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Jump to Lightspeed with a Knotless Rigging System

Jump to Lightspeed with a Knotless Rigging System

Oh yeah, you read that right! Sending down multiple limbs through a knotless rigging system has the potential to speed up a removal process and cut down time--just like Han Solo and Chewbacca did when they pushed the Millennium Falcon through the Kessel Run to complete it in under 12 parsecs!

Whew, sorry I got a little geeked out there for a second. I just enjoy what I do and isn’t that what it’s all about? Now back to tree care operations.

I like to call this my Lightspeed Combo and it is essentially a key set of “knotless rigging” components which you may or may “knot” have. Hah, get it!?

Apart from being a knotless rigging combo it can also be used as a Speedline/Trolley combo kit. It’s all in the name, Light for light rigging, Speed for speed lining and when you put this bad boy together you get Lightspeed! Buying a combo set helps reduce the hassle of figuring out which pieces of hardware are going to be compatible together, so let us get the headaches of piecing these components for you.


Well, what is Knotless Rigging anyway?

Knotless rigging is the act of securing a limb in a removal operation without the use of a Running Bowline. Instead, slings or shackles are used to choke around the intended limb or log that is to be removed out. This is where you begin to shave off seconds on your removal by sending down multiple limbs. Those seconds will begin to add up and that means completing the job in a timely fashion, which in turn will get you paid those fat stacks quicker!

Personally, I use this rigging technique a lot on Spruce or Pine removals that have to get pieced out. I’ll end up using Weaver slings girth hitched onto ISC’S double action snaps and attach them onto a rigging hub, in this case it was a Petzl Paw plate. Sending out multiple limbs like this removes the headache of tying one limb at a time. We all know Pines and Spruces have limbs up the wazoo! Spider legging limbs out is another very cool thing that can be done with a hub and spider leg slings or a couple sections of rope. I don’t typically apply this technique lot but when I do, it’s because I’m sending down a whole limb or maybe my gin is too far and sending it down tip heavy may end up brushing the house. Spider legs have their time and place as with any other rigging technique.


Now you mentioned Speedline too, what is that? 

If you haven’t heard of a speedline, let me break it down like this: a speedline allows the transportation of limbs from the tree being worked on, down along a static line set over a long distance to a new landing zone and away from possible targets. Rigging out limbs this way reduces the amount of clean up in the backyard and transports the limbs right to the chipper.

Personally, I add another rig line and attach it to the Petzl Rigging Plate in order to make it a controlled speedline.  Raking and clean-up can both eat up an unfathomable amount of time, and can be somewhat demoralizing after awhile. Having used this a few times in my career, I can attest for how excited the crew gets when there is a reduced clean up and not having to brush out a beast from the backyard. To this day, I still enjoy watching those limbs travel across the house and land right next to the chipper, never fails to amuse me.  The endless amount of creativity that can be involved in creating rigging systems has always made me enjoy my job and it truly never really feels like work, I think this is a win for everybody!


We as arborists know that no two trees are the same and every jobsite has different variables. Not every job requires applying a knotless or speedline technique. But when the time comes, you’ll be ecstatic that you're prepared! This means no scrambling at the last minute or during the removal operation to try and piece together random items to create a rig setup. Have you used a rigging setup like this before? If you have, don’t forget to drop some comments and share your thoughts or any tricks you like to use. Stay creative my friends!

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