Our trainers have spent a lot of time in the field. And when I say a lot, I mean it. They are out of the office training so much that we might as well giveRead More
When I look at the open ocean, I notice that the waves seem to roll effortlessly over the surface of the water, never stopping. They move around and through anything in their path without aRead More
Telephone, Email, Morse Code, or Smoke Signal
Our trainers have spent a lot of time in the field. And when I say a lot, I mean it. They are out of the office training so much that we might as well give their desks away. That’s a good thing. All that time in the field means they are the best around at collecting data with an IKE. So, we asked them about the five most important habits a fielder can have. This is what they agreed on.
Understand your workflow and fill the whole form.
One sure way to ensure a revisit to a pole is by missing critical data. Every project is has a different workflow that requires different data. As a fielder keen understanding of your workflow will allow you to create data collection forms and processes that capture all of the data needed to create an IKE record tailored to any given project.
Every field is critical. A single missing data point can be the difference between a pole passing or failing pole loading or permit approval. The only time you should skip a form field is when the data it is asking for is not present on the pole. For example, no need to capture conductor sizes if there are no conductors.
Move efficiently around the pole.
There is an art to moving around the pole, use it to your advantage. The repetition involved in collecting high volumes of data means that little efficiency gains can mean big time savings over miles of poles. We have developed a way of moving around the pole that maximizes efficiency to limit time in the field. We call it Field Flow. From high above, it looks like a sine wave with the fielder flowing around and through the line of poles like a slalom skier. You can learn it from the map in the image below or find out more in our field flow guide here.
Quality of data matters more than quantity of poles.
We work in a funny industry. Often, the costs associated with pole data collection are incurred on a pole by pole basis. Contractors are charging communication companies per pole. Fielders are paid per pole. So, it makes sense that the quantity of poles a fielder collects is important. The more the better! Well, not necessarily…
Sure, it would be great for a fielder to collect poles as fast as their feet could carry them, but rushing through poles can mean that the quality of data is compromised. It is much more important to collect data correctly. Quality data eliminates all chance of revisits, makes the back office work easier, and ensures smooth pole loading. All of the steps on this list help ensure quality data is collected every time. After a few days of collecting quality data, the speed will come.
Capture the entire pole in the IKE Photo.
We use photography to capture the important things. On a family vacation, it’s the family. On a day of pole data collection, its the pole. You wouldn’t take a family photo with everyone’s dads face cut off halfway. Don’t take a photo of a pole with the top 3 feet of it missing.
In order to scale things correctly and ensure a complete pole record, IKE Photo’s need to include the whole pole from base to tip. No need to get crazy far away either, the wide angle lens on the IKE means you can stand fairly close to the pole while still capturing every inch of it in the IKE Photo.
Pay attention to your laser distance indicator.
That distance marker below the crosshairs isn’t just for show. It allows you to verify you are actually hitting your target. This may seem pretty straightforward, but we actually see it come up fairly often. A stray branch or leaf interferes with the laser and all of a sudden, your measurements are way off. Avoiding this is simple. Just look for the numbers below the target acquisition crosshairs when taking an IKE photo, then double check that your crosshairs sit squarely on the pole. That simple check will keep you on target and has saved our fielders working in densely forested areas hours in revisits or recollects.