Three Tips for Making the Pulley on Your Kids' Tree House Stronger

Posted on: 26 July 2016

If you are connecting a pulley to your kid's tree house so that they can haul up stuff from the ground, and you want to increase its load bearing capacity, there are a few things you can do. Take a look at these ideas. Regardless of what you child is trying to haul up to their tree house, these tips should help you improve the power of their pulley.

1. Increase the angle.

When discussing pulleys, you have to take into account the weight of the item being lifted and the angle between the two ropes extending from the pulley. The wider the angle between the two ropes, the more the weight of the object being lifted is dissipated over the pulley.

For example, if the ropes are hanging straight down from the pulley, they have no angle, and a great deal of stress is placed on the pulley. However, as you increase the angle between the pulley ropes, the amount of pressure placed on the pulley decreases, making it easier to lift heavier loads. To extend the angle between the two ropes, encourage the child who's in the tree house pulling on the rope to stand back from the pulley. If he or she stands too close, it will make the angle more acute. 

2. Invest in a bigger pulley or multiple pulleys.

Ultimately, you can only increase the angles between the ropes so much. Once you reach the maximum weight capacity that the pulley itself can handle, you may need to invest in a new pulley. In some cases, rather than using one strong pulley, you may want to utilise a setup consisting of multiple pulleys. You can do this by looping the rope over an extra pulley. For example, if your existing pulley is right next to the tree house, consider suspending a second one from a branch not far from the original pulley and putting the rope over both pulleys.Alternatively, you can get rid of your existing single pulley and replace it with a setup that integrates multiple pulleys.

3. Keep ropes well maintained.

Occasionally, check the condition of the ropes on your child's pulley, and if you notice fraying, replace the ropes as soon as possible. Fraying weakens the ropes and makes them less likely to be able to lift as much. A fraying rope is also more likely to break, potentially dropping the load on the child standing on the ground.