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[TowerTalk] to sue or not to sue

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Subject: [TowerTalk] to sue or not to sue
From: <>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 22:48:16 -0400
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Wow, what a bad day.  We've all had those days and fortunately as you said,
no one was injured.  Did you lift the tower and then attempt to attach it to
the base or did you have two legs already attached and try to tilt it up.
I've tilted aluminum towers up using a tow truck connecting the cable about
half way up.  I also took down my 70' Universal tower  last year with a
crane and I attached the crane to the top with a choker sling around each
leg. I then took all of the bolts out of the base and the operator set it
down on the lawn.  It sounds like something became bound or he just pulled
up too hard after you had the base attached.  It would take a lot of
pressure for a choker to cut through the tower, if that's what happened.
I've never been sure who's responsibility it is to connect the sling to the
tower or antenna.

John KK9A

From: "Vic"
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 18:41:32 -0400

Perhaps some of you maybe able to help me on this one -- and some of the
contained within may be useful to others as a lesson of "things to watch out
for" ..

I contracted with a crane company that I've done business with before to set
88 feet of Heights Aluminium tower -- I had the heliax and yagis on all
6 - 1296, on the tower and ready to lift -- there was some discussion before
the lift with the crane operator & I regarding the method of attaching the
sling, the placement of the sling & the position of the truck .. I deferred
the questions of the operator back to him & the company, telling him,
the expert, you do as you think, if you don't know call someone" .. which he
did NEXTEL someone whom I presume to be the supervisor.. then the operator
positioned the truck & boom at about a 30 degree angle to the tower, he
positioned the sling about halfway up the tower & he used a "choker" sling,
attaching the strap around all three legs and then tying a noose like knot..
then attaching the hook and ball -- 

We were within 6 inches of full vertical and inserting the bolts in the base
legs when it looked as though the tower was being pulled at an angle to the
base, the operator went to straighten the boom to position it in line with
structure when the boom jerked about two feet in a right to left motion -- 
sounded like the hydraulics had failed -- the load steadied and as the
moved the tower closer to the upright position and almost vertical the tower
snapped at the sling point, fell and destroyed the top half, all the heliax
antennas -- 

That's history -- I've since been told a "choker" sling is NOT proper to
lift a
tower - two slings are to be used around back legs; the sling should have
positioned about 1/3 from the top of the tower, not near the middle; and the
position of the truck was questionable as the operator did not have full
of the load ..

I've tried to file on my homeowners and after Allstate said it was covered,
called back in less than 3 minutes saying, "sorry we made a mistake" it was
covered .. the crane owner has now told me,  as far as he was concerned ..
approved the lifting of the tower with the rigging and placement of the
therefore we are not responsible.. if you had any concerns, then you should
have been the one to stop the lift.".. he went on to say that statement,
within the contract" -- (statement of terms & conditions on the back of the
time on property sheet) ...

To me that's like saying I would not have had the wreck after you run the
sign if I hadn't been on the road when you hit me -- it's always the
speak" .. no one takes responsibility for anything -- "it's just doing
business" ..

I called a professional tower installer for an estimate of damage if I
to take the owner of the crane company to court and the tower guy had a
attack on the way here -- the lawyer I was going to use now says he has a
conflict of interest as one of his partners has done work in the past for
crane company -- it's almost like a dark comedy -- 

And the crane truck broke the concrete on my driveway on the way out after I
asked, but it was never accomplished, to put down boards to prevent the
breakage -- 

I've lost two years of time & resources for this project and it has amounted
nothing -- I detest doing business in the court system - I have ethics -- 
the questions are this -- do any of you know of any way I can attempt to get
relief from the crane company without the expense of a long drawn out court
battle ?? -- or are there any lawyers who specialize in crane accidents like
this ?? -- or should I just "suck it up" and "get on with it" ??

The only positive thing is, no one was hurt or killed .. and if there is a
time I guess I'll do it the old way - climb --

Cheers de Vic WB4SLM EM82dp


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