SOE Events

Tractel: Lifting mechanisms in the modern marketplace

1st Nov 2014
BES South Eastern

In October the BES South Eastern Region hosted a well-attended lecture presented by Martyn Reed, access engineering manager for Tractel, market leaders in the supply of access equipment.

Founded in 1941, today Tractel provides lifting and handling, load measurement, suspended working platforms and fall arrest safety equipment in over 120 countries through a network of over 8,000 industrial distributors.

The company's comprehensive product range includes BMUs, monorails, gantrys, ladders and davits, and at the heart of its product offering is a variation of the familiar patented winching device. Otherwise known as Tirfor, this features a ‘hand over hand’ rope gripping action.

Attendees had the chance to learn about modern ‘through block’ wire rope lifting devices, which either deflect the rope through an internal ‘S’ configuration, or by a double wrap. These mechanisms, which are trademarked under the ‘Tirak’ name, are, to a degree, self-adjusting to compensate for wear, but depend on a specific construction of wire rope to maintain their integrity.

Martyn explained how the products in the Tractel range are powered via electric and pneumatic drives: motors are electro-magnetic retarded, whilst linear speed braking is provided by centrifugal systems. For man riding duties (eg. with suspended access equipment) an external and independent safety mechanism is required; this is the reputed Blocstop device which may be activated manually, automatically, or by overspeed.

Martyn also provided delegates with an insight into Tractel’s identity numbering system, which identify the many design variables. The internal mechanisms of a hoisting device were also demonstrated, showing the high quality of engineering that they make use of.

Members of the region learnt how the market for these products is much wider than for access equipment only; they are also used for general lifting and transit purposes. And for delegates used to seeing the familiar window cleaning installations, the numerous alternative applications proved interesting.

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