What the tower industry saw immediately as a tool to mitigate the dangerous job of climbing and inspecting towers has been picked by more industries worldwide. Utility, construction and chemical companies, all with dangerously high fatality rates, are finding new uses for drones. But according to Bloomberg.com, tower climbers still lead the pack, suffering nearly 10 times the on-the-job fatality rate of construction workers.
AT&T has been one of the early and frequent adopters of the new technology using drones to eliminate 5,000 tower climbs in the past 18 months, according to Art Pregler, the director of AT&T’s drone program.
Pregler said his company has invested in a large fleet of drones to help inspect its 65,000 cell towers in the U.S. By sending up drones with cameras, Pregler said teams on the ground can complete an inspection quickly and safely.
Drone manufacturers have been working with chemical industries as well to expand the services that drones can provide. Billy Bardin, Dow’s Chemicals global technology director agreed that drones are a boon to his industry, saying, “Drones save us downtime, save cost, save on productivity for our maintenance personnel, and they eliminate having to put a person in that potentially hazardous environment.”
August 9, 2019