Most people wish for a white Christmas, but linemen and other utility workers hope that the white Christmas is one without power outages and other work that must be done in the cold and during the holidays. However, in many cases, they are out trying to restore power or repair other utilities damaged by Mother Nature. These jobs are dangerous in good weather, and more so in inclement weather.
Always check your equipment before you leave on a job, especially if it’s older. If it’s time for new equipment, Drake-Scruggs has truck bodies, cranes, digger derricks and more to help you stay safe. Because of the cold temperatures, even new equipment should be checked before you go out. This includes hydraulic lines, compressors, bolts that may have come loose, plows, cranes, digger derricks and even the truck itself.
Check the tires every day before you go out. Check the brakes and other safety equipment often. Make sure stabilizer jacks are working properly. And be sure the windshield wipers and heater are working.
Setting Up at the Job Site
You already know that setting the truck up on a level surface is mandatory. It’s even more important in icy and snowy conditions. Even a small jolt from the crane or the digger could cause the truck to slide. Loading and unloading equipment from a trailer could cause the truck to slide in icy conditions. Chock the wheels properly on a level surface – check for holes hidden by snow and ice – to ensure that those running the equipment are safe.
Make sure that any ice buildup in the bucket is cleared before you get into the bucket. Not only will the ice make your feet cold and at risk for frostbite, but you could slip while the bucket is in the air. Should your safety harness fail, you could fall out of the bucket.
Always work with at least one other person and, though it might cause a job to take longer, be sure to warm up when you need to. If you have at least three people on a job site, you can take turns warming up in the truck.
Extra Equipment to Add to the Truck
Even if you are working within city limits, you should have additional safety equipment in the truck during the winter months. Chains for tires and a tow strap could get you out of a situation. Have extra flares and safety lights, especially during white-out conditions. Keep extra gloves and an extra jacket for each worker in the truck. You’ll never warm up properly if your coat is soaked. Wear rain gear over your outer clothes if it’s snowing, sleeting or raining. In addition to keeping you dry, it also helps keep the wind from going through your clothing.
If you need new trucks, snow plows and equipment contact us today at Drake-Scruggs to discuss your needs.