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[TowerTalk] tower setbacks/falling trees

To: towertalk <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] tower setbacks/falling trees
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Sat, 04 Feb 2012 06:53:58 -0800
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VE7RF wrote:
The rules on setbacks  upsets me.  To have a tower  fall full length and 
still remain on  your own property is pretty tough if a ham lived on a 
typ city 50' x 120'  or  similar. Freestanding towers, like 
Trylons  are designed to break at the 40' level..and not at the 
base.They will not  fall full length.   A UST  crank up is the same 
deal, they break 3 x sections up.

Now if a 100' tall tree on my own property, falls  down on my neighbors' 
house, the neighbors'  own house insurance covers the damage.   If the 
neighbor does not have insurance, he is outa
luck. My insurance does NOT cover my neighbors' home.  Same deal with my 

this brings up a couple interesting issues..

You say designed to break at a particular point.  I hadn't seen that in 
any of the drawings I've seen, but then, I wouldn't think they would put 
a dashed line and arrow in a bubble saying >Break here.   But it is an 
interesting concept.

The question would be whether it would fly in a regulatory context. It's 
well known that tall skinny freestanding things tend to break somewhere 
when falling (chimneys, pencil points), but I don't know that it's 
something that can be convincingly "designed in" in a way that will 
cover ALL circumstances.  If the tower is strong enough, it WILL fall in 
one intact piece.  (e.g. 200-300 foot trees fall over without breaking 
in the middle)

The tower vs tree thing is more about "manmade" vs "natural feature".. 
and, I suspect that if you had a big tree with obvious defects in it and 
it fell on someone else's stuff, you'd wind up with liability.  All what 
a "reasonable person" would have done to mitigate the obvious danger.

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