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GME Blog

Climb Higher - A blog about Tower Climbing Safety Gear

  • Why Do You #ClimbHigher?

    What does it mean to be a Tower Climber?

    It means knowing everyday will be a challenge. Knowing your work is cut out for you. Tower climbing is not a normal job. It’s an extraordinary job.

    You push yourself. Higher. Farther. You push yourself for the same reason your brothers before you pushed themselves. You Climb Higher. 200 feet. 400 feet. 800 feet. Beyond. The next ladder rung, the next step bolt forces you to be greater than you were the one before.

    This is why you climb. Breaking barriers where others broke. Thousands of miles on the road, weeks away from home. This is no job for the timid. It’s a thankless job. Nobody can appreciate how hard you work. But you see sights only a handful of other people will ever see.

    Your profession is an exclusive brotherhood. You have the back of your fellow climbers. And they have yours. The climb is exhausting, but it must be done.Each day makes you stronger. Physically, mentally. More powerful.

    You will not quit. There is no going back. You might be on this tower until the sun goes down. And you’ll be back on it before it comes up tomorrow. But the tower is the best office in the world. At GME Supply, we know you don’t just climb. You Climb Higher.

    And we know the exact tower gear you need to work safely and efficiently. Our Tower Climbing Kits have options for all of the top tower climbing gear brands. You can save cash by kitting your tower climbing harness, twin leg lanyard, cable climb safety sleeve, carabiners and tool pouches.

    And for any rigging needs, our Lifting and Rigging section has you covered. Again, Kits. Save. Cash. Our Capstan Truck Kit bundles your cat head, rope, shackles, and blocks into a single item.

    Give our gear experts a call or chat us and we’ll get your gear out the door, to your shop fast.

  • GME Supply 2016 - By the Numbers

    1 - Ranking as an Affiliated Distributor in 2016 - Our great manufacturer partners help us give the absolute best service possible to our customers.

    12 Lunch and learns taught - We open our doors every month and host monthly trainings to make sure all our customers are staying safe and productive while working. Oh and the free lunch is also great too… We gave away over 1000 meals!

    15 Employees added - We’ve brought on even more #GearExperts to join our team. And next year won’t be any different. Want to get in on the action? Visit our Careers Page.


    51 Countries Shipped To - A new record. Our gear finds its way all over the globe, helping to prevent injuries and death wherever it goes.


    1,174.5 GBs transferred in Hangouts room - Our state of the arts conference system makes doing business around the globe easy. Just a few clicks, and you're face to face, getting it done.

    $2,400 Donations raised by Pink Climb Higher Shirts $35,000 Donated to charity - We love giving back to the community that helps support us. 99% of our employees voluntarily donate a portion of every paycheck to local charities!


    4,050 Miles driven back and forth moving offices - We moved two new people to our ATL facility this year, plus a couple new vehicles for local deliveries.

    10,146 Customers opted for sales protection via Google Trusted Store - The Google Trusted Store badge means when you shop with us you can shop with confidence. Only the best online stores are selected to be a Trusted Store, and we’re one of them.

    $25,000 dollars worth of gear given away at NATE Unite - As the Premier Infinity Sponsor for the 4th year in a row, we have something extra special up our sleeve for next year. We’ll see you in Ft. Worth!


    58,234 social media followers - Are you one of them? Like, follow, and subscribe to hang out with us online. Use #ClimbHigher and we might even share your posts.


    68,372 Pushups In April and October - What started out as a simple group motivated fitness initiative turned into one of the most heated competitions of the year.


    97,135 Unique Search Terms Used on Site - We monitor these to make sure our search delivers the best results so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. Also, which one of you searched for “Which harness is total fire 2016?”

    100,000 Sq foot building purchased for new headquarters - We’re filled to the brim in our current building. We have no more empty desks for more #GearExperts and no more warehouse room for gear. We’ll be moving to the new World Headquarters in 2017,

    125,000 catalogs distributed - Our catalogs contain everything any tower climber could ever want. Over 200 full color pages of gear, educational and informative editorial content, even posters and wall calendars!


