Military Unit Supply Specialist Buyer Tips: Freefall Parachute System Gear | Tactical Parachute Systems

Buying the Rig: Tips for a military unit supply specialist.


All New Components.

If your unit has money to spend on gear, always buy new! New parachuting equipment can offer your troops the best fit, comfort, reliability and the latest technology. Before you decide on what gear, brands or sized to purchase… As a military unit supply specialist make sure to liaise with the troop instructor, rigger and the products dealer.


A unit supply specialist buyer, when you decide on gear, you should keep in the practical factors of jumps. You will have to consider the experience, skill level, weight/size, planned number of jumps per year and your budget before making a purchase.


Firstly, the main canopy size needs to be determined. Next, you should choose the brand of canopies you wish to purchase, meaning container and/or automatic openers. Talk to your troop’s instructors, also using your own judgement, then decide on what canopies would be the most appropriate. The most important factor for new gear is making sure the size of the canopy is appropriate for your troops.


When you place your order, you can expect a turn around time ranging between a couple of weeks. It might take months or longer depending on the time of year, the manufacturer and the products you’ve ordered.


This could be the one draw back of ordering new gear. You might have to wait a long time and use old or rented gear in the meanwhile. You can find discounted or free rental gear during the waiting period from some dealers. Ask about this and the projected turnaround time for each individual part of your gear.


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New/Used Blend of Components for a military unit supply specialist.


You can save money and have a custom, well-fitting rig. After you buy a new container, you can fill in the rest with used canopies and automatic openers. You can expect an expense of $2000 for a basic new container, with average dealer discounts.


The price of containers only starts to climb when you chose every option the manufacturer offers. This can range from anything to do with tie-dye options or custom embroidery. Custom fit containers are available should you choose to stay with the manufacturer’s standard rig configuration.


Again, you can speak to your troop’s instructors for recommendations and specifications when you choose between containers.


All Used Components.


Now you are left with the riskiest way of buying skydiving gear… When you opt for purchasing used gear you must ensure the local or your trusted rigger completes a “pre-buy” inspection. This will determine if the gear is as advertised, is airworthy, if it needs additional work and if it is an appropriate fit for your troops.


Involve your trusted troop instructor to determine an appropriate canopy size for the skill level of your troops. If the rigger is new, they might not know the troop’s history with and would not recommend the best fit.


Any reputable used rig dealer will allow a rigger to act as an escrow service during a pre-buy inspection. Should the used gear seller refuse an inspection, you should look somewhere else.


Used Containers.


The fit of the container is very important, so should you be going for the used route, rather look locally. This will also ultimately save you money on shipping.


Should you not find a good fit from a local dealer, you can find out if the used rig will be a close fit for your troops before shipping. Have local riggers measure the troops and contact the manufacturer to find a harness size close enough to fit appropriately.


Check the date of manufacturer when you purchase a used rig, also check the number of jumps it has gone through. Check damage/repairs done, completed service bulletins, main deployment system type, cutaway/reserve handles type, RSL/Skyhook, and if parts are all included.


When you ask about all the parts included, make sure to address container including the harness, container, main risers/toggles, cutaway/reserve handles, reserve freebag/pilot chute and main deployment bag/pilot chute.


As a military unit supply specialist, you would need to find all the parts that came with the container originally or any newer replacements. If there are any parts that has been replaced on the container, find out if the parts were ordered from an appropriate rig manufacturer.


Some parts are interchangeable; however, you must ensure the main deployment bag and reserve freebag/pilot chute is an appropriate size for the container.


Finally, decide if the price is appropriate for a container as advertised. Check the new container prices for the same brand and type to determine if the used price is appropriate for its condition. Before you are completely satisfied with the container, don’t skip a pre-buy inspection by your chosen rigger.


Used Canopies.


First determine the size of canopies you are looking for. Get some advice on the type and brand of canopies that would be appropriate for your troops. If you must buy the containers and canopies separately, make sure the sizes are compatible.


Similarly, to the container, consider the number of jumps the canopy has been used for. Check damages/patches, and type of lines. Also check for if/when it has been relines if the slider is collapsible and what links are included in the canopy.


The canopy should include the parachute, lines, sliders and links. Canopies need relines every 600 jumps. The cost of a reline depends on the type of line and manufacturer and is usually around $300. Again, find out the price of a used canopy and compare it to the used price to determine its accuracy.


As a unit supply specialist, you can follow the rule of taking off $1-$2 per jump from the new price. Thereafter, you should add on the price of a reline if completed recently. Factors including damage, patches, prematurely won lines, water landings and the type of links will affect the price of the canopy.


To sum up tips for you as a unit supply specialist.


Keep in mind that parachuting gear can cost a lot of money, however as a unit supply specialist you can find the best gear for your unit’s budget. Keep your troops in mind when buying and make sure to find a rigger and instructor to help you make decisions on the best gear to purchase.

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