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Forstzeitung - Oktober 2015 (PDF)

Fix-de-fix offers safer release of loads
Cranes Today - 28 Jul 2003

A new system for uncoupling loads by remote control to increase safety and save time.

 Most accidents involving cranes actually happen to riggers working around the load. Gaining access to unhook a load or sling can often be the riskiest part of a lift. The Fix-de-fix uncoupling system is designed to eliminate these risks.

It was developed by the Austrian forestry equipment company Zopf .With the Fix-de-fix system, the load is fastened using a regular lifting accessory that can then be loosened using a two-button  remote control unit, independent of the crane remote control. Safety systems ensure that the load cannot be released inadvertently. When the crane is raised again the lifting sling is threaded out by the return chain system, releasing the load, while the Fix-de-fix remains attached below the hook ready for the next lift.

The patented, TÜV and GS-certified system is being particularly targeted at steelwork contractors and roofing companies

Zopf developed the prototype in 2001 and since September 2002 there are 50 units in the field across Europe and the USA. It is initially available for 2t and 3.15t lifting capacity for single line operation (multiple line operation is possible as well).

As well as being designed for smaller loads, Fix-de-fix is also much lower cost than other remote release systems on the market that are aimed at the offshore market.


Hätte der Mensch Flügel.....

 ....ja, dann wären viele Dinge auf dieser Erde einfacher zu bewältigen – oder doch nicht? Die Wunsch des Menschen, fliegen zu können, ist für Montage– und Versetzarbeiten in größeren Höhen auch gar nicht mehr notwendig.

Ein Abhängesystem für das Lösen von Anschlagmitteln nach dem Montagevorgang wird von der Firma Zopf aus Gmunden angeboten. Die Arbeitsweise ist denkbar einfach und sicher, was durch die TÜV Typenprüfung und die GS Zertifizierung der Berufsgenossenschaft Bau bestätigt wurde. Das Abhängesystem wird vorläufig mit 2 to und 3,15 to Tragkraft angeboten. Die Last wird mit dem geeigneten Anschlagmittel (Kette, Seil oder Rundschlinge) befestigt. Das Ende des Anschlagmittel wird in die dafür vorgesehene Aufnahme des Abhängesystems FIX – DE – FIX gelegt. Der Anschläger schließt nun  den Aufnahmebügel, wodurch die Vorarretierung aktiviert wird. Anschließend erfolgt der Hub des Bauteiles zur Versetzstelle. Das Eigengewicht der Last hält das Abhängesystem in dieser Phase des Arbeitsablaufes in geschlossenem Zustand. Es kann also mittels der Funkfernsteuerung, ob gewollt oder unabsichtlich, keine Öffnung des Systems herbeigeführt werden. Nachdem die Last positioniert und gesichert wurde, und das Anschlagmittel gelockert  ist, wird über den Sender der Funkfernsteuerung der Öffnungsbefehl gesendet. Der Aufnahmebügel öffnet sich und gibt das Anschlagmittel frei. Der Sender ist mit  einer „Zweitastenfunktion“ ausgestattet. Das heißt, zur Öffnung ist es notwendig die Sicherheitstaste plus die Öffnungstaste mit je einem Finger zu bedienen.

Nach einem erneuten Anheben mit dem Montagekran wird durch das „Rückholkettensystem“ das Anschlagmittel  automatisch ausgefädelt  und verbleibt somit am Lastgehänge.


Email 17.1.2005

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health reviewed on the EZ-Release load attachment device and determined that it can be useful in releasing load slings when it is used within its load capacity. The device has a safety advantage when releasing loads in an inaccessible location. It would be important to brace or secure unstable loads before releasing the load from the hoisting device.

Larry McCune

Cal/OSHA Research and Standards Unit


Sicherheitsmesse Nancy Oktober 2003

Wireless controlled system to pick up and release heavy loads on cranes

Dipl.-Ing. Ralf Apfeld

BG-Institute of Occupational Safety and Health

Alte Heerstraße 111, D-53754 Sankt Augustin, Germany


After moving by a crane, a load has to be released from the crane’s hook. Very often, ladders etc. are necessary to access hook and chain and this causes a possible risk of falling for the worker. A new system provides a remote release and avoids these dangerous situations. The BIA performed evaluation of the system’s control.


On building sites heavy loads have to be moved by cranes. The loads are manually fixed to the hook and have to be released manually again. Depending on the location, the manual release may include a high risk of falling for the worker, since the access to the hook is very often only possible using ladders etc. This situation occurs e. g. during the handling of prefabricated elements. They have to be positioned by a crane and released after mounting. A new system provides an automatic release of the load and is operated by the worker with a remote unit from a safe place. In principle, this system could fail and cause dangerous situations. Therefore the BG-Institute of Occupational Safety and Health examined the control of this system in cooperation with the german Fachausschuß Bau.

Evaluation of a new solution

The new system offers the possibility of remote releasing and consists of the components shown in figure 1.




Figure 1: Fixing/defixing system with load on a hook

Instead of directly fixing a load on a crane’s hook (1), a special unit for fixing and defixing (2) is mounted. The load to transport (5) has to be manually fixed to this unit using a chain (4) with one end permanently mounted to (2), while the other end is held by the hold/release mechanism (3). An hydraulic system, controlled by electronics, keeps the chain closed. To release after transportation, the worker has to operate a remote control (6). The appropriate signals are transmitted by wireless communication.

The main risk during the use of this system is an unexpected release of the load. According to a risk analysis, the safety related parts of the control have to fulfill category 1 (mechanics, hydraulics), respectively category 2 (electrical and electronic control) of EN 954-1 [1].

The evaluation at BIA considered failure of all mechanical, hydraulical, electrical and electronical components. To cover the rough handling on construction sites, additionally mechanical impact on the system and contamination had been taken into account. Due to a mechanicle principle used the bolting mechanism to hold the load is driven by it‘s weight. Therefore several weights of possible loads and two different situations had been considered:

  • The load is fixed with no contact to ground (transport)
  • The load is fixed but grounded (positioning).

An unexpected release during transport can be excluded because of the mechanics, but when the load is grounded and has to be held in position, an unexpected release in case of a failure could cause a dangerous tilting movement. This is prevented with controls according to the required categories.

After the implementation of some necessary improvements, the system will fulfill the requested categories.


The use of the system to provide a remote release of loads after transport and/or positioning instead of a manual release avoids a lot of dangerous situations. Additionally, the system improves the ergonomics of the workplace, since there is no need for a worker’s acrobatic talent to reach a hook for release. Especially the following industries can take advantage of the system:

Construction of buildings with prefabricated elements

  • Concrete Construction
  • Construction of roofs and facades
  • Setting up poles and pylons
  • Transport with cranes

The controls can be realised in an appropriate category according to the risk.


[1] EN 954-1: Safety of Machinery, Part 1: General principles for design. Brussels 1997