Like always, I’m not here to tell you your job. Do what’s in your SOP’s and what you’re told to do by your bosses. I’ve been bouncing around the city in my half a$$ promotional status and I’ve had the pleasure and displeasure of working with a variety of crews. I just want to review your apparatus operational checks that you do every day. Again, this isn’t a safety check or anything else, just thoughts.
1. Safety check, walk around, brakes etc…. DOCUMENT ALL ISSUES and send the report to the proper place.
2. Check the jacks for operation, and range of motion before setting them to throw the aerial. Do you know any override procedures and how the override affects the aerial operation? When you throw the aerial don’t just spin it and drop it in the bed. Throw it to the roof and climb it, one fire house I was at had a garden on the roof and it was the truck operator’s job to water it.
3. Saws need to be warmed up or they will gum up and won’t run properly. RUN them. Run the generators and hook up a load, flood lights, fans, whatever they should be loaded to get to full operating temperature just like the saws. If you’re allowed to, clean out the air filters.
4. Sharpen your tools. “Salty” tools look pathetic and unprofessional. Grind the burrs off, wire brush them smooth, and then a LIGHT coat of oil. They don’t have to be super sharp or you’ll just damage them worse the first time you use it. You’ll get the hang of it.
5. Check the jaws and open and close them, don’t forget to leave them open just a little. We have had issues where the motor ran fine but the pump wouldn’t work or a line was leaking. Unless you have a new style tool that can be connected and disconnected under pressure make sure you go back after you shut it down and operate all the valves to balance/release pressure.
6. A quick look at the ladders to see if they look right and make sure to operate any pencil/little giant that you have, they get sticky.
7. Finally; check on all those odd ball tools that never get used. They might be in that rusty compartment that no one knows about. Give a quick look and identify their uses. They all exist for a reason so make sure you know it. You might get to use them once in your career but that one time you’ll be glad you had it.
Let me know what I missed and Be Safe