[TowerTalk] Rebar Positioning Assembly

Dick Green WC1M wc1m73 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 27 03:14:21 EDT 2017

I put together something simple that does what I think you want, but it's much lighter than the Amazon item. (NOTE: This is not a substitute for a fall-arrest lanyard. You need one of those, too, preferably a Y-lanyard.)

I use a 12 cm rock climbing quickdraw sling with a locking carabiner at each end. My sling is similar to this one:


You can get these at any outdoor retailer that carries rock climbing gear. Make sure it's rated 22Kn or higher. They come in various styles and lengths. You can also get them pre-assembled with carabiners, but usually they're not of the locking variety, which I prefer for tower climbing. I use high-quality, lightweight man-load rated locking carabiners instead. One carabiner clips to my chest D-ring and I let the other end dangle free while I climb. When using this to clip to the tower, your distance from the tower will be the sum of the lengths of the quickdraw and the two carabiners. Depending on the parts you choose, it'll be about 9-12 inches.

When I need a break during the climb, I grab the dangling carabiner and quickly clip it to a cross-brace. I can lean back and both hands are free. This is faster and safer than threading the positioning lanyard through or around the tower with one hand while holding on to the tower with the other hand.

Of course, this is too close to the tower for most tasks, so a positioning lanyard is required as well. When I get to the work position, I clip the quickdraw strap to a cross brace, which allows me to lean back and use both hands to thread the positioning lanyard through or around the tower. Once that's in place, I unclip the quickdraw strap for maximum mobility. 

I use the Petzl Grillon Hook for my positioning lanyard. Expensive, but rugged, lightweight and very easy to adjust. 

For fall arrest I use the Black Diamond Easy Rider Via Ferrata Set:


It's made for a different use, but it's essentially the same as a typical fall-arrest Y-lanyard but much lighter. The lanyards retract so they stay out of the way and are less prone to tangling. The hooks are much lighter and easier to operate than big gorilla hooks, which used to cause my hands to cramp after a lot of climbing (not a good thing on a tower.) The smaller hooks take a little more precision to place and they won't clip around a tower leg. Never had a problem with that.

This gear isn't cheap. One thing I don't scrimp on is tower climbing gear. While most harnesses and lanyards are safe, there are differences in long-term durability, weight and ease of operation. I think rugged products that weigh less and are easier operation make for a safer climb. My life is more important to me than the extra money.

73, Dick WC1M

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Maki [mailto:lists at oakcom.org] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 7:34 PM
To: towertalk <towertalk at contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Rebar Positioning Assembly

On 4/26/2017 19:23 PM, Steve Maki wrote:

>> What do you tower climbers use for lanyards and connecting hardware?  
>> I recently bought a harness but the lanyard is a fall restraint 
>> lanyard from the back.  I have seen rope lanyards used but they look 
>> to be way too long for best position holding on a tower.  I have been 
>> looking at and for a crocodile clamp style anchor like a Rebar 
>> positioning assembly like this
>> FallTech 8250 Rebar Positioning Assembly - Swivel Steel Rebar Hook 
>> with 25" Gate Opening, Clevis-Pin Steel Snap Hooks, Grade 80 Chain, 23"
>> or similar: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NPV6FFK
>> Granted I am not an ironworker trying to anchor to an 18 bar wall but 
>> it looked like a good lanyard to be easily clipped around a leg or 
>> cross brace and keep me closer into the tower rather than leaning 
>> back
>> 3 feet like rope lanyards.
>> Any thoughts or comments?

> For typical ham use if there is such a thing, what you pointed to is 
> not the ideal positioning device. Unless you plan on sitting for 
> extended periods in your aluminum seat harness...they work well for 
> that. The problem is it's not adjustable, and it's not feather weight.
> For moving around on and working on a ham tower, IMO the best 
> positioning device is an *adjustable rope lanyard*. There are many on 
> the market. My climbers like the Petzl ones, but I prefer a simple Elk 
> River. There's one for under $100 on the Site Pro web site,
> https://www.sitepro1.com/store/cart.php?m=product_list&c=1114
> -Steve K8LX

In fact the one I actually use is $42 on that page - part# 34406.

You'll love it. Note: it's for work positioning only - you still need a separate fall arrest lanyard or system of some sort.

-Steve K8LX

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