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
The safety strap also has an adjustable buckle that
permits varying the length to suit the lineman and
circumference of the pole.
Care of Climbing Equipment
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
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
Figure 4-73.Pole climbing equipment.