    233,544 minutes spent on phone in 2016 - For those playing along at home, that is equivalent to 162 days of outbound and inbound calls.

    310,483 items shipped - Spread across 8000+ SKU’s, our warehouses across the country were busy getting gear to you where and when you needed it.


    401,266 minutes watched - You watched our videos more than ever this year. Check out our channel here to learn about products, watch tutorial videos, and see demos of gear in action.


    2,113,022 pages viewed - We crushed our goal of 2 mill this year. No plans to change that in 2017.


    4,986,417 Step data from fitness trackers - Fitbits, Garmin, Apple Watches… we pulled the data from them all. Many of these thanks to our Customer Service manager who took a million steps in June.

  • Rock Exotica Enforcer Load Cell Recall

    Enforcer Recall

    Click here for full release from Rock Exotica

    Safety Recall for the Enforcer

    The swivel eye on some Enforcers may not be secure and in certain conditions might unscrew. This was discovered due to an incident that occurred. This recall is to improve the security of the swivel eye and to issue new user instructions specifying that the Enforcer swiveling action is for orientation, not high speed or multiple rotations.

    Rock Exotica will do everything they can to ensure that this recall causes the least amount of inconvenience to our customers. In addition to the safety modification, Rock Exotica will calibrate your Enforcer for free (normal cost is $100) and send it back with a free carabiner.

    Customers in North America should visit www.rockexotica.com/enforcer-recall to being the return process. Please be ready to provide the following information:

    • Serial Number
    • Name
    • Address
    • Phone
    • Email
    • Place Unit was Purchased

    Rock Exotica will send you a self-addressed UPS label to return the device.

    What happened:

    A user had an Enforcer connected to a steel cable. As the cable was loaded it unwound, twisting the Enforcer’s swivel eye and the friction generated unscrewed the bolt holding the swivel and it came apart.

    Why it happened:

    The Enforcer is assembled in a special room on its own assembly line, due to the electronics. The bolt is secured with epoxy and a setscrew, but our examination showed that there should have been more epoxy on the bolt threads. Under normal conditions of orienting the Enforcer, the bolt would not come out. But subject to the steel cable twisting as it was being loaded it was not secure enough and the bolt unscrewed.

    What Rock Exotica will do:

    Rock Exotica will replace the setscrew with a pin that goes through the aluminum part and into a hole in the steel bolt. This is strong enough that even if used with highly-loaded multiple rotations, it cannot unscrew. However, please don’t use it that way (see next section).

    Which Enforcers are affected?

    Enforcer units subject to recall used the epoxy/setscrew combination, which includes all units manufactured prior to August 2nd, 2016.

    Identify serial number & manufacturing date on your Enforcer

    Inspect the 10 digit serial number on your device to determine whether your Enforcer is subject to recall. As shown below, the first two digits of the number refer to the year of manufacture. The three digits following the year of manufacture refer to the day of manufacture during the year. All units indicating a manufacture date prior to 16214XXXXX (manufactured in 2016 on the 214th day of the year) are subject to recall. All units produced ON or AFTER this date are NOT subject to recall. The serial number is laser engraved on the side or back of the device.

    Serial Number

    Why the Enforcer should not be used for high-speed or multiple rotations:

    The swivel action of the Enforcer was designed to orient it so you can see the display. It rotates on plain washers and is a poor choice for multiple rotations under load. The washers are not efficient and will wear quickly and may potentially affect the accuracy of the force readout. Ball bearing swivels are the only choice for multiple rotations.

    Be careful using steel cable with any kind of swiveling device:

    Steel cable (wire rope) is twisted in manufacture and can unwind vigorously when loaded with a swivel in the system. This can create several issues, including significant loss of strength. There are special cables made that do not try to unwind when loaded. Only these should be used and only by experienced people.


  • Sterling Rope Arbor Ropes

    When you’re removing large trucks sections, your rigging system needs to be able to absorb large dynamic forces. The Atlas Rigging Line was designed for just that. Sterling has been engineering ropes to handle these types of kinetic forces for over two decades.



