Harken PowerSeat® Raises Productivity in Telecoms Mast Maintenance

Ariqva Ma Riding PowerSeat smallArqiva is a leading UK communications infrastructure company, its mission, to enable a vibrant digital economy. With some 8,000 actives sites, it is the only UK wide provider of terrestrial broadcast television and radio. Arqiva’s technology enables it to work with all of the UK’s mobile operators from BT-EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three to independent radio groups and major broadcasters, such as the BBC, ITV, and Sky. Its infrastructure services also deliver mobile WiFi across the UK.


When carrying out maintenance on large telecommunications masts, work can be limited by varying weather conditions and reduced daylight hours during winter. This can often leave a small window in which to complete a job. The time taken for an operator to climb and descend a mast can be considerable, leaving only a small window to complete the work. Any unnecessary time spent accessing the structure can quickly cause projects to become delayed and costs to rise.


Arqiva required a solution that would enable its operators to safely and rapidly ascend and descend from masts while enabling them to work in comfort as they carry out essential maintenance between adverse weather conditions.


With its ascent speed of 15m/min, a decision was made to hire a Harken PowerSeat® in order to test it capabilities over long ascents and descents. A PowerSeat® enables operators to sit on a man riding winch to quickly ascend and descends masts in up to half the time of a manual climb.


The powered motor not only decreases set up time it also reduces the strain of operators by removing the need to climb the mast by hand. The PowerSeat, as a portable winch, can then be used for the raising and lowering of equipment, antennae and steelwork. The benefits from the time saved and the reduced fatigue from manually climbing masts are further complimented by the new levels of agility created with a PowerSeat enabling crews to quickly respond to windows in the weather. In this instance, the Gas (petrol) version of the seat was chosen because of its versatility in remote locations.


Following up on the event, Harken Industrial Technical Specialist, Guy Fulford said: “By hiring the PowerSeat on a short term basis Arqiva were able to prove its effectiveness within their own application and working practices without the need for larger scale investment. The total project cost saving could then be calculated in order to build the business case for the investment in the PowerSeat on a long term basis,” On site for the duration of the hire, the Harken Technical Sales team were also able to offer training to the rigging team to ensure the equipment was used in a safe manner and could fully utilise its capabilities throughout the project.

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