Lightening the Load for Telcos with Harken Industrial Riggers 500

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Savills Telecom Ltd., works for a number of major global telecom companies, providing turn-key solutions to the telecoms industry. These include installation, maintenance, and upgrade services throughout the UK. Savills chose to use the Harken Industrial Riggers Winch 500 as a mobile lifting device in multiple projects to reduce costs while improving safety and logistics.

Telecom Industry Requirements

The telecom industry has equipment installed on a variety of structures nationwide from purpose-built masts and towers, to arrays mounted on roof tops of commercial buildings and landmarks, in heavily built up areas, and in isolated and rugged locations. To suit lifting requirements, the Riggers Winch typically anchors back to the structure, either at a low or high level. The versatility of the solution allows it to be rigged with deviations and guidelines, ensuring operators remain outside of exclusion zones, while optimizing lifting performance and load control. Operations normally require transfers of 80 kg (176 lb) antenna to heights of up to 50 m (164ft), with multiple lifts per day.

The Harken solution

Harken Industrial’s Tech Team recommended the Riggers 500 winch with a half-ton working load. At 7 kg (15.4 lb), its small size and light weight allow it be carried as permanent kit in a vehicle. A robust mounting plate provides secure anchorage to most structures. Designed for use with fiber rope, the Riggers 500 has an almost limitless range. It also has the option of increasing lifting capacity by introducing a purchase system. Its manual drive performs better than conventional lifting equipment, while the use of a power drill (battery or 110V) gives the user greater range and reduces workload.


The Riggers 500 is cost effective and has proven to be a quick and safe lifting solution. Savills Telecom Ltd reported that a single one-week project paid for the winch three times over by using it in place of a 75-ton crane. The savings would have been even more if a “temporary road” hadn’t been required for access. Applying such cost savings over the life of the winch, combined with reducing owned/hired equipment to a single, highly portable product, makes the Riggers 500 an essential piece of lifting equipment. In contrast, cranes typically require detailed plans and documentation, specially trained operators, and much greater expense. Lifting equipment such as turfers and chain blocks are heavy, slow to operate, and are limited in range as they are often fixed in length.

Training & Documentation

Minimal product training is required to operate the winch, but users should hold suitable Work at Height and Lifting competence. The winch has two speeds with both drive directions delivering lift. Lowering is managed manually, with a rope grab recommended as a backup device on the rope. The Riggers 500 comes with a comprehensive user manual and is typically sold to companies with lifting experience and training. For lifting work, users will need to include product operation and a lifting plan within their Method Statement and Risk Assessment; however, this is simple to document and presents fewer risks. Savills use the Harken Industrial Riggers Winch 500 as a mobile lifting device in multiple projects to improve safety and logistics, while reducing costs.

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