One of the problems we have to watch out for when wearing fall-arrest harnesses while sheathing roofs is tripping over the lifelines and air hoses. The air hose comes up from below the fascia line and the lifeline comes down from where it’s anchored to the peak. Dealing with lifelines while keeping an eye out for tripping hazards like hoses is a tremendous irritation.
Enter Super Anchor Safety’s Max X-Line air hose and lifeline in one—which we recently tried out. This piece of equipment is the company’s 12-strand lifeline with a lightweight air hose run through the middle of it. You use it as you would any lifeline, but because it contains the hose, there’s one less thing to worry about tripping over.
The only downside to this line is that your gun is with you at all times, because it’s attached to the lifeline. We like to sheathe in sections and then nail off. Our guns have hangers, so normally we would disconnect them and hang them somewhere when we’re not nailing off. That way, we can pack sheathing without having a gun hanging from our bags.
There are multiple ways to rig the line. With the standard method, the Super Grab (an eye thimble attached to a self-tightening climbing knot) clips onto your harness, and the snap hook attaches to a connection point on the building. As a result, the excess slack line trails behind you. We prefer the reverse method—where the snap hook connects to your harness and the Super Grab connects to the building—because it allows the excess slack to be stored at the connection point. When you change directions, you must swap the hose fittings so the female one is at the end that clips to the operator.
Roofers and framers who see our X-Line are blown away by the cleverness of the design. Every crew should have one. It’s not cheap, but it performs the function of two tools and eliminates a tripping hazard on the roof.
Tim Uhler is a lead framer for Pioneer Builders in Port Orchard, Wash., and a Tools of the Trade contributing editor.