Arborist Adaptable Aerial Solutions LLC has added a second Straightpoint (SP) force measurement device to its inventory. Following the successful implementation of a wireless 25,000-lb. capacity Radiolink plus load cell, a 60kN capacity load pin has also proved its usefulness in tree felling applications.
SP’s range of load or shear pins is designed for use where an end of line load cell cannot be used or when an integrated solution is required in applications such as pulley or sheave axles, moorings, winches, or support blocks. In this instance, Adaptable (or Craneva, as it is known after the website name) uses the pin on a Mecanil grapple saw. Readings are taken wirelessly on a Hand Held plus, also an SP product.
Steve Connally, of Craneva, said: “I can check the total weight on the grapple’s mount or I can adjust it to tare [unladen] weight and measure what each particular piece weighs. I had always felt there was a need for a load-sensing module for the application of grapple saw work. The cranes themselves don’t show a number reading; they have an LED [light-emitting diode] that shows a percentage of the maximum. I thought there needed to be something more accurate, if nothing more than to build the mental library of weights, sizes, shapes, and tree species. Having posted pictures of the Radiolink plus on Instagram, I pitched the idea of the pin in ensuing dialog with SP.”
Connally explained that both the load cell and pin will continue to have a purpose. The former is utilized beneath the hook of the company’s Palfinger knuckle-boom crane, while the pin provides valuable data during sawing applications. In addition to the inherent safety advantages of recording data, the pin also assists in preventing unnecessary wear and tear to equipment.
As can be the case in niche applications, Craneva’s successful utilization of the load pin wasn’t instantaneous. For example, remote control transmissions from the crane and grapple saw interrupted Bluetooth connection—only while running the grapple saw. SP converted the unit to use the wireless handheld receiver instead.
Connally said: “SP were extremely cooperative throughout the process and we have arrived at a solid arboreal tool. In our industry we are faced with dynamic situations with rough predictions of weight, although we still have to follow strict load parameters. The load pin allows us to mentally catalog our work. Granted, once you cut a piece you own it. By using this load pin we know what the last cut weighed and can figure appropriately for the next. We are dealing with nature—she defies predictability. Every piece of wood is going to weigh different based on numerous factors, but the key is to support one’s experience with data and thusly keep out of trouble.”
Connally is a National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) certified crane operator and has been using cranes in arboreal applications for 20 years. Additionally, he and the team are fully trained in arborist rigging and technical rescue rigging operations. Connally is also an instructor at the Crane Safety Climber School, a class for arborists working with cranes for tree work.