500kV Live Line Working - Methods, Tools, Training & Gallery by Jim McDonald

By Chris Dodds on 31st March, 2016

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500kV Live Line Working - Methods, Tools, Training & Gallery by Jim McDonald

All Images Courtesy : Jim McDonald : Owner/Live Line Training at Powerline Training Consultants.

Jim has worked in the overhead line trade for over 40 years and has been conducting live line training through his own business (Powerline Training Consultants) for over 20 years. 

In the following article Jim outlines the live-line tooling requirements for carrying out safe 500kV work and we also feature a stunning selection of overhead line training photo's.

Live Working Tooling & Equipment : Tarps

  • 1 platform ladder c/w ladder hooks
  • 5 spliced universal poles (various lengths)
  • horizontal tower member ladder base for horizontal ladder
  • horizontal tower member boom base 
  • 1 x 8' bottom section of spliced ladder
  • 1 -x 24' spliced 4x4 boom
  • 2 x spreader bars for ladder
  • 4 x ladder clamps
  • 4 x swivel sticks for ladder support horizontally
  • 3 x swivel sticks for side control of horizontal ladder
  • 3 x boom support poles
  • 4 x tower saddles
  • 2 single pole yokes for clevis/clevis strain poles
  • 3 x 2 1/2" pole clamps for boom support poles
  • 1 x mast assembly for boom
  • rigging shackles
  • grunt bags and slings
  • barrels c/w live line rope
  • hot stick wiping cloths
  • snatch blocks
  • ton chain hoist c/w 11' of chain
  • strain link stick for 4x4 boom support horizontally
  • strain link stick for side control of boom
  • 4" boom clamps

Pictured : 500kV Tool Trailer. Tools Ready To Be Off Loaded For Live Line Work.

500kV Tools

Pictured : Set Out, Inspect & Clean Live Line Tools (500kV Dead End Work)


Not shown in the photograph as the live-line equipment is located on another tarp : 

  • 2 x rescue bags
  • 1 x side opening cradle
  • bonding wire for chain hoist
  • hot stick tester
  • rope tester
  • ladder monitoring meter
  • Fluke meter for testing resistance of conductive suits
  • 2 x 3x2 rope blocks c/w 150' of 1/2" rope for horizontal ladder support
  • handline
  • 2 x bull pins
  • capstan hoist
  • live line bull rope for cradle and boom  

Pictured : 500kV Live Line Tools & Equipment Installed



  • 500kV Live Line Working - Training Animation

All Images Jim McDonald 

500kV Live Line Tools


  • More 500kV Overhead & Live Line Working Information

500kV Overhead Line & Live Line Training Gallery - Powerline Training Consultants  

  • 500kV Barehand Overhead Line Work


  • 500kV Barehand "V" String Rope Access


  • 500kV Dead End Insulator Change 


  • 500kV Barehand Insulator Change SRP

500kV Overhead Lines

  • 500kV Dead End Insulator Change Barehand Method

Cable Jointing

  • 500kV Energized Barehand Rope Access "I" String & Rappelling From Conductor

500kV Lines


115kV Hot Stick Work

  • Hot-Sticking 115kV H-frame Bundle Conductor Boom Method
  • Hot-Sticking 115kV Corner With 2 Bundle Conductor

115kV Hot Stick


  • Further reading :

Video : A Day In The Life Of A Lineman by Allteck Power Line Contractors 

Stringing 275kV (400kV) 3M ACCR Low-Sag Overhead Line (+Video) 

275kV Overhead Line Construction Using L8 (S) Towers & Rubus - Amec  



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500kV Deadend Insulator Chanegout - Hot Stick Training (Hubbell 1995)

Category:  Electrical Safety & Arc Flash

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