Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Recently, Dave Stevens asked us, "What do you do when the halyard falls / runs right off the truck pulley", beside hire a boom truck that is?
Turns out, this query was for a veterans association that raises and lowers the flag daily. After some time, the pulley is going to wear out. The channel of the pulley gets compromised and the halyard comes off the track and lodges against the housing of the truck and the axle of the pulley. This gap between the pulley and the truck housing can be difficult to deal with effectively from the ground level. 

This is is a great question, Dave!

1) If the truck is old and pulley wears, the rope can slip off the pulley and land between the pulley and the housing. Typically we find the halyard loose enough to move back and forth and dislodge and get back up on the pulley track. This is really only good for a temporary fix.

If you can do that, just tighten down the halyard leaving no slack in the line when wrapping the cleat. This is to keep the rope on the pulley. You know these sharp edges and side housings of the truck can prematurely cause the a halyard to fray and break so again this is a nominal fix.

2) If you can't get the halyard back up on the pulley, but you can still move it, then you have this option. You can attach a feed line or guide line (a thinner string using your duck tape approach to the existing halyard) this is to help create some space up top for a new halyard to be pulled up through smoothly. Raise the line without a flag, try and get the second line back up on the pulley first if you can. Complete the job by then bringing the new halyard all the way up and back down. If the rope is stuck and the truck badly worn and damaged, you'll have to go up to the top. No one wants that, but that is another story for later.
wire-center flagpole halyard
But wait there is more! If you are able to get the rope back on the pulley, we suggest replacing that rope with wire-center halyard (consider a larger diameter, careful it may not fit the housing clearance). Not only can the gap between the pulley and the housing cause your rope to fall off, the housing of the truck can eat into your rope and cause failure again. You don't want to have the rope snap on you and the wire center is a great secure way to help prevent that from happening.

Any other questions or suggestions join in? Just send us a comment!