Complete Your Line Repair Jobs Higher, Faster, and Safer. Atlas Tower Climbing Powered Ascenders Are Available for Monthly Rental
By Owen Clarke
If you’re a utility lineman, you already know the value and also the cost of the work you and your crew do, and you know it goes above and beyond the cost of tower climbing gear itself. You also know that the final sum isn’t cheap.
From the environmental studies and permits needed to gain access, to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that go into portable matting, vegetation management, bucket trucks, potential helicopter support, and more, not to mention the massive time and manpower it takes to accomplish line repair and maintenance projects… tower climbing and working at heights in general is an extremely costly business.
Even on minor jobs, fall arrest hazards are common with standard manual climbing gear like positioning lanyards, and the work is slow going, exhausting, and physically debilitating over time. It’s no wonder the utility industry has such a high turnover rate.
But what if you could replace a broken insulator bell in a no-access location with just a bare bones line crew and 30 lbs of gear brought in on an ATV?
What if it only took a couple of hours?
What if you could do it all with 100% attached OSHA compliance, no environmental impact studies required, and no ecological footprint, with improved climbing safety, and a 10X reduction in physical exertion?
Well… with Atlas gear, you can.
Atlas Devices APA-5-U powered ascenders make ascending towers a 5 minute job, even for the first man up. Simply launch a pilot line over the structure or span with our pneumatic launcher (range of 150+ vertical ft), haul your climbing and safety ropes over and anchor them to the ground, attach the APA-5-U ascender, and get your first tower climber up in literally seconds.
First, let me tell you a bit about me, and why you should trust me on this. I come from a mountaineering and rock climbing background, and have over a decade of experience climbing big walls and mountains around the world. So I know firsthand the importance of lightweight, fast movement in vertical spaces. I’ve dealt with avalanches and rockfall countless times, and once took a 200-foot fall off an Ecuadorian volcano because of faulty gear, so I know firsthand the difficulty of ascending vertical lines manually. It’s part of what I train for every day, as a climber.
That said, climbers don’t deal with half of the hazards tower technicians deal with every day. I’m not having to do complex technical work on a cell tower or power line after I finish jugging lines to the top. That’s precisely why I joined the Atlas team, because what they’re doing with high angle gear is nothing short of revolutionary.
Atlas Powered Ascenders make tower climbing as simple as stepping into an elevator.
The APA-5-U requires no physical exertion. Your workers simply press one button to ascend and another to lower. At variable ascent speeds up to almost three feet per second, you can get a man up a 150-foot tower in a minute. With 700 vertical feet on the standard battery (and 1,400 ft on the high capacity battery), you’ll have juice to get the job done with plenty to spare. Furthermore, Atlas tower climbing gear works with all the same tower safety equipment you’re already using. Simply clip in and press the button, and up you go.
In the case of accident or injury on the line, the APA’s 2-person, 600 lb direct lift capacity makes rescue a breeze, even for tiny 2-man teams.
Atlas Devices Kits make your line teams fully self-sufficient and mobile. Say goodbye to cumbersome bucket trucks, expensive helicopters, and multi-member haul teams.
Okay, so it’s fast and easy, but is it SAFE?
The speed and efficiency of our kit makes no compromises in safety. Safe climbing has never been so easy. With our ascender, your tower workers remain fully attached to the rope at all times, even when transitioning into a work position, so you’ll always stay 100% OSHA compliant.
With safety gear functions such as fully tensile load-rated housing, an ergonomic safety lock, and emergency mechanical descent capability even at 0% battery life, fall protection is built into the APA-5-U from the ground up.
We’ve tested the APA-5-U extensively in high voltage environments including live bonds up to 800 kV line to ground in a lab environment, and live transmission voltages at 345 kV and 500 kV, all with no issue. Many utilities have used APA-5-U easily on live jobs up to 500 kV, from inspection to spacer swaps to bonding line workers onto live conductors.
The APA-5-U also has an operating temperature range from -10°F to over 120°F. You can use Atlas ascenders everywhere from Antarctica to the Arabian Desert.
With our proud history of designing rugged, efficient high-angle gear for the United States military, we know firsthand how to accomplish high-angle work higher, faster and safer in myriad complex, high risk environments.
You may not even realize how much you’re saving until you try our gear. Atlas powered ascenders have resulted in six-figure savings on the first job for many utilities.
Best of all, Monthly Rental Kits are now available!
You can rent full Atlas Kits at budget-friendly monthly rates to accomplish your tower climbing jobs quickly, cheaply, and easily.
Available Rental Kits Include:
- APA-5-U Powered Ascender
- Equipment-only Ascender / Portable Hoist
- Pneumatic REBS Rope Launcher (150+ ft reach),
- High-Pressure Air Compressor (to power the REBS Launcher)