    The Atlas Rig Line is a 9/16” rope with a polyester sheath and a nylon core. This offers a soft hand and easy knotability. It’s designed to work with a rope friction device, capstan winch, or rigging blocks. This rope is not spliceable, but can be ordered with a sewn eye termination for knotless rigging.


    Next up, the Scion Climbing line. This rope has durable construction and a great ability to absorb dynamic forces. It’s ideal for both Double Rope Technique and Single Rope Technique. This 11.5 mm rope has a polyester 24-strand cover and double-braided construction. This gives is decreased elongation, soft handling, and easy knotability. The tight, durable sheath handles mechanical devices and hardware well. It can be spliced and is also available with sewn terminations.


    To see all Sterling Rope gear, Click the sterling logo or head over to gmesupply.com. You can click that playlist to see all our other Sterling videos. And be sure to hit subscribe to get these videos as soon as we post them.

  • DBI Sala Lad-Saf X2 and X3 Sleeve Inspection Notice

    3M Fall Protection (formerly Capital Safety) has identified a limited number of Lad-Saf X2/X3 sleeves with the locking lever not working properly. This condition can allow the sleeve to disengage from the cable during use. The assembly error is believed to affect only a limited number of units and has been corrected. There have been no accidents or injuries related to this issue.

    End-users: Immediately conduct an inspection (see below). This inspection is part of the pre-use inspection recommended for all X2 (#6160030) and X3 (#6160054) sleeves as described below. If you find an affected sleeve, remove the sleeve from service and contact our Customer Service department at 800-328-6146 (prompt #2012) or email [email protected] to obtain a return authorization. Upon receipt of the affected sleeve, we will ship you a replacement sleeve within 24 hours at no charge.

    For further information on the operation and use of the Lad-Saf X2 & X3 sleeves, see video at https://youtu.be/IjknN2vkE2w or scan this QR code to view the video on a mobile device.

    Please direct any additional questions you may have to 800-328-6146 (ext. 2012) or email [email protected]

  • Choosing the Right Rescue Bag

    Using a three bag system for your gear organization provides an easy way to quickly identify a bag’s contents. This can be especially useful in a stressful emergency situation like a fallen worker. Being able to find your rescue kit in moments is critical.

    We recommend using our GME Supply Rescue Rope Bags as part of your color-coded bag solution.

    Your black bag can be your backup lifeline kit. This holds your backup lifeline which is generally a 3-Strand or kernmantle. Along with your rope grab like the ASAP from Petzl, and some anchorage. You may even need a termination plate depending on whether your rope has a factory eye.

    The Yellow bag can hold your controlled descent kit. This kit is made up of a kernmantle rope, generally a 7/16th inch diameter, and a descent device. We recommend the WestFall Pro D4 or the Petzl I’D. Again, you’ll probably need some anchorage straps, hardware, and other rope accessories.

    Finally, your rescue kit in the orange bag. This should come out of the truck first when you arrive on a job site. It lives at the base of the tower while you’re working. While you can piece together your rescue kit, we have premade kits built with everything you need to successfully perform a rescue.

    Speaking of rescue, competent rescuer certification must be renewed every year. Click here to make sure you’re taking the best courses available.

  • Digital vs Analog Two-Way Radios

    The first difference you'll notice between digital and analog two-way radios is the clarity. Digital walkie-talkies are much clearer than analog radios. Kenwood Digital Radios have built-in error correction which eliminates random chatter, static interference, background noise, and distorted voices.

    Analog vs Digital Two-Way Radios

    Digital radios also give you about a 20% increase in coverage. The stronger digital signal does well pushing through walls and concrete, making them great for indoor, industrial use.

    As far as privacy goes, digital radios have increased performance due to the methods of transmittance. While analog radios have significant privacy methods in place, digital has the edge here.

    If you already have a fleet of analog radios, there's no reason to replace them. Most digital radios, like these from Kenwood, have two bands. While you're still using the analog radios, you can set a band on the digital set to communicate to both. Once the analog radios are phased out, swap over to the digital band.

