque and needs,
    Paul
     
  3. norcalshoot

    norcalshoot ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks for the info no worries about the sarcasm. I am fairly sure that the redwoods will not be chronically damaged by spurs. I cannot kill them even when I try. Both of the friends who will help have never climbed without spurs. They take a rope up and use it to descend but always ascend with spurs. Davey climbs with spurs, In our area at least. They have lost their contract and a different company is taking over here. The new company may switch them to rope climbing.
    Is rope climbing recommended for pruning because of ease of use or efficiency or only for the sake of not damaging the trees. I will look into it more and ask my friends what they know about it.
    As far as the lanyard goes I really had no idea about them. I Asked the question for the purpose of information. The lanyards davey uses look like a piece of 3/4 3 strand rope with an eye spliced and a clip on one end. the other side runs through the d ring with some sort of hitch that they can adjust. They do not use a prussic or mechanical adjuster. They use two of these going opposite directions. The ones I see for sale all have two eyes and some sort of adjuster on them. This is all from an outside perspective and from visual observation though. The system davey uses looks like it could be duplicated without buying a 100+ dollar pre-made lanyard or two. If any money could be saved it would be great. I am a student and currently have no income though I am trying to get a job. Rather than paying someone to prune 20 acres of trees It seems like it would cost less to invest in the gear and learn how to do it myself. I am just looking to save any money I can without being unsafe. If it is necessary to buy the factory lanyards that is understandable and what I will do.
    I do not own a tv or laptop
     
  4. Zale

    Zale Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Why don't you use the lanyards from your two trainers? Why do you need to prune 20 acres of trees? If you are going to prune these trees with spikes, I can be of no further assistance. You will injure the trees and more than likely yourself.
     
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  5. norcalshoot

    norcalshoot ArboristSite Lurker

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    I suppose I do not need to prune the whole 20 acres. I am trying to clean up the forest to make it more usable and allow more light in. There are a lot of dead branches on the trees that I would like to cut off and also limb the branches up from the bottom. I have done lots of work with ladders and pole saws but even after cutting the branches as high as I can from the ground the ones left still hang down near the ground because they sag down so much and are long. I ask about spur climbing because that is what is used by the people I know of in the area and is what was suggested I get to start with. I was not aware that it is advised against and I didn't know that it is not as safe as rope climbing. The friend loaning me the saddle and spurs does not have an extra flipline or lanyard and said I needed to buy my own if i was going to use spurs and saddle. I have some trees that have been spur climbed and topped more than once and they do not appear injured. They have re sprouted and will need more work in the future. From the lack of response to the question I am assuming that it is not practical, safe or cost effective to make a rope flipline.
    ROPECLIMBER, Thank you for explaining that set up, It sounds simple enough. I am going to look into rope climbing instead of spur climbing.
    Thanks for the help folks
     
  6. beastmaster

    beastmaster Addicted to ArboristSite

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    View attachment 225421 View attachment 225422 I recently had to remove a 55inch DBH pine and made this simple lanyard for about 10.00 and used the becket bend knot(suicide knot) to attach it to my saddle. Had the clip laying around, bought the cable at home depot, and 3 strand is soooo easy to splice.
     
  7. norcalshoot

    norcalshoot ArboristSite Lurker

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    Hey cool thanks. What type of rope works good for that? I think I saw a pre-made lanyard made of Dacron 3 strand
     
  8. HorseFaller

    HorseFaller ArboristSite Guru

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    Manila rope is the best wespur sells them made up cheap.
     
  9. norcalshoot

    norcalshoot ArboristSite Lurker

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    Checked out wesspur. The manila rope I found said steel core is that the one you you are referring to?
     
  10. beastmaster

    beastmaster Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have used a 1/2 climbing line with a carabiner on one end with a fishermens knot, and tied some 8mm accessory cord from RBI's or sports chalet(sold by the foot)directly to the safety ring on my belt and use a Vt to hook up the 1/2 in.line. Use a snap ring from a hardware store to help advance the knot. You know have a lanyard that can be let out even under load or pulled in one handed. Make sure you have a stopper knot on the end. Also Make damn sure your fishermen knots are tied right. Make sure your accessory cord is of good quality. Your life depends on it.
     
