In Riggers we trust

It was my first time working with Riggers I was very amazed to see their equipment, it seemed they were going to hike in the mountains or rescue somebody from and helicopter while moving; ropes around the chest, fancy harnesses, carabineers, special gloves, bags and helmets.
In Riggers we trust

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Carefully they inspect their security personal rope then double check their equipment and put it all on the harness and bags, got ready and went up to the cat walk of the stadium where they setup a pulley system: two pulleys attached with steel and shackles on a main beam in the ceiling structure and a rope, this simple system helps to reduce the force when pulling the heavy stuff (a 100kg load now is only 50kg), after doing this they lift easily the first electric chain motor and attached it to the might think this task is a piece of cake because the chain motor now will do all the hard job but it is not that easy. Lifting equipment like loudspeakers, lighting systems or stage structures has its potential risk and there are many aspects to care about. Safety is the main component on this labor, riggers must ensure their own safety before all and the integrity of the people that would might be expose to the suspended equipment during events or any time, then ensure the facility or place and the equipment.

There was one rigger in charge of controlling the motors, he has been working as a rigger during 14 years and still he find a challenge every time he lift or suspend equipment. He was aware of the status of the motor and the electric cable that feeds the motor, if the cable is not place and organized correctly there is a risk of break it, the weight of 30-40m of 12 AWG electric cable hanging is a considerable weight.

Next to the motor controller there was a second rigger (8 years’ experience in this case) that might help to “fly” the load to one or other side, not always is possible to lift things vertically, sometimes the load needs to fly some meter until it is possible to leave it in line with the hanging point.

There was a team of 3 Riggers (from 6 to 12 years’ experience) in the catwalk waiting for the equipment to be hooked, they are skilled to be standing on a beam, move around with high precision, balance and control. (They even can rest if necessary is some cases they told me). Once the loudspeaker array was at the desired height (54m), two riggers attached this load (450kg) with the steel rope in the front of the bumper (the top metal frame that holds the speaker array) and a 3rd rigger attached the pull back (bottom part of the speaker array); the length of the pull back control the tilt of the array. All the steel rope and shackles used in the hanging points were previously selected carefully taking into account quality and safety and calculated to obtain the correct placement according to the design.

I’m not going to describe all the duties during the process of this permanent installation of speaker clusters, I simply want to say that working with professional and experienced people in this area provided me a better understanding about rigging and also awake my interest to look for more information about it, this task involves different aspects that not necessary might be learn at school or books.

Do you have any amazing storie while working with riggers or as a rigger?

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