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Re: [TowerTalk] Guying a self-supporter

To: towertalk <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Guying a self-supporter
From: Steve Maki <>
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 2008 19:55:28 -0500
List-post: <">>

OTOH, some things are just...obvious. Otherwise we would feel compelled
to pay for new engineering every time we added a dipole to our tower,
because the manufacturer didn't specifically say that it's OK.

I've got no problem with your general stance. It's just that in this 
particular case (guying self support towers), there is no evidence or 
math to support the assertion (that there is serious risk of weakening 
the structure), and in fact, there is plenty of evidence to support the 
opposite. Numbers have been run here, and simple thought experiments can 

Keep in mind that peak loading on a tower happens in strong winds. The
leg forces on a self supporter in strong winds dwarf the straight
downward force caused by guy wires.

Basically the idea is that the narrower the face width at the bottom of 
the tower (as a ratio of height/base width), the more benefit to guys. 
As the tower gets very wide at the bottom, you reach a point where guys 
have no benefit.

Steve K8LX

Richards wrote:
> As a lawyer in a former life ... who has actually represented product
> manufacturers, and who has also sued tower manufacturers and won... I
> KNOW there is more to it than just avoiding legal claims.
> This is a dangerous and uninformed statement.  Tower manufacturers do
> things for good reason.  They lose in court only for good reason... 
> the tower is dangerous - inherently dangerous - and  the
> manufacturers act TO PROTECT US from injury and property damage ..
> which is the best way they protect themselves from claims by US.
> Avoiding injury and loss to one's customer is always a good idea.
> But the danger is in thinking we know more than the manufacturer and
> its engineers, by substituting a different part or a different
> method, and it now becomes YOUR FAULT you are injured or your
> property is damaged, because you became the engineer.
> The last case I worked like this we won a Million Dollar Judgment 
> against the tower manufacturer for faulty design, but the Jury also 
> found the ham operator to be 90% himself at fault and causing for his
> loss, and in a comparative negligence state like mine, that means he
> only gets 10% of the original award against the mfr.
> Now I do not want to engage in a long debate over whether legal 
> claims  are valid or not.   I let the Jury decide that.  If it is
> really frivolous, then the Jury generally returns a Judgment of No
> Cause of Action and we lose - regardless of how many examples of
> stupid lawsuits you might see on 60-Minutes Sunday afternoon.
> It is foolhardy and silly to believe manufacturers do things just to
> avoid law suits - and ignorant to believe manufacturer engineers do
> things without good safety or engineering reasons.  They lose law
> suits because they are good claims.  The legal department is in
> constant contact with the engineering and marketing guys, and they
> work together, but you can be assured they are doing what they do for
>  good reasons.  If they avoid law suits, it is because they acted to 
> preclude injuries and property loss.  They write the specifications
> for both their, and our, protection.
> I will closely follow all mfr instructions and specifications.
> Otherwise, I become the engineer.   How can that be a good idea?
> What do I know that makes my engineering design or spec superior to
> the design that comes from the manufacturer.   Why would I think I am
>  smarter than the engineer who does this for a living, and works with
>  his legal staff to stay out of court.
> Are we really so sure of ourselves that we think we know more than 
> the tower company?
> It was exactly that sort of attitude that cost my client 90% of his
> claim. AND IT WAS A GOOD DECISION by the Jury.   My partner on the
> case and I were disappointed, for sure, as we gambled on the case
> with the client... but honestly, it was a good, solid judgment.   The
> guy was, at least in part, responsible for causing his own injuries.
> And before you claim I am just an ambulance chaser, most of my career
> was spent advising companies on how to avoid liability suits, and not
> bringing them - I did these with a friend who wanted some help on
> these cases from someone who know the mfr's position.
> But, that's just MY take....   you are free to select your own
> poison...
> Happy trails     =====  K8JHR  =====


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