  11. beastmaster

    beastmaster Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Putting a steel cable in side of 3 strand rope is really easy. Secure the rope and cable in a vise, then lay the cable around the rope going around with the lay of the rope. Then milk it forward, and the cable falls inside. You can google splicing 3 strand rope. Its easy. Hell PM me and I'll send you that one I made if you want, its 15 ft or so.
    I rarely use a steel core lanyard, but if your going to be using a saw on spikes on a spar its advisable. Also be sure to have a second hook up.
    I saw a guy cut his lanyard 80 ft up a tree once many years ago. It still haunts me.
    I also prefer thicker line on a lanyard if I have to Whip up a large diameter tree, you can get a better whip.
    Being able to whip your lanyard around the tree is the only way to climb up larger trees. Master that your in.
     
  12. formationrx

    formationrx ArboristSite Guru

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    op

    dont go up ANY tree until you have the proper training and the right gear.... anything less is a crazy stunt and you are risking your life like a ####### dimwit....... never spike trees to prune them.... dont make your own buck strap....i have heard endless horror stories about homemade gear-- its just a bad idea..... dont try to do this alone.... have someone there to take you to the hospital when/if you #### yourself up......
     
  13. norcalshoot

    norcalshoot ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks fellas. Did some asking around and got someone to let me barrow a flipline for a short time. I am not going to try this by myself I will have someone there teaching me.
    Now Maybe you guys can clarify why you are advising against spur climbing. Not at all am I disagreeing I am just trying to understand from the perspective of someone who has not climbed before. I am slightly confused what is best. The guys who will be helping me Do not know each other, Work for different companies and they both say spur climbing is the way to go and rope or SRT is not a good idea. I guess because the branches on the redwoods angle down that the rope tends to slide away from the trunk and then it breaks easier. Also they said the spurs do not hurt the trees at all. Again, I have no idea I am just trying to understand. To me it seems like the spurs would not hurt Because the trees I have cut down grow back and are a few feet tall by the end of the year. I don't see how some spur holes could be more damaging than cutting the whole tree down. If someone can explain it would be great. Thanks again
     
  14. Iustinian

    Iustinian ArboristSite Operative

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    Climbing on gaffs should be limited to removals only. Stabbing into a tree creates a wound into the cambium layer of the tree, which will either require the tree's energy reserves to heal, or produce sucker growth. Suckering weakens the structure of the tree, adds unnessary weight to scaffold branches, etc. Unchecked suckers will also reduce air movement throughout the canopy of the tree, which will tend to increase susceptibility to fungus and other disease. Additionally, many of the suckers resulting from a spiked trim within the interior of the tree will later just die out from being shaded out by the rest of the tree, which will require even more of the trees resources to abort the branches/suckers and heal; it takes more time and energy for a tree to abort a branch and then heal the wound than to heal a properly placed cut behind a branch that should come out; and that's assuming that every aborted branch coming out naturally does so at the optimum collar target instead of tearing into the main trunk of the tree as it falls.

    Additionally, what do you think happens if I spike a diseased tree this morning and then a healthy tree this afternoon?

    From safety's perspective, you should do an "online" test of your tie in point (before you ascend on the climb line) when rope climbing to ensure that your selected branch/crotch will sustain an ongoing work climb; if you're climbing on spikes, it his highly unlikely that you will have performed such a test on each branch that you will have spiked/fliplined on as you have climbed. It is critical -- I have had branches as big around as my thigh fail beneath me with little to no warning, leaving me hanging from my climbline which was secured thru a safe tie in point which was properly tested via an online test. Had I spiked/flipined that portion of the climb w/o the climbline, I would have been impaled on a fence and unable to write this response to your post. I set a climbline on each and every one of my climbs, even removals during which I will wear spikes. This practice will increase your efficiency and safety.

    Overall, in some cases it may be faster to climb on spikes. It is, however, unethical, irresponsible and unsafe to do so by professional standards of arboriculture. As arborists, we are charged with the care of organisms which have the potential to live for hundreds of years. Our clients expect us to know these things and abide by responsible practice.

    It is my hope that you will train with and learn from someone who understands and RESPECTS the tenet -- WE DO NOT SPIKE TRIMS.
     
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  15. HorseFaller

    HorseFaller ArboristSite Guru

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    Sorry with the late answer but yes the steel core Manila is what I was refering to.
     
  16. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    just to give you some idea of the topic if a guy did it in the Co. I work for he'd be fired before he got five feet up the tree and probably yanked out of the tree by the homeowner by the time the forman got over to fire him...it is really frownd apon find somebody to teach you the right way!!! what these guys are known as are hacks...
     
