Is it hot or not?
Why utility crews trust the Amprobe TIC 300 PRO
Feedback from a major US utility and the 30 underground crews who serve a city
In every truck, on every trouble call, there’s one tool crews reach for first to ensure their safety. That’s the TIC 300 PRO. It’s the go-to tool for underground crews servicing secondary power lines for a large US utility company in the Northeast. The crew’s work takes them down manholes under historic cities where the infrastructure is aging and the problems are frequent.
As lead engineer responsible for troubleshooting, John K. can get calls anytime day or night from one of 30 underground crews. When a cable installer or splicer encounters out-of-the ordinary electrical problems on the job, they call in a “trouble man”. And when the trouble man has questions on how equipment operates, he calls John. John constantly stresses the importance of safety to all the crews. He tells them to always assume it’s live until they know for sure. Whether they’re working on 120V, 240V, 5kV or greater, on cables, transformers, or switches,they begin the job by checking to see if the problem area is live or dead. That’s the job of the TIC 300 PRO non-contact voltage detector.
Approximately 300 TIC tracers are in use throughout the system. Every crew carries at least one and usually two units in the truck. The cable installers, cable splicers, and trouble men all use them daily, often multiple times each day. They might see an exposed conductor, or a cable that’s been cut off or broken. Sometimes one crew starts a job on their shift and another picks it on the next shift, and they need to know for sure what they are walking into.
Lights flash and the TIC 300 PRO beeps with increasing frequency as it nears a source of electricity, leaving the user no doubt whether the area is live or not. They can also quickly track where fault lines between two functioning points.
The crews like how simple the TIC 300 PRO is to use. One bright yellow button turns it on or off. With another button, the user can select either low or high voltage. Buttons are easy to press with heavy gloves, which is important because the crew must wear gloves and full PPE.
The TIC tracers get thrown around in the truck, but the tools are durable enough to take the rough treatment. John has seen some units last more than 20 years.
After using the TIC tracer product line for more than two decades, the crews all know it, trust it, and feel safe with them. To ensure a particular unit is working properly, they can just press the Test button.
John is not only responsible for troubleshooting but also for bringing new products into the company, so he’s knowledgeable about his tool choices. He’s looked at competitive non-contact voltage detectors, but the trust factor keeps the TIC 300 PRO his number one choice. It does the job, it doesn’t fail, and his crews trust it. And that’s exactly what they need.