I love technical rigging jobs when it comes to tree removals. I love small drop zones and all the little things that lead up to that huge piece being lowered with the precision of a surgeon into a postage stamp backyard! This is when the true professionalism starts to shine. Most climbers can get into a tree and blow the tops out into a field but when you are up against drop zones that are nonexistent, you really get to show what you know.
One of my favorite rigging tools is a Spider Leg Balancer. In common terms, a Spider Leg Balancer is a dead eye sling made out of a strong yet smaller diameter cordage. These are mostly made of Tenex. They are attached to the rigging line via a Kleimheist or 6-8 coil prussic hitch and then clove hitched to the limb being removed. The Spider Leg Balancer allows the piece to be lowered horizontally without the brush or the butt dropping. You can also add multiple Spider Leg Balancers together to keep 3 dimensional pieces from dropping or twisting by attaching the balancer to each section coming off the main limb.
Crane removals can be quite dangerous especially if large pieces are unbalanced or flipping over. Regardless of how tough each one of us thinks we are, we are quite fragile compared to a 6,000 pound log that swings around uncontrollably! With a Spider Leg Balancer, the load can be stabilized the same as if it were being rigged down. This helps reduce added stresses to the crane and an added level of safety to the climber.
We created this video to help illustrate how the Spider Leg Balancer is setup and a couple short clips of it in use. This great little tool can help reduce lots of extra work and headaches for not only you but also your ground guys. It’s always smart to have extra options when it comes to rigging and this is another tool to put in your bag!