THE VOLUNTEERS CORNER

THE VOLUNTEERS CORNER

DEPARTMENTS

THE BOWLINE was made for firemen. It’s easy to tie, it’s reliable and it’s applicable to many needs.

An example of how it can replace a complex of knots is its use in hauling ladders to a roof. The hard way of tying a ladder hitch is to make a clove hitch on each beam set that each hitch is split by opposite ends of the same rung. Then a bridle is made by tying a backhanded bowline. This takes a good deal of time.

But a ladder can be safely hauled up by using a single bowline. First tie a bowline with a large enough bight (or loop) to slip over the ladder. Bring the bight between the rungs just beyond the center of the ladder and toward the tip. Carry the; bight up and slip it over the tip. Pull on the rope and let the bight slide; all the way to where it was thrust through the rungs.

The bight now forms a bridle, which can easily be centered to even the strain on the beams. How well the bowline is centered will determine how straight the ladder will rise.

Now place the ladder so that when hauling starts, the rope will be between the ladder and the building. This will let the tip kick out so that it will pass over obstructions such as window sills and cornices.

When lowering a ladder, keep the ladder between the building and the rope. This makes the foot kick out and avoids entanglements with drip caps and other protrusions from the wall.

The business of keeping the tip out from the building when hauling is particularly important when there are shingles or clapboards to disrupt any upward sliding action. By kicking the butt out on the way down, you prevent the spurs from digging into shingles or clapboards—or catching in masonry joints.

If a heavy extension ladder is being raised, the free end of the rope being hauled in may be attached to the top rung as it comes above the roof line.

I hen, when the ladder is raised as high as possible, a downward pull on the end tied to the top rung will break the ladder over the roof with hardly any effort. Otherwise, it is necessary to stand at the edge of the roof, grab hold of the beams and pull down with little leverage advantage.

A hose roller makes the hauling task much easier because it reduces rope friction to a minimum. However, many a ladder has been—and will be—hauled up without the help of a roller.

Without a roller, you must be careful that the rope is not damaged by chafing on the cornice, gutter or edge of the roof. If the ladder is not too heavy, the rope should be kept clear of the building by an inch or so. If the weight is too much for this, the rope should be protected against abrasion by putting a piece of canvas—such as part of an old salvage cover—on the edge of the roof. Then the rope will have something soft to slide over.

As for handling the rope, always pull it in or pay it out hand over hand. Never, never let rope slip through your hands. Friction will soon make your hands too hot to hang onto the rope.

Even gloves won’t sufficiently insulate your hands when rope runs through them at a fast clip. The only way to be safe is to handle rope hand over hand.

And a last word of caution. When it is idle, tie the roof end of a hauling line to something on the roof. Then the rope won’t accidentally slither off the roof to pile up on the ground.

Hoisting ladderUse large loop . . .Slip over tip .. .Center over ladder . . ....Bowline

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