Extending Technician Longevity
Neal GyngardFounder, TCGM
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The Climb Auto System by 3S Lift is an amazing device that can extend the longevity of a wind turbine technician. Climbing keeps you in shape, but it also fatigues you very much. It wears out your knees and other joints. Constant climbing is really a burden to the wind tech job and pushes people out of the industry. I’d like to see more people stick around. If they had a Climb Auto System they could work in this job for a longer period of time.
What’s special about the Climb Auto System is that I feel a lot safer on it than I did in some of the Service Lifts that I rode on in the past years. I think the system is just inherently safe. I think it’s well designed, well put together, well-engineered, and it seems like it’ll last for quite a long time.
Neal Gyngard is the founder of Tower Climbing Grease Monkeys. TCGM is the place where wind turbine technicians from all over the world can share their knowledge and experiences. TCGM celebrates techs and shines a light on these hard working men and women who keep our wind turbines running, providing clean energy for everyone. 3S Lift is very excited to have Neal share his experience with our Climb Auto System and how he feels it can impact the everyday lives of wind technicians.
Neal has committed his post graduate years in the wind energy field working construction, operations, and business. The Tower Climbing Grease Monkey wind farm tours are well known in the United States. To date the tours have brought Neal to over 150 wind farms. You can connect with him via TCGM’s blog, Instagram, Facebook and more.
Many techs are concerned about their health & safety and how it affects their job longevity. Neal is very passionate about this cause. While visiting US wind farms he discovered the Climb Auto System – 3S Lift’s single technician ladder-mounted lift. This solution eliminates the need to climb completely, thus cutting out a major burden on the techs.
“Climbing keeps you in shape”, Neal says, “but it also fatigues you very much. It wears on your knees and other joints. Constant climbing is really a burden to the wind tech job and pushes people out of the industry. The Climb Auto System by 3S Lift is an amazing device that can extend the longevity of a wind turbine technician.”
The Climb Auto System allows technicians to ascend an 80 m tower in just over 4 minutes with “zero sweat, no effort at all, ready to go”, as Neal puts it. Technicians get to the top of the tower rested instead of winded. Their minds are fresh and ready to focus on the task at hand.
With wind turbine towers getting taller and taller, there is an increasing need for climbing solutions that allow technicians to work at their jobs for longer. Reducing technician turnover can create substantial cost savings for employers, as hiring and training costs are decreased.
As the wind industry grows, there is an equally growing demand for qualified technicians. Neal explains: “I see a lot of people pop into the industry getting a taste of it and then leaving in a couple of years. I think it’s because of the climb. I’d like to see more people stick around. If they had a Climb Auto System they could work in this job for a longer period of time.”
Offering a Climb Auto System can be a big recruiting benefit, giving wind farms an edge when hiring new talent. According to Neal, “Of course a tech is going to go to the wind farm that has the Climb Auto System. You can talk abou 401K and health benefits, but this is a benefit right out of the gate that you don’t have to negotiate”.
The Climb Auto System is adaptable to almost any turbine. It is mounted to the tower’s ladder. The system can be installed into new turbines and easily retrofitted to existing turbines – often in 8 hours or less. This allows for a wide application of the Climb Auto System to turbines all over the country. Already, 600 units have been installed in the US and the number is growing as more technicians, operation managers, and owners/operators recognize the value that the system offers.
A convenient feature that Neal is especially happy about is the Climb Auto System’s remote control. It can be used to send the lift from one position to another in the tower. Combined with the toolbox that is included with every lift, techs can send tools and equipment – or even their lunch – up the tower instead of having to hoist it.
All of these benefits come together with a high level of safety. Unlike a Service Lift, the ladder-mounted Climb Auto System offers independent Fall Protection Systems for the operator and the lift. The system and the user each have their own Fall Arrester, which is attached to the fall protection rail on the ladder. This means that even if the lift should slip, the operator’s own Fall Arrester will engage immediately and prevent a fall.
“I feel a lot safer on the Climb Auto System than I did in some of the Service Lifts that I rode on in the past years. I think the system is just inherently safe. I think it’s is well designed, it’s well puts together, well-engineered, and it seems like it’ll last for a quite long time” summarizes Neal.