Aerial Rig Setup Manual

This aerial rig is NOT intended for Swinging

Warning and Disclaimer !!!

Setting up or taking down is a very dangerous activity.
Incorrect assembly, failing to properly secure screws, tipping over etc.
If screws were not properly tightened or a snap button not engaged,
a leg section could slide off and fall when rig is lifted to take it down.
DO NOT allow someone to set up this rig that has not studied and thoroughly understands
the set-up procedure and that DANGERS and safety procedures..
Do NOT allow children to set-up. Too easily distracted and will make mistakes.
The set-up and use of this equipment is YOUR responsibility. Take it seriously.

When used for 2 performers of aerials,
NEVER do DROPS with 2 people on rig.
NEVER have 2 people on a rig set up to over 19 ft. high.

Set-up requires minimum of two fairly strong people, (which most female aerialist are of course)
especially when setting up to a height of over 16 ft.
It is best to have three people. Two people to lift, and one person to insert legs segment while rig is being lifted.
The higher it is set-up to, the heavier it gets and more difficult it gets to set up.
We set up this rig for purpose of making this manual.
It just took two of us, my friend Alicia and I, and we did it in about 15-20 minutes.
1st few times are slower, but you will get faster after a few times.
Setting up the Tri-pod rig is considerably easier.

Can be set up to various height by just choosing which and how many leg segments to use.

Moderate swinging activities are possible as long as the swing does
NOT go beyond the legs. Any more swinging than this can make the rig unstable.

Aerial Equipment and Rigging techniques.
I highly suggest that anyone into aerials or considering purchasing learn about rigging before you do it.

Warning, Foreword & Disclaimer
The activity of aerial sports as trapeze, web, fabric, hoop etc. is a thrill seeking,
daredevil type of activity.
It is extremely hazardous and should be approached with this in mind.
When doing these activities including the use of this equipment, the set up and break sown of this equipment,
YOU are willfully risking life & limb and
ALSO putting at risk any other people using or setting up or breaking down.
The use of, erection and lowering of a rig is a very dangerous activity.
The manufacture cannot determine how the equipment
will be used or abused, misused.

You, as a performer and/or participant of this type of activity need to be properly
trained on the use of this equipment and the proper rigging, inspection and maintenance
of aerial equipment. Please always inspect, and fix/replace any items that appear worn,
damaged , frayed, etc.. Watch for wear on Carabineers where they go on the eyebolts
that the carabineers are not wearing through from use, especially if you use aluminum carabineers..

The manufacturer takes no responsibility in:
The use of the rig,
raising of the rig,
lower the rig,
Or any activity associated with the rig.

The USER (you) , knowing the extreme nature of this endeavor,
assumes all responsibility.
If the user is not willing to assume the risks associated with this sport and activity then
perhaps the user should not engage in the sport and the use of this equipment,
and should find a more benign activity to participate in.

PLEASE read all instructions first
and make sure you understand what is needed to erect the rig.
If you have any questions, please call, or write.

NEVER, EVER tie aerial fabric to the upright legs of a free standing rig for storage,
to get it out of the way, when outdoors where wind is possible.
The fabric turns into a big sail and will easily tip the rig over, possibly
on spectators or bystanders. Not funny, has actually happened to someone
with the old heavy rig. That fabric puts out a LOT of power in the wind.
To temporarily put away fabric while hanging so that it does not blow around,
just Daisy-chain it so that it is heavier with less loose fabric surface.
Or twist fabric tight and wrap around leg and secure.

Even this is not safe in a higher wind. If the wind picks up, Bring it all down and lower the rig.


These rigs were intended to be used by individuals for practice, by performers and schools, for light duty performances, to be easily transported and set up by just a few people.

For the BIG organizations doing BIG performances, with major big tricks should consider a very high end rig costing usually in the $10,000-$20,000 + + range. That meaning, do not use ANY light weight tripod or quad rig from any of the rig manufacturers of basic freestanding portable rigs.

