To climb a wooden pole or tree, you will use the equipment shown in figure 4-73. On the climber, the stirrup fits under the arch of your foot, and the leg iron runs up the inner side of the calf of your leg. This puts the gaff in a position on the inner side of your foot where you can drive it into the pole or tree as you climb. Two leather straps run through the loop straps and hold the climber tightly against your calf and ankle. The leather pad keeps the upper end of the climber from digging into your leg.
The term leather refers not only to treated animal hides but also to neoprene-impregnated nylon products, such as body belts, safety straps, and leg straps. These nonleather items are cleaned with soap and water and are available to the battalions.
The safety strap and body belt, as shown in figure 4- 73, are what might be called your extra pair of hands when you work aloft. The safety strap is a leather belt with a tongue type of buckle (keeper snap) at each end. The body belt, strapped around your waist, contains various pockets for small tools. While climbing, you will have the safety strap hanging by both ends from the left ring (called a D ring because of its shape) on the body belt.
The safety strap also has an adjustable buckle that permits varying the length to suit the lineman and circumference of the pole.
To a lineman the term burning a pole means the highly unpleasant experience of sliding all the way, or a good part of the way, down a pole as a result of defective equipment or some error in climbing techniques made on the way up. The burning you receive does not need to be explained in detail, and besides burning, you may get many splinters. However, climbers, body belt, and safety strap should keep you up where you belongif you use them properly and take proper care of them.
The body belt and safety strap require continuous inspection. Look for the following:
Loose or broken rivets
Cracks, cuts, nicks, or tears in leather
Broken or otherwise defective buckles
Defects in safety-belt snap hooks and body-belt D rings
Figure 4-73. - Pole climbing equipment.Continue Reading