Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Arbor Day - The Last Friday Before May!

Annual  -- To do something EVERY year.  Rigging Inspections should come to mind, and although 'Arbor Day' is intended to be the day we all plant a tree, or three, it should also be a reminder that the counterweight carriages (aka: 'Arbors') in our stage rigging need love, too.

We want to look over your equipment and make sure that everything is in proper order.
  • Nuts are tight.  The top and bottom rod nuts should both be checked to ensure that they are properly clamping the top and bottom arbor frames.
  • The rods and back-bone are straight.
  • Each cable and rope is properly secured.
  • The guide shoes are clean and properly fitted to the guide rails.
  • Spreader plates are spaced-along the length of the weight stack and not buried at the bottom.
  • Weight locks are present, and have screws in them to allow them to be tightened-down so they can hold the counterweights from jumping out of the arbor frame in the event of a run-away and crash.
  • Take the time to enumerate the arbors so they are easily identifiable regardless of what level they are positioned.
  • Check to see if anyone has maybe added extraneous weights to the system . . .
  • There are many more things to check as a part of the rigging system, so this wasn't a complete list.

    Remember: People are the most dangerous things in the theatre, so make sure that each person using the rigging system understands how to handle the weights, are secure so they can't fall over the weight loading railing, and they fully understand about using spreader plates, rope locks, and weight locking collars.  Using the tools you have properly can save lives!

    KEEP THOSE ARBORS BALANCED (also referred to as: "In weight").  Train your crews to pace their work so that the fly crew (loading bridge crew) can keep-up with the ground crew that may be loading or striping a batten.  Out of balance systems can lead to run-aways, and that can really rack-up a system:

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