There is a balance between the cost of equipment and the cost spent on training. There is additional cost spent on training to remain proficient with the use of equipment. All of these costs must be considered when making a purchase. Something inexpensive might look like a good deal but when the total cost of ownership is considered it might end up costing much more than investing in the correct gear in the beginning.
Development of modern rope equipment began shortly after the end of World War II and the rate of new equipment and ideas continue to grow every year. New ways are thought of to accomplish tasks and as these new ways are tested new products are developed. For a long time these new ideas were adopted very slowly. A look through old rope manuals shows the same methods being taught over and over again. Often these were not very good ideas when they were first thought of and over time they haven’t gotten better. Modern manuals have started to show radically new ways to perform these same tasks. Safety and technology improvement have driven most of these changes.
Training costs are another major concern. If a student is trained on equipment but can’t remember how to use it after the training is finished, the equipment has no use. Ideally a piece of equipment should be easy to learn and be simple enough for the student to remember how to use even when the student hasn’t practiced for a long time.
Accidents can happen at any time and probably are not going to happen immediately after a student completes training. Days, weeks, or months might go by and the student needs to remain proficient. Simple inexpensive equipment can sometimes be purchased that can do this but not always. It depends on the task that needs to be accomplished. A student can not expect to remain proficient with overly complicated equipment without extensive hands on time. This can come through operations or practice. If this is safety gear that is not used daily, the hands on time must come through practice and unfortunately most organizations are not able to devote this amount of time to training.
The CMC Multi-Purpose Device (MPD) combines a high-efficiency pulley, an integral rope-grab mechanism, a lowering device, and belay system into a simple to use piece of equipment. This allows a student to quickly and easily learn to lower, raise, and perform a safety backup without stopping to switch or replace hardware. The student can be taught in minutes and be able to easily remember how to perform these tasks after the training is finished.
The alternative to an MPD is a mix of equipment including a brake bar rack, pulleys, anchor plates, carabiners, prusik cord and load release strap. The time to teach the student to effectively use these items is much longer and most students will forget very shortly after the training is finished. This requires additional frequent refresher training compared with the MPD. These costs quickly become much more than if the proper equipment was purchased at first.
All equipment requires proper initial training and proper refresher training. Even with the best equipment this is still true. Finding the balance between the cost of the equipment, the initial training, and the refresher training is key. There are now many good products on the market and more are developed all the time. Please contact us so we can help you decide what is the best solution for your investment.