Even if you are well versed in the use of this type of tool the Pocket Ox is truly unique. It is strongly recommended that you review this entire lengthy perhaps tedious document.  Thanks,

Instructions, Hints, and Warnings

These force multiplying devices are expected to be used by competent adult individuals.

Pocket Ox Hoists are available in three sizes. 8:1, 12:1 and 16:1. All have a standard block to block travel distance of 12 feet. However, travel / lift distance is only limited by the length of reeving line specified at time of manufacturer.  Custom hoists can be quoted.  40 cents / ft. Orange reeving line. (See our +50 upgrades) This line is a Pocket Ox proprietary gripable braid of Spectra® fiber rated by the manufacturer at 800 lbs. We include a 24” sample that you can cut, burn/melt, unravel, chew, and perform any other destructive tests you can dream up to become familiar with the reeving line’s properties and limitations.

The colored bridles (Red, Green, Blue) are comprised of 1/8” Vectran® rated by the manufacturer at 2,400 lbs.  Attached with long bury eye splices and lock stitched with polyester thread. The different colors are intended to improve communication while rigging. Which in our case usually involves flashlights and an exhausted individual in a tree. “Hey flip that over so the red is on the left.”  The contrasting colors will also aid in knot tying and especially untying.

Clevis Pins are ¼” Stainless Steel with a manufacturer rating of double shear at 9,000 lbs. Double shear? Isn’t that drapes?

Most common knots and bends can be slipped.   Slipping a knot is accomplished by adding an element to the knot that when removed leaves a space to ease untying the primary knot. Slipping is usually done with the tag end or a bight in the line. Foreign objects like a nail or smooth twig are sometimes suggested.  As is a short hank of smooth cordage that can be pulled free.

The slipperiness of Vectran® and similar materials make it ideal for this application. And a pair of Slipping Tassels are included with each hoist.

Three Cleat Plates have also been included to allow quick securing of the reeving line or other cordage. These plates have four ears or horns to tie off to as one would a boat or dock cleat. Cleat Plates will typically be used girth hitched to the free end of one or more bridles but have a becket hole of sufficient size to accommodate current climbing rated hardware (carabiners) and may be attached anywhere in or separate from the main rigging. They may also be placed in the reeving line by passing a bight thru the carabiner hole and wrapping and half hitching the horns.  Then lowering the load slightly to allow the plate to lock against the fairlead block securing the suspended load. Much easier to show in video than to describe in text.

Gloves and adult supervision are required. The glove that has proven to have the best grip on the Spectra® line is by far any latex rubberized textured crinkle dipped knit glove. This type glove is so essential to the ease of use that if it were not for sizing issues a pair would have been included at purchase. We strongly encourage you to procure a pair of this type glove before experimenting with your new hoist. (Keep readin you will hear this again.)

Can’t quite reach? As mentioned in Safety First It is possible to cut the stopper knot off and gain a few feet of reach at the sacrifice of some mechanical advantage.  But the gains in length are relatively small.  For example, a “Bull” hoist is 16:1 for 12 feet.  Taking it to 12:1 (Cow power) only gains 4 additional feet of travel.

It is very helpful when lifting or lowering to have a second person managing the loose line as you operate the hoist. A hundred plus feet of line underfoot can be bothersome at best. It is far easier to keep it from tangling than to untangle it later.

Rubberized grippy gloves greatly improve ease of use. It is strongly suggested that you procure a pair before experimenting with your new hoist. (See?) The zippered pouch included with your hoist is intentionally oversized to allow room for gloves, rigging line, and a couple climbing rated carabiners

Handy accessories

Carabiners   A couple climbing rated carabiners (I carry 4) are a tremendous asset in nearly every application.  Especially when it is necessary to make multiple moves shortening or changing your anchor or attachment lines each time.

 Additional lines   25 feet of 5,000 lb. Rigging line triples your effective reach for 5 ounces and 18 cubic inches. 3/16” Vectran Validator12®  is available here at Pocket Ox Accessories Gear & Gifts. Many fine cordage and marine rigging sites offer similar products. New England V-12® and Amsteel® are examples. Most sites periodically offer discounts on spool ends and tails so it may pay to shop around. Visit Friends of Pocket Ox at the bottom of home page.

Marlinspike   Even though the slipperiness of the braided lines make it easy to incorporate knots that include loosening bights or Slipping Tassels the stresses that are achievable can seemingly fuse poorly planned knots.  Stubborn knots in other materials such as Mule Tape® are usually best solved with a knife. Adding a small folding knife combo marlinspike to your kit is recommended. I carry a Davis ® stainless steel rigging knife. Another inexpensive model is the “Sailor” by Rough Rider Knives. 

Climbing steps  A couple screw in tree steps (folding or solid) may be worth their weight when that first solid branch is just out of reach.

If it seems like there is more resistance, then you expect double check that the reeving line hasn’t looped up and over (or down and under) one of the Cheek plates and is running across the bridle pin. Sometimes it all looks right it just feels wrong. There are only 4 places this can occur and is easily corrected.

Twisting the hoist can essentially lock a suspended load in place.  This can be accomplished by intentionally spinning or rotating the load if the upper block is secured from rotating. Naturally there must be sufficient distance between the upper and lower blocks for this maneuver.  The reeving line must still be tied off in some manner but the friction in the crossing vertical lines will hold most of the load.

The fairlead portion of the hoist where the reeving line enters the first block has been chamfered and polished to reduce abrasion if the line is pulled at an angle acute enough to contact these surfaces. These surfaces should be inspected for roughness if the block is ever dropped, stepped on, etc.

Your first thought may be (Here I am assuming you are a bright individual) Hey, these could be even smaller. The seemingly over-sized passageways between sheaves is intentional. This “extra” space will allow the passage of a double fisherman’s knot if the Spectra® reeving line must be repaired.  The gap also allows for the emergency use of other cordage such as Mil spec.550 parachute cord.  And some friction (albeit very little) is reduced by the ability of the reeving line to traverse laterally across the sheave as it turns. Exiting at an angle to meet the next pulley in the series.

Back up your knots!  Back up your knots!