Hobbs VS Stein RCW-3001 VS GRCS... vs Rope Jack vs Rigging Wrench RP292... Rig small and boring.

rico

Well-Known Member
Location
redwoods
Hobbs is bomber, short lifts or taking slack out before blocking. GRCS is limited, you can drop chunks on the bollard (like you should instead of blowing it up like rico :censored:). The capstan winch is exactly just that, a winch for lifting, basically static loads.
IF your lifting with the Hobbs I'm under the impression it really needs two on the ground. One to lift, one to tail.
I do ALOT of winching, I bought the GRCS and have yet to use the bollard. I've lifted whole trees solo, Pulled trees over backwards with it, solo... There are some tricks to set it up by my self..
Now that one in Japan looks badass, hollow bollard with the winch inside.
Strange, but when the underbuilt and overpriced GRCS first came out there was no warning label notifying the user that it actually couldn't handle anything more than small logs. Thank goodness I wasn't the only one to destroy their GRCS, or I might feel like an idiot?
 

SoftBankHawks

Well-Known Member
Location
Japan
The Smart Winch has not been mentioned yet, made in Holland, designed by Steven Ibelings, a strong steel bollard surrounds the Harken winch. A realistic problem of the GRCS is people do not switch the Harken winch out when dynamic lowering, and as we do not take data who really knows when enough is enough for that thing. The Smart Winch makes that simple. The one in Japan is an inferior copy, avoid at all costs.
A friend of mine designed the Elephant Winch, which I took to be an insane idea at first,a Harken winch mounted to an aluminum frame, crazy lightweight, delicate, ridiculous in concept but so good for 1) lightweight jobs that require lifts 2) a complimentary device inside a larger rigging system, we pair our Smart Winch to it.
If the modus operandi is to smash out big pieces of tree then a device built to with stand the end of days is required. But rigging is so layered, varied, not to mention site location. There is no ‘best’ but I would advise to be subtle in your choice as function, strength, weight, maintenance play a part, all must be tuned to your work site. I have dropped huge pieces into the Smart Winch, seven years in and still going strong. But the Hobbs LD is still on my wish list....one day.
 
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evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
Strange, but when the underbuilt and overpriced GRCS first came out there was no warning label notifying the user that it actually couldn't handle anything more than small logs. Thank goodness I wasn't the only one to destroy their GRCS, or I might feel like an idiot?
Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of wee lil moving parts in there. I’m just poking at ya a bit and you’ve been in this game much longer than I have. I don’t know how many versions that have been built but mine is the Harkin 46(?) the “Arborist” one.
I’ve known for quite a while the winch isn’t designed to drop loads onto, it’s great for using it in static situations. Just used mine yesterday to pop 300-400 lbs off a leaning Austrian pine. We had a gin in the next tree over for a high point.
My biggest limitation has been crew, so I have to get more done with less bodies. The m-18 and grcs isn’t exactly a game changer, but does allow me to small turn overhead yarding up very steep slopes (vertical to under cut at times). Simply I view it as a material mover, not a material catcher. I’m just tired and rambling as I know you know all this stuff.
Truth is I’m not lowering saw logs in my show. Those days while fun are long past, I figure I have to play this game well into my mid or late 60’s, so I’m focusing on building my name doing more sustainable activities.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
Without a doubt the smart winch is superior, for myself I’ve toyed with the idea of a super compact sailboat winch and a separate bollard. I do think the smart winch is a bit much for my needs, also the wide back plate seems to be a limiting factor in my use.
As I stated in my reply to Rico, I’ve owned my grcs for about 3-4 years now and the bollard just sits unused todate. Granted if I had a smart winch I’d be more inclined to do the two rope method from winching mode to lowering prolonging my winches life.
 

LordFarkwad

Well-Known Member
Location
Chatham Co.
I'm telling ya, yer all asking for nuttin but trouble with wunna these ol' smart winches! Farrrrr less complicated if all you got's a dumb winch. Winches learning to read is just the first domino, mark my words! smh...

Edit: I have nothing meaningful to contribute. Carry on. My inner 8yr old took control there for a second.
 
