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USHBA Mountain Works

USHBA Hauler Hogwauler Prototype Hogwauler, ver. A Hogwauler, ver. B
USHBA Hauler Hogwauler Prototype Hogwauler, ver. A Hogwauler, ver. B

Overview


USHBA Hauler
(#733, 2621)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Side Open for Rigging
Side Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my USHBA Hauler from USHBA in 2000. I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

The USHBA Hauler is 78 mm. tall, 74 mm. wide, and 30 mm. thick. Mine weighs 120 g.

Comments

Aside from the name change, the principal differences between this USHBA hauler and the previous Ural-Alp haulers is the frame shape and the cam teeth. The new shape helps keep the rope from rubbing against the rock if the hauler turns perpendicular to the face. The new teeth are finer, less aggressive, and undoubtedly more rope-friendly.

Jim Bowes, the General Manager of USHBA Mountain Works, sent me the following comment when I ordered the Hauler:

We would be happy to send one to you if it is for your collection, but NOT for editorial review; we have permanently discontinued this item. The main reason is that the new Hogwauler (and the upcoming "Haulscender") make it obsolete. Also, despite our best efforts to educate users about the load limitations of this device (300 lbs. max. total force at cam), rope sheaths have been damaged…

He also sent me the following reminder with the Hauler:

Please remember that the discontinued USHBA Haulers are intended for relatively light haul loads (<50 lbs). Note that several serious wall-rats (Bridwell and Pete Takeda, to name a few) have implored us to continue production of the Ushba Hauler due to its compact design, ease of set-up, and lightweight. However, ropes have been damaged (misuse, overloading, etc.) and we strive to develop devices that are more fail-safe and idiot-proof.

Wall climbers tend to overload their hauling systems at times, and this is not the device for these climbers. People who know what they are doing and don't exceed the limits of the Hauler may find them to be useful, but USHBA's Hogwauler has far more capacity.

Warning:
The USHBA Hauler should never be used to be used to support human loads.

USHBA Hogwauler Prototype #2
(#734)

Front Rear Side
Front Rear Side
 
Free-running Pin in Place Open for Rigging
Free-running Pin in Place Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my USHBA Hogwauler, Prototype #2 from USHBA in 2000.

Prototype #2 is 133 mm. tall, 82 mm wide, and 34 mm. thick. Mine weighs 327 g.

Comments

Jim Bowes, the General Manager of USHBA Mountain Works, sent me the following reminder with this Hogwauler:

Please remember that the Hog Prototype is just that, a prototype.

This prototype is the second of four generations. I've shown it here because it is interesting to see how the design evolved, and to show how some of the early problems were eliminated in the production Hogwauler.


USHBA Hogwauler, Version A
(#735, 2656)

Front Rear Side
Front Rear Side
 
Free-running Pin in Place Open for Rigging
Free-running Pin in Place Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Hogwauler from USHBA Mountain Works in May, 2000. I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

The USHBA Hogwauler is 165 mm. tall, 88 mm. wide, and 34 mm thick. Mine weighs 293 g.

The Hogwauler is made in Russia. It consists of a lever-mounted pulley and an anvil mounted between a swinging front faceplate and a fixed rear faceplate.

The rear faceplate is a subtriangular stamping formed from 3.0 mm. titanium. A large (31.5 mm. wide by 40.7 mm. high) oval hole at the top provides plenty of room for hanging the Hogwauler from one or more carabiners. The top third is angled forward about 3.5 mm. to meet the the front faceplate and form a narrower profile at the attachment point. Ten 16 mm. diameter holes lighten the rear faceplate. The front faceplate is similar. The lower right corner is cut off and a notch added to fit over the main anvil bolt. The main attachment hole is cut out on the right side to form a hook, and a steel spring-wire gate is added. The inside of the hook is notched to receive the gate. The top third is angled backward about 5.5 mm. to meet the the rear faceplate. The smaller front faceplate has only seven lightening holes, six of which line up with corresponding holes in the rear faceplate. The front faceplate rotates on the lever bolt, turning counterclockwise to open.