    On the warranty front, Kenwood's digital radio warranty is 3 years. Longer than the standard radio warranty across the board.

  • Capital Safety/DBI Sala Lad-Saf Recall

    Capital Safety/3M, makers of the DBI Sala line of fall protection, has announced a mandatory safety recall for all Lad-Saf Cable Grabs which predate the X2 model. Additional details, along with alternative products and recall instructions are below. Click here for the PDF.

    DBI Sala Lad-Saf Recall


    Dear 3M Customer: After more than 30 years of use in the fall protection industry, the original Lad-Saf™ sleeve has been replaced by a completely redesigned next generation Lad-Saf sleeve.
    Capital Safety/3M recently reviewed the performance of the original Lad-Saf sleeve in the field, including a limited number of incidents involving a serious injury or death in the United States while using the sleeve. Although our review did not reveal product hazard or risk scenarios that would arise in the ordinary and proper use of the product, it did reveal potential misuse scenarios that could result in serious injury or death. The potential misuse scenarios include interference with the braking mechanism (such as entanglement with cords, lanyards, clothing or other materials, or grasping the sleeve prior to or during a fall), or result from the user attaching the sleeve upside down (user inversion). No safety regulator has made a finding that the design of the original Lad-Saf sleeve is defective.
    At 3M, customer safety and confidence are high priorities. In light of the reported incidents and potential misuse scenarios, we have discontinued sale of the original Lad-Saf sleeve, and are voluntarily initiating a full recall of all original Lad-Saf sleeves. Owners / Users of original Lad-Saf sleeves must:
    1. Immediately stop using and quarantine all original Lad-Saf sleeves. Affected part numbers are: 6100016, 6116500, 6116501, 6116502, 6116503, 6116504, 6116505, 6116506, 6116507, 6116509, 6116512, 6116535, 6116540, 6116541, 6116542, 6116500C, 6116500SM, 6116507/A, 6116540b
    2. Contact 3M Customer Services at 1-800-328-6146 (ext. 2012), or email us at [email protected] to discuss the replacement of your returned units with an X2 or X3 sleeve, depending on your needs, at no cost to you.
    3M remains committed to providing quality products and services to our customers. We apologize for any inconvenience that this situation may cause you, but we are confident that you will be very pleased with the latest generation X2 and X3 Lad-Saf sleeves to keep your workers safe at height. We appreciate your continued support of 3M Fall Protection products and services.
    3M Fall Protection - August 30, 2016

    Potential Alternative Cable Grab Devices:
    GME Supply RG-5000 Wire Rope Grab with Carabiner IN STOCK
    DBI Sala Lad-Saf X3 Detachable Cable Sleeve
    DBI Sala Lad-Saf X2 Detachable Cable Sleeve
    Miller VGCS Vi-Go Automatic Pass-Through Cable Guide
    FallTech 7609 Hinged Self-Tracking Cable Grab

    Additional alternatives are as follows:

    1. The use of a double/twin leg lanyard
    2. The use of a Vertical Lifeline Rope and Rope Grab
    3. Step Peg Anchor Brackets

  • Hougen Annular Cutter Geometry


    Most cutters come with standard geometry, designed to cut through a single piece of steel.

    They cut quickly, and produce a clean hole. The slug that’s ejected looks similar to a top hat, with a small lip on the bottom edge. But, if you’re cutting through multiple pieces of steel, standard geometry isn’t for you. You’re looking for Stack-Cut geometry.


    Let’s look at the differences. Standard geometry cuts from the outside to inside. You can see how the teeth of this cutter slope inward. On stack-cut geometry, the teeth cut inside out. This produces a perfectly round cylinder without that lip.


    If you used a standard cutter on multiple pieces, you’d have to stop between pieces of metal and try to fish out that slug before continuing. Or risk breaking your tool. Hougen has a complete series of both basic standard geometry bits, as well as stack-cut versions. Now you know the difference and can choose what’s right for your job.


    We have a great demo of the Hougen 904 MagDrill, done by Jim Kaiser of Hougen Manufacturing. Click right there to see the drill in action. Then head over to GME supply, where we have a full selection of Mag Drills, cutters, and accessories.

