Staggered Anchors: Progression from 3:1 to 9:1 Simple Mechanical Advantage

Written By: Lance Piatt

 

Excerpt from Knots & Pulleys in Rope Rigging Systems Vol. 1 Segment 7

Let’s continue with our discussion on pulley systems. We can look at what we have right here. You can see the Vortex and we have a sandbag as a weight right now. What we have here in the way of a pulley system is a three to one. And let’s review our five rules. We have the rope tied off at the load, so it’s an odd, and it’s a three to one. It’s an odd mechanical advantage. We also know it’s odd because there’s two pulleys, there’s the back pull at the anchor and the pulley at the haul. We can also tell that there’s three legs of rope. 1, 2, 3, connected directly to the haul press, which is connected to the load. So three legs of rope between the anchoring system and the load. So it’s three to one.

So when we haul on this, three to ones are pretty common and they work great if you have a pretty sizable haul team, in other words, you have enough horsepower to make this work. But say you have a limited haul team and you don’t have that horsepower, I may have to compound the system to make it more functional for me. Maybe I’m the only hauler on this thing. So let me put it back down again, and we’re going to add on a second three to one using the same rope. I have this a little bit pre-rigged already just to make this a little more expedient for us.

You can see where I’ve staggered an anchor in the back here. I’m going to run this second haul prusik all the way up to the top. And let’s talk a little bit about why we got the staggered anchor. Could I have put this three to one closest to the hall team now? Could I have taken this three to one and put it on the same anchor as one up front? Yeah, I could have, but this back three to one is going to be moving three times faster than the one that’s up front. Does that make sense? We have a three pulling on a three. So now I’m going to have to pull nine feet of rope on this haul to lift that load one foot. That’s the trade off. Nothing in life is for free, is it?

So let’s do this. Let’s see how that works. By staggering the back anchor, because this back three to one is going three times faster. This is a little more efficient. It’s going to allow us to have less resets instead of having multiple resets, because this is being gobbled up so fast. And I have a little more of a walkway for it too. Nine times easier, but I still have to pull nine feet of rope to move that load one foot.

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Peace on your Days

Lance

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