By Kevin Juhasz
For Huskie Tools
Taking care of lineman tools to make sure they are in top condition to do the job is a critical part of any lineman’s job.
Different tools require different types of attention at different times. Some care should be done daily, some items need to be performed monthly, and there is maintenance that can be handled once or twice per year. Huskie Tools has some tips on how to keep your tools in top shape to ensure they work properly and help keep you safe on the job.
Instructions and Care
When purchasing a tool, be sure to read the manual that accompanies. While many tools will have the same rules for care and cleaning, some may have parts that require special attention. In addition, the manual may contain troubleshooting instructions for dealing with any issues without risking any damage to the tool that requires repair.
One of the best ways to take care of your lineman tools is to use the right tool for the job it was designed to perform and only that job. Trying to use a tool for a task outside the manufactured design, or in excess of the limits of the tool, can cause the tool to be damaged or destroyed. This can also be unsafe for the user.
Before using a lineman tool, always check your tools for any defects or issues that may make the tools unsafe to use. There may be cracks or damaged parts that can cause a malfunction, making any damage worse or causing injury to the user.
One of the biggest factors in making sure tools work properly is to make sure that tools are free from any dirt and grime that may make harm the ability for lineman tools to function properly.
Degreaser or soapy water can also be used to clean tools occasionally that have a build-up of dirt or grime. A lubricant can be used when cleaning to help reduce the build-up in the future. If a tool is ever used underwater, then cleaning and lubrications should be performed after each use.
Solvents should not be used on the body of tools. Limit cleaning in these areas to soap and water.
Tools should be kept in their carrying bag when not in use to provide additional protection.
Huskie Tools are shipped with a coating of oil that is designed to protect the tool from corrosion during storage and shipment to the user. This can be washed off with a solvent on parts that allow it, or the tool can be cleaned completely with soap and water.
It is important to sharpen the blade and cutting head on your cutting tools, although the blade will eventually crack from fatigue and require replacement. Huskie says that the biggest problem with cutting tools is the blades breaking. Most of the time, this happens because the operator did not securely latch the cutter head. This can also cause problems with breakage in the cutter head.
Knowing the tool and the job is also important in the case of cutting tools.
“The sharper the blade, the softer the cutting material must be,” said Larry Kotars, Executive VP of Sales at Huskie Tools. “The harder the blade and the flatter the blade, the harder the material you can cut. Just because it fits in the cutter blade, doesn’t mean it will cut. Knowing the cable, the tool, and the specs is very important.
At least once per year, check the pressure on the tool with a pressure gauge to make certain that the compression tool is performing to specifications and requirements.
“If it’s a 12-ton tool, make sure it’s putting out 12 tons of pressure out there,” Kotars added.
Care of batteries is important to make sure they will last and be reliable on the job. Batteries should be replaced on tool when the tool is performing below its normal capacity.
Batteries should be run down completely once per month before recharging.
“Drain them down. They don’t have memories, but use them up until their all the way done and then charge them again,” Kotars explained.
If you have batteries in storage, they will most likely experience natural drainage. Stored batteries should be charged every three months until they are ready to use.
If your tool should become damaged, then you can always look to Huskie to make sure the tool can be repaired.