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Thread: Long-handled hammer for checking electrical poles before climbing - photo

  1. #1
    Jon
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    Andyt (09-25-2020), baja (09-25-2020), nova_robotics (09-24-2020)

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    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    mklotz's Tools
    Can anyone clarify how, and for what purpose, this might be used?

    "Checking" for what ? (I can understand checking for voltage, especially on a wet pole, but how is that done with a hammer ?)

    Why the long handle ? (It's not long enough to reach the top of the pole where transformers, circuit breakers, etc. would be located.)

    Why a hammer head ? (Trying to actually hammer anything while holding the end of that long handle would be problematic at best. I could understand a hook or probe, but not a hammer.)
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    Supporting Member baja's Avatar
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    baja's Tools
    Just guessing that they used it to whack the pole before climbing. A solid pole would have a sort of ringing sound whereas a rotted pole would be a duller sound.

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    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    mklotz's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by baja View Post
    Just guessing that they used it to whack the pole before climbing. A solid pole would have a sort of ringing sound whereas a rotted pole would be a duller sound.
    That's a possibility but why the long handle then ?
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    Jon
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    Explanation from social media, taken with a grain of salt:

    A person climbing an electrical pole taps the pole as he climbs, while listening for the sound indicating rot. The long handle is so that any rot can be found well before the lineman ascends to a rotten area of the pole.

    Other methods include boring and the use of a wood density analyzer called a resistograph:



    Edit: also found this pole pick.
    Last edited by Jon; 09-25-2020 at 11:47 AM. Reason: adding pole pick info

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    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    mklotz's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Explanation from social media, taken with a grain of salt:

    A person climbing an electrical pole taps the pole as he climbs, while listening for the sound indicating rot. The long handle is so that any rot can be found well before the lineman ascends to a rotten area of the pole.
    I'll take it with a pound of salt. I suppose it could be true somewhere but I've never seen a lineman testing a pole while climbing, let alone with a three foot long hammer. I live on a hill and have at least five utility poles in plain sight; often watch workmen doing stuff on them but not with Wiley Coyote hammers.

    Of course here in semidesert LA, maybe rot is a non-problem; besides the poles are heavily creosoted.
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    Supporting Member VinnieL's Avatar
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    Nowadays there is not much pole-climbing done. It's been replaced by bucket trucks. That's why every time there's a storm there are broken poles. They don't care about the health of poles, they just replace them when they break and leave everyone without power. I have one in my yard that is split most of its length. Called the power company, and they came out and drove 2 very large long screws into it. Like that's going to keep it from breaking. As poles age they get brittle and will break like a pretzel rod.


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