A Look at Cell Tower Climbing Skills
Lots of people may say they would enjoy working high up on cell towers, which can be several hundred feet high. They might be able to climb but only understand how tricky the job really is when they realize that it’s a two-handed affair, in which you must put your trust fully in your equipment and perform your tasks while potentially dangling from a heavy-duty harness hooked onto the rung of a ladder. This is one of the simple realities of the cell tower climbing skills necessary to engage with this type of work.
Requirements for Cell Tower Climbers
For starters, would-be climbers need to have a well-developed education before they can take one step up the ladder. Among the certifications necessary for employment are:
- OSHA 10 Hour for Construction
- Crosby Rigging
- RSI RF Awareness
- American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED
- Gravitec Authorized Climbing and Rescue
Besides coming in with these professional certifications, good candidates will show potential employers that they have flexibility. This means they can be flexible with work-oriented duties, like taking on complex electrical tasks as well as more mundane tasks like changing out lightbulbs and other equipment. It also means being willing to spend a lot of time traveling to remote sites, sometimes staying on the road for weeks at a time, and ascending different types of towers.
Experience and leadership are two intangibles that are sought after by employers. Experience includes both hours spent aloft as well as time logged with a single company. Employers want to see candidates who commit and remain with an organization for a long time.
Leadership means not only getting the job done correctly but imparting knowledge about the work and safety to colleagues. It’s about helping — not forcing — co-workers to recognize the importance of the job from the perspective of the climber, the company and the consumers who utilize the equipment.
Basic Cell Tower Climbing Skills
The most salient of the necessary cell tower climbing skills is confidence when you’re high off the ground. This is not only about climbing rung after rung until you’re perched where you need to be. It’s also about having complete faith in your equipment and in your abilities, being able to use all of your physical and mental attributes to do any number of tasks without any nerves that could take your focus away.
A sometimes overlooked aspect of a climber’s job is the climbing itself. Hoisting oneself several hundred feet up a ladder in ideal conditions requires remarkable physical strength and stamina, to say nothing of how much more difficult it gets in windy, snowy, hot or rainy conditions.
A good climber also must excel at evaluating scenarios and making real-time decisions. This starts when they arrive at the site, where they assess conditions to ensure a safe working environment and establish what equipment will be needed for the work to be performed.
Technical Skills Involved in Tower Climbing Jobs
Besides the physical and mental abilities required just to work high off of the ground, there are loads of technical skills that climbers must learn. Some of the technical aspects demanded of climbers include:
- Knowledge of antenna installation and maintenance
- Knowledge of fiber optic installation and maintenance
- Knowledge of line splicing
- Anchor point identification
- Rigging skills
- Welding skills
Climbing cell towers is a physically and mentally demanding job that requires maximum focus at all times. The challenges of this work are magnified by the fact that mistakes can be fatal.
For industries that involve such risk, like those involved with climbing, construction or heavy machinery, protecting workers is tantamount to protecting the business itself. Visit us at Volaris Insurance to see what types of insurance coverage we can provide you.