The one question I get asked the most since getting into the tie down business some fifhteen years ago is, “How much will your system hold?” And my pat answer is, “What type of soil are you putting them into?” The overriding parameter of any tie down system and how well it works is soil type.
For marketing purposes, I could have tested my systems in ideal locations and given you some great numbers that may be real, but not realistic. No, you need to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.
To give our consumers realistic numbers, in 2010 I tested two of the most popular tie down systems, FlyTie and The Claw™, with ours. We performed each of the pull tests on the same day, at the same location (within a 15’ circle), at seven backcountry locations that some of you may be familiar with.
From June through September, we took our testing gear to Big Bar on the Idaho side of the Snake River in Hell’s Canyon, Minam Lodge and Red’s Horse Ranch in NE Oregon, then Johnson Creek, Moose Creek, Big Creek and Chamberlain Basin, all in Idaho.
We used a Sherline commercial pull scale that went from 60 to 2000 lbs in increments of 20 lbs. This scale was attached to a wood tripod and attached to the tie down system with a hand operated come-along to test both FlyTie and The Claw™. Our systems were designed to be pulled at an angle rather than straight up, so our systems were tested with the same scale and come-along, but attached to nearby trees (or in the case at Big Bar, a nearby hay thrashing machine due to no trees on location) rather than the tripod. Abe’s systems can be set up to be used as a single or double anchor tie down system, so our tests compared one version of our single anchor and two versions of our double anchor systems along with FlyTie and The Claw™ systems.
At each test location we recorded the date, time, temperature and a description of the ground and soil makeup. We conducted our tests in an area at each site where you might tie down your aircraft. Each of the five systems were tested within a 15’- diameter circle at each test site, so each system would be tested in the same ground and soil makeup.
We put each system in place in the ground and pulled on it with the come along attached to the scale until it was pulled out of the ground. The highest poundage indicated on scale dial (within 10 lbs) during the pull test was recorded for each of the five systems.
The lower table has descriptions of the ground and soil makeup found at each of the seven locations.
Pull Test Results
(Soil details below):
|Big Bar||Minam Lodge||Johnson Creek||Moose Creek||Big Creek||Chamberlain Basin||Red's Horse Ranch|
|Abe’s Double Anchor with Holding Rods|
|Max. Weight Held||280 lbs||740 lbs||700 lbs||1050 lbs||950 lbs||900 lbs||940 lbs|
|Ranking @ this Site||1st||1st||1st||1st||1st||1st||1st|
|% of 1st @ this Site||100%||100%||100%||100%||100%||100%||100%|
|Overall Ave. Wt. Held||794 lbs|
|Overall % of #1 Ranked||100%|
|Abe’s Double Anchor without Holding Rods|
|Max. Weight Held||230 lbs||460 lbs||460 lbs||690 lbs||540 lbs||700 lbs||600 lbs|
|Ranking @ this Site||Tied-2nd||3rd||2nd||2nd||3rd||2nd||2nd|
|% of 1st @ this Site||82%||62%||66%||66%||57%||78%||64%|
|Overall Ave. Wt. Held||526 lbs|
|Overall % of #1 Ranked||66%|
|Max. Weight Held||200 lbs||500 lbs||400 lbs||620 lbs||480 lbs||550 lbs||580 lbs|
|Ranking @ this Site||4th||2nd||3rd||4th||4th||4th||3rd|
|% of 1st @ this Site||71%||68%||57%||59%||51%||61%||62%|
|Overall Ave. Wt. Held||476 lbs|
|Overall % of #1 Ranked||60%|
|Abe’s Single Anchor with Holding Rods|
|Max. Weight Held||230 lbs||420 lbs||360 lbs||640 lbs||440 lbs||490 lbs||460 lbs|
|Ranking @ this Site||Tied-2nd||4th||4th||3rd||5th||5th||4th|
|% of 1st @ this Site||82%||57%||51%||61%||46%||54%||49%|
|Overall Ave. Wt. Held||434 lbs|
|Overall % of #1 Ranked||55%|
|Max. Weight Held||130 lbs||230 lbs||220 lbs||410 lbs||550 lbs||570 lbs||390 lbs|
|Ranking @ this Site||5th||5th||5th||5th||2nd||3rd||5th|
|% of 1st @ this Site||46%||31%||31%||39%||58%||63%||41%|
|Overall Ave. Wt. Held||357 lbs|
|Overall % of #1 Ranked||45%|
Test Site Soil Conditions
|Big Bar||Grass & cactus cover with river rock laden sandy soil|
|Minam Lodge||Grass sod cover with river rock laden soil|
|Johnson Creek||Grass sod cover with granite rock laden soil|
|Moose Creek||Light grass sod cover with packed soil with few rocks|
|Big Creek||Light grass sod with compacted rocky soil|
|Chamberlain Basin||Light grass sod cover with good soil with few rocks|
|Red's Horse Ranch||Grass sod cover with good soil with few rocks|