Hot stick

I finally got a hot stick recently. It's already been super handy. Should have got one years ago. Had a job just today where I needed to rework some conductors in a POCO transformer box pad, and it was nice to be able to kill it at the pole. I probably wouldn't have crawled under there if it was live (only 2400 but still 😳) I don't have any hesitation on pulling meters and splicing live service drops, but being able to pull the cutout and kill it all really speeds things up.

Anyway, I have a few questions. I know we don't have many MV guys on here, maybe @Hv&Lv ? I have a Hastings. I find it a bit awkward that it can't be locked in wherever you want, you are at the mercy of full sections. Is this typical? Are there others that can be locked at any length? With the Hastings, I find that often the length I need is right between full sections, so I have to hold a half telescoped and unlocked section. Is this typical? Also, do you remove un-needed sections? The instructions say to, but I don't see what that gains other than reducing the weight a little. I'll have to play around with it more, but my intuition is that having some mass down low is advantages as a counterweight. It's probably a matter of just practicing and finding out what works for me but I thought it would be a worthwhile discussion in case anyone else on here uses one and has some tips.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
You set it on the ground, and extend it.
Lock the sections as you get to them.

get to the fuse, I hate it when I’m at the lock at a fuse. You don’t hold the entire stick up. You put the finger in the cutout eye and pull, with the base of the stick sitting on the ground. Your movements putting the fuse in or out simply slide in the sections still on the ground.
If you ever use the stick saw attachment on the end to cut a limb 20-30’ up you will appreciate the “leave the base on the ground and slide” approach.
The 35’ isn’t too bad.
The 45s can get heavy with a really tall pole like a vertical 50 with a fuse on the top B phase.

after about 35 years of practice I can still put the finger in a hot line clamp and R&R it from the saddle.

you don’t take the sections apart to use it.
Also, watch for tracking. I’ve seen the sticks light up in a cracked section during testing.
 
You set it on the ground, and extend it.
Lock the sections as you get to them.

get to the fuse, I hate it when I’m at the lock at a fuse. You don’t hold the entire stick up. You put the finger in the cutout eye and pull, with the base of the stick sitting on the ground. Your movements putting the fuse in or out simply slide in the sections still on the ground.
If you ever use the stick saw attachment on the end to cut a limb 20-30’ up you will appreciate the “leave the base on the ground and slide” approach.
The 35’ isn’t too bad.
The 45s can get heavy with a really tall pole like a vertical 50 with a fuse on the top B phase.

after about 35 years of practice I can still put the finger in a hot line clamp and R&R it from the saddle.

you don’t take the sections apart to use it.
Also, watch for tracking. I’ve seen the sticks light up in a cracked section during testing.
Ok I'll try the slide method with the butt on the ground. About how far horizontally from directly under the cutout do you want to be? It seems a balance between getting a good pull angle but not having the stick too far off vertical so it's a bear to keep upright.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Ok I'll try the slide method with the butt on the ground. About how far horizontally from directly under the cutout do you want to be? It seems a balance between getting a good pull angle but not having the stick too far off vertical so it's a bear to keep upright.
Generally about 3’ in front.
Hook the eye to pull it out,
No need to hook anything to put it back in.
Just lay the finger under the barrel and in one motion pull back and push up on the long stick pushing the cutout back in. The finger will just lay under the eye
I got one that had three failed sections in it and gave it to a buddy of mine.
He uses it to retrieve RC planes from trees when they are low enough..
 

paulengr

Senior Member
I finally got a hot stick recently. It's already been super handy. Should have got one years ago. Had a job just today where I needed to rework some conductors in a POCO transformer box pad, and it was nice to be able to kill it at the pole. I probably wouldn't have crawled under there if it was live (only 2400 but still ) I don't have any hesitation on pulling meters and splicing live service drops, but being able to pull the cutout and kill it all really speeds things up.

Anyway, I have a few questions. I know we don't have many MV guys on here, maybe @Hv&Lv ? I have a Hastings. I find it a bit awkward that it can't be locked in wherever you want, you are at the mercy of full sections. Is this typical? Are there others that can be locked at any length? With the Hastings, I find that often the length I need is right between full sections, so I have to hold a half telescoped and unlocked section. Is this typical? Also, do you remove un-needed sections? The instructions say to, but I don't see what that gains other than reducing the weight a little. I'll have to play around with it more, but my intuition is that having some mass down low is advantages as a counterweight. It's probably a matter of just practicing and finding out what works for me but I thought it would be a worthwhile discussion in case anyone else on here uses one and has some tips.

1. The telescoping sticks are good for one thing only: reaching cutouts. They suck. They are heavy, wobbly, and awkward but often the only way to do it without a bucket truck.
2. You vary the length one of two ways. Back up and increase the angle you are working at or lift/lower the stick. Most linemen are gorillas for a reason. They do this stuff every day. I’ve seen guys set the end on the ground and work it that way but it doesn’t work for me. I just man handle it too.
3. Get a second fixed stick. I prefer 8 feet but I do a lot of MV work. 6 is a lot easier. Two choices. You can get one with a universal spline and just use it for tics, meters, cutouts, and fuses. Or you can get a shotgun stick which allows you to grab an energized cable and move it or grab and twist and position soft drawn aluminum or jumpers. Either way this one is very light and highly maneuverable. If you can reach the cutouts, fuses, etc., it’s easy and quick.

One warning about shotgun sticks. When you do a prison job do not put “shotgun stick” on your tool list. It will cause you a lot of grief. Just call it a hot-stick.
 
1. The telescoping sticks are good for one thing only: reaching cutouts. They suck. They are heavy, wobbly, and awkward but often the only way to do it without a bucket truck.
2. You vary the length one of two ways. Back up and increase the angle you are working at or lift/lower the stick. Most linemen are gorillas for a reason. They do this stuff every day. I’ve seen guys set the end on the ground and work it that way but it doesn’t work for me. I just man handle it too.
3. Get a second fixed stick. I prefer 8 feet but I do a lot of MV work. 6 is a lot easier. Two choices. You can get one with a universal spline and just use it for tics, meters, cutouts, and fuses. Or you can get a shotgun stick which allows you to grab an energized cable and move it or grab and twist and position soft drawn aluminum or jumpers. Either way this one is very light and highly maneuverable. If you can reach the cutouts, fuses, etc., it’s easy and quick.

One warning about shotgun sticks. When you do a prison job do not put “shotgun stick” on your tool list. It will cause you a lot of grief. Just call it a hot-stick.
yes a shotgun stick would be nice to have too. One thing I am not clear on: What is the tool called that is used to install and remove elbows? Is that an attachment that goes on the end of a shotgun?
 
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