OX Push

“The OX Push 60 was developed to breeze through 60 wide pole tent installations. An unsafe task that used to take four people over 30 minutes now requires half the number of people and can be completed in a fraction of the time.”

Design

OX Push uses custom bracket mounted on the front of the machine.  After a stake or rod is placed through the hole near the bottom of the center pole while it is horizontal. The OX Push then lines the opening of the bracket on the rod until it is seated.  Once seated, the tip of the center pole can be lifted up 2′ by rotating the tool back about 3 degrees.  The center pole tip should never be raised more than 4 feet off the ground using the rotation, as it serves no purpose. When the tip of the pole is in the fabric, the machine then pushes forward allowing the rod to rotate in the seat of the bracket.

The operator should not try to lift the fabric by rotating the tool.  It is not designed for that.  Instead, the operator should move forward simulating the movement of 4 men if they were pushing the center pole up by hand, were the rod would be about 2-3 feet off the ground.

Hand Signals and the Importance of a Ground Guide

It is recommended the operator and ground guide work with hand signals, and that the operator not move until or unless the ground guide is directing them.  If the operator is uncertain of a command, or does not know if the situation is safe, they should shut down. There is no better way to get the ground guide’s attention better than a shut down.  Then they discuss the issue, and proceed with and signals.

Tricks and Techniques

The Tent OX™ makes it possible to install a 60 wide with as few as 3 people. (Because the hardest task is not unrolling and maneuvering the tops) But 4 are recommended for the highest efficiency of the crew. The only way to support crews larger than 5 is to assume the productivity goes down, or that you have multiple supervisor on the job who can constantly directing the unskilled who can only go from task to task. Since the tent industry uses a lot of temporary and entry level labor, if there is only one supervisor he will be focused on the install, while the entry-level crews stand waiting for more instructions, or disappear.

When installing poles on twin center pole tents, you can push the first pole with the OX Push, while a 3 man crew pushes the twin mate by hand as far as is easy.  Because the machine is lifting the weight of the fabric to full erection, the second twin pole can usually be pulled 80% of the way by hand.   Then while the machine is repositioning to finish the twin the crew of three can move onto other tasks such as getting the next set of poles ready, or proceed to tension down the tent.

Many people question the need for the machine on a 50 or 60 wide take down. It is a matter of preference, and crew skill and experience levels.  If using the OX Push for take down, operator should be careful to allow the pole a range of pivot by rotating the attachment forward so it does not hold the top up as the tent is lowering

Ground Guide for Safety

When using the OX Push,  for safety reasons,  the ground guide has a critical roll of controlling this process. He should be the most experienced tent person on the job.   All communications and commands to the operator are funneled through the ground guide.  The ground guide should be using hand signals, as the operator may or may not hear him depending on location.  All other crewmembers should be communicating through the ground guide, not directly with the operator.  The ground guide should not have a hand on roll when the machine is in the push stage. Ground guide should always have eye contract with the operator.

The role of the ground guide is:
1. to handle the tip end of the pole for the operator – guiding it into the fabric
2. responsible for the surrounding members SAFETY on the job site, making sure they stay at least 10 feet horizontally clear of any part of the machine or pole when a push is underway
3. directing the machine operator on all movements from a location where he can see everything.

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