I've spent the past year getting back 'into' the trade, after half a decade of industrial work. It's been a rocky road. Now, my latest project is winding down:http://www.pkmarch.com/marion-performing-arts-center.html
I've been on this project since March. It will still 'linger' for perhaps another month, as finishing touches are made. For myself, and five other electricians, this job pretty much ends this week.
So ... what have I learned?
Well, the job reinforced the need for setting aside a staging area and keeping your parts organized.
I think I need to set up "work carts" that focus on a single task. For example, keep everything related to running pipe together, have another for wire pulls, etc. It seems everyone spent half the day running around, looking for that additional box cover, etc.
Communication on-site has been a huge issue. Again, lots of time was lost looking for someone ... Cell phones were of some use, but background noise was a huge issue. Also, we often had to communicate while both hands were occupied (as on wire pulls). I'm thinking some manner of headphone arrangement... (ideas and suggestions most welcome!)
Materials storage was also a disaster. Lighting fixtures arrived months before we could use them. We must have move each fixture around a score of times before we hung it.
The utility of the small 1-man, self-propelled "column" lifts was again demonstrated. Much easier to move through doorways and into small rooms; once the ceiling was filled with gridwork, ductwork, and piping, even using a small scissor lift was often awkward. (Google SkyJack SJ-16).
Next project? Why, I get to help build one of those huge 'box' stores that folk cry are killing off small businesses. Though, this particular one isn't very large. Right now it's not much more than a hole in the ground.