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Re: [TowerTalk] When to RETIRE from climbing?

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] When to RETIRE from climbing?
From: Grant Saviers <>
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 13:15:56 -0700
List-post: <">>
I've decide the price-performance-safety-no sweat of rental boom lifts 
(e.g. Genie lift, JLG Lift) are a winner.  Around here 40 footers go for 
about $220 a day plus $50 for the round trip delivery/pickup.  That size 
works for crankups to the top of the mast.  They are available to 105' 
and I've rented  40' to 85' to put beams on towers and antenna 
attachments into trees.  It took a bit of effort as an individual to 
rent above 40' as the rental yards are concerned about their quarter 
million dollar machine and what damage (besides to yourself) can be 
wreaked with one.  I needed to provide a credit application and 
liability insurance binder for the value of the machine payable to them, 
which was very inexpensive (free) from my insurance company as a rider 
on my general liability policy.  Go in person to the rental yard and 
work with them, they want to know who you are for these machines.  
Repeat rentals then become much easier.

The bucket capacities are usually 500 lbs so worker(s) and antenna can 
be carried to the top of the tower and mast.  The lift boom will fit 
between HF yagi elements so antennas can go on/off a mast as needed.   
If there is any question about the soil, make sure you get a 4wd unit.  
These things are heavy with the big counterweights.  I got a 85' 2wd 
stuck and it took a supersized tow truck to get unstuck.  $$$.  He had 
done it many times.

While the 4wd units can climb pretty good grades, all lifts need to be 
nearly level to elevate the boom, so that is a constraint.  There are a 
number of safety circuits in these but ask the delivery driver for a how 
to tutorial.  The machines a placarded for OSHA approved fall arrest 
gear, YMMV.

As always with heavy machines and heights, planning ahead, thinking, 
moving slowly, and good situational awareness are essential for safety.

Grant  KZ1W

On 3/18/2011 12:13 PM, Jack C. Shutt wrote:
> I'm 66 and I don't really mind climbing, but the darned arthritis sometimes 
> puts limits on my agility.  I have an 80' piece of TCC angle tower that was 
> formerly part of a microwave tower.  It is 38" across the face and guyed at 
> two it will hold just about any antennas I want to put on it.  I 
> normally climb up the inside of the tower, which makes it considerably easier 
> and safer.  As far as retiring from climbing....I probably will always want 
> to climb, but might not always be able to do it.  Trouble that I have found, 
> however, is getting someone to do antenna work for me.  There aren't as many 
> young hams around locally who are willing to do it anymore and it is 
> extremely expensive to hire someone to do the work.  My last project involved 
> taking everything off the tower and then installing new stuff.  We utilized a 
> big bucket truck, but it only reached about 72' so the guys had to climb out 
> on the tower anyway.


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