by Jon M. Casey
For contractors who are looking for a way to save time and money when operating their company’s cranes, a switch to Samson® KZ-100™ Synthetic Crane Hoist Line might be the best way to do that. Samson products were recently on display at the spring Open House event at Woods CRW in Carlisle, PA. There, Prem Swaminathan of Samson Rope Technologies, Inc. was eager to explain the features and benefits of outfitting new and existing cranes with their synthetic rope products. He noted that currently, Samson KZ-100™ is available on Grove®/Manitowoc® RT, TM and NBT crane series. The introduction of K-100™, the first synthetic rope designed specifically for mobile cranes was developed in partnership with Manitowoc® Cranes in 2014.
While synthetic hoist line and rigging is not new to the industry, the acceptance for daily use has been slow to take place. Despite being proven as safe and as durable as conventional steel wire rope, breaking from what is known is not always an easy challenge to overcome. Nevertheless, Swaminathan said the KZ-100™ offers a number of benefits.
It is 80 percent lighter than wire rope and is safer to handle because there are no frayed wires to puncture worker’s skin. The Samson rope has the same maximum load pulls as wire and it is more flexible to handle as well. Because the synthetic rope is designed with a 12-strand braided construction, it resists rotation during operation, unlike wire rope. Since it does not have a tendency to rotate, it helps prevent load spin and it does not kink. That helps prevent damage from “birdcaging” and drum diving.
Swaminathan said that operations that require frequent line reeving will find a significant reduction in time and labor. Since 50 feet of KZ-100™ only weighs 11 pounds, one operator can typically reeve a block in under five minutes. If they were to do the same with wire rope, that task could take upwards of 40 minutes depending on the size of the crane.
It is also interesting to note that by using Samson Rope, freight costs for moving it and equipment outfitted with Samson Rope from place to place, will be less because it weighs 80 percent less than wire rope. That also could mean that once it is installed on a crane, the fuel costs and licensing costs of the crane itself can be affected in a positive way. By keeping the crane within its weight-to-axle load requirements, the operator may not need to remove the hoist for splitting the load between two vehicles. That saves set-up and tear-down as well as fuel and labor costs.
Another benefit of using synthetic rope is that there is no need for ongoing lubrication of the line. Since it doesn’t corrode and because it is synthetic, it does not require grease. That could amount to a cost savings of several hundred dollars per year, depending on the crane’s working environment. With the synthetic nature of the product, it is especially useful in corrosive environments such as chemical plants or near the ocean.
Samson Rope products are available for a number of other applications besides crane hoist use. For example, Samson Rope products are used in industries like offshore oil mooring lines for oil tankers, at NASA for use on the Shuttle Program, and for tug ropes for moving ships through the Panama Canal. A look at the company’s timeline on their history page (http://www.samsonrope.com/Pages/History.aspx), outlines the evolution of the product line since its inception in 1878. For more information on Samson Rope Technologies, Inc., visit their website at www.samsonrope.com .