Tools of the Trade

January 2022

Tools of the Trade

When it comes to keeping the lights on and our electric system working, there is no group more important than Suwannee Valley Electric’s (SVEC’s) linemen. Our line crews go to work every day to make repairs, maintain lines so they will be ready for the next big storm, and make upgrades so the electric service we bring to our consumer-members can be even better.

In the course of a normal day, linemen can do any number of tasks, and face hazards from rattlesnakes on the ground to high-voltage electricity at the top of a power pole. Having the right equipment is vitally important to keeping everyone safe and ensuring each member of our team goes home in the same condition they came to work.

  • Hard Hat: Made from hard plastic, it has slots to attach accessories such as hearing protection.
  • Safety Glasses: Plastic frame and lenses worn to protect eyes and block UV rays.
  • Shirt: Flame-resistant fabric and stitching with nonmetallic buttons.
  • Rubber Gloves: Dielectric-tested, rubber-insulated 30kV gloves for electrical protection.
  • Rubber Glove Protectors: Leather gloves with orange vinyl cuff. Worn over insulated rubber gloves to reduce chance of puncturing or tearing from sharp objects.
  • Climbing Belt: Connects to fall restraint.
  • Jeans: Fire-resistant with flame-resistant stitching.
  • Fall Restraint – Super Squeeze: Wraps around and grips pole to prevent falls.
  • Pole-Climbing Hook: Apparatus for climbing poles when situation prevents use of an aerial lift (e.g., bucket truck). Removable gaff guards (yellow) prevent injuries while not climbing.

How SVEC Linemen Get the Job Done

But how much do you know about the equipment that keeps SVEC’s linemen safe and productive on the job? If you’ve ever asked yourself how a lineman gets materials while high up on a pole or wondered what those hooks on their boots are for, we have the answers.

Journeyman Lineman Russell Summers was kind enough to load up with all the equipment he typically uses to help members better understand what he and his fellow linemen work with on a daily basis. Read on below to learn more about the tools of the trade.

  • Easy Adjustment Hard Hat Suspension: Designed to be a shock absorber and provide a safe distance between the wearer’s head and hat shell. Includes a small nob for adjusting the hat size.
  • Hand Line: Used to raise material from the ground to the lineman. Also used if necessary to lower an injured lineman from top of pole.
  • Gut Strap: Holds climbing belt at a level for sitting on while leaning back from pole. Reduces strain on back.
  • Nut and Bolt Sack: Pouch for holding nuts, bolts, and connectors.
  • Lineman Hand Tools: Wrenches, pliers, screw drivers, and other tools used by lineman.
  • Rubber Glove Bag: Protects gloves while not in use.
  • Work Boots: Lace-to-toe leather boots with toe protection materials and extra arch support for pole climbing.