For the past two decades, DMM has been working closely with Chris Cowell, Mark Bridge and Bernd ‘Beddes’ Strasser, practicing arborists and founding members of Treemagineers, to design, develop and create new products to suit specialist industrial and tree care environments.
The first product to result from the close innovative cooperation between DMM and Treemagineers was the Triple Attachment Pulley (TAP)—a core component of the Hitch Climber system.
For Mark and Chris, the idea for a new pulley system began, not with a conversation about equipment, but a conversation about techniques whilst working together in trees.
Mark Bridge explains: “Before the invention of the Triple Attachment Pulley, the way work positioning took place on tree care was very cluttered. We were having to jury rig using the largest HMS connectors we could get, jamming pulleys with bits of rope and slings.”
“Specifically, we took a closer look at connectors and the ways they were being used in tree care. By examining the profiles of cross sections and considering load configurations, we were able to analyse the strongest parts of the system. In doing so, we realised that what we were trying to accomplish was completely counter intuitive.”
“In a moving rope system, you have two legs of rope that pass over the top anchor point and come back down again, with half body load on each leg,” explains Mark.
“The termination was sitting right on the outside towards the nose of the carabiner, so we had the highest load attached to the weakest point of the connector. It was then that we realised that a technical fix wouldn’t work. We needed an equipment fix.”
“Working with a development engineer, we eventually came up with some elaborate concepts that ticked all the boxes. However, it quickly became apparent that the end product was niche and therefore not viable.”
“When we came to DMM in 2004, one of the things we focused on was the way the line ran into the device. We wanted the rope to be encouraged to be fair when approaching from awkward angles.”
The first iteration of the product had a two hole pulley with a small attachment hole in the middle for an accessory cord or locking bolt to fix the two side plates against rotation. By splitting the attachment to the climber into two carabiners, this mitigated some of the problems outlined.