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This Arborist Rope Scared The S#!% Out Of Me



In celebration of ExtremeGear.org now stocking a full line of arborist gear we decided to break of some of it. In this video we break Samson 16mm (5/8") Tenex-TEC in a few different configurations, an arborist harness, and some VT prussiks donated by Jeremey Norman.


Test Results

Tenex-Tec is a polyester cordage specifically designed for easy splicing and arborist work. It has two strands per carrier. We tested two pieces. Both featured a different style of splice to create an eye on each end. This allowing us to test four configurations of splicing.



Our first piece was looped with double fid-length splice (recommended by the manufacturer) on one side and a single fid-length splice with intentionally short tail on the other. The second piece featured a double locking Brummel splice and a single fid-length bury (proper tail length) with stitching.


Both pieces broke in the middle at the end of the taper, there were no significant strength advantages to any of the styles of splicing. all were super good enough.


When we pulled the last test to 85kN, the machine struggles to go past that so I stopped, thinking it wasn't going to break. Walked around my shield and then this explosion of 19,000lbf happens. I swear it feels like some of those breaks give off small shock waves.




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We tested one old and one new Blue Water VT Prusik. When we pull tested the VT's on 1/2" rope the rope broke before the VT's. With three wraps the VT's began to slip at 8 kN, with four wraps they began to slip at 15 kN.



Next we pull tested the VT's eye to eye. The new VT Prusik broke just under MBS, which is not surprising given it had to survived the first two tests where we broke the 1/2" rope. The old VT Prusik broke at significantly lower force.



Next we took a pretty beat up arborist harness and tried all sorts of ways to break it. Everything broke above MBS. The soft goods of the harness broke between 11 and 22 kN, with the exception of one leg loop that was already ~25% torn through. All hard goods broke above MBS. Arborist harnesses are super strong enough.



What's Next?

Watch us destroy some arborist bridges next





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Breaking Gear Fear

Edutainment has been a great way to help people understand their gear, and know the true limitations of it.  Watching HOW gear fails is more important than the force itself, as almost all gear is super good enough.  It's more important to share information on how to stay safe than it is to have a paywall.  We hope our stoke is contagious.

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