Don't let a cable pull go tragically wrong. The key to safe cable pulling is respect for the rope. Climbers have long known this, and cable pullers need to know it, too. The rules are a bit different for each group. Cable pulling crews need to observe these rules:

Select a rope:

  • Specifically for a given pull rather than just use the nearest rope.
  • That's strong enough. Look up the "average breaking strength" of a rope you're considering. It needs to be at least four times the rated capacity of your puller.
  • That's made of low-stretch material. When high-stretch ropes break, the release of their stored energy dramatically increases the danger.
Don't pull ropes over sharp edges. If there's a sharp edge in the pull path, cover it with something that can be securely fastened over it. Don't drag ropes over the ground (especially if it's a rough surface) or through puddles. Don’t walk on ropes, and never stand in front of the rope's "snap path."

Don't use ropes that are old, frayed, dirty, or in any kind of questionable condition. Never use a rope with splices, kinks, or loose fibers. Rely on the motto, "if in doubt, throw it out."