  • GME Supply 2015 - By The Numbers

    0.2 – Miles to the new Vietnamese Take Out restaurant in Columbia.

    Our staff may be single handedly keeping this place open.


    1 – GME Supply Staff Soccer Team regular season championship

    Let’s not talk about the playoffs, though…


    2 - Number of Times Kevin has driven from Columbia to our new location in Atlanta

    As the first transplant employee from our Headquarters in Columbia, he’s familiar with I-24 through Kentucky and Tennessee.

    3 – Additional vehicles added to the company fleet

    We’re still working on the plane.


    4 – Personal Trainers on staff

    Our team has gotten 33% more swole.


    6 - GBs of data streamed during NATE on our ClimbHigher cam

    You could watch our $20,000 giveaway in real time, straight from sunny Orlando, FL. See the timelapse of the entire show here.


    7.5 - Hours it took Andrea to finally eat the peanut m&m’s that were replaced with peanut butter m&m’s without her knowledge

    Dan swapped them out first thing in the morning, and then waited for her to take the first bite. She was quite confused.


    14 - Consecutive Sun Glasses emojis sent to Josh, without reply 

    The first new-hire at our Atlanta location. These were sent over multiple days.


    15 - Minutes of drone flight before crashing it into a flagpole

    They recommend you fly 10 hours in an open area before getting close to anything. We read the instructions after the crash. We’re better at it now. See some footage over on Instagram.


    44 - number of cars worth of CO2 our Net Zero energy building saves every year. That’s 212 metric tons if you’re keeping track at home.

    A roof of solar panels, sun tracking skylights, and an ultra-efficient structure. We actually produce more energy than we use. You’re welcome Earth.


    49 - States that we are a 1,2,3 day standard ground shipping point to

    No matter where you are in the US, our gear is literally a day or two away with shipping that won’t break the bank.


    67% - Increase in sales staff

    New locations require extra staff, but we also broke out our regional staff to better serve you!


    87- Years of misery put to bed with the Royals World Series win (yes- one of the fans wasn’t alive in ‘85)

    The majority of the baseball fans root for the Cardinals, so the small KC contingent was especially happy that Royals got it done. #1738 


    125% - Increase in warehouse space

    We have all our gear, ready to ship in our expansive Atlanta warehouse. More gear in more places means it’s even more convenient and cheaper for you!

    500 - Free lunches provided during our “Lunch and Learn” trainings

    We invite everyone in the area to stop by for a quick 1-hour training, and free lunch. We’ve covered traffic safety, confined space, hi-visibility, and more!


    675 - Miles between our Columbia and Atlanta Locations

    Thanks to our new high-tech Google Hangout enabled conference rooms, we’re able to work like the two buildings are next door to each other.


    1532 - Number of live chats completed

    Can’t chat on the phone? Do it with your fingers.


    2500 - Energy Drinks stocked in the health fridge

    If we’re talking faster on the phones, you know why. Caffeine's healthy... right?


    9511 - Likes on instagram photos

    From shots of towers, training, or random nonsense around our office. We’re posting it all. Use #ClimbHigher on your photos and we’ll share ‘em!


    20,000 - Dollars of prizes given away at NATE in Orlando

    And we’re going bigger in 2016! Swing by our booth in New Orleans to get in on the winning.


    42,819 - Facebook Likes

    Mash the like button with 42k of your closest #RealTowerClimbers to keep up with our updates, news, contests, and more!


    120,000 – Catalogs Distributed

    Every order gets one. We send them out for free to everybody that requests one. We pass ‘em out at tradeshows. Get yours here.


    325,000 - Minutes watched on our YouTube channel

    We haven’t quite caught up with PSY, but our educational, informative, and entertaining videos help you choose the right gear to work safely.
    975,000 - Pounds Shipped

    We sent it by land, air, and sea. Our gear arrives where you need it, when you need it.


    2,250,000 - Page Views

    We crushed our goal that we set in last year’s numerical review. You may notice us doing the same in 2016!

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