Let It Run

Todd L

New Member
#1
My first post on the site. What's up guy's? I'm new to the technical part of tree's and climbing. I have worked on a crew that I believe does most of what they do the wrong way or I can't trust that anything I learned is the correct way. I really enjoy the work. I have watched 100s if not 1000s of videos and have read possibly more post. I am always trying and willing to learn something new because the more I know the safer I feel and the safer I can keep the people around me. I understand the fundamentals of tree structure, loads, and physics, notches, etc. I have full climbing gear/protection and have done a few trees on my own for family and friends. I know the best way to learn is by doing it in person with people that know what they are doing. Not always easy to find. So to my question... I always hear people say "let it run" term is clear I understand it and why it needs to happen, to not put shock loads and other stress on the tree and gear. I haven't been able to find info on the proper way to do this even tho it is talked about so much and lives depend on it. What is the proper way to "let it run"? How to "Let it run as a groundie? I can think of a lot ways this could get out of control with out a proper technique. Even more in depth as when to let it run and on what loads? Portawrap suggested turns per weight/situation? Thanks, Todd
 

evo

Well-Known Member
#2
This is where skill comes in. One needs to learn how to estimate weights, distance of fall before rigging is activated, and distance to the ground or target below. In addition, all this needs to be applied to what ever lowering brake is used, rope diameter, and number of turns. Natural crotch with trunk/limb wraps throws more variables with diameters and textures of bark.

Low and slow. Start off with small pieces w/o a wraps or a lowering device, then build from there.
 

JeffGu

Well-Known Member
#3
When I taught my wife to do it, I just whacked off a log big enough for a single wrap on the friction brake, but light enough to pull back up. I showed her how to walk toward the lowering device.. follow the rope in before trying to stop it... then how to lean back into the rope a little and ease it to a stop. I'd get up in the tree and toss the log out away from the block, then help her pull it back up to me (from in the tree) while she got the hang of it. I told her to try to let it get below my feet, then ease it to a stop, not to worry about where it stopped, just before it hit the ground. Then she could ease it the rest of the way down. The next day, I dismantled part of the tree with light loads while she got the hang of doing this with different sized pieces. She caught on very quickly, when all she had to do was let it get below me, then ease it to a stop before it slammed into the ground. It didn't help any that I misjudged a lot of pieces on the low side, and they just wouldn't run, but she figured out how to flip the rope a little to make it move, without me having to say anything.

I think the most important thing is for a ground person to figure this out on a job with no time pressure, and no targets, and over a lawn that nobody cares about having a few craters in it. I'm lucky, I have plenty of such trees around here. Some are on my own property. When I cratered that "lawn" I told the wife I was just trying to save the woodchucks some work, digging their next den.
 

Treezybreez

Well-Known Member
#4
As others have mentioned, it varies quite a bit. In general, you will want to pretention the line, apply the correct amount of wraps (this is based off of the diameter of the lowering line, diameter of the lowering device, weight of the piece, and how much room you have for landing.), The guy lowering should hold the line tight until the top of the tree begins to head in the direction you want. (Picture a pitcher releasing the ball at just the right moment). Let it pull the rope through your hands and gradually tighten your grip, to reduce an abrupt shock load. If there isn't pristine turf in the landing zone, then there is no need to slow the piece to a complete stop. There are many other applications for "letting it run".
 

Todd L

New Member
#5
Thanks guys for the responses, I was mostly taught on the tree wrap near the drops but like I said I have no other views on if it was by any means the proper way. Just wanted to get a little bit of confirmation on how it was done properly because the worst thing I or anyone else could do is teach something like this the wrong way. I really couldn't find any videos on this either so if someones looking for a new tips vid to make you could be a first. Thanks for the conformation guys.
 
#6
A good rule of thumb for letting it run is to have a half wrap less than you would want if you needed to stop the log before it hit the ground.

Generally speaking, you can handle without a friction device ~50-100 lbs (think a large branch that you can drag without cutting it smaller)
Just putting the rope in the porta wrap without any addtional wraps will get you 2-300lbs (think branches that take 2 people to move)
A wrap will get you around 500lbs
2 wraps will hold more weight but becomes much more challenging to let the rope run due to the increased friction. You shouldn't really be taking much more than 1000lb piece if you can help it because the forces involved can get ridiculous
3 or more wraps will basically cause whatever is cut to come to a complete stop with not room for the rope to run and should be used very very rarely

In this case a "wrap" is a 360 degree turn around the porta wrap tube. You also do half wraps using the top or bottom pin to vary how much friction you get. From there it's basically practice
 

CutHighnLetFly

Well-Known Member
#7
Timing is a huge part of it, combined with knowing the friction you have. If you can consisting time when the load hits the rope (it's free from the cut) you can be ready for the weight and give it the gradual brakes, or if there's a good bit of friction, toss a little rope at the wraps.

