Here are five ways linemen can ensure their temporary protective cover-up equipment continues to function safely and for as long as possible:
- Take a close look every day
Don’t assume a cover is ready to use. Cover up may look fine at a glance, but it’s worth looking a little closer. Stretch out your rubber covers with a rolling or peeling action and look for cracks, scratches, moisture, or other defects. If you find something concerning, remove it from service and tag it to be tested or discarded. Check the inside and outside surfaces as some defects may be hiding inside.
- Know how to handle them
Make sure you are trained in using cover-up. Learn more about our hotline tools training here. Dropping covers from the pole top will shorten their lives so be sure to lower them carefully with a handline. If you are working in cold conditions, warm plastic or rubber covers in the truck cab before using to help them become more flexible.
- Get rid of the grime
No doubt about it, a lineman’s work is a dirty job. Having dirty cover-up is about more than aesthetics though – sometimes contamination can be conductive – so keep your cover-up clean!. We recommend mild non-abrasive soap and water for all cover-up materials. If you have a bigger mess on your hands, read here for more information about recommended cleaners and methods.
Before we send any of our tools or cover-up out the door, we test and inspect them to make sure they meet or exceed the applicable ASTM and IEC standards. After a visual inspection for shipping damage, all CHANCE tools and cover-ups are ready to use according to the item’s voltage rating. Once in service, cover-up should be periodically visually inspected and electrically tested per company policy, OSHA and/or applicable ASTM/IEC standards.
- Understand storage
You may be able to get by with shoving all your clothes in a suitcase – they’ll still do what they are designed to do – wrinkles and all. Not so with your cover-up equipment. Rubber blankets should be stored flat or loosely rolled and placed in a blanket canister. Flexible line hose should be laid horizontal and straight. Your cover-up equipment should be stored in a way that allows its original shape to be preserved. Keep them cool, clean, away from ozone and moisture – not out in the sun or on the ground – when not in use.
A little care can go a long way with temporary protective cover-up. Make sure your rubber and plastic covers are visually inspected every time you use them and put away clean to be ready for next time. So make sure your equipment performs its best every time.
To learn more about care for your CHANCE Cover-up Equipment, download the cover-up maintenance guide.
Click here to see the complete line of CHANCE® Lineman Grade Tools™.