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Five-Minute Meeting: Equipment Preventative Maintenance

Equipment maintenanceFive-Minute Meeting: Equipment Preventative Maintenance

Regular preventive maintenance for our equipment is essential for continued safe work with that equipment – if the equipment is damaged or worn through, it presents a safety risk that cannot be ignored, and the equipment should be disposed of and replaced.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z133 provides us with a few requirements for equipment inspections. Section states, “If an inspection reveals a defect that could affect the safe operation of the equipment, the equipment shall be removed from service.” Section 8.1.3 states, “Arborists shall inspect climbing lines, work lines, work-positioning lanyards, and other climbing equipment for damage, cuts, abrasions, and/or deterioration before each use and shall remove them from service, per manufacturers’ guidelines if applicable, if signed of excessive wear or damage are found.”

When performing a visual inspection on climbing spurs, use the following steps as a guide:

  • Check the straps to see if they’re too thin, cut, or have elongated buckle tongue holes.
  • Check the buckle and the strap keeper.
  • See if the split ring has any gouges or excessive wear. If the straps, buckles, strap keeper, or split ring exhibit any of these defects, they should be removed from service.
  • Check the shank and the stirrup for any deep abrasions, scribes, or etchings. The spurs need to be removed from service if any of these are present.
  • Check the strap attachment ring for wear proper fastening.
  • Check the pad to ensure it will attach and hold to the leg: specifically, you need to check the rivets and the stitching.
  • If gaffs are removable, ensure they’re properly fastened, following the torque specs by the manufacturer.
  • Use the gaff gauge to check your gaff before making changes like sharpening.
ACRT Arborist Training Staff

ACRT Arborist Training provides entry-level through advanced arborist classes and certifications for line clearance companies, government agencies, tree care companies, municipalities, and individuals around the nation.


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