A Plate Full of Vortex! … A Potpourri of AHD Goodness

Written By: Lance Piatt

The Arizona Vortex is ideal for a wide range of applications, from access and egress to confined spaces, to the negotiation of complex edges in wilderness environments. The Vortex is the multipod of choice for professionals within the rescue, industrial rope access, construction, military, and entertainment rigging industries.  A portable artificial high directional system with the ability to be a tripod, a monopod, and a bipod all in one. With a precision two-point head, the CMC Arizona Vortex can be rigged in various applications such as a standard tripod or advanced setups such as an A-frame, gin pole, or multiple other imaginative configurations.

Attached are a number of Arizona Vortex and AHD (Artificial High Directional) touchpoints…

We highly recommend training for the assembly portion of the Vortex in a safe environment where all participants can concentrate on the relevant tasks.
  • Whenever possible, set up the Vortex away from the fall hazard zone, then walk it to the edge.
  • Take measures to prevent the Vortex from toppling over the edge during setup and rigging. This may include
    attaching a secured tether cord to the head or leg and/ or placing the frame on belay while it is being moved
    and secured into position.
Step 1 – Identify the Mode of Use

Anchor Frame – Where the rope supporting the load is terminated on to the vortex

Directional Frame – Where the rope supporting the load is not terminated onto the Vortex, but rather is redirected through a pulley which is supported by the Vortex.

Step 2 – Identify the Applied Force

Determine the magnitude and direction of the applied force:

  • Planned movements of the load.
  • Foreseeable unplanned movements of the load.
Step 3 – Identify the Tendency of Movement

The head and the feet of the frame will tend to move if not restrained.

Step 4a – Determine the Foot Securing Requirements

The feet are secured to prevent any movement of the feet and the frame.

Step 4b – Determine the Heading Securing Requirements

The head of the frame is typically secured using guys.  The guys give strength and rigidity to the frame.

Step 5 – Ensure guy Angles are within limits

Ensure guy/guy plane angles are:

  • Not less than 30°
  • Not less than the applied force angle
Step 6 – Test load the rigging to ensure frame stability and security 
Ensure the rigging is tested by applying a load to the system in a safe situation.  This test should be performed prior to supporting personnel in a potentially hazardous area.

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Peace on your Days

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