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Head up my a$$ running a telehandler

Discussion in 'Safety Competition' started by tmc_31, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. tmc_31

    tmc_31 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    288
    Occupation:
    Sports Lighting Contractor
    Location:
    Merkel, Tx
    Hey guys, just found this section. Looks like nobody has posted here in a while so let me give it a whirl.

    I was working on a wind farm a couple of months ago back in January. Don’t know what I did wrong, but I wound up on the storm water control team:beatsme. We were putting out waddles when the foreman told me to take a pallet of waddles up to the rock dump (a bluff where we were dumping rock and drilling mud over the cliff) as we needed to set some waddles down in the ravine.

    So the guys are down below waiting for me to scope the pallet of waddles down to them and I am at the top scoping the boom down the hill. The machine has a reach of 29’. At 28’ with the load 5’ off the ground it finds the tipping point. Down go the forks, up goes the back tires:eek:.

    After I get the seat cushion out of my rear, I do what any other self-respecting operator would do, I look around to see whose watching. I look behind me and there is the job superintendent, shaking his head and laughing his butt off. After I get the pressure off the boom and set the back tires back on the ground where they belong, the guys at the bottom of the hill unload about 2/3’s of the waddles and I can bring the rest back up to the top of the hill.

    I must confess that when I did this, I had no idea what a pallet of waddles weighed. I mean it’s a 12”X10’ mesh sock full of wood chips, how much could 33 of them weigh anyway:confused:? Turns out that a full pallet of waddles weighs in at 4500 lbs. At full extension the machine is rated for 1000 lbs

    I consider myself and the guys working around me very lucky. No one was hurt (except my pride), and the machine wasn’t broken. Even the waddles and pallet survived the abrupt decent.

    Lessons learned: know the weight of the load you are handling. If you don’t know, find out. Check the load charts on the machine (they are on the machine aren’t they?) to be sure that the machine has the capacity to put the load where you need it. If the load exceeds the capacity of the machine, get a bigger machine or find another way. What I should have done here is set the pallet on the ground at the top of the hill and sent the waddles down 7 or eight at a time.

    Tim
     
  2. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    6,684
    Location:
    Elsewhen
    Been there, done that, with a juice boom Pettibone crane... one thing I learned quickly to do is to keep any load close to the ground when extending and/or booming down. The higher the angle of the boom on either machine, the quicker things get ugly when you reach the tipping point! Well done on the mostly safe landing though, as you say it could have been much worse!
     
  3. Ronsii

    Ronsii Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    969
    Occupation:
    s/e Heavy equipment operator
    Location:
    Western Washington
    I think given enough time in a telehandler most all of us have done similar things ;) Like lantraxco says keep your load low when booming out and go slow you can usually feel when things are getting close. I have had the rear of a big gradall up 5+feet while setting a vault out 40 feet on an incline in mud... if only we had a camera around... probably just as well there wasn't.
     
  4. tmc_31

    tmc_31 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    288
    Occupation:
    Sports Lighting Contractor
    Location:
    Merkel, Tx
    Thanks guys, I thought I was carrying the load low, it just wasn't low enough:D. Good thing the safety guy wasn't around to see it.

    Tim
     
  5. seohhdny

    seohhdny Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Messages:
    10
    Occupation:
    dept of public works employee
    Location:
    upstate NY
    Glad you had the opportunity to learn a valuable lesson without getting yourself or others injured. Remember those guys on the ground are counting on you to safely operate the equipment so they can make it home that day. I think all operators have a hairy moment and are blessed when things turn out ok. Be safe!
     
  6. tmc_31

    tmc_31 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    288
    Occupation:
    Sports Lighting Contractor
    Location:
    Merkel, Tx
    You are absolutely right!! We as operators bear great responsibility for those working near us. It is a lesson that I will remember always.

    Tim