In this category you can order forestry ropes made of synthetic fibres, especially the high-tech fibre HMPE. HMPE ropes bring decisive improvements when used in forestry technology, so that they now represent a real alternative to the steel ropes traditionally used in forestry. The range of applications for HMPE forestry ropes includes logging by means of choker and winch ropes in ground traction as well as forestry rope technology in mountain forests / steep terrain (ropeway haulage, e.g. with the aid of tipping mast equipment).
Although the price of HMPE ropes is higher than that of steel ropes, this higher investment pays for itself within a very short time, as the positive experiences of innovative forestry companies have shown.
Can steel ropes really be replaced by synthetic fibre ropes in tough forestry applications?
Forest scientists and technicians at Oregon State University in particular have conducted extensive research on this question in the university's own test forest. The researchers compared HMPE and steel wire forestry ropes in practical use. And the result of their research is clear: Yes, HMPE forestry ropes are even superior to steel ropes in the overall assessment!
The synthetic fibre rope has few disadvantages when used for timber harvesting compared to the steel rope: The higher price at purchase and a lower tolerance to cuts and shock loads due to misuse.
While the latter two points of criticism can be largely ruled out if the synthetic fibre ropes are handled carefully and properly, the greater investment required is quickly paid off by the many practical advantages in handling the HMPE rope.
In the meantime, more and more forestry operations have discovered these advantages for themselves and are discarding their old steel ropes in favour of lightweight HMPE ropes. Providers of further training have also recognised that this may require adjustments to operational working methods. Therefore, courses on the proper handling of synthetic fibre forestry ropes are increasingly being offered.
What are the advantages of HMPE forest ropes?
The advantages of HMPE forestry ropes are manifold: The biggest advantage is the significantly lower weight of HMPE ropes. For example, when replacing a heavy steel rope with an HMPE rope, one saves around 80% of the weight — with the same or even higher breaking load.
The drastic weight saving or the significantly better ratio of breaking load and weight result in the many advantages of using the rope:
- Ergonomic advantages
- Productivity increases
- Improved occupational Safety
- Advantages of winching use
Ergonomic advantages in handling and transporting of ropes
The task of bringing a steel back rope to the felled timber is very strenuous, especially when the rope has to be pulled uphill. Forest workers are therefore enthusiastic about the noticeable ease of work due to the low weight of HMPE forestry ropes. This perceived impression could also be confirmed by forestry research: Replacing a steel rope with an HMPE rope leads to less strain on the cardiovascular system during identical activities, and shorter recovery times were necessary after the actual efforts were completed.
Productivity increases: Economic consequence of improved ergonomics
Due to the ergonomic advantages mentioned above, the use of forestry ropes made of HMPE synthetic fibres demonstrably leads to increased productivity. For example, travel times for transporting the ropes and set-up times for tipping mast equipment and ropeways can be significantly reduced. In some cases, less manpower is required. The much simpler handling of fibre ropes leads to a higher yield per unit of time, so that HMPE forestry ropes are also the better alternative from an economic point of view.
Improved occupational safety / reduction of risk of injury
Protruding broken wires and strands (the so-called "meat hooks") are a thing of the past. The risk of injury when handling synthetic fibre ropes is thus significantly lower.
The lower weight (more precisely: the lower inertia) of HMPE ropes also reduces the risk of a rope flapping wildly in the event of a break and the resulting damage and injuries.
Of course, the use of a synthetic fibre rope must not lead to negligence. The manufacturer's instructions for use and the regulations of the employers' liability insurance association for the prevention of accidents must be observed.
Advantages of winching use
HMPE forest ropes are usually 12-plait. Therefore, the rope does not have any torsion due to its construction. This factor and the generally greater suppleness mean that HMPE forestry winch ropes are easier to spool and the rope lies well on the drum. If the rope should be crushed in the process, this can be easily undone by hand. If, due to the higher breaking load, a smaller rope diameter can be used compared to the steel rope, more rope length can be spooled onto the winch, which increases the working range.
Beyond these four important points, there are other advantages to be mentioned:
HMPE ropes without sheaths are very easy to splice, so that both end splices (eye splice, eye splice with thimble) and the connection of two rope sections (connecting splices), e.g. to replace a damaged section, can be carried out very easily and with simple tools. If necessary, splicing can also be carried out on site by a skilled user.. The necessary splicing tool of course you will find them in our shop.
HMPE forestry ropes are not affected by wet or cold conditions. HMPE ropes do not corrode, do not require any lubricants and are insensitive to the operating materials and chemicals typically used in the forestry industry