(T0B05) Gin Poles

T0B05 from the Technician License Course Section 13.2, Antenna & Tower Safety:
What is the purpose of a gin pole?

A. To temporarily replace guy wires
B. To be used in place of a safety harness
C. To lift tower sections or antennas
D. To provide a temporary ground


Hand-held gin poles in use. US Army Communications Publication SS0439a

Erecting an antenna tower, mast, or other support structure can be hazardous for many reasons. An operator may need to climb high on a tower or structure, risking a fall. Tall structures may come near to, or accidentally directly contact, high voltage power lines, risking shock. A tower under construction or repair may collapse or fall, risking injury to those in the area or on the structure. An operator attempting to lift or position somewhat massive portions of towers or masts risks injury from strain, overextension, or exceeding other physical limitations of the body.

Gin poles, in various forms, are intended to reduce some of the risks associated with raising antenna support structures. A gin pole may be a simple handheld extension of human arms to help push a mast into vertical position for anchoring or guy wire connections. With a larger antenna tower structure, a gin pole is used in combination with pulleys, cables,

Tower gin pole use. National Association of Broadcasters.

Tower gin pole use. National Association of Broadcasters.

and other mechanisms to lift tower segments into place for welding or securing, helping to stack the tower segments one at a time.


Home-brewed gin pole in use. Courtesy LX4SKY.

A simple handheld gin pole is illustrated in the US Army Communications Publication SS0439a drawing, above.  Gin poles for tower construction are illustrated in the second diagram from the National Association of Broadcasters. The photo below is of a home-brewed gin pole in use, compliments of Thierry LX4SKY from his Luxorion web site.

Be safe when lifting tower sections or antennas! Never work alone, and use gin poles as needed.

The answer to Technician Class question T0B05, What is the purpose of a gin pole?” is “C. To lift tower sections or antennas

Related Questions:  T0B01, T0B02, T0B03, T0B04, T0B06, T0B09