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  1. #1
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    Default High Directional?

    I am new to the forums, and recently saw something that made me want to pose a question to you guys. I was observing annual ladder testing at my dept. recently, where the company had constructed an "artificial high directional" to assist in lower the weight blocks onto the ladder. The unit mounted in a receiver hitch. My question is has anyone seen anything made like this for the rescue service? I know it has been done before, and by some of the true rope pioneers, but I havent had luck getting any info on this. I understand the forces that would be placed upon this, as I am familiar with the force multipliers on HDs. Just some input from some of you experienced guys would be great. Thanks!


  2. #2
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    Default High Directional?

    Without seeing a picture I can't be sure but it sounds like a device manufactured by a company out of Canada called UCL Safety Systems. They had some very unique and versatile davait arm designs and the most heavy duty tripod on the market. The Arizona Vortex is the only thing better but it's a lot a lot pricier than the tripod from UCL. UCL was bought out recently by Vallen Safety if I remember right. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Mike Dunn
    ERT, Inc
    Port Allen, LA

  3. #3
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    Default hitch mount

    I have seen some hitch mounted anchor points in action and some high directionals in pictures, however my concern is what has the hitch been used for I know most will say that a hitch is solid on the frame, but I know personally the hitch on my vehicle has had some serious use and most fire department vehicles that can make it to where the HD is actually needed have probably been yanked out of the mudd by that hitch in the past, again I know it's probably not a problems but you're going to be putting a rescuer and victim on that hitch, just a thought

  4. #4
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    Default Hitch mount

    Those are all valid concerns that you may be able to alleviate through a proper inspection of the receiver hitch although the inspection may require tools or knowledge not readily available locally.

    The UCL receiver hitch davit arm had an extendable leg (similar principle to a trailer jack) so the entire weight of the rescue load wasn't being supported solely by the hitch and the angle of the davit arm boom and the resulting forces would be levering up under the vehicle, not pulling down on the hitch like a trailer would.

    Having said that, the hitch still needs a visual inspection at a minimum. Check for tightness of bolts and proper torque (if bolted onto the frame), look for any signs of corrosion, any signs of stretching of the metal or holes becoming elongated, and be sure the hitch is truly mounted to the frame members and not the rear bumper like the rescue truck we got from an apparatus manufacturer located in Louisiana. We provided them with trailer size, weight, ball size, etc., and the first time we pulled the loaded trailer the receiver hitch started bending the rear tailboard step down because that is all it was hooked to. We would have lost the trailer the first time we responded with it.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Thanks for the useful information. I understand and agree with the concerns of the hitch, and integrity of it's parts. We wrote the specs for a 9000# winch, and to have the hitch and all components rated to atleast that. I also understand the situation with possible damage and upkeep of it's parts.

    I had considered the use of an extendable brace underneath, somewhat acting in compression to the anticipated resultant of the directional. I had recently attended a class where this was mentioned. A well known fabricator, and rope pioneer, Larry Morton had constructed this for his dept. It's intended use was for low angle rescues coming directly off the side of a rescue truck. I have yet to find any info on his creation of this, but understand he was a phenominal fabricator, as well as rope practitioner. I'll post any findings I may come up with.

  6. #6
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    Smile Use Google

    Look up "LARKIN FRAME" and "ARIZONA VORTEX" ... there are more but that will get you started.
    Pray for the dead, fight like hell for the living! - Mother Jones

  7. #7
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    Default

    Are you looking to attach something to a vehicle or to be used as a stand alone high-directional?

  8. #8
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    Default

    jmatthe,

    I guess I am looking for a stand alone HD. I have trained extensively with the Arizona Vortex, and really like it. However, my volunteer dept. does not have the funding to buy one at this time. Our majority of rope work involves low angle removals from vehicle accidents, etc. We have performed these without a HD, but have taken a beaten in the process. I have heard of "homemade" HD's that have been made to fit into a receiver for a hitch, to attach directly to the side of the truck. I'm sure you have all seen old pictures of rescue trucks with an A-frame on the front bumper. I'd like to use that concept, but on the side of the truck.

  9. #9
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    Default

    I know what you mean. Though I have no suggestion for a receiver hitch type HD, take a look at paratech and maybe airshore. I know paratech makes a gin pole / bi-pod that could be anchored to a vehicle plus it may play into equipment you already have.

    The vortex and the larkin frame are both extrodinary pieces of equipment that I highly recommend, but as you say are a little pricey.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Paratech now makes a hitch attachment for their Monopod. It is in the 2008 catalog.

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