Frequently Asked Questions
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Customer Submitted FAQs
I see you've created as much security as possible for my dog, but what are some things that could go wrong or that I should keep my eye on?
Dogs are crafty, especially when it comes to trying to escape. We always think we're one step ahead of them but turn our back and they get the upper hand. Therefore, it's always advisable to study how your dog interacts with the Sky Track first before leaving your pet unsupervised. This is especially important if you've set up the Track outside in public (camping, picnics, parks, etc). Dogs chew, so we recommend using a harness rather than a collar due to the greater ability for the dog to chew through the leash when on a collar. A harness isolates the leash better and makes it more difficult for the dog to chew through it. Our second recommendation is not to use a retractable leash unless you are present. They are notoriously faulty; sometimes not retracting or even snapping apart where there has been cord damage. It's also easier for your pet to get wrapped up around trees, posts, tables, etc. We offer some stretch leashes that are better options for when you must leave your dog unsupervised. Other than that, make sure to secure the straps, secure the line into the teeth of the ratchets, and set up your bumpers (rope clamps) so that you're creating a safe distance from the anchor points (trees, posts, polls, etc). The rope will sag a little the next morning by excessive pulling from the dog, temperature change, and by inherent stretch, as is expected even in static lines, which allow for about 3% stretch, especially over 100 feet. Pushing the line with one hand toward the rachet while pulling the end back toward you with the other hand is a great way to get an extra couple of centimeters through the teeth of the ratchet.
I use the track for camping but what else can I use it for to maximize its functionality?
Is your pet begging you to go zip-lining? Just kidding, but there are some novel ways to use the Track. Once you have one, you'll think of so many ways you could use it. Is your dryer on the fritz, use it to hang clothes; especially helpful at hanging wet towels at campgrounds. Use the track and pulley vertically to lift objects. It tightens hammocks with ease and secures leaning trees. It ties anything together, such cargo in your truck or a canoe to the roof of your car. Any time you need to stretch a rope, the Track does it with the least effort. Need to borrow milk from the neighbor, set up a line and hang a pale from the pulley... ok, maybe it's easier to just knock on the door but you get the idea. How would you use it?
I have two dogs, one is 75 lbs the other is 90 lbs. Is this strong enough for them? What are the strength / load ratings of the components
The Sky Track was overbuilt by design. In order to assess the strength of the system, we would look at each individual component, including leash and harness. The ratchets each have a working strength of 500 lbs, the straps have 2,000lbs strength, the carabiner is 5000 lbs, the pulley is 11 KN (1 Kilo Newton = 225 lbs) or ~ 2700 lbs, and the rope has 2,500 lbs strength. For large dogs, I recommend using both a harness so protect their necks from sudden stops and the Leash Adjustment Bungee to stop them slowly when restricted by the bumpers at each end of the rope. The leash would break first before any of the components of the track so make sure there aren't any tears that can compromise the leash. Watch the dog's behavior for a while to make sure they don't know how to chew through their leash. It’s a very sturdy system and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised as to the high quality of each component piece.
The rope drags the next day so I need to retighten it sometimes. What else can I do to keep it taut?
Connect a heavy duty bungee between the Ratchet and the Strap (via the D-ring). It only takes a couple of inches of stack for some rope drag to occur. All static lines will stretch up to 3% over time so be patient and eventually the rope will stop dragging so much due to weather, temperature changes, and inherent stretch. The Sky Track not include bungees since many people may already own them. We do sell a 9mm bungee but feel free to use your own. In addition to keeping the rope taut, they also provide some safety stretch to the dog's neck if wearing a collar instead of a harness.
The Sky Track is a little out of my budget. How can I bring down the cost?
Some of the cost attributed to manufacturing the Sky Track is due to its portability, which requires straps, climbing-quality rope, adjustable bumpers (rope clamps), and a tactical gear bag, which makes it ideal for camping, outdoor events, switching between back and front yards, travel, and other senarios that require a non-permanent setup. The rest of the cost is invested in durable hardware, redundancy, and functionality. Climbing rope retails at around 60 cents to $1 a foot but you may already have your own rope. We have a selection on the "length of rope" dropdown option on the Sky Track product page to 'use your own 8 - 9.5mm rope'. Our safety line is highly visible, phosphorescent, and reflective with a durable sheath of equal weight to the core. You can also purchase what you don't have by shopping a la carte through the categories for individual components. For example, instead of using straps, you could wrap and secure the rope around a tree; instead of two bumpers, you could insert permanent knots into the rope at each end to maintain a distance between your dog and the tree. Effectively, you could create a similar, though less portable, less functional, and less durable setup by replacing the anchors, the line, the gear bag, and the bumpers (rope clamps) using other means. We sell all of these individual components to help you create your own system within your budget. You can always upgrade or replace components later.
Some of the campgrounds we visit do not have accessible trees. Any suggestions?
First, look for anything that can be used as a high anchor:
- Tall bushes
- A crack in a cliff
- Telephone poles, sign posts, etc
- Man-made structures like bathrooms
- Top of a tent if well-supported by a stake (only for small dogs) or top of a camper trailer.
- Picnic table (secure a branch between the bench and the table to make the anchor point taller)
- Car roof rack (or tying the end of the rope to the ceiling handle then threading out the opposite window and back over the car roof)
You can usually use the car bumper or roof rack to at least get part of the track above ground. Could you ask your neighbor politely to use anything on their site? The bumper will provide the space required for the dogs not to bother them on their side and they may even like to have a towel rack / clothesline accessible. Worst case scenario, you could use the line as a ground track if there isn't much danger for others in tripping over it. Of course, if trees are difficult to find, then shade will also be difficult to find. I assume you may have either an RV, camper, or a canopy tent. If you're hauling a camper trailer, then you already have two anchor points. If you have two dos, you only need to find one more to create a "V" shape configuration. Make sure to pack extra rope for whatever you come up with.