NEVER have more than one performer on the rig when doing DROPS!
Quad rig
16ft-19 ft high
Static load SWL= 400 lbs
Dynamic load SWL= 1200lbs Rolls, soft drops. short bomb drops.
Not advised to do BIG drops that generate very high shock loads, like Long bomb drops.
Estimated breaking load about 1900 lbs
21ft-24 ft high
Static load SWL= 350 lbs
Dynamic load SWL= 1000 lbs Rolls, soft drops. short bomb drops.
Not advised to do BIG drops that generate very high shock loads, like Long bomb drops.
Estimated breaking load about 1700 lbs
TriPod rig
16ft-19 ft high
Static load SWL= 300 lbs
Dynamic load SWL= 800 lbs Rolls, soft drops. short bomb drops.
Not advised to do BIG drops that generate very high shock loads, like Long bomb drops.
Estimated breaking load about 1200 lbs

     21ft-ft high, TriPods should never be set up more than 21 ft. Extension feet are just for height options under 21 ft.
             Static load SWL=  275 lbs
            Dynamic load SWL=  600 lbs     Rolls, soft drops. short bomb drops.
                       Not advised to do BIG drops that generate very high shock loads, like Long bomb drops.
                                 Estimated breaking load about 1000 lbs


Set up Precaution. READ !!!!!!

Setting up and taking down the rig is VERY dangerous.
You are going to be setting up a 200+ lb rig to over 20 feet high.
This is a VERY dangerous activity.
Anything could happen, be extremely cautious.

There should always be a VERY knowledgeable person in charge that is totally familiar with set-up procedure and safety.
No one should be setting up a rig if they don’t know how, which includes helpers.
That means the person IN CHARGE MUST CHECK/INSPECT the assembly at each stage of height,
to make sure screws are tight and that SNAP BUTTONS are engaged
BEFORE setting up the next height level of legs.
This inspection needs to be done at EACH level before proceeding to the next higher level.
If not done at that time, there is no way to check it later because it will be too high to see and check.

The screws that hold the leg sections in place are for holding leg section snug for less wobble.
If the screws were not in, the rig would still stand and support and would not come apart because gravity holds them together and the rig would never sustain enough bounce for them to come apart.
BUT. If the screws are NOT tightened properly, or for some reason worked them selves loose, then when taking the rig down a leg section could slip off when lifting the rig on one side to remove leg sections, and could fall on someone.

THEREFORE, on Quad rigs,
Never lift just one leg to where the other adjacent leg is dangling off the ground.
If a screw were to be loose, the leg section will slip off and
will fall causing injury if it falls on someone.
Keep the set-up and breakdown area CLEAR of ALL persons not directly involved in the set-up and breakdown.

WEAR GLOVES and Wear Protective Shoes
This is a HIGH and Heavy piece of Equipment
There are pinch points that WILL BITE you.
Fingers, toes are fragile.

ALWAYS use 2 people to lift the 2 adjacent leg at the same time
so that legs are held in by gravity and only come off when you pull them off.
If leg is dangling because only 1 leg was lifted,
or lifted faster than the other person lifting,
then a leg section could slip off when you don’t want it too.

This sequence of tightening the screws will be done on all junctions for fastening the legs
to header or previous leg section.
After assembling one level of height, INSPECT the assembly,
testing the screws and checking that the snap buttons are ENGAGED.
The screws are 1/2-13 x 5/8″ Stainless Steel SET SCREWS,
Most hardware stores have them in their specialty section, or order replacements from me,
AGAIN: These SET screws hold the leg sections so that they are seated nice and snug into the next leg section’s opposing tube wall so that they are nice and SNUG, straight and can’t wobble. They also hold the sections in place for when you lift the rig to add or remove leg sections.
Caution, If the screws are not tight, or a snap button is not engaged,
then a leg section can slide off and fall when you pick the rig up to add or remove leg sections.,
Be aware of this possibility when erecting or breaking down a rig.
( I have forgotten to tighten a screw once and a section came off when I was taking rig down.)
Never have people just standing around during erecting and take down. Clear the area of people.

