I have had much luck with using the following technique to get more than
half the length of the gin pole above the pick point.
By weighting the bottom end of the gin pole you can pick from lower than the
middle and will not have the top be top heavy per se, granted this makes the
heavy mast even heavier but it offers you additional control.
I have taped a sledge hammer onto the bottom of the mast amongst other
heavy/dense materials on hand at the time.
Even more important I have found is a temporary rope tie at the top of the
mast. Once the pipe is oriented vertically, take a short length of rope and
tie it around the top end of the pipe along with the lifting rope. When you
get the top of the mast even with your top plate you can untie this loop
since it is about to travel out of your reach.
This will aide in keeping the pipe vertical for all but the last few feet of
the trip...by now you are steering the mast for that critical moment of
insertion. Without doubt this is the toughest thing to do on a tower in my
opinion. Your inability to be anywhere but below an ideal work height
forces you to be working with your arms over your shoulders and muscling the
pipe in place.
A point of caution, stay in control of the pipe as it descends through the
top bearing...it is easy for the mast to go at an angle - I have seen
instances where the pipe can hit the cross brace on the way in - this is a
royal pain to fix...keep it going in vertically as best you can for as long
as you can - suddenly you will hit that sweet spot where you find yourself
breathing again and you find yourself questioning whether or not you soiled
b b b DI...that's all folks!
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