Updated: Nov 2, 2019
All The Facts About The Tactical Carbon Fibre Pole
’RAISING THE BAR FOR RESIDENTIAL’
The TACTICAL Water Fed Window Cleaning Pole is based on the design of the flagship Reach-iT MINI – we just made it noticeably MORE RIGID by changing the laminate plan to be over 60% High Modulus Carbon Fibre for Water Fed Window Cleaning FASTER, BETTER, SAFER!
Our goal is to maximise your efficiency. In seeking to guide you through the decision making process, we want to draw your attention to the fact that you will achieve more time savings and therefore achieve a higher hourly rate by focusing on how to clean FASTER, BETTER, and SAFER on 80% of the windows you clean, rather than you would by focusing on the much smaller percentage of the ‘highest windows’ you plan to clean.
THE REACH-IT DESIGN IS ALL ABOUT THE 80:20 RULE
We ask you ‘What is the height range of windows that account for 80% of the glass you clean?” This is typically 1-2 stories for Residential and 1-4 stories for Commercial operators. We then ask “What is the maximum height windows you intend to clean any time in the future?” With the answers to these two questions, we are able to recommend a pole that is DESIGNED for the 80% of the windows you clean, and able to be extended any time in the future to reach the ‘highest windows you want to clean’.
To understand this better, consider that only 25% of the glass of a 4 story building is at 4 stories, 75% is 3 stories and below, 50% is 2 stories and below, and 25% of the windows (ground floor) could be cleaned by hand without a water fed pole!
TACTICAL is a modular two-story telescopic pole system that can be disassembled to clean lower windows, and extended with PLUS A and PLUS B to clean higher windows.
Remember, you don’t need to buy what you don’t need today – if you own a TACTICAL, you can reach 55 FEET at anytime in the future.
TACTICAL VS THE REST
Comparing TACTICAL to other poles in the market, typically you will find other Water Fed Pole sellers steering you through the decision making process by getting you to focus on either ‘price’, or ’maximum desired reach’. Our observations are that Window Cleaners are typically steered towards a pole that is either;
a) CHEAP (basically aluminium, fibreglass, or hybrid fibreglass/carbon fibre), rendering the Operator inefficient as they try and control a pole that is flexing and whipping. To offset the limitations of a floppy pole, the pole is supplied with smaller brushes with less bristles to reduce the weight at the top of the pole. This results in the Operator taking more time to agitate and rinse windows. Cheap poles deny you the opportunity for increased efficiency from pole rigidity and larger brushes (explained below).
b) MAXIMUM LENGTH, typically this is a 35-40ft fixed length pole (focusing your attention on the highest windows you might want to clean any time in the future). Buying a pole based on maximum length is a misdirection, because only a small fraction (often as little as 2-10%) of the total windows you clean are at that maximum reach. This steers you towards a longer compact length pole that is completely awkward to use on lower glass, resulting in the need to purchase additional ‘shorter’ poles in the future in an attempt to recover comfort and efficiency.
When choosing between Reach-iT MINI and TACTICAL, the difference becomes apparent when working above 3 stories. If you are only planning to clean windows to 2 stories and occasionally to 3 stories, Reach-iT MINI will deliver a great workable rigidity. Of course, over the last 8 years, Reach-iT customers have successfully cleaned up to 5 stories with Reach-iT MINI, however, in the spirit of delivering the best tools for PROFESSIONAL WINDOW CLEANERS, we felt we should offer an even BETTER solution, because time is money, and comfort is the essence of both the amount of work that can be achieved in a full day of window cleaning, as well as impacting the quality of life of the Operator after a days work.
Accordingly, you will never regret choosing TACTICAL over Reach-iT MINI, especially if you plan to clean over 3 stories any time in the future.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR TACTICAL
Standing at just 4ft 6” compact height, and 25ft of actual pole length (add 5ft Operator height to get ’30ft REACH’), TACTICAL has all the clamps at chest height (starting just 3.5 ft off the base), making it totally convenient to adjust the length of the pole at all times. Adding our new SHOCKSTOP Insulator Handle, adds an additional 5ft to the TACTICAL master.
