The morning calmness

Warehouse overview


The "morning calmness"

As the trailers are now packed the night before, what used to be termed "morning madness" is a lot less intense; now the routine mostly involves double-checking. Make sure that you have sufficient and proper supplies for your specific job as outlined in the work folder. 

Trucks & trailers


Work folder

The work folder contains all the details of the installation.


  • Permit plan set: paperwork on the details of the job 
  • This is the paperwork that contains the pictures of the house
    • Includes info such as system size, type of roof, array size, brand of panel, address…etc. as well as important electrical information such as wire size, inverter type, labeling…etc.
    • There are two copies of the permit plan set, one submitted to the city, the other used during installation. It's important to make sure that these match.


  • Project checklist: originates from the beginning of the sales process. This contains information about the home such as the year it was built, address, contact information…etc.
    • One of the most important features of this checklist is the special details unique to that project. This could be a special request made by the customer or could be important due to some other extenuating circumstances.
    • Contains a list of all the materials that will be used for the install. Again, it is important that all the information matches so compare this with details from other sections of the packet.
    • Job safety analysis-- filled out by the foreman, this paper documents the risks, hazards, and safety equipment being used at the site.
    • The daily report documents all personnel present and other information. It contains a mechanical and electrical section of checkboxes
    • The installation acceptance form insures that the customer is up to date on the progress of the installation.


  • Closing documents: contains details of the job and how it was installed (for foremen)
    • Includes safety and evaluation forms (filled out by the foremen)
    • Reflects on all procedures, hazards, materials...etc. used in the install
    • Documents the level of completion concisely and in one location


Customer etiquette

Regarding the customer:

  • Be respectful
  • Keep them informed on what is going on (layout, installation process, progress...etc.)
  • Let them know they can ask questions at any time
  • Keep it clean (music, habits, appearance, bathroom)
  • Absolutely no tobacco products
  • Double-check that you have all of your equipment and that the customer's belongings remain
  • Make sure they know how to activate their solar system

Foreman responsibilities


  • Make sure that the crew is on task
  • Enforce tobacco policy
  • Quality assurance -- foremen are evaluated based on the quality of the build
  • Paperwork & pictures
  • Encourage teamwork and a positive work environment


  • Foremen are graded on the quality of each installation
  • Tobacco products are allowed on company property as long as they are used in the open air
  • Paperwork and pictures are not a big deal because the inspector will document the site
  • It is the foreman's responsibility to acknowledge and address any concerns that the customer may have
  • To be polite, the whole crew should come to the door and introduce themselves
  • There are two copies of the permit plan set
  • Any changes to the system must be reflected in both plan sets
  • The project checklist originates from initial salesman/customer interaction
  • Matching information across the work folder isn't important as long as the correct information is shown in at least one section
  • Since the trailers are packed nightly, there is nothing to pack or check in the mornings.
  • Before driving, it is important to double check the truck inspection checklist and security of the ladders
  • Trunk cable is used for string inverter systems

When it comes to customer interactions, keep it __________

Keep it 

The main sections of the work folder include:

  • Permit plan set
  • Closing documents
  • Paperwork and pictures
  • Project checklist
  • Safety analysis form
  • Back cover

Before driving a company vehicle, you must:

  • Pass a company driving test
  • Obtain your DOT card
  • Write a short paper discussing your driving experience and history
  • Be an IWS employee of at least one year


General overview

The most important concept regarding safety is to identify safety hazards before beginning work. The next most important would be to always wear the proper safety equipment and then to be a team player.

What to wear

Note: Flip-Flops are not allowed on any job.

PPE: (required for all commercial jobs) 

  • Steel-toed boots
  • Long pants
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Hard hat

Residential requirements:

  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • closed-toe shoes



IWS has a 100% tie-off policy on the roof.

Harness safety: 

  • proper size
  • two-finger rule
  • all buckles/straps secure
  • D-ring should be around the mid-back


Fall Protection Safety Video:


What's the most important concept regarding safety at IWS?

