[TowerTalk] Action against US Tower?

Dick Green WC1M wc1m at msn.com
Tue Jun 6 11:33:57 EDT 2006

When I first bought my 72' crankup in 1997, someone at U.S. Tower fed me
that line about legal liability being the reason they don't have
documentation. Later, when speaking with the president, Bruce, on a
different problem, I asked about instructions for replacing the cables. He
told me he had an army of engineers and lawyers working on a comprehensive
use and installation manual for my tower. He said it was going to have
multicolor diagrams showing the cable routing. Never materialized. I don't
know if he out-and-out lied to me or if the lawyers killed the project.

Another thing they do to avoid liability is say that the tower must be
installed by a professional. They used to have a loose network of installers
who knew how to install and maintain the tower. Don't know if they still do.
If you install it yourself and claim injury or damage occurred due to lack
of documentation, they would probably point to disclaimers saying the tower
is designed to be installed only by professionals.

I can sympathize with wanting to limit their liability on installation
issues where injury or damage may occur, but there are other categories
where instructions would be very helpful and there's virtually no risk of
damage or injury. One is the bottom rotation of the tubular towers. I spent
hours trying to figure out why mine was binding. It turned out to be a
simple but understandable installation mistake. A sketch of the rotor
connection to the tower would have prevented a lot of frustration.

While my 72' rotating motorized tubular tower has performed almost
flawlessly for almost 9 years (there's a stupid design flaw in the pull-down
cable system that prevents a perfect score), I would not buy another U.S.
Tower product unless they provided installation documentation.

As for cable life, it's highly dependent on the environment in which the
tower has been installed. From the stories told on this reflector,
installations near salt water expose the cable to a lot of corrosion and the
cable will have to be replaced frequently. There are anecdotes about cables
lasting 30 years in other environments. Frequent and careful inspection of
the cable is warranted in all environments.

73, Dick WC1M 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: JC Smith [mailto:jc-smith at comcast.net] 
> Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 11:37 PM
> To: 'Rick Tavan N6XI'; towertalk at contesting.com
> Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Action against US Tower?
> I think they are sort of dammed if they do and dammed if they 
> don't.  That's the nature of our civil court system these 
> days.  I wouldn't want to be a crank-up tower manufacturer, 
> especially in CA.
> I agree with the fellow who said "if the cable aint broke, 
> don't fix it."  I have a 20+ year-old UST with the original 
> cable and it still goes up and down just fine.  The cable is 
> discolored, but not rusty and all the strands are intact.
> 73 - JC, k0hps at amsat.org
> -----Original Message-----
> From: towertalk-bounces at contesting.com
> [mailto:towertalk-bounces at contesting.com]On Behalf Of Rick Tavan N6XI
> Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 5:50 PM
> To: towertalk at contesting.com
> Subject: [TowerTalk] Action against US Tower?
> Has anyone considered taking legal action to force US Tower 
> to document their products?  Their attitude on documentation 
> is despicable. Actually, I think they are shooting themselves 
> in the foot. They should incur greater liability by refusing 
> to document the products than they would if they published 
> decent documentation full of prudent warnings. They actively 
> sell this stuff to us, so they have to expect us to install 
> it, use it, maintain it and try to repair it. I feel sorry 
> for whoever turns out to be the first fatal victim of 
> withheld documentation. The resulting lawsuit may break the 
> logjam but it could also break UST.
> /Rick N6XI
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