Northern Strands
Northern Strands Latest News

Latest News

Need Fall Protection In a Tight Space? Northern Strands Can Provide a Solution

Northern Strands fall protection division was asked to perform an almost impossible task. The goal was to provide fall protection for workers that had to stand on top of food processing equipment to clean long sections of stainless steel.

During the initial onsite assessment, we realized we were going to have multiple issues trying to design a system for this particular area of the plant.  Due to the age and condition of the roof structure, it was going to be difficult to attach any fall protection equipment to the structure of the building.  When attaching any type of fall protection to a building it is imperative that the building can withstand any additional loads put on it which includes the fall protection system itself and any loads applied from a fall that could occur once the system is in use.  Another issue encountered was the fact that the area we were going to be working in had a lot of food processing equipment in a small area. With such a small footprint to work with, we recognized that installing a fall protection system that would best meet the needs of the client would be a difficult task to execute.

Due to the lack of clearance we had in the area we knew that a wire rope lifeline would not be a great fit for this situation as we needed to limit the fall distance a worker would encounter in the case of a fall.  Rigid rail was going to be our best option as it helps with clearance issues and gives the client an option for rescue if a worker were to fall.

Our design team was able to design stanchions that would allow our rigid rail system to cover all the areas that were required by the client and still be large enough to support the fall protection system ensuring the system met and exceeded all applicable industry standards.

The Northern Strands installation crew was able to layout the system so the client was still able to use and maintain all the equipment in the area which was a huge hurdle to cross.  With some very complicated rigging, the crew was able to install the stanchions and fall protection system promptly so the client was able to get up and running in a short amount of time.

The Northern Strands team was happy to take on this challenge and successfully help this client out.  Instead of saying “it can’t be done”, the team dug in and found a way to “get it done”.  Doing whatever we can to help a client stay safe is our number one priority and this was one instance where we had to get creative to meet our goal. Happy clients are always well worth the struggle.

Before the rigid rail system is installed.

After picture with rigid rail system installed

Engineered Fall Protection Division
3235 Millar Ave, Saskatoon SK, S7W 0S8

Dave Perrin - Fall Protection Sales
Fax: (306) 974-5527

Northern Strands Supplies Maxi-Lift Belting, Buckets, and Fasteners for the Agriculture Industry

Northern Strands has had a busy summer supplying after recently being announced as a Maxi-lift Bucket and product Dealer. Northern Strands supplied Agriculture, Oil Seed and Fertilizer companies Belting, Buckets, and fastener accessory packages. We sold product to Richardson Oil Seeds, Cargill, Nutrien Ag solutions, Delia, AB, and FCL Hanley. We worked with Maxi-lift and our Logistics Team to react quickly and turned around complete replacement packages in a few days. We ensured our customers were up and running quickly during their busy time of the year. We understand the Industry and understand how costly down time can be. 

Northern Strands Agriculture Terminal Equipment & Services stock top of the line elevator cups, PVC and rubber belting and Accessory packages to suit the Canadian winters. We are also capable of the installing Maxi-Lift elevator products.

Call for a estimate or take advantage of the 3 for free sample offer on Maxi Lift buckets and see what a superior Bucket cup can do for your bottom line. Maxi lift buckets far outlast the competition.  

Phone: (306) 242-7073



Snatch Block Pulley Uses and Benefits

A Snatch Block Pulley is simply a basic pulley that can be used to redirect a running rope or wire rope. Snatch blocks have to be one of the most commonly overloaded pieces of rigging equipment that we sell, and it often comes down to a lack of understanding the fundamentals of how they work. The reason for it is simple: most people tend not to know that the angle at which a snatch block redirects a line directly affects how much force the anchor point of the block will see. 

The best way to envision this phenomenon is to start by imagining a line passing straight through the snatch block. In this unusual (and useless) arrangement, the snatch block will see no force whatsoever because again, the line is just passing straight through it. Now imagine pulling on the snatch block so that it redirects the line at a 90° angle. The amount of force on the snatch block (and its anchor point) will be equal to 1.41 times the line pull required to move the load attached to the line. This phenomenon is exacerbated as the angle of redirection steepens, to the point where when the line gets redirected at 180°, meaning that the lines coming to/from the snatch block are parallel with one another, the anchor point will see a force equal to 2x the line pull. 

