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  1. #1
    DaleW's Avatar
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    Tree and/or post movement, ripped hammock

    I did a little experiment hanging from some buried posts today and had a few surprises.

    I tried to go cheap and bought a couple 8 foot "cherry tone landscape timbers" that are basically 3-1/2" peeler poles with two sides slabbed-- $2.99 each vs $15 each for 4"x4"x10' treated timbers.

    So I sunk each one 2 feet deep at diagonal corners of my 12 foot square patio, giving me a 16 foot hang. I know 2 feet is weak, but one edge is up against the patio concrete and they are in glacial clay hardpan soil.

    I hung my Grand Trunk Ultralight with tree straps at the top of each pole, so just under 6 feet high. I set it for what I normally use for a hang on big trees in the yard and sat down on the edge, to find it sagging right down to the ground. The poles had enough flex to close the gap between what is normally 18" off the ground to zero.

    So I tightened up the suspension a little more and climbed in. The GTUL ripped in half across the middle, dropping me on the patio-- with no harm. This is a nearly brand new hammock with no known damage and several unremarkable hangs. I used 6' whoopie slings with a lark's head in the end channel, and a Dynaglide ridgeline. The ridgeline was not super tight when I climbed in, so I was very surprised.

    The only thing I can imagine is that the spring in the poles put some peak stress on the cloth. FYI, I'm 5'10" and an honest 220 pounds.

    So I got out the Hennessy Expedition and went through the same drill. I need to set the Hennessy flat at with the ridge line at shoulder height to compensate for the spring in the poles and end up a decent hang and my butt 10" or so off the ground. I can still flex the ridge line a few degrees and the hang is comfortable enough, so I don't think there is undue stress on the hammock, but I had an idea that there is a point of higher stress as I slowly add my weight and the hammock drops as the poles flex. I can bounce a bit, flexing the poles while I am in the hammock. I'm not too worried about the poles breaking as I don't hear anything like cracking or other indicators of stress. The poles are free of large knots or splits.

    I think I should beef things up a bit. Aside from possible stresses on the hammock body, the flex makes it impossible to get a taut pitch on the tarp. I'm wondering if full 4"x4" posts are enough. I would go to 10' length and bury them 3 feet for a 7 foot reveal. Does anyone use a setup like that? Should I go heavier, like 4"x6" ?

    Any ideas what happened with the GTUL? The only thing that comes to mind is the 16 foot span was too much for it. I would think the structural ridge line would have taken that stress. Am I wrong?
    Last edited by DaleW; 08-31-2011 at 22:31.

  2. #2
    Senior Member zukiguy's Avatar
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    Me Too

    I'm hunting around the local hardware stores and recycle yards to find some suitable hanging poles. I'd like to sink a sleeve into the ground several feet, maybe into concrete. Then I'd prefer a pair of aluminum or stainless poles maybe 10' to hang from (think heavy duty flagpole). When I need to mow or it's too hot/cold to hang I just yank the poles and put them in the garage.

    Seems I've seen a couple of threads over the last few days about GTULs ripping right across the center. Maybe they had a batch of sub-standard fabric. I can't seem to find the thread at the moment but it's pretty recent.

  3. #3
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    zuki is right; this just happened to a new member that posted yesterday, 8-30-11, i think.

    what the hell.....

    sv-

  4. #4
    Acer's Avatar
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    I just used a post hole digger and dug a hole 2' deep in the yard..stuck a 8' treated 4 x 4 in it, put it full of water, poured 3/4 bag (40lb) quickcrete in it,,and it will hold 2 hammocks with 400 lbs of people in it with other end of hammocks hooked either to a 20" dia tree or other 4 x 4's attached to porch with no problems at all,,very little bend in 4 x 4 at the 6' top with 2 hammocks and 2 people in them,,works perfect.

  5. #5
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidvicious View Post
    zuki is right; this just happened to a new member that posted yesterday, 8-30-11, i think.

    what the hell.....

    sv-
    Yep, something going on with these hammocks.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  6. #6
    DaleW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Yep, something going on with these hammocks.
    I ordered a Warbonnet DL Traveler, so that will cure the problem I wanted light weight, but getting dropped like that doesn't work. The GTUL is thin stuff. I'm hoping the double layer will help with pad use for minimal hiking weight and bulk.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Timberrr's Avatar
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    from one of those previous posts:

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffjenn View Post
    From Chief Hammock Officer (owner of Grand Trunk & member here)...
    Grand Trunk Guarantee

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hey All,

    Being in the hammock business gives us the chance to usually make people so happy they can't stand but tell their friends and join the growing following of Hammockers!!

    I do value feedback, good and bad. Instead i have an offer for you.

    If you purchase or have purchased a Grand Trunk/The Travel Hammock product within the last 10 years and you have an issue, please contact me directly through Hammock Forums, or at jon@grandtrunkgoods.com or call me at 801-583-1709 and let me know what's going on and I GUARANTEE you will not be treated poorly or be unhappy.

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/member.php?u=1492
    Regarding size of posts:
    I put in 4x4's when we renovated our patio area. They are 8 footers - 3' down and 5' up - set in concrete. I thought I was over-building them. I wasn't. 4x4 is too small! They haven't broken but they flex enough to frighten me.
    If I were doing it again, I would definitely go with 4x6's (set in line, not parallel) or even 6x6's.
    8' set in concrete (just use a cheapo bag of sacrete on each post) is fine. I also put a giant galvanized (read expensive) screw eye at the top of each post and that works fine too. Then, to be cool, I planted a vine beside each post and trained it up the post so it hides the post.
    All in all it works just fine. It's my primary test spot and honey-I'm-sleeping-outside-tonight spot.
    Good luck!
    .
    So many trees, so little time...
    We follow where the Swamp Fox guides,
    His friends and merry men are we;
    And when the troop of Tarleton rides,
    We burrow in the cypress tree.
    The turfy hammock is our bed,
    Our home is in the red deer's den,
    Our roof, the tree-top overhead,
    For we are wild and hunted men.

  8. #8
    DaleW's Avatar
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    Good idea on the vines. I was thinking about a bird feeder on one and possibly a string of lights if they were taller.

  9. #9
    DaleW's Avatar
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    Update: I tried sleeping in the Hennessy with the cheapie landscape poles and heard some cracking, so I abandoned the rig post haste. They aren't safe. Back to the drawing board!

  10. #10
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaleW View Post
    Update: I tried sleeping in the Hennessy with the cheapie landscape poles and heard some cracking, so I abandoned the rig post haste. They aren't safe. Back to the drawing board!
    Good idea.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

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