  17. ROPECLIMBER

    ROPECLIMBER ArboristSite Operative

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    Sorry, I turned off the Tread following app, on my settings.
    Spike climbing as said earlier create wounds in the cambium and inlet for pathogens and insect damage, the wood compartmentalizes around the wounds blocking off nuetrient water and sugar movement, and hendering the water up take through transperational pull, causing less photosynthesis, causing leaf or neadle drop, causing sun scald,causing early decline and leaving the tree more vunrable to many more vectors of desease and pathogens since it has to respire use energy it would normally use to ward off such pathogens,
    Topped trees never apear healthy, IMO
    When removing a tree on spikes you should have a climbing line for decent in emergency, and as a second tye in point when operating powersaws,
    Check school for up coming tree worker safety classes,I know they have some here with Alamo CCD, usually 1-2 days,
    Buy THE TREE CLIMBERS COMPANION, read it more than once and keep it with you,
    Get a job working for a Certified Arborist,or at least a tree CARE company that climbs trees the proper way and follows all ANSI and OSHA tree care and safety standards, after 1-2 years on the ground and when you know how they do it correctly,then ask your crew leader or lead climber if you can aprentice a few climb trims, then when you get proffiecent you may want to attack somthing as beatiful as a redwood,, In the mean time get an old piece of 1/2 inch rope and the TTCC and practice the knots,
    Paul

    PS Climbing trees with spikes is against ANSI standards except for removals and emergency arieal rescues, and that is since 1995 at least,
     
  18. beastmaster

    beastmaster Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I work in the local mountains a lot, and their are a whole lot of tree services up there. It seems everyone is a climber. But their 20 years behind the times. They spike everything, and you really don't want one of those guys trimming your tree. Lots of good ol boys and they'll tell you spiking don't hurt the trees.
    I have made a niche for my self up there as a spikeless climber. The 21st century is slowly making its way up there, and some people are requesting their trees not be spiked.
    I think in mountainous areas they are so tree saturated they don't put the value we flat landers do on a tree. Up there in Humboldt where loggers once ruled, and commercialize tree removal was king, I bet there are a lot of expert climbers. Their not hacks, their just out dated and out of there element preserving a tree.
    25 years ago there was a big pondorosa pine we called the practice tree. A hundred guys have probably spiked up that sucker. It still stands, sap dripping down it from a thousand holes. The bark on that tree is maybe 4inches or more thick, yet it still leaks. The tree is ugly but a surviver. It's miraculous its still alive.
    Learning to use a big shot and and a SRT access system is the best way to access a large tree. You may be tree rich up there and take them fore granted cause there so aboundent, but as a caretaker of your land you should move into the 21st century and learn real skills that help maintain the trees health and make it easier on you.
    Norcalshoot, you got any 300footers on your property? I am looking for one to climb. I got a 55lb pull bow I plan on setting a line with. I would be willing to make a road trip for a 300 fter.
     
  19. norcalshoot

    norcalshoot ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thank you for explanations. I really would like to learn the right way. People always say we are behind the redwood curtain here because we are always behind on times. maybe that is why everyone spurs everything still. When the property was new to us we hired a professional to top some trees that were blocking on ocean view yet they were also blocking the veiw of the neighbors mobile home. That is why they were topped, To get the best of both.
    It sounds like I need to take a different approach to learn something about climbing.
    Beast, I don't think I have anything that tall. I have some big diameter trunks but everything is second growth. My largest Diameters fork so they are not as tall as they could be. There are not too many olds left around, And those that are left will get you arrested if you climb them. I have many old growth stumps that are impressive even just as a stump. Id like to post a picture of some of these trees for an example of what I am wanting to do. Ill try to shoot some tomorrow.
     
  20. norcalshoot

    norcalshoot ArboristSite Lurker

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    Well tried climbing yesterday. It was fun. I used spikes and went up a 2' diameter redwood and tied in about 30 feet up and descended Dbrt. Now that understand it better Dbrt is a easy set up it seems. I am going to attach a few pictures of trees Id like to clean up. Would Dbrt ascending be a good choice for trees like this? It seems like you would get branches between the ropes and you would have to safety to the trunk to un-clip the climbline and get around them? It seems like that would be really slow going. What would your approaches be at these trees because I have a lot like them
    View attachment 226062 View attachment 226063

    Here are a few pics of what is left of the old growth. I wish they could have left us one at least
    View attachment 226064 View attachment 226065
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012

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