The heart of the Hogwauler is a lever-mounted pulley. The lever and anvil design is reminiscent of the Ural Alp Basic, Ural Alp Handled and USHBA Handled ascenders produced by the same company under various names. The lever and anvil are made from nickel-plated aluminum. The lever is 18.8 mm. thick and consists of a circular pulley housing at one end and a nose to squeeze the rope against the anvil at the other. The pulley end is notched so that a 12 mm. wide pulley fits in the notch. The sides of the pulley are 35.4 mm. in diameter and sit flush with the housing. The pulley face is concave and circular with a 29 mm. minimum O.D. The pulley has a sealed stainless-steel aircraft bearing that rides on a 8.5 mm. titanium axle mounted 28 mm. (center to center) from the lever axle. The pulley axle is punched to hold it in place. The center of the pulley axle has a 4.1 mm. hole drilled through it. This hole lines up with similar holes in the two faceplates. A 4 mm. pin mounted on a finger-ring is supplied; when this pin is inserted through the three holes, the lever is deactivated and the hogwauler acts like a normal pulley.

The lever nose extends 275 mm. from the lever axle, and has a 2 mm. rounded depression milled in it's tip. A load-control arm with a 14 mm. carabiner hole is fastened with a counter-sunk machine screw. into a slot in the rear side of the lever nose. The entire lever assembly pivots on an 8 mm. titanium bolt extending from the front to a nut behind the rear faceplate. The bolt head is turned round, and the center drilled out over most of it's length. The nut is also turned, but two flat sides remain. Two counter-punch impressions keep the nut from loosening. Plastic washers reduce the friction between the lever assembly and the faceplates.

The anvil is a small 18.8 mm. thick block of nickel-plated aluminum bolted to the rear faceplate with another 8 mm. turned bolt. The bolt is stepped, starting with a 17 mm. round head. After 3 mm. the diameter reduces to 9.9 mm. for 4 mm., forming the notch that the front faceplate engages. The diameter then increases to 14 mm. flush with the anvil surface. Somewhere inside the anvil the diameter decreases to 8 mm. ant the threads for the nut begin. The nut is similar to the lever nut. A 5 mm. pin extends through the rear faceplate and anvil, keeping the later from rotating. This pin is flared at both ends. A second 5 mm. pin extends through the rear faceplate and 2.5 mm. into the inside where it limits how far the pulley can move inward during the hauling phase of each lift.

The faceplates are beautifully engine-turned both inside and out. The USHBA logo is stamped on the front faceplate, and "RUSSIA" and "PATENTED" are stamped inside the rear faceplate.

Comments

The Hogwauler is both well-made and beautifully finished. It is designed for hauling loads on big walls and performs that function admirably. With this purpose in mind, it is natural to compare it to the Wall Hauler, Mini-Traxion, Pro-Traxion and the USHBA Hauler. Since the USHBA Hauler is only designed for light (25 kg) loads and will damage the haul line if heavy loads are lifted, it really isn't in the same league. The Wall Hauler is slightly smaller and lighter, but although it is an excellent product, it is not life-rated. This leaves the two Petzl Traxions, both of which are smaller and lighter than the Hogwauler: the Mini-Traxion significantly so. On the other hand, the Hogwauler has several substantial advantages over the Traxions.


The Hogwauler can also be used as an ascender. In this respect it works much like the Ural Alp Basic, Ural Alp Handled and USHBA Handled ascenders, and like those ascenders it has an inefficiency due to the lost distance associated with each step; still, it is nice to know that it is available as a backup, if needed.

I don't like having a separate deactivation pin because it is easily lost; however, I have to admit that most of the time it won't be needed.

The Hogwauler is rated for "live" loads up to 550 kg (1200 lb). The ultimate breaking strength is listed as 25 kN (5500 lb).

I like the Hogwauler and give it two starsStarStar.

 

USHBA Hogwauler, Version B
(#1654)

Front Rear Side
Front Rear Side
 
Control Arm in Place Open for Rigging
Control Arm in Place Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my USHBA Hogwauler, Version B from Kim Graves in 2009.

Version B is 167 mm. tall, 87 mm. wide, 34 mm. thick, and weighs 299 g. It is essentially the same as Version A except it has one less hole in the back plate.

The front plate is stamped with the USHBA logo, a down-pointing arrow labeled "Load," and up- and down-pointing arrows with "25KN" between. The anvil is stamped "4.5 KN." The inside of the back plate is stamped "Made in RUSSIA" and "ø8-11mm." The outside of the back plate is stamped "02152K" and "EN12278."

Comments

The extra hole on Version A serves no functional purpose that I know of, and Version B is only 6 g. heavier than Version A. like Version A. No stars because this one runs much stiffer than Version A does.