Think about stopping a car. You see how far the stop sign is when you decide to hit the brakes. Do you floor the brakes or do you use the space between you and the stop sign to come to a complete stop?
 

JontreeHI

Well-Known Member
#8
In my opinion, a half wrap adds more friction than a whole wrap. Any takers?
Seems like the right bends through those spot welds ad a lot of drag, compared to one smooth wrap around the bollard. Something to consider
 

Treezybreez

Well-Known Member
#9
In my opinion, a half wrap adds more friction than a whole wrap. Any takers?
Seems like the right bends through those spot welds ad a lot of drag, compared to one smooth wrap around the bollard. Something to consider
Not in my experience, but it might be different for you, if you are using a different lowering device.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
#11
The most important "let it run" occurs in the initial release and fall of a piece that has been negative blocked, especially in compromised trees. This is due to 1. ) the sudden dynamic force loading that happens when the piece is caught, and 2.) the natural response of a groundie to tighten their grip as the piece falls and, initially, fails to be caught. If I can, I tell my groundie to stand back, hands off rope, until the piece has stopped. I cannot get 100% reliable Instagram-quality rope tending in this circumstance, and it greatly troubles me. I get about 90%, or 80%.
 
#12
The most important "let it run" occurs in the initial release and fall of a piece that has been negative blocked, especially in compromised trees. This is due to 1. ) the sudden dynamic force loading that happens when the piece is caught, and 2.) the natural response of a groundie to tighten their grip as the piece falls and, initially, fails to be caught. If I can, I tell my groundie to stand back, hands off rope, until the piece has stopped. I cannot get 100% reliable Instagram-quality rope tending in this circumstance, and it greatly troubles me. I get about 90%, or 80%.
If in a sense of say directional control and also to not slam a nice yard? On the second part you mentioned. I wonder if there's a device that could be held in a groundies hand that could be adjusted to hold a specific pressure on a rope just to keep the portawrap doing its job as set to let a piece fall without the chance of error of locking up by a persons natural reaction and or free flowing rope around the porta. Say like something the tail runs straight through that has a very small amount of mechanical tending applied to the rope at a constant before it enters the device. Also holding it at a constant direction of travel. Maybe even a device that could be attached to something in order for only one groundie to be able to tend a tag line too in certian situations while having the controlled decent. Maybe i'm totally off having only a little over a year in the tree world but i'm always trying to make things safer as every move is really only a calculated guess.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
#13
If in a sense of say directional control and also to not slam a nice yard? On the second part you mentioned. I wonder if there's a device that could be held in a groundies hand that could be adjusted to hold a specific pressure on a rope just to keep the portawrap doing its job as set to let a piece fall without the chance of error of locking up by a persons natural reaction and or free flowing rope around the porta. Say like something the tail runs straight through that has a very small amount of mechanical tending applied to the rope at a constant before it enters the device. Also holding it at a constant direction of travel. Maybe even a device that could be attached to something in order for only one groundie to be able to tend a tag line too in certian situations while having the controlled decent. Maybe i'm totally off having only a little over a year in the tree world but i'm always trying to make things safer as every move is really only a calculated guess.
As you say for the first point. Sometimes it's just the butt that requires control. When the tips touch, the friction is usually increased in proportion to the weight, and the butt is less likely to come all the way down. It still can, lol, so think it through.

The device you speak of is the portawrap, or aerial friction device. Adding in a hand device would be redundant.
 

rope-a-dope

Well-Known Member
#16
I always tend to overthink think things lol
Hey, gloves are high friction management technology.
I think some ropers get cocky about not needing gloves, but they are the secret to the smoothest ride because you can let rope fly through your hands before the deceleration grip and keep all your palm skin.
In a pinch one time, I used the rope bag over my hands to catch wood chunks. Worked pretty good!
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
#19
Gotta have a pair of leathers on the truck
Gotta have a pair of leathers attached to the rope bag.


Jon, are you still fairleading the rope out on the cleat? Sounds like you're bending the rope around at the weld, instead of fairleading it.

A ratchet strap to hold the POW up does wonders, for $3.
 

JontreeHI

Well-Known Member
#20
Jon, are you still fairleading the rope out on the cleat? Sounds like you're bending the rope around at the weld, instead of fairleading it.
Fairleading it. It just always seems to me to be a jerkier less consistent run with a half wrap to me. Maybe less friction is the wrong way to say it. Maybe more like 1 x ring for a terminal rigging point vs 2 or more. I never call for a half wrap. I’ve spent more time in my life as the guy in the tree than the guy with the rope, so i haven’t tested it hundreds of times with me as the ground guy constant. Mostly I’m curious. If everybody says that I’m wrong, no way, half wrap less friction than full wrap, I’m certainly open to being wrap.
Anybody picking up what I’m putting down?
Friction is neat.
 
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