Tower workers and field workers;
I wanted to say a few things about working tower sites. As you all know when you are there you are thinking of your domain or left alone to the animals, you can look at it either way. It is good to have a plan for what you are going to do. I know, most of the seasoned guys say that they have done this a hundred times, but really, they are coming up with a plan based off of their experience. Don’t think for one minute that they are winging it.
The problem with tower and remote installations is that you are thrown from one site to the next. There is not time to go back and come up with a plan. You arrive and look at the construction drawings and the plumbing diagrams. This is where you have to take what you have on paper and make it a reality. I know the engineer that did the site design says that everything should be ready but he won’t be hanging on the tower or be responsible for hanging hundreds of pounds of steel hundreds of feet above the ground. That is unless he is one of your guys, that was me, I would do the site design and then climb and install. This was what was done but it is no longer a norm. Too much work to have a guy in the air do the ground work.
Back to the point, when you arrive, take the time to make a plan, see where you are going to hang the steel, whether a dish or 4G system, know whet you’re going against. You know to check the weather, hospital locations, and do the safety site walk, (ground and site and tower). Once ready you can send the first guy up the tower for the tower check. By this time you should be ready with a plan for the installation. You should have looked over the documentation to know what obstacles were recorded. So now is the time to coordinate with the team.
Remember to look at all the paperwork ahead of time so you know what the pecking order is for the installation of the steel and hardware. See what you can put together on the ground. Most times you can prep on the ground then plan how to rig based on what the steel and the Remote radio heads and antennas look like. Then you can worry about the cabling. There should be some semblance of a process.
Read the paperwork. Make sure you know what the customer’s installations instructions are. Don’t assume that if you worked on another customer’s equipment that this installation will be the same even if the vendor is the same. Remember to pay attention to the site drawings and the plumbing diagram to see what the requirements are. Most carriers or vendors have installation manuals and site prep documents that explain how to do certain things specific to the customer. This will be very important.
If you are the foreman then it will be up to you to teach and explain this to the rest of the crew. If you could get them to look the paper work over then maybe it would help them understand what you plan to do. Pictures and drawings are very important since most of the people that work the site are visual people but they will need someone to fill in the details for the mounting, clearance, and cabling.
Today’s installations use more fiber than ever, I strongly recommend that you take some time and learn how to work with fiber. Learn how to mount it, how to handle it, how to clean the ends, and how to mount it. They have come a long way with the tower cable, it is more rugged than ever but it will still need to be broken out to be slices at the top of the tower. This is a skill that someone will need to learn in the air. Pay attention.
Hey guys, I wanted to pass some links along that may interest you;
So, with all of that said, if you have something you want me to discuss or write about then send me a message or post on my Facebook page, Wade4wireless, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and give me some good ideas.