24. October 2022

Jakob developed a new ski lift rope

Operators of small ski lifts can rejoice. Jakob Rope Systems has developed a new ski lift rope that solves the weak points of previous ski lift ropes. Our rope specialist Alfred Beer gives an insight into the development of the fiber rope.

Our rope technicians have developed a new fiber rope for small ski lifts with low running ropes. These small lifts perform valuable work on practice slopes for the safe ascent of beginner skiers. On terrain crests, they are used as connecting lifts and feeders to main ropeways. Likewise, small ski lifts are found in valley locations at the edge of villages or in glacier ski areas. Skiers can grasp the running rope at waist height and be pulled comfortably up the mountain.

What ropes for small ski lifts do

Fiber ropes for small ski lifts meet special requirements. They must be light and easy to grip. At the same time, passengers must not be able to injure themselves on components or wear and tear of the rope. The rope must be UV-resistant, durable and easy to maintain. Above all, it should stretch little at the start of operation.

Previous ropes for small ski lifts have some disadvantages from the point of view of lift operators. They are costly to splice. When newly laid, they show initial elongations of up to five percent. Due to their coarse rope structure, they harbor a certain risk of injury when gripping when the first signs of wear appear. While fiber technology is constantly developing, the improvement of small ski lift ropes has recently come to a standstill.

Rope innovation at the height of fiber technology

This is exactly where our rope engineers come in. A new rope on a par with current fiber technology with improved construction and more optimal operating behavior in terms of elongation and grip is to be created. And the Emmental-based company is also working on another special feature: Strands and ropes run 100 percent on production machines in Switzerland. This guarantees consistently high rope quality. Final production and fabrication control take place at Jakob Rope Systems in Trubschachen. From winter 2022, the rope will also be certified in accordance with the European Ropeway Regulation Module H.

Insight Jakob RopeLab

"We have set up a model of a small ski lift. This allowed us to simulate how the rope behaves on different small ski lifts. An important test aspect was the elongation behavior." Our rope specialist Alfred Beer gives an insight into the development of the fiber rope.

Read more

The new Hybrid 5 ski lift rope at a glance:

  • Ideal for use on classic small ski lifts with large deflection sheaves as well as on Swiss-Cord systems with high station masts and small sheave diameters.
  • High grip factor: A non-slip rope surface is created by mixing rope fibers of different hardness. The 5-strand rope structure also optimizes the grip.
  • Low elongation: The use of braided strands enables a tight rope construction. This leads to significantly less set elongation compared to conventional ski lift ropes.
  • Mixture of the rope fibers reduces the risk of injury for passengers when grabbing. The absence of monofilaments on the rope surface results in a soft feel - even after wear and tear.
  • Improved splicability: The rope can be spliced long. The splice is repairable and can be shortened. The 5-strand rope construction simplifies the splicing work, as the plug-in strands do not have to be wrapped.
  • Service life: The service life of the rope and splice is longer than that of conventional rope constructions due to the absence of load-bearing coarse monofilaments.
  • Common rubber tube handles can be mounted on the rope. Due to the good grip of the cable construction, however, this can be dispensed with, so that the passenger can freely choose his position on the cable.
  • From winter 2022, a declaration of conformity according to the European Cable Car Regulation Module H can also be offered.

Rope construction:
5 x polyester monofilament multifilament sheath | HMPE core – FC
Insert: Polypropylene
Minimum breaking force: Ø 16 mm - 51 kN / Ø 24 mm - 172 kN
Length weight: Ø 16 mm - 0,17 kg/m / Ø 24 mm - 0,40 kg/m

Certificate Module H: Link PDF

Contact us for more information:

Team Hoisting & Lifting
Jakob Rope Systems
+41 (0) 34 495 10 10