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Hi guys, a friend of mine is selling his climbing kit, it doesn't have an up to date loler examination and he didn't take any paperwork of the previous tests when he left his last company. So question is can I just take it for a test without the documented history? When an inspector gets a kit do they just look at the kit as is or do they need the history? 


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If he is on good terms with his old company he may be able to get access to the receipts to show when the items were purchased and go off of this date for service life. Failing that if you know where the firm used to buy from you may be able to find out dates from the retailer if they were feeling flexible and helpful.

I’m always dubious about buying things second hand unless I know and trust the person who has owned it. I often see some of the prices for second hand gear and it is close to that if new kit!

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As a climber and a person who is also qualified to undertake LOLER examinations of Climbing equipment I would offer the following advice:

1) As Dan says: ‘You would ideally know when stuff went into service, otherwise I guess you would be stuck with manufacturing date as marked which might mean you lose a lot of service life if it was stored before being put to use’.


This is correct a person inspecting your kit for the purpose of LOLER will have to revert to the date of manufacture. So unless you are doing your home work, you might be buying something that looks brand new or has very little use. It may look perfect. And it can still fail the LOLER Examination because it has passed the manufactures life expectancy. Sounds mad, but it is correct.


2) How do you know that some or all of this kit has not been exposed to excessive loads?  And is therefore not going to be fit for use? It is possible that even a LOLER examination won’t be able to tell this. The ‘effective working load’ is lower than the ‘Maximum breaking Strength’. Some people seem to think that the maximum breaking strength is where you run your kit to. This is incorrect, unless you are going to use it as a single use item. Because you have used an item to do a job that falls within the maximum breaking strength and is therefore technically safe to do so. But this may only be for a single use and not multiple uses. You have to take into account the ‘Usage to Breakage and effective working life’.


3) What value do you place on your life? Is it really worth falling out of a tree and being killed or injured? I would only climb on my own kit or kit that is provided from new and kept just to my use.

I hope that is of help.


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