Pulling Ropes 101

Transmission pulling ropes are one of our specialties and we get many questions weekly on what the best rope is to buy. Of course, there’s many opinions in this matter but here’s our suggestions when looking to purchase a rope for a transmission puller.

First things first. There’s NO in between. When comparing similar working loads, the rope is either going to be somewhat bearable in price, or something that the person quoting you usually asks if you’re sitting down first. There are positive and negative tradeoffs for each choice. Let’s discuss

  • Start with your working load
    • Knowing your working load of the machine and backing into that by rope type is very helpful in figuring out how long the rope may last. We are always stressing to our clients that buying a 3,700-pound working load rope for a 3,500-pound working load machine is like buying new tires with little tread life on them. This is where the HMPE ropes can be of an advantage they allow you downsize in diameter, stay far above working load limit of the machine increasing the ropes longevity, and allow more working length on the drum
  • Polyester vs HMPE
    • More than likely these are the two fiber types that would be quoted. There’s nothing in between. Polyester is the more economical choice. HMPE fibers aka Dyneema® / Spectra® will be more expensive depending on the diameter / working load you choose. Polyester is heavier, absorbs water, and has moderate stretch. HMPE ropes are stronger, lighter, non-water absorbing, and very low stretch like steel cable but at a fraction of the weight.
  • What is your budget?
    • If you are looking to get into a rope at the economical level, then a polyester 12 strand rope will be your best (and only) choice. Its rugged and its repairable but your pull lengths could be limited based on the pull length of the job(s). If you’re planning to fly the rope in, use the entire length of the pulling rope to maximize your equipment’s potential, then a lighter wight, stronger HMPE rope should be your choice.

Once there’s a better understanding of these points above, or if this left you with more questions than answers, we would love to continue this conversation and help you with your company’s stringing line needs. We know rope. Let’s chat. sale@theropeguru.com

Jamie Goddard

Owner at The Rope Guru