Paint Your Tucks and Don’t Overlube

October 26, 2016

Generations of Advice from Mountain Wire Rope Services.

Is your team prepared for your upcoming splice or will you fall back on old habits? JT and Whitney Walters-Anderson give us the basics for Splice Day that often get overlooked.

Pre-Splice Day
Mountain Wire Rope will ask for the original splice report, original rope specs and any records up to this splice service. “These records provide us with an understanding of what’s been done for service and changes up to this point” says Whitney.

“Your Splicer may not have any experience with your crew, especially if you’ve had a turnover in mechanics. It’s important for the Operations Manager to teach their staff the basics on wire rope.. what a tuck is, what a strand is.. thedifference between a strand and a wire.”

Splice Day
JT: “The haul rope should be lowered to the ground before your splicer gets there. If you have the ability to get the rope positioned in a good work area, usually the middle of the hill [typically the highest and flattest area] it makes the job easier on everyone.

The most important thing on a splice is the rigging. In keeping with a schedule, understand that the rigging can often take more time then the splicing. Make sure the rope is safely secured and tight, with the splice area flat. Outside of that, an ATV and a generator are equipment the resort should have ready-on-hand.”

Splice Maintenance
“When going through your visual inspections, the splice is the place most prone to deterioration. It’s here where you can spot potential grip damage as grips should never be placed in the splice area. The tuck is larger than the rest of the rope and this causes the grip to migrate into the splice. The grip gets caught in the tuck and gets hung up. The continual traveling of the rope on this splice area gets worked on and worked on until damage occurs. Recommendation 1: Paint your tucks! Recommendation 2: Place chair #1 where the splice is on your haul rope [takes out any guess-work].”

“We often get a service call and a mechanic will say –We have a broken strand! –Cell phones are great in this case because we have the mechanic take a picture and text it to us. Sometimes a picture diagnosis can nail it in finding a solution for the resort. In the past we would have to travel to the resort to see what was happening. Usually we know pretty quick that it’s a broken wire in the strand and not the whole strand.

Another maintenance concern: over-lubrication. Using too much lubricant causes breakdown of sheave wheel liners which in turn causes a build-up of liner material in the valleys of the wire rope. The magic measurement per foot? One gallon per 5000 feet of rope. Doesn’t sound like enough – but this is correct.”

Three generations. The story we’ve been waiting for.
Whitney reflects on her start with her dad, Dale Walters.

“It was always a conversation in the family – what was going to happen to the business [after dad]? I grew up with Mountain Wire Rope, going to trade shows, job sites and I knew the basics. I was in the fashion industry in the rat race of NYC and was unhappy. I approached my dad about joining the business, and he thought it was a good idea. I completed my two-year apprenticeship and was one of the only women in this business. I ran into women in the lift department, but not very often. I had to work hard to prove myself.”

JT also grew up around his dad’s shop with a background in welding and fabricating. After proposing to Whitney and adding to the now Walters-Anderson family, Dale had heart surgery and needed an additional person out in the field. JT was ready. “We were on the road working so much; sometimes I didn’t know if I was married to Whitney or Dale”, JT jokes.

MWR recently added a Magnetic Rope Testing machine to their service line-up. This MRT analysis performs an x-ray of the haul rope, specific to detachable lifts. While JT and Whitney received this training and certification on the MRT, the Anderson’s announced that their son Jake (pictured in this article as both an 8-year old and a teen) also earned his certification as an NDT Rope Inspector. Another generation continues the heritage of Mountain Wire Rope Services.

Mountain Wire Rope Service, LLC

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