I have been finding that more and more all I want to do is use is a speed line while trimming and removing trees. Sure speed lines look cool when in use but they are also immensely useful for all types of rigging needs. Have you ever tried lifting limbs with a speed line or controlling limbs being sent straight to the ground?
Speed lines are primarily used to transfer limbs or wood from the tree to an exact location on the job site. This could be to a staging area for brush across the yard or directly into the chipper chute. The only determining factors are obstacles in the way and rope length.
Most speed lines are set up by simply tying a running bowline to a strong upright section of the tree. The rope is then stretched out past the intended landing zone and attached to a port a wrap or tied off. Depending on the distance of the slide and the weight of the logs, a mechanical advantage can be used to highly tension the line and take the drop out of the system. Other times with smaller limbs it works just as well with a ground man holding the rope.
The operation of a speed line is pretty simple. Throw a sling around a limb that is being removed. Clip the attached carabiner to the speed line rope. You can cut your limb once the rope is tensioned. As the piece slides down the rope and nears the landing zone, all the groundsman needs to do is let the tension off the rope. As the tension releases, the limb will drop almost immediately.
The speed line works great for transferring brush long distances but it can also be used to lift limbs or practically launch limbs into the air. If the speed line is attached high in the tree and the limbs being removed are much lower, the groundsman can pull even after the limb is cut. This will cause the limb to continue being lifted by the line which works extremely well for lifting tips of limbs as well as lifting piles of brush off the ground and along the speed line.
I highly recommend trying out a speed line for some of your upcoming jobs. They are guaranteed to make quick work of the long grueling days of dragging brush across the yard. Instead you can make your cut and sit back as the brush practically drags itself to the chipper!
Our basic speedline kit is great for any tree worker looking for a low cost, pre-made kit. Everything stores conveniently in the weaver rope bag so the kit can easily be carried into the backyard or into the aerial lift. 150' of 1/2" double braid rigging line offers enough length to reach any distance from the tree to the chipper. Four Petzl Spirit non locking carabiners make for easy connection to the Weaver loop runners. An aluminum figure eight makes for an easily adjustable anchor point at the end of the speedline. This kit is a great way to take the guesswork out of building your own speedline kit.
For climbers looking for the ultimate in speedline setups, the Premium Speedline Kit is for you! With 150' of 1/2" Sta-Set rigging line, 6 Revolver Carabiners with built in pulleys, and 3 non locking carabiners, no job is too big for this kit. Also included are 3 of each(30",36", and 48") slings for attaching the limbs to the speedline. A mini Port a Wrap and a 9/16" dead eye sling make for a firm and stable anchor point on the ground. Everything stores conveniently in the included rope bag.
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