Listen, one thing I didn’t do properly was log my high time. When I was climbing I didn’t log my drive time nor my high time. That is the one thing that most climbers talk about but no one logs it. I think that it’s a good idea to keep a log of your time in the air and to log how high you climb.
I was thinking about this for quite a while. We often don’t look at the climbing history of the climber after the project is done. If there is an accident we look at their age and resume. What about when the climbers are in the air for 12 hours a day for 5 days straight? Does anyone look at what the climber was doing for the last 2 weeks? At their current health? It doesn’t appear anyone shares that with OSHA.
So I think that it’s time that climbers log 2 things, their drive time and their high time. If a climber is driving for 10 hours, he really shouldn’t be climbing, but many do. If he spent all day in the air and then get’s called out at night to climb again, can his body handle that? I know that mine did, but was I being safe or looking at the schedule?
When I was climbing I had severe tendonitis, to the point where I could not go bowling with my kids. I would take them and watch. I was in the air 5 to 7 days a week, climbing anywhere from 100’ to 700’ for that stretch. I wish I had a record of the hours of high time and of drive time. I can only imagine it was well over 50 hours in the air each week and maybe around 16 hours of drive time. That makes for a long week. I know that many of you are doing more than that now, but if you don’t log it, then no one knows.
I created a simple spreadsheet for you to log your time, use this as a template. If the $1.99 is too rich for your blood, then create one on your own, record what and where you’re working, the hours a day in the air which I call high time, the highest height you climbed, and your drive time.
Although simple to set up and do, it is hard to log because you probably feel there is no time. No time to record what you do daily. You already do so much paperwork, right? Then this should be a no brainer! This should be something that you should do to let yourself, your boss, and your customer know how hard you work and how much time it really takes to complete the task. If you won’t do it then have one of the ground guys do it as part of their duties or maybe the foreman or PM. Just do it! Do it and you will see how much high time and windshield time you really have in a week. After all, it’s your body you need to keep track of. I think that this may really help you understand the physical strain you are putting on your body and the mental exhaustion that you are feeling from driving so much.
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Be smart, be safe, and pay attention! Follow your plan but be ready to adapt, improvise, and overcome the challenges that arise!