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McDermott's Rope Brake

McDermott's Rope Brake Rope Brake & Sling Kit
McDermott's Rope Brake image McDermott's Rope Brake

Buy McDermott's Rope Brake

Rope Brake Unit
rig145 Special Order Item
Rope Brake w/ 15' Sling
rig145k Special Order Item

This crown-mounted rope brake was designed by Jim McDermott as a way to control lowering from the tree and eliminate downtime for the climber or bucket operator. With this setup, it is the climber or worker in the lift (typically the most experienced in the crew) who controls the descent of the load. Their vantage point up in the tree allows them to more quickly, accurately, and safely lower material to the ground once the groundsman has secured the load.

Machined to be strong, durable, and easy to inspect, with safety at the forefront of every design choice.

The device attaches quickly to the tree, and the aluminum construction keeps it light and ensures that it won’t rust if left outside. With the attachment rope left affixed to the operators weak-hand side of the attachment bar, the rope brake can be easily moved about the tree in seconds. As soon as the groundsman unties the load, the climber or bucket operator can proceed to tie off the next limb, cinch it up, and prepare for the next cut. For smaller crews, especially ones with less experienced groundsmen, this makes the McDermott Rope Brake a huge time saver.

McDermott’s Rope Brake was invented by Jim McDermott, a tree service owner operator in San Jose, California for seventeen years and then in and around Dubuque, Iowa for the past eighteen. He began to formulate plans for a Crown Mounted Rope Brake because he would frequently find himself working with a single, typically inexperienced, employee. He realized that a tool that would allow the climber to guide lowering would increase job efficiency and remove the need for a skilled groundsmen.



  • Crown mounted rope brake
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Built in rope guides for added control of the load
  • Under ten pounds
  • Sturdy aluminum construction
  • Tested and certified to 9,500 lb
  • For use with 1/2”, 5/8”, or 3/4” lowering line (3/8” works as well)

ANSI Z133-2017

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has released the ANSI Z133 safety requirements which apply to arboricultural operations. Components of a rigging system must be used within their Working Load Limits.

The full ANSI Z133 safety requirements are available on our tree care standards page.

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