Jul 02, 2015 - 08:45 AM
The pictures below are examples of cable management on the tower. The first picture is typical of what climbers attempt to do, neatly and carefully coil the excess and secure the bundle in cable hangers. In the lower picture, it looks like they just gave up and climbed down the tower for the day. Imagine trying to sort through that medusa mess looking for a loose connection which is causing dropped calls!
Jul 05, 2015 - 11:31 AM
There are so many "daily grind" challenges, however, there is one big over-reaching issue. Tower climbers use and abuse their bodies in ways similar to professional athletes, yet tower climbers do not have access to any of a pro-athletes benefits. Maintaining and upgrading wireless services and tower structures is physically demanding and mentally demnding. Workers are exposed to the elements, yes, we climb in the brutal heat and in freezing temperatures 8-12 hours a day or more. We hydrate, but we have to climb our water up the tower with us (unless the tower is rigged). Tower sites are several hours away and it is not unusual to leave extra early at 4 or 5 AM, drive to a site, climb the tower, remain at height for 10 hours and drive the return trip in the same day. It is hard on even a well-tuned body to sit, exert, and then sit again. Using the fall arrest safety hooks on our “life-lines” means that a climber will be opening and closing the hooks 200-400 times a day, depending on the height of the tower. Repetitive motion injuries are common and every skeletal joint is over-taxed daily. Even a seasoned climber, whose body has acclimated to the daily physical routine (usually 3 months to 3 years) suffers from new situations daily and from the lack of proper nourishment, rest and musculo-skeletal care. The body fatigue and physical stress and abuse is compounded by the fact that most tower workers don’t have the luxury of taking time off to see a doctor, be treated, stretch, get a massage or even rest their sore muscles - and surgery is particularly devastating to a climber’s career. Even a quick surgery like carpal tunnel surgery can be financially and physically devastating to a tower climber’s career. Most climbers don’t have short term disability or sick time, every hour not on the job affects the climber’s paycheck and the stability of his or her family finances.