I think you must have gotten a bad batch of tower welds, as I have had
no problems like you describe with any of my Universal sections EXCEPT
for the sections that were felled by tornadoes!
One of those sections had ONE weld broken which I have had repaired by
a local welding shop that knew exactly how to do the job.
The biggest problems with the aluminum towers are:
1. Not checking bolt tightness regularly, which allows the bolt holes
in the legs to elongate through tower flexation.
2. Electrolysis between the bolts and tower sections which causes the
bolts to deteriorate INSIDE the tower legs over time. This can be
prevented/minimized by dipping the bolts in silicone seal BEFORE
insertion through the tower legs during assembly.
I will have 7 of these towers up sometime this year [if I don't run
out of cash paying for concrete and a backhoe!]
Quoting res1q6fs <email@example.com>:
> I have been reading the aluminum tower threads recently and thought
> I would add some data on the aluminum tower I had a number of years
> ago, maybe before some of you were born!. Anyway, in the early 70's,
> I wanted an inexpensive, self supporting tower as I did not want
> guy wires. I settled on the Universal 50 ft. model whose size was
> rated well above my TH3 wind load was going to provide. I had the
> tower for 5 to 6 years and was climbing it one day to service the
> rotator. Well, as I was readjusting my climbing belt, I looked down
> at my feet and saw something that was incredible. The weld joints
> of almost all the welds above 30 feet were starting to crack, some
> were sizeable (a few that I saw had at least a 0.1 inch gap) and
> some were hairline, just starting. Needless to say, I set a worlds
> record for coming down off the tower. I decided to take the tower
> down and replace it. I sold it to a ham that had experience in
> welding aluminum and he was happy to get a cheap tower! I e
> ventually upgraded to a Rohn 25 48 ft. fold over and now 30 years
> later have the UST HDX555, a fine, well built tower, my first crank
> up. Hopefully, they are making the aluminum towers better and I had
> a fluke, but I personally would think twice now before I would use
> one of these for any length of time. Maybe I had a lemon, who knows.
> The tower had plenty of margin for a TH3 and that was all I ever
> had on top of it and it saw no ultra high winds.
> Murphy, Texas
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