My feeling has always been that it's better to order premixed cement than to
hassle with bags, water and mixers, especially if you need a lot of cement.
Yes, it's more expensive, but you get professionals mixing the slump
required by the engineering specs and you don't have to break your back or
get into the horror-show described below. If you need less than the minimum
load size, you may be able to arrange with the contract company for a truck
to stop by your place with the leftovers from another job.
In some cases you can't get a truck to the tower site. Concerete pumps can
be used, but they're expensive and can leave quite a bit of yard damage in
their wake. For my last tower project, I had the excavator operator fill a
wide bucket from the truck and haul loads to the holes. We had to stick some
2x4 pieces in the bucket seams to prevent cement from leaking out, but
otherwise it was straightforward. It took half an hour or so to fill all the
holes. Money well spent.
73, Dick WC1M
From: Dale M. Schwartz [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, January 07, 2011 2:30 PM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Tower Problems
Unfortunately, I can top most of these horror stories. For 25 years I've
been a volunteer lawyer for the ARRL and am supposed to be knowledgeable
about towers and zoning stuff. We have helped numerous hams with tower
legal problems. After being off the air for 8 years, I finally bought a 55'
motorized, tilt-over tower from a ham who was moving to a condo in Florida.
I had my guys dig a 5' deep hole, installed the mounting bolts, rebar cage,
and filled it full of 48 bags of concrete which we had to mix ourselves in a
rented concrete mixer. Started the concrete at 4 pm. At 8:30 pm we ran out
of sacks of concrete mix and the hole was only 1/2 full! We rushed to the
store and got there just as Home Depot was closing. Had to beg them to sell
us 45 more bags of the stuff. Got it just in time. We didn't finish pouring
the concrete until 1 a.m.
Three weeks later (I had been out of town) we erected the tower.
Then my next door neighbor pointed out to me that I had violated the
side-line restrictions on erecting towers, and if the tower ever fell over,
it would hit his house. He was absolutely correct. Rather than fight him
and city hall, we dug a new hole and started all over further back in the
yard. Now all is well. But of all people, I should have known better!
Abraham Lincoln said: "He who represents himself in legal matters
has a fool for a client." He was so right <g>.
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