TACTICAL is a 7-section telescopic pole, pulling apart at sections 1 and 4 to give you a shorter, lighter pole when working lower glass. Sections 1-4 give 19ft reach, and Section 1 on its own gives you 10ft reach. This is the essential Reach-iT design – a ‘Pole System’ designed specifically for Window Cleaning, pulling apart and extending one story at a time.
TACTICAL is made 100% from carbon fibre, which is easy to say – but there’s more. Each tube is hand made with 8 layers of carbon fibre, each 1/200” thick ( about the same as human hair) with a laminate plan that is designed to maximise the rigidity of the pole, while discouraging delamination (splitting or peeling).
TACTICAL is made 40% from what is commonly called ‘Intermediate Modulus Carbon Fibre’ – its a generic marketing term for the technical qualities of stiffness and actually refers to a ‘range’, and in fact, there is no regulation on the use of these terms. The top 60% of TACTICAL is made from High Modulus Carbon Fibre giving additional rigidity where the pole has thinner tubes and wants to flex more under the effect of forces like the Operator pushing the pole up the glass, and gravity, when the Operator is standing away from the building. The top section of TACTICAL is actually 10 layers of carbon fibre to give it additional rigidity.
The inner layers are called ‘uni-directional’ meaning all the fibres are pointing in the same direction as we use the pole – between the Operator and the Window. This gives the pole its ‘modulus’ or rigidity. To prevent the layers all splitting, we use 3K carbon fibre – this is the ‘beauty’ of carbon fibre that everyone can relate to – the woven look consists of ‘tows’ (or ribbons) of fibres woven together in different patterns. The useful modulus of 3K is 50% the modulus of uni-directional because only 50% of the fibres are in the direction of the rigidity we want to accomplish.
Carbon fibre is made by only 6 companies in the world, however, several hundred companies buy the carbon fibre material and make products into sheets that are like a soft fabric. Water Fed Poles are made from pre-preg sheets, meaning the carbon fibres have been laid out and pre-impregnated with epoxy resin to prepare them for assembly and cooking. The best carbon fibre products are made in USA, South Korea and Japan, so these are the ones we import for making REACH-iT Poles.
After the carbon fibre is cut to the laminate plan, it is rolled onto a steel mandrel (it’s like a big steel rod that is the inner diameter mold). It is the wound with high tension using a heat proof tape. Each wind of tape is about 1/24” apart and this will later explain the corrugated surface of most Water Fed Poles in the market.
The wound fabric on the mandrel is then ‘cooked’ for several hours in a huge ‘oven’ – and at varying temperatures. This is the process when the epoxy becomes liquid and penetrates between all the layers and fibers, held under the pressure of the heat-proof tape. As the tube cools, the resin hardens and sets, delivering a single piece carbon fibre tube.
After the tape is removed, there are fine lines from the liquid resin in the pre-preg filling the gaps between the layers of tape. At Reach-iT, we grind all these off to give a perfect outer diameter of non-corrugated carbon fibre. We do this because any corrugated surface has less grip in a clamp, and more ‘wear and tear’ when being used as a moving part. Other manufacturers do not do this process because it makes the pole last several years longer as a professional tool. The smooth sound and action of a Reach-iT pole is so noticeable if you have ever opened and closed a competitors pole.
We believe, if you choose a REACH-iT Pole, you will immediately appreciate the precision, details and care that we take to deliver you a premium tool.
ERGONOMICS also play a big part in the design of the TACTICAL pole handle diameter – see the White Paper references in orange at the bottom of this page from (among others) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
POLE RIGIDITY has a huge impact on the efficiency and comfort of the Operator. Pole Rigidity ensures the full transfer of the Operator’s effort making you more efficient and accurate when cleaning windows. TACTICAL’s greater POLE rigidity is achieved by using a higher modulus (stiffer) carbon fibre composite than Reach-iT MINI.
A higher pole rigidity also means you can use wider brushes, meaning you can clean more glass with every stroke, often delivering an increase of up to 50% in your efficiency.
A higher pole rigidity also means that you can clean ‘impossible’ glass with Reach-iT’s MAX-REACH Gooseneck which gives you up to 6ft horizontal reach. This facilitates the cleaning of windows set back over entranceways, glass awnings over footpaths in shopping strips, glass roofs on elevated walkways, and those nightmare ‘architecturally beautiful deep-set windows’ that would otherwise require a lift to reach.
