GRCS: Good Rigging Control System
The Good Rigging Control System or GRCS is the ultimate device for lowering and raising a variety of heavy loads ranging from tree branches to logs, to transformers in a safe and controlled fashion. The GRCS was developed by professional arborist Greg Good. The GRCS offers two settings providing a 44:1 and a 22:1 mechanical advantage. This setup comes with two specialized spools: one for lowering and one for lifting. With a dead lift rating of 3,000 lbs., the GRCS is able to handle the heaviest payload.
The GRCS features a powerful Harken winch that separates from the mount for easy setup. The tree mount is hinged to provide secure attachment to a wide range of stem diameters. Rubber feet on the tree mount protect the trunk of trees being pruned and allow the winch to be mounted on a tree not being removed. The aluminum rope brake is interchangeable with a better ability to dissipate friction heat. Multiple fair leads position the rope on the winch drum to keep operation tangle free. The 2 speed, self-tailing winch allows a single ground person to lift, lower, and lock off tremendous loads quickly, safely, and without tying knots.
In 1997 Greg Good had a contract to remove a dead silver maple tree growing over a house with a tile roof. The job site made crane access impossible, but trees adjacent to the silver maple offered rigging points for moving pieces of the silver maple away from the roof. The only thing needed was a way to hoist the limbs gently up and away from the tile roof. Greg was running just a two man show at the time so he needed to empower the ground man. This job gave Greg the impetus to act on an idea he had about using a yacht winch for tree rigging. Greg certainly wasn’t the first to do this, as other arborists like Glenn Riggs in Philadelphia had worked with winches, but in the pre-internet days arborists often worked in their own small orbits and information wasn’t shared as it is today.
Greg acquired a Harken model 44 self tailing winch and bolted it to a thick aluminum plate with the idea that the aluminum plate could slide into a mounting bracket, which would strap to a tree. The mount was cobbled together from steel plate and angles that he had lying around the shop.
Greg did the silver maple removal and realized that having real mechanical advantage available on any tree they were working on was something good.
As they gained experience rigging with the winch, it became apparent that fairleads on the mount to prevent turns of the rope from crossing over on the drum were necessary. Each time Greg did a job using the winch he found new ways to use it. Before long he was using it on every job.
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