Why is there such a thing as a half-drop grab?

Dean Payne <deanpayne@...>

Why is there such a thing as a half-drop grab? I had expected that
they were meant to get around a tricky mounting location, where you
couldn't have both ends of the grab at the same level. That seems to
be the case with the Southern SU box. But, I'm finishing up my W&LE
quad hopper (kitbashed from a Westerfield H21). The lower grabs on
the end are half-drop, and I have clear photos of the ends that show
the grab attaching to a clear section of the ladder upright: no
reason to do a half-drop!
Did someone suggest the half-drop was supposed to keep a brakeman's
foot from slipping off better than a straight grab? I have a P&LE
36' DS box (Funaro) that has half-drops on the lower corners, with
the half-drop on the outsides of the corners. I suppose that a half-
drop was somewhat cheaper to produce than a full-drop, but I wonder
if the cost of stocking a separate part made up for the savings. At
least on the Wheeling hopper, there is no obstruction that would get
in the way of a full drop.
So, what factors influenced the choice of straight grabs, drop grabs,
or half-drop grabs?
Dean Payne

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