POLE WEIGHT is another of the considerations when choosing TACTICAL. At Reach-iT, we solved the ‘pole weight’ consideration by designing the first ‘pull-apart’ and ‘modular extension’ Water Fed Pole that is integral in your TACTICAL design. This means you are using the best ‘weight to height’ ratio at any height windows. Reach-iT also perfected the first ON-GLASS-RINSE Water Fed Brush (CONSTRUCTOR BRUSH) which means that your pole/brush is leaning on the windows during the full window cleaning process. The combination of these two designs means you are using the LEAST EFFORT POSSIBLE at all times, regardless of the height of windows you are cleaning.
LONG WORKING LIFE is a real ‘return on investment’ from investing more in a Reach-iT Water Fed Pole. With 8 years experience now, and talking to our long time customers from 2011, we can assure you that your Reach-iT pole can last over 10 years. Carbon fibre does not need to fail – and we ensure it will not by making the clamps on TACTICAL easily replaceable and by sanding the tube sections smooth so they do not wear down (while others glue their clamps to the pole sections and have a corrugated surface of epoxy resin residue from the ‘cooking process’ that will, in time, wear down and effectively render the clamps ineffective). The science is simple – whenever there are two moving parts, one must be designed to be sacrificial. Whilst we have many customers with clamps still in use for over 5 years, we design Reach-iT poles with replaceable clamps ($99/set) so the carbon fibre tubes (the real money) can continue on for a full long life of professional use.
RHINO-CLAMPS, TACTICAL is fitted with RHINO-CLAMPS – tried, proven and improved annually since 2014. There are so many aspects to designing clamps that can withstand forces working at 80ft, and still operate smoothly and effortlessly at 20ft.
RHINO-CLAMPS are particularly finely-tuned because they need to work with pull-apart sections and non pull-apart sections alike.
END DEFENDERS, it is important to understand how vulnerable carbon fibre tubes are to being damaged by hard surfaces, like roads and paths. To ensure the long life of your Reach-iT Pole, we add 304 Stainless Steel END DEFENDERS to each ‘handle section’ (for example with TACTICAL, its sections 7, 4 and 1), while we see other manufacturers use rubber and aluminium end caps, which will wear down on roads and paths, ultimately reducing the lifespan of the handle sections.
OPTIONS TO EXTEND TACTICAL
PLUS A (extend 8ft)
Add PLUS A to your TACTICAL pole to extend it even further to reach high glass up to 43ft reach. PLUS A is an inverse 2-part telescopic pole that connects between sections 1 and 2 of your TACTICAL master pole. Made from High Modulus Carbon Fibre, PLUS A is 4ft 6” compact, and adds 8ft 4” extension to your reach. We even include a Euro thread tip fitting so you can conveniently use PLUS A as a ‘trad pole’ (Euro to Cone Adaptor not included at this time, but is available here)
PLUS AB (extend 16ft)
Add PLUS AB to your TACTICAL pole to extend it even further to reach high glass up to 51 ft reach. PLUS A is an inverse 2-part telescopic pole that connects between sections 1 and 2 of your TACTICAL master pole. Plus B is an inverse 2-part telescopic pole that connects between sections 4 and 5 of your TACTICAL master pole. Made from High Modulus Carbon Fibre, PLUS A and PLUS B are 4ft 6” compact, and each adds 8ft 4” extension to your reach. We even include a Euro thread tip fitting so you can conveniently use PLUS A as a ‘trad pole’ (Euro to Cone Adaptor not included at this time, but is available here)
PLUS ABB (extend 25ft)
Add PLUS ABB to your TACTICAL pole to extend it even further to reach high glass up to 59ft reach. PLUS A is an inverse 2-part telescopic pole that connects between sections 1 and 2 of your TACTICAL master pole. Plus B are an inverse 2-part telescopic pole that connect between sections 4 and 5 of your TACTICAL master pole (you can connect two PLUS B one after the other. Made from High Modulus Carbon Fibre, PLUS A and PLUS B are 4ft 6” compact, and each adds 8ft 4” extension to your reach. We even include a Euro thread tip fitting so you can conveniently use PLUS A as a ‘trad pole’