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It’s easy to laugh at the scenario and come to the conclusion that when your life is on the line, there is absolutely no way that the “low bid” rule makes sense. Likewise a medical school graduate, who has completed their surgical training and internship, has to start somewhere. Given a choice, however, one would probably opt for a “seasoned” veteran and let the “beginner” practice on someone else.
If you purchase slings, you may be far removed from the location and consequences of the rigging you purchase. Synthetic slings and all rigging gear is serious equipment. The consequences of inferior materials or manufacturing procedures may have profound effects upon the lives and loved ones of an unsuspecting user or innocent third party.
We are a self regulated industry. It doesn’t take much to get into the sling business. Start up costs are relatively low, sewing machines are readily available; webbing, yarn and thread suppliers, abundant. With any supplier, including the successful, low bidder, it comes down to one important element, TRUST. Trust me with your life, your limbs and your family’s financial and emotional well being.
It wasn’t easy spending 10% of our start up cost, years ago to set up a department that produces our heavy duty, branded, leather tags. It would have been much easier on the pocket book to supply plastic tags, filled in with magic marker. It wasn’t easy to spend thousands of dollars to have destruction tests conducted at an independent facility for most of our commonly produced, popular items, before we opened our doors for business. It hasn’t gotten any easier over the past twenty-seven years to fabricate and independently verify every lot of yarn and thread, or to spend thousands of dollars to build and break just one sling with a tensile strength of 840,000 pounds, let alone, several. There is nothing mandatory to require this, except a sense of responsibility, and a desire to best at what we do.
Machinery, production techniques and input materials appear to be similar, but they are not. The people that assemble your slings are just as important. We attract and keep the best and most talented sling fabricators in the country, because we pay a living wage, provide a retirement plan, funded solely from contributions made by the company and consider our people, our family.
Consider our approach, which is the “family” approach to rigging and safety. We build every sling with integrity, just as if one of our loved ones were destined to use it. When you purchase slings and rigging, for others, ask yourself if you would want your loved ones to use the cheapest or the best. It’s an easy decision to make, once you look at the situation from a “family” perspective.
The idea is to go home to ones we love, under our own power, not to leave the jobsite in a paramedic vehicle or a coroner’s van. The proper use of products made with pride and responsibility, purchased at a reasonable price are key ingredients in a commitment to excellence and longevity.