Telegraph poles & flood lights

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  • Telegraph poles & flood lights
  • posty540

    Evening all,

    I have two halogen floodlights on the top of a telegraph pole, used to light a yard. All works well, apart from when the bulbs blow and need changing. Guess what happened this weekend?

    I want to change the bulbs and have a normal extension ladder. It is deemed too dangerous by the family to just lean the ladder against the telegraph pole and climb up.

    I thought that there must be a “v” adapter / extender available to bolt to my ladder in order to give a safer way of leaning the ladder against the telegraph pole.

    However, after searching I have only found £300 plus ladder systems or those spikes that lumberjacks use.

    Any ideas what to use or tricks of the trade?

    Thanks for any help.


    A ladders a ladder. Only dangerous if you fall off. Three points of contact and all that and someone footing to stop the possible twist and all is good.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen

    There are lots of bolt/ clamp on stabilisers including ones with a v shape for leaning against poles and corners of walls and giving a good stand off so that you’re not leaning back off them to work – its a matter though as to whether they match up with your existing ladders and will attach to them firmly.


    I climb telegraph poles.
    my ladder has a v shaped (approx. 120deg) moveable grippy piece at the top to sit around the pole, plus a rope to tie the ladder at the top to the pole.

    you wont be able to buy one from BT but perhaps you could make up a V bit and mount to the top of your ladder * do it safely of course.

    looking at the link above, we get issued with the ladder stopper( good on VERY flat ground) and the microlite standoff (good for walls)

    while up the ladder/ pole, you need to strap yourself on too.
    we have a fall arrest lanyard, plus a work belt which attaches to hips and goes around pole.

    watch a new guy learning how to do it!

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    God that makes painful viewing.
    Just get up the damned pole for God’s sake.

    Op, just bear hug your way up… 🙂


    How’s about just tying a rope around the pole and the top of the ladder, a work restraint belt or a climbing harness with a rope and a couple of carabiners to ho;d you close to the pole would help!
    Obviously this will get flamed upon by the H&S Gods on here!
    Be safe



    The old BT ladders had a wire rope between the top of the stiles that conforms to the shape of the pole, similar to the metal V idea.

    You should be fine, just tie the top of the ladder to the pole.


    Next time you are up, swap for LED floods – last ages longer so much less pratting around/risk.


    watch a new guy learning how to do it!

    I watched for three and a half minutes waiting for the You’ve Been Smacked In The Nuts moment.

    How often does the lamp blow? How much would an LED bulb and half an hours cherry picker hire cost?

    Premier Icon mattbee

    Could ask WCA if he will pop up and sort it for you?


    20w Led floodlight complete fitting £15 – £25

    ok for replacing sub 200w halogens so you might need more than 2?

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    put a hinge in the pole 😉

    or the lamps on a cradle you can raise and lower like a flag?

    Premier Icon Russell96

    Other question is have you checked that the pole is safe to climb with a ladder? So of the things I needed to look at when I was a BT engr back in the 80’s – did all the overhead construction courses.

    Are there any obstructions within a metre or so of the pole? I.e spiked railings and the like.

    Is the pole buried in the ground deep enough, for example a BT pole will have a 3 metre mark on it which should be at about head height or lower when you stand next to it. Is there a D label on it, if so the pole testing crew have already been around and deemed it dangerous and in need of replacement, do not climb.

    Is it rotten? Get a metal hammer and start tapping at regular intervals all round and from ground level, nice metallic ring is OK, dull thud and chances are its rotten and will only need a good push to get it over.

    Russell, you wouldn’t believe the number of checks now… Several date periods where poles were substandard quality, or contractors chopping the base off when they couldn’t get a deep enough hole so the 3 metre mark is wrong, bad batches of steps etc etc!

    Premier Icon Russell96

    Nothing compared to the steps on the really old poles that used to bend when you put weight on them, on a 90 footer you couldn’t even use your belt until you were near the top, there used to be a couple of them in Chester and they used to fill you with dread if you had a fault on one of them, knew guys who’d just pass a fault straight to u/g rather than climb them and prove it.

    Are there still many Arsenic treated poles knocking about?

    Sorry for drifting off topic but there’s an industrial estate at the back of our house. One of the warehouses has a stupidly bright spotlight pointing at our house. Every so often I drink a few beers, get the airgun out and smash it. Guns and alcohol – the perfect marriage. Might this be what is occurring at your place?

    Don’t know about Arsenic, but creosote ones are banned in schools/playgrounds.

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