NEW Type Rig’s leg section have 1 set screw in the corner of the leg section ,For the rigs with just one set screw on the corner of the legs, no special instructions, Just tighten nice and snug, enough to hold next leg section in place

(Old style rigs have 2 set screws, On the flat walls of leg section )
FOR OLDER rigs with the 2 set screws per leg section require special tightening sequence.
Follow this link for SPECIAL instructions

SNAP BUTTONS, that prevent a leg from slipping out when not intended.

These joint areas are Pinch points, watch your fingers, Wear non-slip Gloves.
See use of a BUTTON clip for holding down the button while inserting the leg section. to keep your fingers AWAY from the PINCH POINT

The latest generation of rigs have a snap button to hold legs in place during set-up and break down, This was done because some people seem to forget to tighten the screws properly and leg sections slid out prematurely during set-up and breakdown. .
Just line up the button with the hole in the previous leg section, depress button, slide leg in so that button snaps out and into the hole in the previous leg section.
CHECK that the button snapped out of the hole in previous leg section otr header and that the button is engaged and holds the leg section in.
These snap buttons are NOT for securing the legs together, that is still the primary job of the screws. This is just a back-up for those people that forget to do it right.

Now start erecting.

Lay out the header upside down in the middle of where you want the rig to be located
and lay 1st set of legs in the location where they will go.

Assembly of a Quad leg rig or a Tri-pod type rig is virtually identical.
Tri-pods are a bit easier to set up because they are lighter because you
only lift 1 leg at a time to set up vs. 2 legs at a time for a Quad.

Now insert the 2 leg section,on one side of quad rig.
If a tripod rig, Put header on it’s side on ground and insert the 3 leg sections
Make sure snap button engages if so equipped. (newer models)

Tighten set screws and flip right side up.

Now lift up the header and insert the other two legs on the other side.

Make sure snap buttons engage.
Then tighten set screws as described above in “Tightening the set screws” instructions.
You now have the 1st level of legs in place.

Now is a good time to hang your aerial equipment or pulley system.
If you have a step ladder, you can do this after the next set of legs are installed if you wish.

Quad header

If you will be using guy wires,
this is a good time to clip them to the header’s guy wire holes.

For guy wires this type of screw anchor works well and is available in most hardware stores. at least 18″ preferably 24″

DO this before proceeding with lifting and inserting the next set of legs.
Go around to the set screws and make SURE that they are all tight
and that the SNAP buttons are properly engaged,
before lifting.
Failure to do this could cause a leg to fall out as you lift.

2nd level of legs.
Lay the next set of legs at the location where they will be needed and oriented properly
for ease of grabbing them and inserting them as you lift rig.

NOTE how a unsupported leg is DANGLING in air.
THIS is NOT the way to do it, 2 people have to be lifting, one on each side.
Lifting like shown on photo could result in legs section sliding out and falling on someone
if the screws were not tightened properly.

Using 2 people,( not just 1 person lifting and one inserting leg.)
lift 2 legs in air and insert next leg section.
Lift one side of rig and insert the 1st two legs for this side.
Then tighten set screws as described above.

Caution, When lifting one side high enough to insert the next leg section you are very
close to its tipping point. Note in photo how it leans.
If this is a tri-pod type rig it is even more so important because it comes even
closer to it’s tipping point and could fall over.

Lift the other side and insert the 2nd two legs
Then tighten these set screws as described above.

WARNING, DO NOT lift the rig so high one one side that it topples over.
This is especially important on TRIPOD rigs.
You can lift them high enough on one leg that rig falls over.

You should now have two leg segments installed in each corner of rig.
You now have the 2nd level of legs in place.

