Cables are the old way. Everyone knows cables have a tendency to fray over time. Frayed cables can break and doors can come crashing down on aircraft, machinery or even people. Cables require more servicing, are hard to work with and difficult to replace. Replacing cables with more cables is a timely and costly expense and can be a real safety issue if the cables are not kept in good condition.
Schweiss has figured out and designed a way to modify any bifold that's ever been manufactured. Retrofitting an existing cable door over to the Schweiss design "Lift Straps" on other brand bifold doors, no matter the make or model.
Schweiss has brought relief to customers with the old vintage cable bifold doors. Finally, the customers with cables can be at ease. They're able to do away with the antiquated cable lift design and retrofit any style or brand bifold door over to the latest and greatest Schweiss "Lift Straps."
The strap advantage is huge. Straps are longer lasting, never rust, never tangle, are flexible, open a door faster and are 100 percent quieter than steel-on-steel cables. With lift straps, door owners get a "soft start" and "soft stop", adding to the life of the bifold door. Schweiss stands behind the "New Lift Straps" by carrying a 10-year warranty and straps outlast cables well over three times.
"It's not your bifold door. Can I buy just the 'Lift Straps' and convert my door over to the straps?"
"Can you convert my cable door over to straps?"
"My doorframe is good but I'm tired of changing out cables every couple of months!"
"Will your straps work on my door, it's another brand?"
"I was at the neighbor's hangar and saw how smooth and fast a Schweiss Door operates. Can you help me?"
"My door is not that old but I hate my outdated cables. Can you convert my door to straps and autolatches?"
"I see your strap doors are much faster than my outdated cable door. What's it gonna cost me?"
"I was trying to save money by going with cables. Boy, what a mistake!"
"Why would anyone even consider outdated, slow cable doors today. I wish straps were available when I purchased mine!"
"I still like bifold doors. Now with the straps and
auto-latches they're even better!"
"Nobody will sell me another cable door!"
"The Strap conversion made my door better than new!"
"What a nice Improvement to an older door!"
"Straps and auto latches, what a great improvement!"
"You guys are good, thanks for the neat invention!"
"Should have done the strap conversion years ago!"
"If anyone asks. send'em my way and I'll be your salesman. I love my door now!"
Schweiss's excellent success with the New Lift Straps has revolutionized the door industry. It's a no-brainer. Why bother with cables? It becomes obvious when you understand why the new patented Lift Straps are the smarter way to raise and lower your bifold door. Smoother, safer, faster and quieter. Like a customer once said, "My strap bifold door is the envy of my fly-in community. I'm happy I bought the Schweiss Door!"
For years, bifold doors have been lifted and lowered by the conventional means of steel cables. Schweiss Doors have been using the popular, long-lasting lift straps for over 20 years. Now 99 percent of our customers are demanding polyester lift straps for this function. Why? Because lift straps offer more lifting ability, won't fray or overwrap! The strength-to-weight ratio on straps is extremely high. The 3-inch straps are rated at 29,000 lbs., where 1/4" cables are rated at only 7,200 lbs. In addition, the safety factor on straps is well over the standard 5:1 ratio.
P.S. Has anyone ever converted a strap door
back to cables? I don't think so!
Liftstraps make the door easier to look over for potential problems. They are
certainly alot less maintenance, not as much adjustment, you don't have to worry about
cable clamps slipping or even the fact that when they started fraying people could rub against them.
Cables were just a maintenance nightmare. We were having a lot of problems keeping the cables adjusted and replacing broken cables. It was really hard to tell when a cable was slipping, and it would go from looking perfectly fine to fraying almost immediately. We have millions and millions of dollars in aircraft rolling underneath these doors so we have to be increadibly careful, if one of those doors came down the aircraft would be totaled - maintenance has dropped off to nothing with the liftstraps.
Cables require more maintenance meaning more downtime
Loose cables cause problems
Cables wear out faster and fray easily over time
Schweiss is the door of choice. We did three strap replacements on Hangar 1 and one more at another PJ Helicopters hangar. I did additional strap retrofits for another gentlemen at the Red Bluff Airport at the same time for a total of seven liftstrap conversions there. The newest maintenance facility hangar has Schweiss hydraulic doors. Straps are so much better than the cable operation, I don't know why anyone would want a cable door.
