By and large, the first thing that every lineman started to study and practice is the proper way to climb a pole. Every lineman school would always start with the right practices and applications of climbing poles. And this is just suitable since climbing is largely a part of a lineman’s job.
Aside from learning all the safety and proper techniques, the right tools and equipment are also taught effectively.
Apparently, lineman spikes, spurs, and gaffs, or what are known as “Climbers”, are the main things being used when climbing poles. Although there is a need for tool belts, lanyards, and bucket’s belts, the very first thing a lineman need to be very familiar with is the tools and equipment for ankle support.
So, if you are wondering how to properly climb poles, you need to understand first the needed tools and how to use them the right way. Accordingly, you need to know how to use a pair of lineman spikes the right way.
But first, you need to familiarize yourself first with the terminologies and jargons.
The Climbers: Spurs, Gaffs, and Spikes
In totality, climbers would include the lineman boots, climbing spurs, gaffs, and the spikes. And these things are mainly the ones you need in order for you to ascend and descend a pole the safe and right way.
When you hear someone, a lineman or journeyman perhaps, say “Climbing Spurs” - that could mean either the whole set or just the spurs alone. So, to avoid confusion, lineworkers and journeymen would refer to them all as climbers which refer to the whole set.
Essentially, climbers are very important. Every part and tool included has a role to play out when climbing poles. But, the most important factor in considering climbers is the lineman spikes.
Now, these spikes are largely the responsible ones in keeping you steady and hanging as you climb a pole. Aside from the lanyard and the constructive belt, spikes are mainly the ones that will hold you on your height from the ground. Without it, it can be quite impossible for you to hang around a pole.
Using Lineman Spikes The Right Way
The spikes are always attached to the gaffs. And once you wear the climbing spurs, the spikes will be positioned on your inner step. Accordingly, this positioning affects the way you should step your foot as you ascend and descend a pole.
So, the right way to do it is to simply step up your feet and step it down using the spikes to stick into the pole. You should not sway or kick as it would only scratch the spikes on to the pole. Also, your toes should be facing upwards.
Apparently, the very first practice and test given to apprentices is the way to use the spikes upon ascending. This is because it is the base of every climbing activity. If you cannot do it properly, it can be impossible for you to succeed the climbing task. It is either you are going to slip or break the spikes (which can then lead to slipping or falling as well).