Grade 8 bolts questions?

Jtaylor

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Shear loads, proof loads, tensile strength are all fine and dandy until you have a bolt with small cut or burr not readily visible or any number of other variables. A 3/8" grade 8 should hold all of us but there are numerous other variables involved. I noticed in thick bark trees (big cottonwoods) around here it's hard to drill to depth and not have some elongation in the hole when ascending or decending. I can feel the bolt sinking as I climb. That being said, after using gaffs, bolts and sticks I'd still stick with the bolts. Oh, I'm 225lbs. if that helps anyone!
 
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EricS

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@kyler1945 is right about everyone being responsible for their own safety and not taking peoples word for it whether it’s on the internet or at a diner. I feel safe on grade 8 bolts. I feel a little sketchy on titanium and refuse to use carbon even though one held me one time. There are things you can do to reduce risks. I always purposefully step with my feet close to the tree. After the initial climb I use three points of contact. I would do it on the initial climb but the bolts aren’t there to hold onto. Like I said before test every bolt at ground level. If there happened to be a weak spot or void in the steel it would weaken it substantially. If I bent one out of 50 bounce testing at ground level I would call it a bad bolt. If I bent two or more I would say I was too heavy for 3/8 bolts. Don’t take my word for it. Make your own decisions. Any time you climb there is a chance of falling. If I weighed 400 lbs I would find a way to climb as safe as I could. That’s just me and the way I enjoy hunting.
 

kyler1945

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From someone I trust doing some testing on all things climbing:

‘The grade 8’s we tested broke between 5-600lbs, and the hole would elongate and they all broke at the top of the threads.’

This doesn’t scare me. I just want to give you guys some things to think about. Just because the internet says a grade 8 bolt has a safe working load of 510#-830#, or has a shear strength that sounds really big and thus not a concern, doesn’t mean that information has ANY relevance to what we’re doing. The failure modes we see are not the same as what a bolt is being designed and tested for. The hole is a loose tolerance, it will elongate, and you will be putting forces in places bolts aren’t designed for. The bolts in the above testing were done in holes drilled in trees or posts. Note - not A bolt broke there, ALL bolts broke there.

As you can see, for a 200lb fellow, he’s got a little safety built in. That margin gets eaten up quickly for a 300lb person.

Just be careful, thoughtful, and use proper climbing techniques.
 

Weldabeast

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Ford 7.5 460ci weight = 720+pounds
International 7.3 444ci weight= 920+pounds

I've pulled both engines out of trucks. One 3/8x2'' and a length of 3/4 mule tape was enough to take out and replace. You try to go as smooth as possible but the hoist i have a little jerky so there was some bouncing.
I know this is irrelevant to climbing trees......just a real world example of 3/8 bolt strength
 

Jtaylor

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Drill a hole low in the tree, put your 3/8" grade 8 bolt in, set a floor jack on top of your home bathroom scale between the bolt and scale and test it out :grinning:
 

Bhatcher

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Have yall had issues with treehopper bolts rusting? Took mine out for 3 hunts and they have surface rust already
 

redhawk

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I climbed them and bounced on them at 298. I don’t think you will have any problems. You may want to bounce test all your bolts from ground level but manufacturing defects aside they should hold you without issue. I wouldn’t go longer than 6” bolts. Also being a heavier guy you’ll want to wear a stiff soled boot during the initial drilling.
What type of boots do you use? I mainly like to wear my muck boots, do you tthink mucks are to soft of soles?
 

EricS

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What type of boots do you use? I mainly like to wear my muck boots, do you tthink mucks are to soft of soles?
My favorite are mucks. They were a Cabela’s exclusive basically more like the woody max than fieldblazers. They are fine for climbing bolts. They can get uncomfortable while drilling but any boot can.
 

kyler1945

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I personally feel like a big reason the bolts are safer are the fact they're uncomfortable. It means that it's digging into the sole of the boot, making it a lot less likely you're going to slip.

I have worn several different hiking and hunting boots on bolts. No rubber boots for me. All of them were fine. Nothing has been so uncomfortable that I even noticed it while climbing. I could see how a steel or plastic shank boot would be more comfortable, but I think you'd lose some of the grab with that.
 

kobudo

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Have yall had issues with treehopper bolts rusting? Took mine out for 3 hunts and they have surface rust already
Yes, as soon as mine got wet they rusted. I am not worried about it though.

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PJC

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Shear loads, proof loads, tensile strength are all fine and dandy until you have a bolt with small cut or burr not readily visible or any number of other variables. A 3/8" grade 8 should hold all of us but there are numerous other variables involved. I noticed in thick bark trees (big cottonwoods) around here it's hard to drill to depth and not have some elongation in the hole when ascending or decending. I can feel the bolt sinking as I climb. That being said, after using gaffs, bolts and sticks I'd still stick with the bolts. Oh, I'm 225lbs. if that helps anyone!
That’s why I’m going DRT on big cottonwood trees.


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Jtaylor

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Don't mean to hijack the thread but @PJC how is DRT/SRT on the bigger trees? Some of em around here seem like they don't have branches suitable until 50ft. up. Seems noisy and sweaty this time of year. Sticks don't work without a mile of rope/strap, screw ins are sketchy and the bolt holes elongate on the big cottonwoods. Seems like a lot of the places I want to set up have these big cottonwoods that are a challenge. Oh, tried my gaffs too and skidded about 5 ft. down after the soft bark didn't like the 225lbs.
 
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PJC

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Don't mean to hijack the thread but @PJC how is DRT/SRT on the bigger trees? Some of em around here seem like they don't have branches suitable until 50ft. up. Seems noisy and sweaty this time of year. Sticks don't work without a mile of rope/strap, screw ins are sketchy and the bolt holes elongate on the big cottonwoods. Seems like a lot of the places I want to set up have these big cottonwoods that are a challenge. Oh, tried my gaffs too and skidded about 5 ft. down after the soft bark didn't like the 225lbs.
You should probably start a new thread and tag me in it and we can talk about it there.


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