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[TowerTalk] More on Getting Free Tower

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Subject: [TowerTalk] More on Getting Free Tower
From: (Kurt Andress)
Date: Mon, 8 Jun 1998 21:50:52 -0700
I thought some more about your free tower and felt compelled to offer the
I once managed to get away with 90' of Rohn HW tower. It is half way
between 25G and 45g, made specifically for Motorola. It was an old tower
and was free for the taking. Fortunately, I was younger, and stronger, and
luckier then. If I had the same offer today, I'd decline it!
The very first thing you need to do is to determine the condition of the
tower, guys, anchors, etc.
After you determine that it is safe to climb, you should perform a climbing
inspection to come to grips with the real task at hand.
If the inspection leads you to be convinced that the dismantling can be
performed without excessive hazard (climbing is always hazardous) to the
climber and ground personnel and property, you can proceed with planning
the dismantling.
Otherwise, just walk away and look for another opportunity.
The potential outcome of not making a correct assesment of the tower
condition is serious or fatal injuries to the climber and/or ground
The situation I encountered, 10 years ago, ended up as one of my most
frequently forgotten nightmares.
The condition of the hardware was so corroded that I couldn't controllably
disconnect it. The sort version of the saga is that I ended up with over
250 Lb of antenna on my belt, between myself and the tower, when it all let
loose, pinning me to the tower. Fortunately, we had rigged 2 extra sets of
tower guys and I could still reach the lift line from the ground to get
equipment sent up to me. We rigged an additional lifting line to take the
weight of the antenna, and I was able to hacksaw my way out of the
Day number one got me off the tower with my life, day number two got the
rest on the ground.
Proceed carefully, and remember that not all free tower is free! Better to
scrap a few sections than not be around to enjoy the leftovers!
73, Kurt

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