Jobsite tips and tricks

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Pro-Scapes, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    It is amazing how much easier the little things on a job site can make your day. The wire dispenser was just the tip. We also carry a 6 foot folding table in the trailer. I use this as sort of my jobsite work bench. I can unwrap fixtures, add lamps, set out trays for little parts like hanger bolts and have a place to stage tools. I also keep all my battery chargers on a shelf in my trailer so I can just run a cord to my trailer when possible to charge the drills etc.

    I also keep a bucket of water handy when working in dirty situations so I can quickly rinse my hands off (Thanks for the tip Burt) when need be.

    Just curious what some of you do to make your day a bit more enjoyable.
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Power up that trailer with a 3-way system... I can plug my trailer into a receptacle, or into my Honda eu2000i generator, or use the accessory 12V off my truck / trailer connection and through an inverter to get 120V. This provides us with 'shore power' that lights the interior of the trailer, powers up the bench tools and chargers, and runs the test bench transformer.

    Keep a jug of waterless hand cleaner on board. Nothing worse than greeting the clients when they get home with dirty hands.

    Install a large thermos jug on the inside of your trailer and fill it daily with fresh water and ice... keeps the crew happy and hydrated.

    Install DriveSafe.LY on your blackberry so you don't have to check your messages all the time. This app. reads out all of your emails, texts, voicemails, etc to the speakerphone.

    Buy your crew Mechanix gloves. They are thin and light and breathable and keep everyone happy.
  3. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 886

    we have a porta potty in each trailer and it a big hit with customers knowing where your guys are going :)

    trailers have 'shore power' and a tabletop with battery chargers for the drills and such.

    branding iron with my logo to burn onto the top of 4x4 posts for the transformers

    marking flags with my logo on the them, people always know where we

    I like the folding table idea Billy
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    my enjoyment of the day tends to be related to how comfortable I am and do I have the right tool for the right job.

    clothing wise, anything above 80 degrees gets me shorts, a breathable wicking running shirt, straw hat and a bandana to keep the forehead sweat off my glasses. also, a good pair of Nike air ACG waterproof high top work sneakers, usually filled with xtra strength gold bond powder above 80 degrees as well, takes the pain off the feet and back. when above 85-90 degrees, that gold bond can go "elsewhere" to keep you minty fresh.

    above 90 degrees, carry a 10 buck bag of 50 terry towels and rinse your wrists and douse your head with the garden hose every hour. if you can stand it, use the ice water from the 5 gallon jug on truck. really perks you up for 15 minutes or so when the heat starts bothering you. it is also the last thing I do before getting in the truck to head home. really helps wash heat off and puts me in a good mood on the way home.

    as far as the right tools, I started using a light weight lithium impact driver to make trans wiring a bit faster, so no more screwdriver on lugs for me, and I bought a harbor freight sds drill to make the drilling in mortar over in seconds rather than minutes. having one of those knee pad thingies makes for easy time on the knees without the knee pit sweat you get with knee pads.

    I use a breaker bar to set stakes for lights in hard ground, usually one or two drops is all it takes to set a path or uplight stake and press.

    If you don't have a skeletool clipped to your belt loop you are missing a really handy knife, pliers and screwdriver with changable bits.

    If you won't or don't wnat to wear a small tool belt for the cutters/strippers connectors, then try a band-it, a velcro band that has powerful magnets that will easily hold your tools on your upper arm. they are 10 bucks or so shipped on ebay. one you use it 3 times, you'll be hooked.

    keep a gas hedge trimmer with you to clean up the back of shrubs for your uplights.

    keep CLR with you to clean lenses on yearly maintenance.

    3 things from Gemplers catalog-

    #1 -long handle king of spades with 2 added rubber foot jumper covers is the best 100 bucks you will ever spend for running wire across grass. keep a 20 buck angle grinder with you to sharpen blade every hour or so.
    #2- 5 buck tyvek coveralls for going under decks and crawling under homes, in attics, or wherever it is muddy,dirty or whatever. I keep 2-3 on the truck behind the seat.
    #3- fluid film. use it on hand tools to keep from rusting, squeaky car door hinges and roll up doors on boxvans, and a thousand other things. once you have it around, you go through a can a month.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  5. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    Is the running shirt long sleeved? I was wondering about desert military shirts. I was in the military when we used to be issued green BDU's. The summer weight weren't too cool in the direct sun.
  6. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    I buy the short sleeve under armor look alike shirts at walmart. I have several colors, but yellow seems to be the best at not getting hot in the sunlight like blue or black. They are around 8 bucks each.
  7. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    How bout getting the wires into the slits in the ground? I have been using paint sticks. Anyone have a better method? Paint sticks don't last too long and my wife is not too cool with the earthy colored fingernails.
  8. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Hey Bob... nothing works better than those hands of yours! They won't pierce or shear the cable jacket and you know for sure the wire is put in to the bottom of the slit-trench. As for your Wife... well I recommend a good hand cleaner!
  9. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    ProSoap is hands down better than GoJo.

    It depends how many wires I need to put in and how deep I am able to run the trench but after I slit trench I usuallyuse the shovel to lift back up the ground and have another guy right behind me tucking the wire into the ground bare handed. If you dont want to get your hands dirty hire guys to do it or wear gloves.
  10. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    We also always have 2 guys on wire unless we're using the machine. We pretty much have the same thing as most of you. Trailer completely wired up with power, interior and exterior lights... etc. A good workbench inside the trailer along with cabinets to keep everything in order, and make sure we have spare parts just in case. We also carry a good power blower that helps with the final clean up.

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