Ropes could be considered an arborist’s most important tools. They are used to support limbs, tools, and people. That’s why it’s important to inspect ropes regularly to determine if it is still in proper working condition. During inspection, look for the following characteristics of a weak rope:
- Discoloration – This may be an indication of chemical damage.
- Variance in diameter – Variance in diameter may indicate core damage.
- Hard spots and contamination – These usually signify a rope is excessively worn or weakened by overloading and shock loading.
- Gloss, glaze and streaks – These indicate signs of heat or friction damage.
- Frays, pulls and broken strands – If more than half of the outer sheath is frayed, then you should retire the rope immediately. Broken strands may indicate the rope was torn by friction, cut by a sharp edge, or the working-load limit was exceeded. Retire the rope immediately if two or more strands are broken.
- Heavy abrasion – Usually caused by friction and extreme wear.
- Milking – This is the shifting of the sheath leaving a rope end without a core.
If your rope is showing signs of wear and tear, it’s time to purchase another. After all, the lives of you and your crew depend on it.
Read more: Learn more about caring for ropes