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rico

Well-Known Member
Location
redwoods
Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of wee lil moving parts in there. I’m just poking at ya a bit and you’ve been in this game much longer than I have. I don’t know how many versions that have been built but mine is the Harkin 46(?) the “Arborist” one.
I’ve known for quite a while the winch isn’t designed to drop loads onto, it’s great for using it in static situations. Just used mine yesterday to pop 300-400 lbs off a leaning Austrian pine. We had a gin in the next tree over for a high point.
My biggest limitation has been crew, so I have to get more done with less bodies. The m-18 and grcs isn’t exactly a game changer, but does allow me to small turn overhead yarding up very steep slopes (vertical to under cut at times). Simply I view it as a material mover, not a material catcher. I’m just tired and rambling as I know you know all this stuff.
Truth is I’m not lowering saw logs in my show. Those days while fun are long past, I figure I have to play this game well into my mid or late 60’s, so I’m focusing on building my name doing more sustainable activities.
I was just playing with you Evo. The newer GRCS is a solid machine and I hear that they have remedied the problems that the older one suffered from. For me the most important thing with a LD is that I trust that it can handle what I throw at it, and the Hobbs has that in spades.. Lifting capabilities are secondary to me, and the Hobbs with 2 men has always been up to the task.. The Smart Winch look bomber, but the price....Ouch.
 

Tony

Well-Known Member
Location
Lancaster, PA
I have always looked at it this way. With this type of device, if you lower a lot and winch a bit the Hobbes is for you. If you winch a lot and lower a bit then the GRCS is your jam.

Both tools are excellent when used to their strengths.

Even good equipment can be used poorly and forced to fail.

Tony
 

ptktrees

New Member
Location
Shalimar
To me rigging is every bit as important as climbing, maybe more, and I’ve rigged some big stuff for my area. I’ve rigged up to 2,000 pounds, perhaps more, over houses, fences, sheds and what not. I’ve scared my crew and myself on many occasions ;o))
I’ve solo rigged often , , but I believe crew rigging is much, much better , , and like you , , finding an affordable, quality friction devices can be a challenge. Money and availability seems to be pivotal.

When I started looking for what would work , , money was an issue , , got me a portawrap , , and man , , I did not like it. The GRCS was not out at the time , , but I believe I came across the 1st Hobbs , , but I could not find one for sale, (can’t find one now either), came across a Stein and I was shocked how much it was for such a simple lowering device , , but I really like how it worked , , so I built something of my own.
 

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ptktrees

New Member
Location
Shalimar
When the GRCS finally came out , , again , , price is a real set-back , , but the availability of it is awesome , , Hobbs can’t touch it with a ten foot pole , , though I believe it’s a stronger device , , as rico pointed out , , and when you are rigging , , strength is everything in my book , , so again , , I built something of my own.
 

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ptktrees

New Member
Location
Shalimar
Before making my 2nd device I used blocks and pulleys for lifting. I then moved to something similar to Steins winch attachment on the top eye ring of my 1st lowering devise. My second device is much better and I will strap both to the tree as needed. I built both units for less than $500.
 

Anawan

Member
Location
Asheville
The Stein winching bollard (which someone on crew brilliantly nicknamed Crankenstein) had some uses but having to undo the prusik before lowering is a time and safety issue. And resetting the prusik with a handled tool (big shot was the tool of choice) is clumsy. That bollard is amazing though, much prefer to a portawrap. I have only used GRCS a few times but it has a lot of power and Ive been convinced it is an essential tool. Excited to see where the next year takes you, I’ve also recently set out solo and have been asking myself many of the same questions.

I do think it’s important to make space for folks who are supporting your climb (aka groundies) to be taught the skills necessary to achieve your goals. As a solo operator, patience, communication, and mentorship are now essential skills for you.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
I was just playing with you Evo. The newer GRCS is a solid machine and I hear that they have remedied the problems that the older one suffered from. For me the most important thing with a LD is that I trust that it can handle what I throw at it, and the Hobbs has that in spades.. Lifting capabilities are secondary to me, and the Hobbs with 2 men has always been up to the task.. The Smart Winch look bomber, but the price....Ouch.
Damn notifications failed me... I have no doubt the Hobbs is bullet proof! As I said I do more lifting with my grcs... if I were bombing huge wood, or even tip tying saw logs (glad those days are past but miss em) it would be with the Hobbs.
I’m 75% a one man show, 85-90 two, and just recently have a third pair of hands. Naturally the grcs fits the bill for me.
Now to the smart winch, that looks like the cats ass, but yes the price is appalling!
 

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