Manual ascenders, winches, and descenders have been utilized in the tower industry since the beginning. These pieces of essential equipment have shaped the industry but have changed little since their inception. Now the Ronin Revolution Corporation is working hard to educate end users and the businesses that utilize its services about the benefits of powered ascender technology.
Bryant Bertrand, CEO, who co-founded the company in 2018, explains it this way, “We’re excited to bring the ascender, this transformative technology, to a number of commercial industries, telecom being one of them.” He adds, “This is relatively new technology on the U.S.-side and it benefits both businesses and workers.” For end users, the discussions center on the technical aspects of the device, how the Ronin Lift can be applied and integrated best into existing work environments, and how it can preserve career longevity. Businesses can use Ronin to improve worker safety as well as training and implementation across a diverse workforce, and realize reductions in insurance premiums, according to Bertrand.
As its existing user base has swelled to many thousands of users, Ronin broadened its focus in 2020 by expanding its product line to include supporting accessories. Customers can select accessories to expand the Ronin Lift experience with various applications including batteries, protective cases, deadman handles, remote controls, rope brushes and perfect burn kits, trailer hitches, rescue tripod mounts, vertical lifelines and rope retrievers.
“Not only does our new website, roninpowerascender.com, feature all of the new products, it also has a section dedicated to the voice of the customer, like a brainstorming board,” says Bertrand. “We give our products in the early stage of development to users and request their feedback. That’s how we learned that we needed a fully powered reverse feature for easier rope removal. We listen to our customers.”
In 2018, the Ronin Lift, featured in Inside Towers Fall Showcase, was introduced. It is easy to use, lightweight and can support a working load of 400 pounds. The Ronin Lift focuses more on control than speed and is “affordable to most companies” at around $2,000 per unit.
“You can add a Remote Control upgrade that allows a person to winch and haul from a fixed position. It doesn’t make sense for a person to operate the unit directly underneath a load, so the remote allows them to create that distance,” says Bertrand.
For telecom specifically, Bertrand says “we went on-site with our customers to determine specific solutions for the industry. Telecom towers can be in remote locations all over the U.S. Installers will arrive onsite without knowing what the rigging options are and they have to find places where they can tie their ropes into for work.”
Ronin developed its vehicle hitch mount to solve this problem. “The guys can rig their ropes from a winching position that is ANSI rated. It allows them to arrive on-site, knowing full well what their rigging point is because it’s tied to their vehicle. And it works with the Ronin Lift,” adds Bertrand.
Ronin focuses on key distribution to get its products into the marketplace. “We work closely with distributors for telecom and rely on their expertise. Our distributors have a great history and we rely on them to understand what the industry needs are and how to best service them. We are a young company and we are always looking for distributors,” says Bertrand.
What is the most important thing for businesses to understand? “This new technology is not going away. We’re seeing more of it and more workers utilize it. It is becoming a standard in day-to-day operations. We want to be one of the companies that ushers in the change and facilitates the paradigm shift of how we achieve access for workers. We’re in this business for the long-haul,” says Bertrand.