3rd level of legs.
Time to go up another level to the 3rd level set of legs.
This is where it gets harder because it is getting heavier.

DO this before proceeding with lifting and inserting the next set of legs.
Go around to the set screws and make SURE that they are all tight
and that the SNAP buttons are properly engaged,
before lifting.
Failure to do this could cause a leg to fall out as you lift.

Lay the next set of legs at the location where they will be needed and oriented properly
for ease of grabbing them and inserting them as you lift rig.

Lift one side of rig, insert the 1st two legs of 3rd level, then tighten screws as described above.
Now lift other side of rig and insert 2nd set of two legs of 3rd level and tighten screws as described above.

4th level of legs.
Here we go again, time for 4th level.

Before starting to lift, go around to the set screws and make
SURE that they are all properly tightened before lifting. Failure to do this could cause a leg to fall out as you lift.

Lift one side of rig, insert the 1st two legs of 4th level, then tighten screws as described above.
Now lift other side of rig and insert 2nd set of two legs of 4th level and tighten screws as described above.

You are now at about 21 feet high.
If you have the optional Extension feet, then you can add those now.
These will allow for additional adjusting of the height and for leveling.

Your rig is now at it’s final height.

Time to put on the feet and the chains or straps.
Either the Stock Non-adjustable feet, or the optional height extending adjustable feet

Newer rigs come with straps vs. chains ( some people didn’t like the look of chains).

The chains or straps prevent the legs from spreading as it is loaded up and being performed on.
The chain is one long length of chain, not individual chain lengths. The straps are 4 individual straps with adjustment buckles.
This way it can be used for any rig height as the footprint of rig gets bigger as rig gets higher.
This chain or straps MUST BE USED.

Typically each rig comes with short non adjustable feet, 4 for Quad rig, 3 for Tri-pod rig.
You could also have short leveling feet, or optional Height extension/leveling feet.

Optionally you can get Adjustable leveling Feet, 1 (for tripod,) or 2 (for quad rig) .
The two sizes of feet are to help with leveling the rig on uneven surfaces.
Leveling is only needed if there is significant level difference on the ground.
These short adjustable feet are NOT for extra height, just for leveling on uneven ground.

Height Extension/Adjustment feet are available also.
They are just like the leveling feet pictured above
but are much heavier duty and 4ft long, allowing for an additional 3ft height.
This make is easier to adjust height to fit your apparatus or an indoor space.

The pins are put in the feet and the legs rest on top of the pins.
The set screws on the legs can then Easily be tightened to hold feet firmly in place.
When NO leveling is needed, place the pins in the lowest holes in feet. This makes them even with the
short, non adjustable feet, Unless you have the height extension feet, then put pins in holes as needed for height and leveling.

This is the short standard non-adjustable foot.
Put the feet on bottom of rig with the carabineers pointing inward toward center of rig.
Then tighten the set screws to hold feet in place.

Use the height leveling feet, or Extension feet, as needed to get rig close to level.
Place the adjustment pins into the holes in the feet that are appropriate for adjustment needed.
Slide the feet into the bottom of leg, with the carabineers pointing inward toward center of rig,
letting the leg section sit on top of the pin.
Then tighten the set screws to hold feet in place so that
feet are secure in leg section and do not wobble

Do not use rig on surface that is too much slope, IE. more than about 6″- 9″ difference from one side of rig to other.

Adding chain or strap.
to stabilize legs so that they can not slide outwardly as rig is being used.
This chain also is used to adjust the location of the feet so that legs are nice and straight, not bowed.

Go around to each leg and check that it is close to straight, not bowed.
Just close for now, not PERFECT, YET
Slide legs in or out as needed to get them close to straight.
Final adjustment to get them straight is done as chain or strap is added.

Add chain.
NOTE, the newer rigs have a hole in the foot.
instead of using the chain, you can use a 6″ long fencing nail and pin feet to ground.
chain is prefered.

