Listen, I know it's fun to get a rain day here and there. You get to take lunch early, sit in the truck for a bit, or maybe even leave work early and spend the afternoon getting some personal projects taken care of.
Even though it's June, Spring just doesn't seem to want to leave, and yes, rain is to be expected, but this is getting out of hand! With no end in site, yards being used as swimming pools, paychecks getting cut short, and clients getting impatient I thought now would be the perfect time to talk about how to handle safety hazards and job obstacles in wet conditions.
Mat it in!
Let's talk about the BIGGEST issue a lot of us face, and I'm talking 16+ TONS of issues! It's rained for days, the client's yard isn't a swimming pool anymore, but it's not a solid driveway either and you have to get your bucket truck in the backyard for a removal. What do you do so you're not leaving ruts the size of hay bails in their yard and you're not calling a wrecker? Ya mat it in! We've already shared a blog post in the past - Ground Protection: Plywood vs. Alturna Mats
We're personally a fan of the alturna mats on our crew due to the fact they hold up much better in the elements, they can handle up to 60 tons, they provide traction, and they have a limited lifetime warranty.
Get A Grip!
Another thing you're not going to want to go without is your grip! I personally don't wear gloves daily but when things get slippery I find grabbing a pair to help me move around in a wet tree makes a difference. Great for grabbing tools, holding on to branches, or getting way out on the limb tips, gloves give you a helping hand (pun intended) and keep your hands protected on the days you may have to work in a dreaded Locust trees' those thorns are never fun. Yet not all gloves are created equal, get something that's durable and will hold up!
The pair above stands out to us due to their comfort, diamondclad grip, and silicone fused palm and index finger. The neoprene impact and knuckle protection is a nice touch too.
Step It Up!
One piece of gear that's getting used ALL day long, every day, drug thru all weather and terrain, and is something that goes overlooked often is boots! If you're feet are uncomfortable it's going to wreck your whole day, but if your feet get wet, now we're looking at all kinds of different issues! There are a lot of great waterproof options out there but an option I keep turning back to are the ARBPRO EVO 2 boots.
You get comfort along with excellent grip on branches, yet they are designed to still be very gentle on the bark. The weatherproofing is a must but the eVent technology for breathability is just as appreciated. PLUS the Clip'n Step feature is hands down a game changer and super useful for all you SRT climbers out there!! The loop on the top side of the boot is used for quick attachment to your knee ascender. Pair this with your HAAS and you'll be having a great day!
Take a Better Look!
With warmer days approaching and the days still being wet that also means steamed up glasses which is not only annoying it's super unsafe! Some companies may advertise their glasses are anti fog but what I've found works flawlessly and I forget it's even there is a visor!
The days of having to wear safety glasses under a visor are over, so this is also 1 less piece of gear you have to remember to bring with you as it's always attached to your hardhat, which should be the first thing you grab for on the job! Not only are these fog resistant they're also scratch resistant which will keep your vision clear for years. Choose between clear or 'smoke' styles for the more sunny days, if they ever come!
Hopefully these tips will keep you dry, productive, safe, and motivated to get the job done in any weather! Braving even the wettest of days may feel like a burden to some, but to others, especially myself included, it's something to celebrate. We get to enjoy the changes of each season in person, in real life, and not through a window. When the sun is out, when the first snow falls, with the rain starts to drop, or the leaves begin to turn we see it, experience it, and are a part of it on a personal level, we just need the right tools and proper gear to allow us to enjoy it to the fullest!