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[TowerTalk] More on Safety Belts

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Subject: [TowerTalk] More on Safety Belts
From: (Robert Neece)
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 15:05:49 -0600

Tom, N4KG, wrote:

>I prefer the rope lanyards to heavy leather straps which I
>find awkward and inconvenient to use.

I find that the relative convenience of straps vs. rope lanyards
varies with the situation.

I use two, heavy "Kleinkord" straps for ascending and descending.

The first strap goes around the tower, and attaches to the D rings
on my belt.  I climb with the strap in this configuration until I
reach an obstacle, such as a guy-attachment assembly.  When I
reach a guy-attachment point, strap No. 1, naturally, will come up 
against the attachment point and prevent further ascent.  I then attach 
strap No. 2 around the tower *above* the guy-attachment point, and detach 
strap No. 1 from one side of belt.  Strap No. 1 then assumes the role of
strap No. 2 at the next obstacle.

Why straps instead of rope lanyards in this situation?  Because I
myself find the stiffness of the strap to be of benefit:  it assures
that the end clip on the strap can be swung around the tower easily,
while causing the orientation of the clip to be exactly correct to 
fit the D ring on my belt when the end is brought next to the belt.
The flexibility of a rope lanyard, on the other hand, permits
the end clip to assume any orientation it happens to prefer, rather
than the exact orientation that I find handy for getting the clip onto
the belt ring.

Having said that, I should add that, in other situations, I agree
completely with Tom.  When climbing a mast, for example, a much
shorter loop, relative to the length of loop needed to go around a 
tower section, is required to permit one's body to be held at the 
correct distance from the mast.  Long, stiff straps are very awkward
things to try to loop around the mast.  It is also far too much
trouble to adjust the loop length each time one transcends from
climbing the tower to climbing the mast.  For me, a short rope
lanyard seems most convenient in mast climbing.  So I take one
of those along in my tool bucket, just for the occasion.

I agree with Tom in another respect:  I have my safety straps
adjusted at two different lengths, one for when I want to be
held closer to the tower, and another for when I need to lean
out farther to reach something.

>full arrest harness sounds even better and I will be looking
>at them soon.

Yup.  I've never used one, but I can visualize their merits.
Like Tom, I'm going to look into obtaining one.  In my 30+
years of tower climbing, I've never used a "gorilla hook."
But I can see situations where one would come in very handy.

>I have a tool pouch attached over one hip which is not especially
>convenient when working but out of the way when climbing.  For
>bolts and nuts, I like to wear a carpenters apron which has big
>open pockets on the front and is very low cost. (Just tie it around
>your waist, under your belt.)

Just as a matter of personal comfort, I have moved farther and
farther away from having much attached to my belt or in any
pockets that add weight or bulk to my body.  I've gotten to the
point where I have one canvas bucket for parts, and another for
tools.  (K7LXC has a fabulous assortment of these for sale, and 
I intend to improve my collection from his warehouse!)  About
the only time I attach a tool to my waist or put anything into
a pocket is when I cannot reach one of the buckets, and need
just a temporary holding spot for the item.  Makes moving about
on the tower easier for me and, somehow, reduces the number of
things I drop.

73 de Bob, K0KR

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