  • Identify Safety Hazards
  • Watch your step
  • Be a team player
  • Always tie your shoes
  • Identify Safety Hazards and Wear Proper

What are the most important concepts regarding safety at IWS?

  • Identify Safety Hazards
  • Wear Proper Clothing & Safety Equipment
  • Be a Team Player
  • Watch Your Step
  • Always tie your shoes

PPE equipment includes:

  • Hard hat
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Rain jacket
  • Steel-toed boots
  • Knee pads


  • PPE is required for residential jobs
  • On the roof you are only required to tie off when it seems dangerous
  • Flip-flops are never allowed on the roof

What is the #1 cause of injury in the workforce?

  • Rooftop falls
  • Murder
  • Equipment-related accidents
  • Blunt force injuries

Safety overview

  • Guideline for harness strap tightness
    two finger rule
  • D-ring
    harness connection, should be mid-back
  • PPE. required for all commercial jobs
    Steel-toed boots, long pants, gloves, safety glasses, hardhat
  • Equipment that is required for residential jobs
    Closed-toed shoes, gloves, safety glasses
  • While on the roof, tie off
    100% of the time
  • Flip-flops
    not allowed


Tools overview

Here are some of the tools you will need to get the job done

  • Drill
  • Impact -- used to tighten the mid-clamps on the ends on the racking of the solar
  • Sockets (metric and U.S.)
  • Deep Socket
  • Extension piece -- used to lengthen socket for tight or unusual spaces
  • 90 (allows the tightening of bolts in difficult areas)
  • Tape measure (25-30 feet)
  • Tin snips -- used to cut flashings
  • Crayons
  • String lines -- used to form straight lines for the panel array
  • Pry bar -- used to pry up shingles to get the flashing in
  • Safety/sun glasses
  • Hammer
  • Allen Wrenches (Metric and U.S.)
  • Electrical tools (insulated for safety)
    • Remur
    • Razor knife
    • Wire cutters
  • 6-in-one
  • Tool bag, especially useful if it can securely hold your impact
  • Harness
  • Safety rope
  • Gloves
  • Dust mask / respirator -- used when going into the attic


Which of the following are provided by the company?

  • Sockets
  • Socket Extension Piece
  • Harness
  • Basic Safety Gloves
  • Impact Driver
  • Safety Rope
  • Drill Driver


  • Sunglasses do not count as safety glasses
  • Masks are not only for the attic, but are also worn outside when drilling through the shingles.
  • You are responsible for acquiring most of these tools
  • String line is used to make sure the panels are straight
  • Being tied off is required 100% of the time

Which tool is the impact?

Click on the part of the picture that shows the impact. 


  • tape measure
  • sockets
  • tin snips
  • deep socket
  • string line
  • 90
  • extension piece

Which pieces of equipment are use for safety?

click to identify each one. (hint: there are 5)

Drag & Drop

  • String line
    used to form straight lines for the panel array
  • Tape measure
    25-30 feet
  • Tin snips
    used to cut flashing
  • Pry bar
    helps put flashing under the shingles
  • Electrical tools
    insulated for safety
  • Crayons
    used to mark out the array
  • Tool bag
    especially useful if it can hold your impact
  • Provided by the company
    harness, rope, crayons
  • 9-in-one
    useful tool that is small but can serve many different functions

Rooftop procedures

Site survey

As a site surveyor, it is your job to measure and document all aspects of the home involving installation.

It's a good idea to knock on the door and let customers know that you will be doing the outside work first and then going in the attic after that. This gives them time to move anything that may be blocking the attic access. It is good to build rapport with the customer--this company does truly care about customer service. Additionally, it also gives you a chance to start asking questions about the home such as blueprints, HOA,…etc. 

The site surveyor measures:

  • The dimensions of the roof surface that panels will be mounted on
  • The size and spread of rafters in the attic
  • The attic height
  • The total area of the inverter wall
  • The pitch of the roof
  • The direction that the house faces
  • The width of attic entry


  • Drawings should be as close to scale as possible.
  • Athletic shoes grip better than flat shoes on the roof.
  • The surveyor takes pictures of the meter, roof surfaces, house number, and attic rafters.
  • Customer relations are not relevant to a site surveyor.