The Chain or STRAP MUST be used (or foot pinned into ground). This prevents the legs from spreading out as the rig is in use and getting bounced. The legs spreading out will cause legs to no longer be straight and reduce strength. it also puts extreme pressures on the leg connection to the header.
NOTE, I use chain or strap because every height setting results in a different distance between feet.
If I were to use cables as some other manufacturers do, then you would need a set of cables for each height that you set up too. Straps and chain is infinitely adjustable.

Start in one corner and clip chain or STRAP to carabineer.
or insert pin through foot hole and into ground

Walk the chain or strap around to each leg and lay it there in approx. place where it needs to be clipped in.

Working around from 1st leg’s foot that is already clipped in, go to next foot.

Move leg in or out again to get it straight and clip in the chain or strap.
Or put pin through foot hole and into ground.

Move on to next foot, slide leg in or out to take out any bow and clip on chain or strap.
After doing all four corners, go around again for final straightening adjustments.

Move each leg in or out as needed to reduce any bow, adjust the chain.
If the chain is already attached, you can either take up slack at each subsequent leg or

just double clip chain to take up slack.
See the little loop of chain by the carabineer!

Work your way around from leg to leg and get them as close to straight as you can.
This increases the rig’s load strength, if legs are NOT bowed.
They don’t have to be perfect and never will be, just get it close.
This will take a little time the 1st couple of set-ups, but will become second nature as time goes by.

Your rig should now look like this with all legs close to straight, (not bowed)
and chain attached and no slack in chain.
Now tug outward on each leg to take any slack out of chain, legs should remain un-bowed.

As you can see here, this rig is set up on a sloped driveway,
but is straight up & down because of the leveling feet.

In this photo you can get an idea of the strength of the rig.
I put all my weight on the side of just one leg, it BARELY bowed it out of straight and it easily holds my weight.
A performer will be putting their weight on all 4 legs and in straight line of legs not deliberately bowing them out of column loading.

You are purchasing from “Ludwig Aerial Rigging LLC” company
Payments made through PayPal at email addr.


The way the eyebolts are attached is critical so that they
will not unscrew themselves during use and drop you on your head.

2 NUTS are used, a slim regular nut, and a LOCKING NYLOCK nut.

Putting one nut on top of another nut is a way to lock nuts together, I go ONE STEP FURTHER.
The second nut I use is a locking NYLOCK which has a nylon bead inside that very tightly grips the bolt threads. Using the 2 locking techniques locks the eyebolt securely.

You MUST use a ‘slim’ nut as the 1st nut. a regular thickness nut would use to much thread space and then not allow the NYLOCK nut to go on far enough for it to lock.

1st put eyebolt through header then put on the washer.
Next, put on the slim non-locking nut and tighten. Make it snug but don’t crush the header tube.

Use a screw driver to hold the eyebolt so that it does not turn while tightening the nut.

Next, Screw on the Nylock locking nut, tighten it firmly against the 1st nut.
The nylock nut is properly installed if at least ONE thread protrudes out the end of the nut. If it does not protrude, then it is not on far enough and the nylon inside the nut will not lock onto the bolt shaft.
Using my 4″ long shaft eyebolt, This is how it should look, if many more threads protrude out end of Nylock, you may be crushing the header tube.

Rig load testing
In my load testing I hooked the back of my conversion van to the rig using a come-along.
I then lifted the back of the van, (approx 1800 lbs)
Legs had lots of bowing, but held.
I then shook the rig with the van rear suspended, still all OK.

Then a moment of MADNESS, I got on up on the bumper and jumped up and down to add some shock
load while it was already stressed from high weight on it.
After disassembly of the rig I inspected all components for damage or permanent bends and there were none.
The Heavy Duty rig holds about 2400 lbs, calculated by engineering formulas

before lifting
Legs after lifting back of van.
Back of van off ground, note wheel well opening.
White strip was slid under wheel to see that van was off ground.