I just read:
The time saved and pain avoidance vs
climbing/tramming/hoisting and from retrieving
forgotten tools or dropped nuts was huge for
me and I felt much safer.
and I second that! If you take care to site the tires, and position the
machine base as close to the tower base as possible (within articulation
limits), it is far safer than climbing, especially on some towers like the HBX
series. Another couple advantages of a man-lift:
1) The ability to take a fully-assembled Force 12 C4XL down by merely raising
the bucket until it was a couple of inches under the CG of the beam, then
releasing the mast clamps and just sitting it on the lift basket. A couple of
nuts and a coax, and you merely swing the beam away, and down to the ground.
No muss, no fuss.
2) Use of the hydraulics of the basket to help separate tower sections. To
take a tower down, I take the bolts out of the top section, then chain the
basket to the section just above the section CG. If a gentle upward pressure
using the bucket controls won't convince the sections to separate, then light
maintained pressure while vibrating the joint will. Once it is separated, the
section stays chained to the basket and is easy to lower to the ground.
Rinse, lather, repeat. Of course, maximum load for combined
operator+tools+tower section must be observed, but the lifts I have used are
all 300lbs capacity or more, so it is not a problem for me (yet!). I
disassembled a 60ft HBX down to the ground in less than 2 hours this way.
Strain and stress (and gravity, of course) on the person is the biggest risk in
tower work, and the lift takes almost all of this, allowing maximum
concentration while working which maximizes safety. I have used lifts for
years and feel comfortable with the capability and controls at height, if
someone is not then the advantage of a lift is understandably less.
Just my $0.02 worth
Howie - WA4PSC
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