What Are the Best American Made Lineman Tools?Lowell Corporation
The work of a lineman is very central to ensuring that homes, industries, and businesses have electricity. A line worker’s job is to service transmission and distribution lines below and above ground. Hence, they need the best lineman tools and equipment to accomplish their various tasks.
The best American-made lineman tools and equipment must protect them from field hazards. Namely, electric shocks and accidents as they will be dealing with powerful electrical installations.
Lineman tools used by such utility workers are just as essential as education or training. And the tools a lineman will use throughout their careers are very diverse. It’s impossible to go through every one of them, so we’ll focus on the essentials.
This blog will focus on some critical tools that linemen frequently use in their daily routines.
What you’ll learn:
Essential American-Made Lineman Tools
Let’s start with the general tools that every utility worker should have on hand. Here are some common tools every lineman should have in their toolboxes:
As a lineman, the hammer is simply one of those tools you need all the time. There are several varieties provided for a lineman’s electrical tasks. The type you need depends on the specific tasks and the amount of space you have.
2) Lineman Wrench
Since linemen do high line pole installations and repairs, they need high-quality wrenches that are durable and rugged. Again, there are many types to choose from depending on the tasks. The most popular options include:
- 4-in-1 wrench
- tight fit wrench
- lineman socket wrench
- lineman socket wrench
Pliers are so important and functional to linemen that you should always have a set. The lineman pliers should be able to cut, straighten, bend and twist wires together seamlessly. And course, they should be able to pull out nails and unscrew bolts.
4) Skinning Knife
For a job that involves working with many wires, you should have space for a skinning knife. These knives will help you expose the copper to electrical contacts, scoring, and slitting cable jackets.
5) Batteries and Chargers
Most small equipment batteries are rechargeable, so you will need a power source to work on the go. Batteries and chargers are essential for mobility.
Looking for high-quality linemen tools? Read our product guide for utility workers.
Specialized American-Made Lineman Tools
Some tools find particular applications in jobs associated with servicing transmission and distribution lines. Here are some specialized tools you will need for daily lineman labor.
1) Compression Tools
A wide variety of compression tools is available to you as a lineman. Some compression tools, such as a piston, are made for large open spaces. At the same time, others are streamlined enough to operate in small spaces. There is also flexibility in using a lineman compression tool. The head can interchange with cutting tips which transform it into a cutter.
2) Cutting Tools
Cutting tools are essential work tools for a line worker. Generally, the many cutting tools available make cutting wires more effective and efficient. Also, cutting tools help reduce the risk of accidents while cutting wires.
Gaffs, harnesses, spikes, hooks, and ladders are essential for getting up the pole to where the work is happening.
Safety Gear and Equipment
Lineworkers are in a dangerous line of work. So hand tool safety is of utmost importance. And any tool that can help linemen perform their jobs safely is part of the best American-made lineman tools. Whether you need transmission lineman tools or distribution lineman tools, these five essential pieces of safety gear will protect you from operational hazards.
1) Hard Hat
A hard hat has become traditional clothing for anybody working in construction. But make no mistake about it: the hard hat is there to protect against injury to the brain. A hard hat helps protect against falling objects and blows to the head. And, of course, it also has effective insulation to protect against electrical hazards.
2) Insulated Gloves
Insulated hand gloves are a must for a lineman dealing with essentially killer voltages and currents. There are a variety of gloves designed to protect against higher voltages and currents. Also, it would be best if you used a pair of leather gloves to protect the insulated gloves from damage.
3) Climbing Belts
There is a great deal of climbing in utility work. Are you working on high-tension transmission and distribution towers? A belt is essential to keep you safe while climbing and working with both hands.
4) Safety Boots
There are several types of boots used by linemen depending on the tasks. There are boots made with adequate insulation for climbing metal poles, while others specialize in producing a solid grip in the case of a wood climb.
5) Hot Stick
Linemen often have to work with live power lines. An insulated pole comes in handy to help protect against unexpected electric shocks. It also helps that they come interchangeable with various heads suitable for completing several live-line tasks.
Linemen need tough wrenches that can withstand the test of time. Lowell can make your utility work easier.
