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A Planner's tool kit

About 25% of a Planner's time should be spent in the field, assessing and "scoping" maintenance work. To make this time as useful as possible, a good "planner’s tool kit" is essential. A good planner's tool kit should contain the following items, all in convenient package, such as a light-weight tool belt.

  • a digital voice recorder (much easier to take field notes than in a notebook)
  • a small digital camera (essential these days)
  • a 25 ft steel tape
  • a notebook, pencil and eraser (for making sketches)
  • a strong light (Uke 4AA or similar)
  • a laser pointer (to highlight leaks and out-of-reach points in digital photos)

And, of course, all the required personal safety equipment and a cell phone or pager. As Maintenance's "information managers", planners should be easy to contact.

And in the office, each planner must have a good computer, no more than a couple of years old, with a printer and access to a scanner.

Other useful tools for occasional field inspections are a very bright light (a portable spotlight of at least 1 million cp) and a pair of binoculars.

More on using digital photos for planning in the next "Reliability tips".

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