For example: If the snatch block is going to be used in a 180° configuration and is going to be used to lift a 2 ton load both the snatch block and the attachment point must be capable of at least 4 tons, so it is important that the proper snatch block is selected. Not knowing these facts can lead to selecting a mounting point that isn’t strong enough, but more commonly the snatch block itself won’t be strong enough. 

A common misconception about snatch blocks is that they somehow reduce the line pull, which is true in some specific scenarios, but for the most part the only thing they do do (haha) for sure, as mentioned above, is endure increased loading and exert that extra force on whatever they are attached to. Just remember: a snatch block does not reduce the line pull required to move a load unless the snatch block itself can travel with the load. 

So for another example: let’s say someone has erroneously concluded that with enough velocity, their quad will in fact make it through the slough. With the quad planted up to the handlebars in muck they now need to figure out how to get it back out with nothing more than a length of winch line, some slings and shackles, and a snatch block. A person might determine that it would be best to mount the snatch block to a tree and run the winch line through it back to a shackle on the stuck quad, but in actual fact the best strategy would be to attach the snatch block to the quad and run the winch line from the recovery vehicle through it and back to the tree. This arrangement will double the amount of force that the winch exerts on the stuck quad. 

If you wanted to go one deeper, the use of a double sheave snatch block can offer even more benefit. Simply attaching the double sheave snatch block to the stuck quad and a single pulley snatch block to the tree can further amplify the pulling force of the winch. The recovery line must be reeved from the recovery vehicle, through one pulley on the stuck quad, back to the snatch block on the tree, back to the other pulley on the stuck quad and then attached back at the tree again. Stacking blocks like this can often lead to such a drastic increase in pulling power that the quad can nearly be extracted by pulling the recovery line by hand!  At a very basic level the amount of force amplification is equal to the amount of lines going through the travelling block.

There's actually an excellent youtube video on how to use a snatch block 

Northern Strands carries a variety of high quality Snatch Blocks and other Pulley's at our Saskatoon, Esterhazy and Regina locations. 

Northern Strands also provide in person Rigging Training that is offered at our Training Center or on site. We provide Crosby Rigging Training and a more comprehensive rigging course aptly named Below the Hook Rigging. You can find the full list of safety training courses and our Training Calendar here

Did you know that Northern Strands is one of the largest suppliers of industrial equipment and rigging in Saskatchewan? We are locally owned and operated and have been been proudly serving Saskatchewan people and businesses for over 50 years!

Email: info@northernstrands.coom 

Phone: 1-800-242-7073

Northern Strands Supplying Waste Isolation Pilot Plant With Mine Ropes, Wire Rope Attachments and Specialized Equipment

Northern Strands was awarded the supply of ropes, attachments, wirelock and specialty equipment for the WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) project in New Mexico. 

The WIPP website describes the project as follows, "WIPP was constructed for disposal of defense-generated TRU waste from DOE sites around the country. TRU waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, residues, debris, soil and other items contaminated with small amounts of plutonium and other man-made radioactive elements. The waste is permanently disposed of in rooms mined in an underground salt bed layer over 2000 feet from the surface.

The $75 million shaft sinking is integral to increasing ventilation to the WIPP underground. When completed, it will be WIPP’s largest shaft at 26 feet in diameter, reaching 2,275 feet, with drifts, or passageways, being excavated at the 2,150-foot level to match the rest of the WIPP underground that will eventually connect to the shaft."

The scope of supply includes the sinking rope, stage rope, clam rope, and emergency hoist ropes along with all the shaft sinking rope attachments. Due to their wide range of capabilities, Northern Strands was also able to provide the sinking bucket chains, plumb bob lines, load cells, as well as specialty installation and maintenance equipment including maneuvering glands and a double down sheave.

Northern Strands supplies Mining Wire Rope, Attachments and specialized to tools for mines across the world.

Email: info@northernstrands.coom 
Phone: 1-800-242-7073



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Saskatoon (Head Office)

  • 802 60th Street East
  • Saskatoon, S7K 8G8


  • 125 Henderson Drive
  • Regina, SK S4N 5W4


  • 816 Park Ave
  • Esterhazy, SK S0A 0X0


  • 1137 Keewatin St
  • Winnipeg, MB R2X 2Z3
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