Horizontal rails: uses, comparisons, advantages

Large buildings often have large windows and limited space for façade maintenance. For example, where window cleaning is concerned, there are few alternatives that guarantee the execution of the work and the safety of the operators. Among these, the most common are certainly BMUs (Building Maintenance Units) and systems integrating horizontal rails for rope access.

The BMUs, also known as "baskets", are lowered from the roof and move along the wall carrying a maximum of 1 to 6 operators. The aesthetic impact of BMUs on a building is very significant: mechanical booms on the roofs and a large footprint of the machines in their
resting position.

In contrast, systems incorporating horizontal rails for rope access, such as the new H-RAIL from Rothoblaas, are an unobtrusive, elegant and quickly installed solution.

As well as being able to be used in fall arrest and restraint, H-RAIL has many advantages over a BMU.

For the suspension application, the comparison between the two solutions shows these characteristics.



BMU: for the installation of BMUs, space is required to accommodate a large machine. On the roofs of some very tall buildings, mechanical booms are installed that need permanent space. The design of the building must consider the often important weight load of the BMU system.

H-RAIL: once installed, the rail does not require any additional space. In fact, H-RAIL's footprint is extremely small. It is an easily available standard product that fits into the building design without major problems.  


BMU: the baskets are aesthetically very impactful even when not in use. For installation, they require fixed or mobile devices.

H-RAIL: small in size and easily concealed within the architectural structure, it is often invisible. Made of aluminium, on request also available anodised or painted in various RAL colours.


BMU: During work, operators have to lean out to reach the front and the basket often swings.

H-RAIL: the rail allows suspended work, the operator is slinging and remains at the correct distance from the wall.


BMU: depending on the size of the basket, 6 operators are allowed to work at the same time. On large surfaces, façade maintenance times are very long.

H-RAIL: 4 operators are allowed to work on a rail at the same time and over a larger area than a basket. The speed of execution of the works is greater. 


BMU: curved buildings, sloping façades, angles and narrow spaces are difficult to reach.

H-RAIL: even in the case of constructions with complex shapes, the rail allows freedom of movement and execution of maintenance or cleaning work.


BMU: both very high for installation and maintenance of crane and basket motors.  

H-RAIL: rope access is a great "cost and time saver" as the system is quick and easy to install and maintain compared to BMUs.

The features of H-RAIL: safety, speed, versatility

Horizontal rigid anchor lines with few fixings, curved or straight rigid lines: thanks to the versatility and modularity of the H-RAIL rail system from Rothoblaas, work in fall protection, restraint and suspension is extremely safe.

Installation is quick, with fewer installation constraints than competitive products. H-RAIL is a system that can be used in numerous contexts.

Product application overview

H-RAIL ON FLOOR, rail system for horizontal use

Due to the spacing of up to 6 metres between the supports, assembly requires a limited
number of fastening points.

H-RAIL + TOWER / TOWER A2 / TOWER XL, rail system for horizontal use on supports

Modular, it can be assembled in combination with TOWER, TOWER A2 and TOWER XL by Rothoblaas. The combination of the supports allows the rail to be raised and any obstacles in the roof to be overcome.

H-RAIL OVERHEAD, overhead rail system

The aerial application of the rail allows operators to work hands-free and safely. Also tested for
suspended work for up to four simultaneous users.

H-RAIL ON WALL, rail system for horizontal wall use

Maximum comfort for fall protection and suspension work thanks to the sliding device with four wheels.

Tested and certified on both traditional materials and glulam and CLT, H-RAIL is the safe and efficient rail system for access and maintenance of roofs and façades of multi-storey buildings.

Stay on the right rail, choose H-RAIL

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