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telephone poles, concrete and a Gem Quad

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Subject: telephone poles, concrete and a Gem Quad
From: (Steve Vinson)
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 14:46:47 -0800
Pete Soper wrote:
> Hi,
>         I've been letting my fingers do the walking and they're getting
> blisters.  Could somebody point me in the right direction to find a firm
> that would install a telephone pole on my property?

You don't say what size pole ... I have installed up to 35 foot poles by
hand.  The procedure is to dig your hole 10% of height plus 1 foot as an
earlier post suggest should be a minimum.  Dig a sloping trench to the
hole ... slide the pole to the hole and with the help of two others lift
the pole from the top end.  Attach a ladder some where near the top
(keep in mind it will have to touch the ground so you can climb and undo
it later) and walk the pole up.  As it rises it will sink in the hole. 
As it sinks it will be easier and easier to walk up.  You are also lucky
as you can slope the trench down hill and use a vehicle and cable (rated
for the pull - and no one under the pole) and pull it up and into the
hole.  Three people should easily be able to do it by hand.  For larger
poles a line truck with a auger and crane will speed the operation.  Old
line crew members have passed these hints down ... from back when it was
all done by hand.
>         As I understand it a large auger is used to dig the hole. Would
> the truck bringing this auger into play be so heavy as to make me worry
> about a crushed septic field?

If the septic field was installed properly and it is not in wet times it
should not affect your septic field ... HOWEVER if junction boxes or the
septic tant are unknown find them first!!!  They are easily crushed and
hard to get large vehicles out of.  

>         I'm also investigating an HBX tower as an alternative, although
> this seems like overkill (see below). It didn't take the recent sakrete
> discussion to convince me I don't want to try to mix and pour the base
> myself. But how would I get delivered concrete into a hole that is
> 100-150 feet from the truck? This is as close as the truck could get
> without crushing my septic field (and the tire ruts up to that point
> are not something I want to think about).

First of all mixed concrete is the only way to go.  I have poured 28
yards into my tower project (5 yard maximum weight for rural roads in NC
even then truck weighed in at 65,000 pounds.  Figure the number of trips
in and the crane was a 65 ton capacity one and neither sank more that 3"
in my front yard in relatively wet times.  Day after heave rain and I
live in a fairly low wet area.  Call the concrete company they will send
someone out the help.  Remember they go in undeveloped land to pour
footimgs for homes all the time and only rarely get stuck ... that cost
them $$$.  The boom truck and auger are types that the power companies
work on right-of-ways and undeveloped land and they also very rarely get
stuck if an experienced driver is operating.  But the amount that you
must pour will be small you may either elect two trucks (most have a 2
yard minimum or wheel barrow the concrete in (figure 4 to 5 loads per
yard).  Very heavy!!!  Do not let them water the concrete down to flow
it down the hill (anyway yhe cost of the wood to make a sluice will be
more than having a load of top soil brought and smoothed in the slight
ruts left by the trucks.  As for concrete around the poles I still don't
know about that I have no expertice in that field but call your local
utilities engineering office and ask if a conctere base will reduce the
life of the pole.  I too have seen posts buried in dirt out last those
in concrete 2 to 1.  I hope this helps ... the one thing I have found
out about towers you have to fertilize with $$$ to get the tower to
grow.  My $500 (135' commercial) tower hase easily cost 10 times that to
get in to 140 feet in the air.  A little extra money now will provide a
longer enjoyed project when complete.

> It is downhill and I wonder if it
> is possible to run the concrete down a "sluice" to the hole? Would guess
> the grade is 1 foot down for 15 feet forward.
>         Perhaps there is something that could be put on my lot for the
> truck to drive over, moving pieces ahead of the wheels so as to prevent
> crushing or ruts while allowing it to get to the end of the lot.

========================== CAUTION =====================================
Cheap 3/4" plywood might work but if the truck spins to wood will exit
as a high speed propectile.  

If you have some pulp wood companies or independent contractors around
many have boom trucks that will lift the pole and they have wood slats
they use to get thru swampy land.
Good luck and if you need more information feel free to drop me an
                         Steve KD4WIW

> (Yes,  higher up the hill would be better. But married would be better > than 
>  divorced <g>).
>         All I want is a 22 pound Gem Quad tribander up about a wavelength
> on 20 meters. If there's an easier way to do this inexpensively I'm all
> ears (eyes).
> Regards and thanks for all the great info,
> Pete
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