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The Difference Between Blocks and Pulleys in the Tree Rigging and Removal Industries

Ropemaster 62-S Wide Throat Rigging Block

Professional arborists, or loggers, use particular equipment for climbing and ascending trees. Logging is the cutting, skidding, processing and loading of trees onto trucks. Rigging can be very dangerous without the proper people, training and tools. Over the years riggers have developed several techniques to accomplish their high-risk logging activities. They use special tree rigging and removal equipment called blocks and pulleys, and the differences can seem somewhat vague, but there is a difference. Both blocks and pulleys play a significant role in logging.

Blocks are extremely handy and important, and are used to increase a mechanical advantage or to redirect a piece of line. They are built to sustain shock loading which is when a log free-falls for a moment before its caught. They are proper tools for tree rigging and removal because they have higher strengths, larger bend radii, upper sheaves for attaching slings, and wide cheek plates to protect the rope from abrasion.

Pulleys are smaller and lighter, and are used to improve mechanical advantage in climbing and rigging systems. They are designed to work with a soft rope and not a wire rope. They are constructed of thinner sideplates and aluminum sheaves rather than steel. They are not made to handle shock loading, and do not have the properly designed mechanics for use in tree rigging.

Logging blocks are necessary equipment items for tree rigging if you want to live, as they are very durable and dependable when you need them the most. Haulback logging blocks feature the lightest weight for heavy haulback service.

Crosby blocks offer the widest range of logging equipment in the industry which includes the Crosby Eye Hoist Hooks, Light Champions, or their high-strength Alloy Light Champions that feature the amazing Working Load Limits. Crosby blocks can be found for at premier logging and rigging stores.

A micro pulley has many uses in tree climbing, and one of the best uses is as a slack tender in split tail climbing systems, French prusik systems and mechanical advantage systems. The French prusik system is a friction hitch micro pulley consisting of a combination of knots used in tree climbing or rigging. The split tail climbing system features various colors making it easy to see the different climbing lines, and which helps to only cut out the worn pieces. You can also purchase a Velocity MicroTrolley Pulley that has stainless steel side plates, and two stainless steel sheaves.

Trolleys are used in zip line systems, and come in a variety of different types and sizes. Trolleys can have either aluminum or steel sideplates. The more heavy duty you get would determine what you will be using it for. A zip line is a hanging pulley, and there's a gradual incline where gravity is used to travel by. There's the Trolley HD which has anodized aluminum side plates, two 3 inch aluminum sheaves, and can be mated with a Maxi-Rigplate for optimum rigging choices.

With all of these options, it is always best to use the proper equipment. Always remember, it's better to be safe than sorry!


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The homeowners should ensure that their trees don't present any danger to life, limb and property. Needless to say, the homeowners should make sure that weak and rotten branches are taken down before they fall down on their own. Affordable Tree Service

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