National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Net – Cargo, 15’X 15’, 6,000 lb. Capacity

NFES Number: 
Storage and Shelf Life Checks: 

Initial Inspection/Disposal Criteria  

  1. Inspect for fraying or deterioration of lines. Ultraviolet exposure is the most important factor in the degradation of the strength of the cargo nets constructed from polypropylene rope, not use or age. There is no visual or other field inspection technique that will guarantee that a cargo net is free from degradation due to ultraviolet exposure. However, if the net is free of brittleness, has no more than 10 percent broken strands in any two adjacent cycles, and there is no chalking or other visible damage, then the net is probably safe for further use.
    • Inspect for more than 10 percent of strands in any two adjacent cycles of the net being broken.
    • Inspect for brittleness by bending several areas of the nets rope 180 degrees back on itself. If more than two strands break per bend, dispose of net, or return to manufacturer for repair.
    • Inspect for chalking by running a lightly grasped hand over several of the ropes in the net. If small, white, chalk-like fragments of the rope come off in your hand then chalking has occurred. If chalking is present, it is likely that the net has received enough ultraviolet exposure to cause embrittlement and the net must be further inspected for broken strands.
  2. Inspect all ropes for fraying, burns, or wear points. All netting cord strands at splices and terminations should be free of fraying and unraveling. Netting terminations on the perimeter rope (purse strings) must have a metal thimble. All splices and terminations shall incorporate a minimum of four tucks back into the netting ropes. All rope terminations and splices should be visually inspected for the minimum number of tucks. Note that due to the length of some of the rope ends past the splice, some rope ends were tucked between other rope strands to constrain the extra rope. This is an acceptable condition for the net.
    • NFES 000458 cargo nets manufactured by Lift-It Manufacturing, Inc. in 2016 under contract number AG-82X9-P-16-6013 will have rubber electrical tape wrapping the polypropylene rope ends. Inspect rope ends to ensure tape is in place. If there is no tape, see Cache Memo 20-01 and taping instructions in Reference Section below for additional information.
  3. Inspect netting for contamination by fuel oils or other liquids considered degenerative to netting.
  4. Verify an identification tag is attached to every net. If a tag is not attached, attach one but only if the chain of custody can be verified. There are many companies that make similar looking nets that are not of the same capacity. If the chain of custody cannot be verified, the net must be taken to a net manufacturer and proof tested to twice its Workload (e.g., tested to 6,000 lbs.) for a 3,000 lb. net. (Note: It has been found that the cost to perform this test for a net missing its tag is about ¾ the cost of new net. The custodian of the net should consider the economics before sending the net out for proof testing.)
    • Replacement tag info should include NFES #, Working Load Limit (WLL) in pounds, i.e., 3,000 lbs. /6,000 lbs., cache identifier and date.
    • Inspect loop thimbles for cracks, wear, and deformation. Ensure thimbles are not loose from net and easily removed.
    • On some heavy cargo nets (NFES #000458), the mesh intersections are fixed with molded plastic crosses. These should be visually inspected for cracks and missing parts. Remove from service if broken or missing components are identified.
    • Any NFES #000795 net that is constructed of black mesh must be taken out of service.
    • Return to stock if items pass inspection, are clean, and in unused condition.
    • Refurbish if deemed necessary through inspection and repairs economically feasible.
  5. Dispose of item if refurbishment or repair will not correct deficiencies identified during the inspection process.

Refurbishing Procedures

A. Cleaning

  1. Clean all dirt from netting.
  2. Remove all flagging, string, and rope.
  3. Hang or stack polypropylene nets and clean with water from high-pressure hose.
  4. Dry completely before packaging.

B. Repairs

Any repairs should be completed by net manufacturers.

C. Testing for Performance


D. Repackaging

Suggested cartons are: 

  • Package 1 each in NFES #000645 carton (42” X 13.5” X 14”)


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