About the Course

Mechanical Advantage is a measure of the force multiplication achieved by using a tool. In most cases, this involves using pulleys, but that isn’t always the case. The purpose is to show how we can achieve more work with less people AND that sometimes having more people can actually be dangerous. An overeager group of strapping young men and women on a given mechanical advantage system can yield an explosion of power, that when not desired, could actually create problems.

We’ll start the Mechanical Advantage Theory course by getting an overview of what mechanical advantage theory is and how progressions work to build advantage into a system sequentially. Now, the word “theory” should grab your attention; it's a vacuum word, and we don’t work in vacuums. Life throws all kinds of stuff at us and systems are no different. So, we’re aiming at introducing you to the personality and characteristics of mechanical advantage systems. And yes, we’ll be covering much more in the advanced Technician section that follows. 

Most systems in place are used during either raise or lower systems, so we’ll focus on these two areas. However, we all know that while these make up roughly 70%-80% of our mechanical advantage needs, there are other areas we want to make you aware of. 

What You'll Learn

We’ll cover, in-depth, things like horizontal systems and elevated system later, but we’ll touch briefly on these here to give you some circumspection. Other topics you'll learn about include:

  • Haul system basics and pulley systems on rope

  • The framework for which how to determine mechanical advantage via the T-Method

  • Mechanical advantage progression from 3:1 to 9:1

  • Quick rules of thumb for fieldwork

  • Complex Systems where Mechanical Advantage systems are used

  • And more!

Learn from Some of the Best in the Industry

Learn more about the expert instructors

  • Rigging Lab Academy: Multiple Instructors

    Making the world safer, together

    Rigging Lab Academy: Multiple Instructors

    This course is brought to you through the efforts of multiple Rigging Lab Academy Instructors. These instructors have hand-selected material from their full-featured courses — all of which are exclusively available here at Rigging Lab Academy — and contributed them to a specific section or unit of this course. By blending the teachings of various instructors, Rigging Lab Academy members will gain exposure to different areas of expertise, course materials, and teaching methodologies.

Course Curriculum

  • 1
    Unit 1: Welcome
  • 2
    Unit 2: Mechanical Advantage Overview
  • 3
    Unit 3: Mechanical Advantage, Part 1
    • 3.1 Mechanical Advantage, Part 1
    • 3.2 Video Tutorial: Mechanical Advantage, Part 1
    • 3.3 Video Tutorial: Calculation of MA with the T-Method in a Simple System
    • 3.4 Video Tutorial: T-Method Applied to Mechanical Advantage Systems Using Rope Grabs, Part 1
    • 3.5 Video Tutorial: T-Method Applied to Mechanical Advantage Systems Using Rope Grabs, Part 2
    • 3.6 Quiz: Mechanical Advantage, Part 1
  • 4
    Unit 4: Mechanical Advantage, Part 2
    • 4.1 Mechanical Advantage, Part 2
    • 4.2 Video Tutorial: Mechanical Advantage, Part 2
    • 4.3 Video Tutorial: Mechanical Advantage Using the T-Method with a Horizontal System
    • 4.4 Video Tutorial: Determining Mechanical Advantage Using the T-Method with an Added Pulley on the Load
    • 4.5 Video Tutorial: Foundations & Concepts of Slackline Rigging 1: Multipliers
    • 4.6 Video Tutorial: Foundations & Concepts Rigging 2: Increasing Mechanical Advantage
    • 4.7 Quiz: Understanding Resultants: A Case Study
  • 5
    Unit 5: Mechanical Advantage, Part 3
    • 5.1 Mechanical Advantage, Part 3
    • 5.2 Video Tutorial: Mechanical Advantage, Part 3
    • 5.3 Video Tutorial: Two Rope Offset
    • 5.4 Quiz: Mechanical Advantage, Part 3
  • 6
    Unit 6: Simple Progression
    • 6.1 Simple Progression
    • 6.2 Video Tutorial: 3:1-9:1 Mechanical Advantage Progression Block & Tackle
    • 6.3 Video Tutorial: Pulley System and Mechanical Advantage 5-1 to 9-1 Progression
    • 6.4 Video Tutorial: Harken Riggers Winch General Information
    • 6.5 Video Tutorial: Loading the Harken Riggers Winch
    • 6.6 Video Tutorial: Changing Winch to Descent Mode
    • 6.7 Quiz: Simple Progression
  • 7
    Unit 7: Compound Progression
    • 7.1 Compound Progression
    • 7.2 Video Tutorial: Using the CMC MPD in a Ganged Haul System Mechanical Advantage
    • 7.3 Video Tutorial: How to Build and Assemble the Aztek Elite Kit Simple Pulley System
    • 7.4 Video Tutorial: Fast Fours Mechanical Advantage
    • 7.5 Video Tutorial: Staggered Anchors to Increase MA
    • 7.6 Quiz: Compound Progressions
  • 8
    Unit 8: Simple, Compound & Complex Systems in Action
    • 8.1 Simple, Compound & Complex Systems in Action
    • 8.2 Video Tutorial: Mechanical Advantage Pulley System for Rope Rescue Access Rigging
    • 8.3 Video Tutorial: 3:1- 9:1 Mechanical Advantage: Simple to Complex to Compound
    • 8.4 Video Tutorial: Basic Highlines / Single Trackline Bonus
    • 8.5 Video Tutorial: Dynamic Directionals Bonus
    • 8.6 Video Tutorial: Horizontal Rigging Bonus: English Reeve
    • 8.7 Video Tutorial: Horizontal Rigging Bonus: Norwegian Reeve
    • 8.8 Video Tutorial: Pulley System and Mechanical Advantage 5:1 to 9:1 Progression
    • 8.10 Quiz: Simple, Compound & Complex Systems in Action
    • 8.9 Video Tutorial: Inside 9 Pulley Complex System Using the AZTEK and the CMC MPD and Petzl Id
  • 9
    Unit 9: Wrap Up
    • 9.1 Wrap Up