For new cell tower climbers, there is an exciting future awaiting. However, the job is tough and you’re automatically disqualified if you’re afraid of heights. Climbers must be physically and mentally prepared to work in dangerous environments and intelligent enough to evaluate and repair complex electronic equipment, often while spending significant time away from home. While this industry is currently desperately seeking qualified workers, all new tower climbers should know these five tips before taking up this line of work.
1. Understand the Qualifications for New Cell Tower Climbers
Before you can even climb a rung, you need to have the requisite certifications for the job. The list of requirements includes:
- OSHA 10 Hour for Construction
- Crosby Rigging
- RSI RF Awareness
- American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED
- Gravitec Authorized Climbing and Rescue
Beyond these basic certifications, climbers should be open to continuously learning. In a field like wireless communications, which is ever-growing and in which technological advancements are constantly being realized, new responsibilities and the opportunities that come with them can also be realized. When your goal is to evaluate various technical and electrical scenarios in real-time, the more you know, the more of an asset you will be.
2. Be One With the Elements
Climbing hundreds of feet up a ladder attached to a cell tower is difficult in the best conditions. Factor in rain, snow, hot and freezing temperatures, and wind, and you’ve got a range of scenarios that can give climbers problems. This could necessitate wearing layers or carrying a scraper to chip ice off of the top of a tower in the dead of winter, or figuring out how to stay hydrated on hot, humid summer afternoons.
3. Be Prepared To Work Long Hours and Travel
The thing about towers is that they’re often located in remote locations, so most tower workers face serious travel time in their work. Depending on the type of business, new cell tower climbers could spend about 80% of their time on the road, which means several weeks at a time traveling across vast expanses of territory. Even those who perform local maintenance and repair duties can expect to spend about 20% of their time driving to locations.
Tower workers don’t have traditional 9-to-5 job scenarios. Typical days might last between eight and 10 hours or longer, and the time logging miles on the road doesn’t make a workday any shorter. Workers can spend between six and eight weeks at a time on the road.
4. Use the Right Climbing Gear
The harnesses, ropes, straps and pulleys that climbers use to hoist themselves and their equipment to the tops of the towers are the same that mountain climbers use. Take the time to ask the more experienced climbers what gear they use and why.
5. Be a Leader
There’s lots of room to excel in this field. Working diligently and displaying leadership capabilities can lead to promotions and a long-lasting career with good money and exciting opportunities for advancement.
There are a lot of things for new cell tower climbers to be cognizant of, from obtaining their bona fides to learning all there is to know about wireless communication maintenance, to getting the right insurance coverage for the risks faced on the job. Protecting tower workers from harm is a key way for a company to protect itself. Visit us at Volaris Insurance to see how we can provide the right insurance coverage for you.