TECHNICAL FORUMS > Equipment
SRT kit renewal
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Hi,could I ask some advice please, I have an SRT rig from the early 1990`s that has only been used a couple of dozen times. I have done a visual check of the sit harness, the stop descender & the 2 jammers, no breaks in any stitching or splits in the webbing are evident. No visible wear to the bobbins of the stop (but the red plastic cover has come off the handle) no visible wear to the cams or teeth on the jammers, no wear to the aluminium body of the jammers, but colour of both is wearing off as it is on the stop. I have replaced the footloop rope & cowstails.
Do you think the kit should be safe to start using again, Thanks
Personally, I would replace all fabric items, but wouldn't have the slightest worry about the metalwork. So basically, replace the harness in addition to what you've done already.
Funny you should mention this, but I recently changed my kit for some "newer" kit that is actually something been in storage since late 90s. I'm perfectly happy to use a mid 1990s stop, shunt, and the croll is better than the plasticky **** they make now.
Make a really careful inspection of any stops though. look for looseness of corrosion around the main bobbin nut. At the start of a drop (the first drop of the job) in an access job many many years ago I had a stop disintegrate (access company supplied) thank goodness for the second rope! It had looked fine to quick pre-use inspection but not good when loaded. I'm super careful now to inspect everything especially if not mine.
Subject to careful inspection, old metal kit should be just fine. I am using a "vintage" chest harness but I wouldn't re-use any other old soft-gear (like sit harness, cows tails etc), even if it looks OK I bin it at 10 years.
You should consider history of use, storage condition, general treatment and any likely contamination when assessing the harness and other software. Manufacturers advice will be to remove from service 10 years after manufacture date regardless. However, I know one caver who used the same set of cowstails for 30 years and he's still alive. In all probability the harness will not fail to the point that you have an accident but there is a greater risk with aging software. Buy a new one if you can. The hardware should be fine. I'd guess the one mentioned below might have been used in more corrosive industrial conditions than a cave so give it all a thorough examination.
At the end of the day you're the one hanging on it all.
With regards hardware, on my first trip underground post-lockdown I noticed that I could pick bits of aluminium off my descender crab - it looked like a Cadburys flake! I am sure it woudl have been fine but given how much of this there was - I binned it.
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