The winner's booth on the show floor.

Cup Holder and Tool Organizer Wins Top Prize

Nov. 16, 2022
Line Work Bucket Products’ 4N1 Cup Holder and Tool Organizer won the Top Tool of the Trade for 2022.
For the last five years, the Top Tools of the Trade competition has honored excellence in product development in the electric utility industry. This year, the award-winning product was invented by a lineman for the line trade—the 4N1 Cup Holder and Tool Organizer from Line Work Bucket Products.

Landon Dees, inventor of the product and vice president of the company, says he’s been in the line trade for 18 years, and he’s worked in multiple storms and states. At these jobs, he says it’s extremely hot and there’s an urgent need to get the power back on as soon as possible. When linemen are working in the bucket, however, it can be virtually impossible for them to stay hydrated due to lack of storage. To solve this problem, his company launched the 4NI in summer of 2022 to help linemen prevent heat-related injuries through adequate hydration.

“Nine times out of 10, crews put their bottles and drinks and other items in the control box area,” Dees says. “This is a safety nightmare as it’s equivalent to having a water bottle underneath the brake pedal of your car.”

Making Modifications

By using the 4N1, linemen have a safe place to store their drinks—from water bottles to cups and tumblers. To keep them more organized and efficient, it also includes two XL 50-lb. hooks, which can hold tool pouches, organizers, hoists and larger tools or equipment.

“It solves two safety issues: staying hydrated and not using the control box as storage,” he says. “And it also solves organizational issues that all linemen battle while in a bucket.”

During the field-testing process, the company made multiple adjustments to make it as useful as possible for the linemen. For example, they modified the spacing of the hooks and added UV protectant, a multi-size cup holder and holster applications. The product now includes a multi-sized 44 oz.-cupholder and an extra-large compartment for radios, batteries, phones or small parts. Dees says the response to the product was unbelievable at the 2022 International Lineman’s Expo, which had record attendance.

“We’ve had multiple guys say they’ve been dreaming about a cupholder in the bucket for decades,” he says.

Honoring the Winners

Line Work Bucket Products, and the other two top winners—the Lineman’s Reference XFMR Training Lab from Digital Apprentice (second place) and Electric Duct Dawg E+ from Sherman + Reilly (third place)—were honored at the Lineman’s BBQ along with the category winners. Judges first selected the winners in each category, and then linemen voted for the top three winners through an online survey.

The judges and Top Tools of the Trade voters commented that the first-place tool, the 4NI, was high quality, affordable and versatile in all types of weather. Dees says it a dream come true for his new company to win the prestigious award.

“It gives us motivation to do it again and will hopefully inspire others to follow their dreams and realize anything is possible,” he says.

Editor’s Note: To see a photo gallery of the category winners on the show floor of the Lineman’s Expo, visit www.tdworld.com/electric-utility-operations.

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