As a video production guy, & as a guy who's now paying his bills doing
tower work, I watched the program with several preconceptions. I'll
guess the NATE folks won't be too happy, but as hams--guys with towers in
our own backyards, we should not be too surprised.
I've made a point of meeting, talking with, even hiring some
"professional" tower guys to help me with various projects over the past
two or three years, in various locales. In every instance, they wanted
to know "how" I got in to the business of doing ham radio tower work,
because the rate was better than what they were being paid. In every
instance, none of them knew what a Yagi was, nor how to solder, nor what
HF radio means to us. None of this surprised me. In every instance,
they had far more experience than I do with Heliax, with big hardware on
big towers, & being younger guys, climbed a lot faster. Et cetera...
This mostly means we're comparing apples to oranges if we think what they
do relates to what we do. We can learn things from them, of course
(anytime you encounter guys with that much experience, you should try to
benefit from it). But if you noticed that nearly every single structure
they worked on was unique, you'll quickly realize that's the major
difference--much of what we do is confined to similar towers, using
similar antennas, using similar hardware, the same stuff, over & over.
Much of what we do is not governed by
time--we can work at our own pace, regardless, weather-permitting. Much
of what we do is not driven by an over-arching economic plan---it's only
our hobby, after all. And what we do is not regulated--there's no OSHA
stipulating what equipment we use.
But everything said about safety certainly applies. Everything said
about drinking, child support payments, hollering & who's the boss &
climbing a tower wearing a helmet-mounted camera can be ignored--it's
fluff. It's meant to provide something akin to drama & background to
what's just another blue collar job.
vy 73 de Don K4ZA
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