Installation overview


Site arrival



  • The customer needs to sign off on layout before the installation can begin.
  • The toolbox topic discusses various ways to get the job done faster

The ladder should be extended at least ___ feet from the edge of the roof

The ladder should be extended at least  feet above the edge of the roof.

Tying off


How often should I tie off on roofs?

  • Only when it seems dangerous
  • When the foreman says you should
  • On commercial sites, but not residential
  • 85% of the time
  • 100% of the time

What should the safety anchor be attached to?

  • Truss
  • Bucket
  • Plywood
  • Shingle line
  • The guy standing next to you
  • D-ring


  • It is okay to attach safety rope to the nylon straps on your harness as long as you loop the rope around the strap and reattach it to itself.

Marking out the array


String line is useful for:

  • Large arrays
  • Roofs with a crooked shingle line
  • Roofs with no shingle line


  • The foreman usually marks out the array
  • Crayons are provided by the company

System layout

Factors to consider when determining layout:

  • Panel size (varies between brands/types)
  • Size of midclamps, usually 1/2 inch
  • Number of panels the customer needs
  • Fire restrictions (3 feet away from all roof edges)

Other stipulations:

  • Cantilever -- the distance from the rail to the left/right sides of the array. 16" max
  • Overhang--the distance from the rail to the top/bottom of the array. 9"- 16"

Landscape orientation

Fire code restriction is how far from the edge and peak of roof?

  • 9"-16"
  • It depends on the city
  • 3 feet
  • There is no fire code restriction

What determines the overall height and width of the array?

  • The number of panels
  • Panel size
  • Clamp size

Feet can be spaced no more than every _____inches

Feet can be spaced no more than every inches

Which orientation will use the least materials for:

  • Vertically running trusses
  • Horizontally running trusses




  • Damaging shingles is not a big deal because it is inevitable and part of the job.
  • It's okay if lag bolts spin out as long as they look secure.
  • If flashing matches the shingle color it is acceptable to install the flashing on top of shingles.



What is the maximum overhang or cantilever allowed beyond the L foot?

  • 12 inches
  • 14 inches
  • 16 inches
  • there is no maximum requirement, only a minimum one


  • Snap 'n' rack splices must be seated, tightened, and double-checked.

Slapping glass

Slapping glass: Be very careful when staging the glass. Don't stack too many on top of each other and be aware of wind and other conditions that could knock the panels over. When handing the panels up make sure that the person receiving them on the roof is tied off. If it is too windy, you may need to leave the panels in the trailer and move them up one at a time.


When putting on the end clamps, double check that they are tight, seated correctly, and biting the glass. It's a good idea to tug on the panels to test the security of those clamps. 


  • If your array is not straight at first, place gaps between subsequent panels to straighten it out

Mounts and Surfaces

By now, you should be familiar with mounting solar on traditional shingle. This video will provide a brief overview into the other mounts/surfaces that we encounter here at IWS.


An installation of the Snap 'n' Rack tile hook


Match each mount with its roof type. Note: the blanks in between correspond to both mounts

  • standing seam
  • corrugated metal
  • asphalt shingle

Click on a mount that is used on tile roofs


 Ballast, (n.) a heavy substance placed in such a way as to improve stability and control.
On flat roofs we will often utilize ballasted systems to mount the panels. This provides a better angle and secure mount without any leaks; our ballasted systems do not penetrate the roof. 
TRA ballasted system

Panel claw ballasted system



Which ballasted system is the easiest to install?

  • TRA
  • panel claw
  • canopy
  • they are all about the same


  • Ballasted systems penetrate the roof as a backup for extreme winds.
  • TPL squares sit between the ballast and the roof to protect the surface of the roof.


Inverter types




Inverter wall


Main tie-in