What is Highline Work?Lowell Corporation
Have you ever wondered how linemen work on high-power transmission lines and keep our contemporary wired world working? It isn’t easy to maintain and repair telecommunications lines and cable lines. Highline work involves a complex process and immense hard work of the dedicated people who work on them.
Let’s discover what goes behind the process of highline work.
What is the process of highline work?
Linemen are responsible for maintaining the transmission of power lines, distribution lines, and telecommunication lines. They ensure the end-users are facilitated by electricity and network supply in homes, offices, industries, and hospitals. Moreover, they are also involved in fixing and maintaining the cable television lines and fiber optic lines. The process of highlines might also involve distributing transformers on poles, insulators, and fuses. They work on both live wires and dead wires.
The process involves physical exertion in inaccessible areas where you use manual tools. The process might involve the use of ropes, knots, and lifting equipment. Linemen may use a pair of spikes and climb the wooden ladders or poles to gain access to the high wires.
However, linemen who have to cover a considerable distance to high-tension power lines use helicopters. This process is complicated since it should be made sure that the linemen are isolated from the ground. The linemen also wear unique protective and conductive costumes while handling the wire.
High linemen might not exclusively be involved in wire installation. Wire installation involves linemen along with other assistants and apprentices.
What are the tools and equipment required for highline work?
The linemen working on highlines need to work on transmission and distribution lines. They might also have to work on live wires and rugged terrains.
Thus, they need many tools and equipment to handle their operation—these tools and equipment help them perform their tasks with ease.
Here are some of the Highline and powerline tools mentioned below which are handy while linemen are on their duty:
● Lineman wrench
A lineman wrench is a tool required when performing high line poles installation and repair. It helps in tight ratcheting mechanisms. The long handle of the wrenches also ensures greater leverage. Some wrenches come with bolt-through designs that enable use on long bolts. It also provides you a smooth surface for hammering.
Clamps are tools used for attachment to the wires and grounding. While handling the conductors on the electrical circuit, it is essential to use suitable clamps. Their function is to hold the cables and secure them.
There are material handling clamps as well. These clamps handle lifting heavy loads.
Clusters, also known as four-way connectors, merge up to three incoming cables with an outgoing cable. It also creates a standard connection between conductor leads and ground leads.
● Wire Ferrules:
Wire Ferrules are metallic tubes used to link cables to the clamps for a strong connection.
Scaffolds are temporary structures that function as an elevator and support the Highline workers during wires or repairing lines. It consists of planks of the required length and size. In this way, Highline workers do not have to climb the poles.
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Lineman safety equipment:
Lineman safety equipment ensures that the linemen while working on high tension wires, stay protected from electric shocks. The safety equipment includes wearable items along with other equipment.
Hard hats are an essential part of the linemen costume since they can prevent head injuries during a fall and serve as protection. Face shields are often attached with these hats to stay protected from flashes.
Wearing rubber boots also serves as adequate protection against electric shocks, especially while working on metallic poles.
Linemen working on highlines and live wires also require insulated rubber or leather gloves. These gloves offer assistance while handling live cables and fixing them.
Climbing belts offer help while climbing utility poles. These belts also prevent falls and accidents. They also support the weight of the linemen workers.
Faraday cage suits
While working on high tension wires, some electric linemen might also use Faraday cage suits. These suits work on live, high-voltage power lines. The design of this cage suit also mitigated the risks of electrocution and shocks. It prevents the flow of current in your body.
Repairing of highlines:
One of the essential parts of the job of a highlines worker is to repair the highlines. The unprecedented damage to the wire and transmission lines due to climatic situations or other extreme cases may need urgent repairing.
Highline workers urgently need to respond to the call. They have to lift heavy equipment and work for long hours making repairs. Often, there is a hindrance in the cables or power lines.
The repairing process involves climbing poles and transmission towers. It also involves scrutinizing the defective devices, worn-out wires, transformers, and switches. During the procedure, the equipment supplies truck-mounted buckets. The process also requires testing the power lines until it’s fixed. It may require operating the power equipment while installing and repairing poles, towers, and transmission lines. The Highline workers may replace the old worn-out wires with the newer ones and fix the blown-out transformers.
The repairing process utilizes the problem-solving abilities and organization and management skills of the Highline workers. It also requires strategic and efficient planning. The Highline workers need to find quick solutions to fix the situation to ensure electricity supply.
Working on a Highline is one of the most arduous and laborious jobs. The duties of the linemen workers are demanding in various ways. The workers need to be efficient while handling and responding to emergencies. They need to learn and practice using Highline tools and powerline tools effectively at the right time. Another important aspect of this career is adhering to safety rules and regulations.
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