The Gin Pole Legacy of Ernie Jones


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US 9,862,578 B2, the Tiltable and Rotatable Lifting Pole

If you have been involved in the broadcast tower industry for the past thirty-five plus years, you probably know the name of my late husband, Ernie Jones.  His contributions to the industry are extensive. Not only was he an icon in the field of communications and broadcast towers, Ernie was highly respected outside of the tower industry as well.

He had been involved in setting many of the tower industry’s standards for safety and engineering with one of his last contributions, being the design of a lifting pole customized for use in the cellular tower industry.  Ernie realized tall towers are not installed as much anymore and saw the need for a lifting pole specifically made for a shorter wireless structure that could be transported in the back of a pick-up truck.

Working 12-to-14 hour days on his vision, he developed the ERJ Legacy Lifting Pole.  At the time of his death, Ernie had a Provisional Patent on this “industry revolutionizing” lifting pole.  Sadly, this would be his last contribution to the tower industry. Knowing how passionate he felt about this product, I began the odyssey of bringing it all to fruition after his passing.  Last year I (we) received the patent on the pole: number US 9,862,578 B2, the Tiltable and Rotatable Lifting Pole. 

The ERJ Legacy Lifting Pole is designed so a small crew can transport, erect, and perform an engineered lift.  Ernie saw the benefit of this pole in the fact that heavy rigging was no longer required. The patented pole is lightweight and highly adaptable to fit on a leg, face, or a round tower member.  

Ernie dedicated his life to improving the safety of the tower industry.  His concept was to provide a safe, light weight and cost effective means to engineer a light lift, such as a small antenna or reinforcement member.  He saw the need to work smarter and safer, having been a member of the TIA TR14 Committee for decades. He was a driving force in the development of the TIA-1019 Gin Pole Standard, leading the research and technical developments it represented.

I have continued his work by providing us with his patented final design.  As our industry moves to the use of smaller, more efficient towers and antennas, the need for this lifting device will increase.  

Kathy Jones runs the 145-acre Triple “J” Ranch in Lynnville, IN, which she calls “Ernie’s second love.” She raises grass-finished beef. You can contact her at [email protected].  

Exclusive to Inside Towers.

By Kathy Jones

October 8, 2018