[TowerTalk] PE services

bigdon@eskimo.com bigdon@eskimo.com
Thu, 05 Feb 1998 18:31:58 -0800

Pete Smith wrote:
> At 10:39 AM 2/5/98 EST, K7LXC@aol.com wrote:
> >In a message dated 98-02-05 07:36:53 EST, n4zr@contesting.com writes:
> >
> >     Actually both. A Professional Engineer puts their license on the line
> >every time they stamp something. They certify that the calculations are
> >correct and that it meets current laws and codes. By using the Rohn data,
> they
> >at least have an excellent starting place for any installation. If they
> had to
> >start from scratch for each installation, it would take more time and be MORE
> >expensive. Four hours of work at $60 and hour for a professional evaluation
> >and approval is cheap. If not cheap, at least reasonable.
> >
> >    Besides verifying the calculations, they're also providing other
> >information like plat layout. Don't forget that the Rohn drawings are only
> >scenario (flat terrain, normal soil, guys out 80%, etc.). If your
> installation
> >varies on any of these factors, everything has to be recalculated.
> >
> >     A PE should also have Errors and Omissions insurance. If they don't,
> >they're like any other contractor who works without insurance. If anything
> >happens, you don't have any recourse so it's tough beans on you and you are
> >fully liable. And yes, it costs money.
> >
> >    IMO, $250.00 for a PE stamp is a pretty small cost in a project that's
> >going to run several thousand dollars or more.
> >
> Steve's right, of course, if it's only $250 and the project is several $K.
> On the other hand, a lot of the local variables can, once the authorities
> get the bit in their teeth, add up to several K$ in soil tests, etc.
> There's nothing at all wrong with paying a reasonable hourly rate for a
> professional's services -- I guess what set me off was the idea that a PE
> (or any other professional) could charge over and over for the same 4-hour
> effort.

There is a lot of discussion here on having drawings reviewed by a PE
prior to getting the permit.  In the grand scheme of things, if the goal
is to make sure your expensive tower installation stays up, it would
make probably more sense to have a PE look at the whole works, before
pouring concrete, and  AFTER IT'S UP, to verify that things like guy
anchor integrity, base-tube drainage, guy/guy-hardware materials used,
ALL the nuts/bolts are in place and properly tightened, guys tensioned. 
If I was a city-planning burocrat, charged with protecting the
unsuspecting public from unsafe hamradio towers, I'd insist you have a
PE do *that*.  When's the last time you ever saw a building inspector
actually climb a tower, or pull out his LOOS gage, or could tell the
high-strength guy cable from the cheap stuff?  Or how well screwed the
screw-in guy anchors were (I'd want that *witnessed*)...

Big Don

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