Tips For Maintaining Lineman Hand Tools
Now that we’ve established how to find the best American-made lineman tools, the next step is maintenance. Here are some tips on keeping your tools in proper working condition for years to come.
1) Read The Instruction Manual: Every piece of equipment has a standard operating procedure. Save yours to refer back to it during cleaning and inspection.
2) Use the Right Tool for the Job: One of the easiest ways to preserve your lineman tools is to use them only for the right specialized tasks.
3) Inspect Your Toolkit Regularly: Before using your American-made lineman tools, always check for any defects or issues that may render the tool unsafe.
4) Keep Them Clean: Dirt and grime can cause damage to your lineman tools quickly and make them not function properly. Always keep them clean and dry.
Personal Protective Ground Set Assembly
Linemen should also consider personal protective grounding sets for de-energized and grounded line maintenance. They are important tools that can prevent serious injury on the job.
Typical utility grounding sets have two functions:
- Firstly, to create an Equi-Potential Zone (EPZ) that reduces current flow through a lineman
- Secondly, to allow the clearing of the fault in the shortest time possible
Personal protective grounding sets must be appropriately rated, built, and installed for these two things to happen. The three major aspects of ground set assembly include precise ferrule crimping, ground clamps installation, and testing.
The cable to ferrule connection is the most difficult in a grounding set. If the crimp is excessively loose, the cable may break out during a fault current and fail to offer protection.
On the other hand, if the crimp is very tight, grounding cable strands can break or get damaged, increasing the resistance of the grounding set. The grounding configuration may not provide appropriate protection during a fault current if the resistance is too high.
The purpose is to keep the resistance of the grounding set giving the parallel channel to the lineman as low as possible so that most of the fault current flows through it.
To crimp ferrules to grounding cable effectively, use the correct factory recommended dies. The factory contains fault-current tested grounding sets to ASTM F855 standards, with ferrules crimped on the cable utilizing Anderson Versa-Crimp style crimpers, Burndy crimpers, and a Finn-Power 8-sided crimper.
You may find instructions for perfectly placing ferrules on grounding cable here. After crimping, it is advisable to put heat shrink over the cable and ferrule to help prevent contamination, moisture intrusion, and strain relief in the cable-ferrule connection.
It is vital to install ferrules adequately into grounding clamps to protect the cable termination. Try to maintain the resistance low and ensure that the grounding sets function correctly. So, install ferrules on the cable for basic plug ferrule clamps. ASTM F855 needs ferrules.
Without a properly crimped ferrule, the grounding cable should not be stripped and put into the j-bolt of the clamp. Instead, crimp a plain plug ferrule on the cable. Fully insert it into the clamp, tightening the j-bolt to 250 lbs.
When installing threaded ferrule grounding clamps, use all the hardware. You should thread the ferrule completely into the grounding clamp.
In addition, the lock washer and nut should be inserted above the threaded boss in the grounding clamp and tightened to 250in.-lbs once properly threaded. However, C6000065, which features a blind threaded hole with the nut and lock washer inserted below the hole, is an exception to the preceding recommendations.
Several threaded ferrule grounding clamps with drilled holes are available to make the assembly procedure easier. The ferrule is fully inserted into the hole using these clamps. Meanwhile, the lock washer and nut are fitted above the drilled boss and adjusted to 250 lbs.
Ready to save time and money on your power lineman tools?
The Best American-Made Lineman Tools Since 1869
Lowell Corporation offers the best hand tools in the industry. Whether you need a 4-in-1 wrench or a lineman speed wrench, you’ll want the right balance between cost and efficiency. Our custom hand tools make tough jobs easier with waterworks engineers and lineman tools.
We’ve been increasing productivity in construction, maintenance, and manufacturing operations since 1869. So let our waterworks and lineman socket wrench technology simplify your workload. With our essential power lineman tools, you get the backing of the most trusted name in the hand tool industry.
Lowell Corporation is proud to manufacture all of our lineman tools right here in the USA in the heart of New England. All Lowell wrenches are 100% guaranteed with our one-year manufacturer warranty against defects in material and craft for one year from delivery.
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