Schweiss Lifts straps have proved to be by a far superior method of lifting any bifold door. Lift straps wrap on top of themselves by design. No worry with overlapping issues or with cables rubbing against each other. Furthermore, everyone knows that cables are not even close to being as quiet as liftstraps. Can you imagine the noise that 2 or even 4 cables must make?
There's a marching song made popular during World War I whose lyrics begin with . . . "Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag . . . And smile, smile, smile!"
“The City of Vero Beach was really, really happy with the whole 14 hangar door setup and how it went down. Schweiss has a better designed and cleaner operating system. By the third hangar we had a system set up to where we had all the structural components ready and our own welders and electricians ready to hook things up. We worked through all the small issues of adapting Schweiss equipment to an existing hangar door. We had great support from Jeremy at Schweiss Doors. By the time we were on our sixth hangar door we were a moving machine where everybody knew what they had to do. I would definitely recommend Schweiss doors and strap conversions to others.”
- Jim Lavold, Contractor
James S. Lavold, Inc.
In retrospect, that's sort of what Jim Lavold, co-owner of James S. Lavold, Inc. did when his family-owned general contracting company completed 14 Schweiss Door liftstrap conversions on lease and rental Box and T-Hangars for the Florida city-owned Vero Beach Regional Airport. Now the city and aircraft owners are smiling, smiling, smiling because these 20-year-old cable-lift doors no longer pose a safety hazard and lift faster and much more efficiently.
"As an approved contractor for the FAA we do a lot of airport work and renovations. We also work on local government-owned and private hangars, hurricane repairs and things like that. We travel all over the country and work in all states. We did a project for the FAA renovating control towers in Hilo, Hawaii, St. Thomas, St. Croix and Puerto Rico," said Lavold.
Lavold's general construction business is located in Jupiter, Florida, about an hour's drive south of the southeastern coast city of Vero Beach. It's a place where you can experience beautiful beaches, luxury amenities and an easygoing lifestyle.
"We picked up on this Vero Beach project because it was something we specialize in anyway. There were other structural parts to this hangar project other than the strap conversions," said Lovold. "Vero Beach wanted the Schweiss conversion kits for their existing 50 ft. wide x 20 ft. high steel doors originally manufactured by, antiquated to say the least, Wilson Doors who are no longer in business. They had trouble with cables busting. On one occasion a cable snapped, and a door came down and hit one of the planes.
Lavold said the pilots are a lot more at ease with the strap systems modernized with automatic latch systems. He got to know a lot of the tenants and they were really excited about this city project that actually got through funding and worked out.
The City of Vero Beach approved the liftstrap conversion as part of its Airport Master Plan that projected a vibrant airport to meet the needs of the entire region. The electrical control boxes for the liftstrap doors were mounted just to the right of the bifold walk doors.
"The City of Vero Beach was really, really happy with the whole 14 hangar door setup and how it went down. Now the airport operations people who have taken over maintenance on these doors have said, 'There's nothing left for us to do - everything works great.' We had an independent on-site engineering inspection team that wrote me a nice letter commending us on how we took care of everything," said Lavold.
Once the Lavold team got working on the installation of the liftstrap conversion they breezed right through it.
"Schweiss has a better designed and cleaner operating system. At first, we had a learning curve on how to get through installing it. By the third hangar we had a system set up to where we had all the structural components ready and our own welders and electricians ready to hook things up," noted Lavold. "We worked through all the small issues of adapting Schweiss equipment to an existing hangar door. We had great support from Jeremy at Schweiss Doors. By the time we were on our sixth hangar door we were a moving machine where everybody knew what they had to do.
"I would definitely recommend Schweiss doors and strap conversions to others. We are actively seeking out new projects starting in Florida, but we will go anywhere. The City of Vero Beach still has two box hangars with bifolds on them that they want to switch over when they get approved for funding," added Lavold.
These two photos show the comparisons of the small Wilson Door gear box and motor (left) to the heavy-duty Schweiss gear box and motor that activates the drive shaft.
Breaking steel cable leads to strap lift conversion! Matt Ellis of Midland, Texas bought a 70' x 32' bifold hangar door that was only three years old. The door was made by some people out of Florida (not Schweiss). Imagine walking up to your newly purchased hangar, pressing the open button on your remote control for the first time and hearing a loud crack of a steel lift cable snapping in two. That eye-opening incident led Ellis to search the Internet where he came across Schweiss Doors which led to a liftstrap conversion.