On a side trip during the Highway Geology Symposium in Portland, Maine this past September, members of state departments of transportation
and the Association of Geohazard Professional’s Rope Access Committee toured the Sterling Rope Factory in Biddeford, Maine. Proudly manufacturing in the USA, Sterling has been fabricating climbing and work ropes for decades. Their innovations include a 48-carrier static sheath construction for greater durability and better handling, the first 100% Polyester static rope, and a 100% Technora heat and abrasion resistant ropes to the fire industry.
The tour covered aspects of rope design, manufacture, and testing. “What a tour!” states Marc Fish, Engineering Geologist for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “We saw how the raw material thread was twisted into cores, the cores interconnected, and then the cores weaved into the final ropes. Most interesting was how the different dyeing techniques affect the different ropes’ strength. The quality control testing equipment, designed in-house, and testing procedures gave us all assurance that these ropes will perform as designed.”
“More than an informational tour, this visit was important for AGHP’s leadership and members”, says Ahren Bichler, AGHP Chairman. “Again, our organization is able to lead our industry on safety and safe operations. These activities help to educate our members and highlight to our industry the steps our member companies are undertaking to bring safety into their daily operations”.