Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
The Bull carrier provides a new solution for Cell Site Technicians aka "Tower Dogs" who tirelessly work to ensure that the mobile/telecom connections function seamlessly throughout the globe.
Most of the time Telecom Technicians work in groups of two people. This is the optimal number for most assignments that need to be done but it also introduces some difficulties. Lifting tools and equipment can be straining on the workers as they have to lift this added weight upwards of70meters to the top of a mast. In addition to this, in case of an injury, the process of lowering an injured person down is time-consuming. Having in mind that a big number of Telecom masts are located in remote areas, every minute counts.
The BULL CARRIER concept is a lifting system meant to help Telecom Site Technicians aka “Tower Dogs” to manage equipment and tools in Telecom Towers. In addition to this the system incorporates a controlled decent mechanism for use when lowering an injured person down from the mast. The design is compact with a centralised construction with the edition of a carrying handle on the top and a hook located in the centre. The unit is controlled via remote. In case of injury the system has a specialised pin lock that has to be physically pulled to activate the controlled decent procedure.
This project focuses on “4G” and “5G” tower construction and the workers, better known as Cell Site Technicians, who tirelessly work to ensure that the mobile/telecom connections function seamlessly throughout the globe. Cell site technicians are people whose responsibility is to build, maintain and repair a group of telecom cell sites (masts), radio towers etc. Their line of work entails them to operate in many different environments as well as weather conditions. Furthermore they are often required to climb towers despite the harsh weather to regulate and inspect these cell sites. They are well trained in their line of work and often work in groups of two people (depending on the situation). To successfully operate as a cell site technician one must have endurance, concentration and a strong sense of team work to accomplish everyday tasks.
Field studies were organised in two groups of students and took place at two cell sites across two weeks. During this time together with our programme director, we had the opportunity not only to see but also help out the workers from the company “Telog” during the construction of a 4G mast as well as setting up new equipment in a ski resort. This gave us an enormous amount of insight to their line of work which in term gave us a better understanding of the hardships these people face on a daily basis.
Lifting System / Moving heavy Gear around / Improving Wellbeing / Health
-Tool and equipment management
In most cases workers carry their tools buy attaching tool bags on to the harnesses. The same applies to equipment needed to be installed. This can result in large load that the worker has to carry for even hundreds of meters up into the tower in certain situations. Working this way could result in fatigue and even injury, moreover it is a highly inefficient way to manage the tools as they can fall out of the bags, get tangled together and so on and so forth. How might we help the workers carry the necessary loads and tools?
Having in mind the potentially dangerous environment cell site technician’s work in, safety is a serious concern and a lot of attention goes in to preparation before climbing the towers / masts. For this reason looking into ways of improving their working conditions is crucial topic and must be taken with great consideration. Usually the “Tower dogs” work in groups of two people and though not so frequent, accidents occur that can sometimes be fatal. However, sometimes help can’t arrive so swiftly, so how might we improve the time it takes to lower an injured person from a tower safely and securely?
"If something happens up there, we only have each other".
The final design is a motorised lifting system that utilises a kog drive to lift equipment up into the telecommunication tower. The unit is compact, leaving room for the workers to move around it. The handle situated on top of the product is used to carry and put into place on to the tower. The design incorporates a central construction on which the components are attached to. This provides a sturdy platform on which equipment and tools could be secured on to. The final result decreases the work load and the chances of tools falling while climbing and working in the tower. The unit is mounted on the existing safety rail and is operated via clip-worn remote control. Movement sensors detect workers both above and under to avoid collision.
The controlled decent system provides a faster and safer decent that minimises the time needed for a worker to get help. The controlled fall system release is located behind the central hook. It is secured with a safety cap to prevent users from accidental deployment. When needed the cap slides up revealing the deployment leaver. Buy pulling it the system prepares for the decent. The motors start working as brakes. This way it is possible for a small unit to hold the weight of a human.
In summary the Bull Carrier offers better tool and equipment management while decreasing the work load of Tower dogs. Furthermore it provides a faster and safer decent of an injured person giving the workers more time to acquire help in urgent situations.