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Monitoring the Tension

An increasing number of recent incidents report backline machines pulled over, stumps popped, and/or that ropes and rigging have been broken with the system under tension. In most cases, the investigation found that system overloading has most likely contributed to the incident in some way.

Overloading a hauling system is easy to do especially in the absence of a way to monitor the tension accurately. Some may point to the ‘skyline brake’ and its design to slip as a safety mechanism. However, skyline brakes have not always proved to be a reliable method to control and monitor the tension, especially in older machines!

FIPS 8630 28/02/2017 – Rollover!

A drag of stems was buried head first in a steep gully bounded by native trees and would not release.

The breaker-outs decided to apply more power and gave the hauler operator instructions. The increase in power caused extra tension on the system and an overloading. This tipped the backline tailhold, a bulldozer, onto its side, damaging a scrub bar and exhaust.

View this article in Safety Bulletin 106