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Tripods

Discussion in 'Lasers' started by Randy88, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    What kind and brand of tripods do you guys use, I've gone through several over the years and can't say I liked any of them. The one I have now is a fiberglass and I absolutely hate it, the poles that make up the legs are now cracking where it mounts to the top, I've replaced a lot of the parts already and it never ends, yesterday we had issues and I just set the laser on the bed of my pickup to finish up before dark.

    I need an adjustable tripod and that height adjustment from four to eight feet would be nice, but I'm finding out those are few and far between, I've tried that whole theory of just have two tripods one short and one tall and use whichever one I need, but that never works, seems the one I need is always on another jobsite, in anther vehicle I don't have with me, or is too far away to go get for just a few short shots to take.

    I know I'm hard on tripods, the one I have now is too large to fit in the cab of the truck, so it ends up being put in the back and as most know how that goes, it won't fit in my Polaris ranger hardly at all, and is hung over the side sticking out and gets banged around too much and etc, etc.

    I've tried a few aluminums over the years, most had parts on them that would vibrate off and my last aluminum tripod I liked, the parts were no longer made and we junked it.

    I've thought about wood tripods, but can't find one that has enough adjustment for my needs in one tripod. Anyone use wood tripods? Good, bad or what?

    The lever cam adjustment's seem to always not work or hold, or it starts to rain or snow and they slip and don't stay put, have had better luck with the screw adjuster holds, not sure of the official name for them, but they seem to work better than the cam lock versions.

    So does everyone have a dozen tripods they use, or just keep buying a new one every year or two and toss the old one away?

    Next is, how do you transport it? Been thinking about mounting a large pvc pipe along the truck bed and slide it in and screw a pvc cap on to keep from someone tossing "stuff" onto it all the time as it lays in the back of the truck??

    I've thought about making one myself, but they end up being too heavy to move all the time it seems, unless someone had a great design I've missed and not thought of??
     
  2. Brad SEIN

    Brad SEIN Active Member

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    I have pretty much went to considering tripods consumables. We have went to the new aluminum ones as they are lighter and seem to last longer than the wood or fiberglass. I do have an old 6' aluminum that I've had for 20 years but all it does anymore is sit as my base on tiling jobs. It's really heavy and nobody likes using it so it stays set up for several days at time.
     
  3. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    Consumable's, I can't say I can argue with you on that one, the only thought that crossed my mind when I read it was, do you buy a new one every time you go to use it and set it up? LOL.

    Is there any aluminum you've had that you liked better than the rest? Is there such a thing as good brand to buy?

    I've seen a few homemade units but they are far too heavy and bulky to move much, even seen a few that are towed on wheels to the jobsite.

    I know of a few guys that have a homemade rod built into the side of the truck that has a flat plate mounted on it to set the laser on, but there are a lot of times I can't get the truck to where the laser needs to be, due to mud while tiling.
     
  4. Brad SEIN

    Brad SEIN Active Member

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    Yeah, consumable like teeth. Guess it does sound funny when you read it. As far as brand I will have to look. We have been using a mid priced aluminum the dealer carries.
    I use GPS for tiling so lucky to not rely on them for that(other than outlets). I do have a mount on a headache rack on one of trucks that has come in handy many times. It's just a 5/8 bolt welded to a piece of flat steel on the rack. Use it for GPS Rover also.

    Are you normally using a taller tripod? Using one with built in height adjustment(other than legs)? Do you gett the flyers from survey Supply houses ? Seems like there's at least 25 version of tripods in most of those. I can try to find flyers at the office to get you Web sites.
     
  5. CM1995

    CM1995 Administrator

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    I've got an aluminum tripod that's my favorite, bought it 22 years ago and it still performs. At the moment I can't recall the brand and it's in my foreman's truck. Can't recall the brand but I haven't been able to find another one. Tomorrow if I remember I'll snap a pic.

    Went through a couple of cheap aluminum tripods like the ones that come in the laser kits. They're cheap and flimsy with straps and plastic clips to hold them together - they don't last long on the job.
     
  6. auen1

    auen1 Well-Known Member

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  7. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    I have a Berger that's about 10 yrs old, and a newer CST-Berger that is about 5. The older one currently needs a new wrap-strap due to the plastic buckle breaking, but aside from some slight maintenance on the locks, it's still pretty much as good as it was new. I have had to tighten the locknuts slightly a few times, and even had to regrind the cam on one lock. I use the hell out my tripods, sometimes moving them a dozen times per day. Other than the possibility that yours are getting beat to hell due to belligerent employees, I have a hard time believing you're wearing them out. I also have one of these. ********* http://www.engineersupply.com/seco-heavy-duty-extra-tall-fiberglass-elevator-tripod-5321-17-org.aspx *********** Only problem with this one is if you try and crank it up more than a couple feet, it gets too wishy-washy for the laser to stay level if the wind is anything above a calm morning, and I had to replace ALL the nuts on the connecting bolts with locknuts. Other than that, it is perfect for getting the laser up 8-10' in no time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  8. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    Brad, we've been using a fiberglass tripod for the last few years, the legs are tied together and that mechanism is a joke to say the least, the supports are fiberglass and they crack where they are attached to the top.

    Yes we are using a tall tripod, think mine goes to almost 13 feet and has the screw height adjustment in the center, all my tripods have this feature, but I'd rather have one that just adjusted via the legs, the screw adjusting ones are not sturdy enough with any amount of wind and my heavy laser on top of it.

    I'm thinking the one we have now was the only one we could get the day we needed one, its basically too tall collapsed all the way on some day's but I've never had a need for anything taller.

    No I'm not on anyone's mailing list that sells tripods.

    CM, any photo's you can put on would be great.

    I've been surfing the internet and not found anything that fits my needs for now.

    Have always thought about building one, having three sets of extensions for the legs in order to get both the lower and taller heights I'm needing on the different jobs we do. Just have never taken the time to get it done, and not sure it would be light enough to drag around everywhere I go.

    I'll agree with the cheap one's, not worth taking home even if they are free.
     
  9. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    Shimmy, that's the fiberglass tripod I've got, the top of the legs crack out where the bolts attach, the slider mechanism that holds the legs together on mine is completely worn out from putting up and taking down, in the fall when it gets cold out and we're tiling, those cam lever tensioner keeps slipping, if you tighten them up enough to hold my laser, it cracks the center slider. The adjuster in the center is a joke and is too flimsy in any kind of wind if you put it up at all, after enough use, sitting and not using the center adjuster, wind will wobble the laser and there is no cure for that I've found so far besides trying to keep the tripod out of the wind. The holes at the top where the legs attach, egg out over time and just sitting with no laser on, the tripod wobbles and to me, its the worst tripod I've ever had the misfortune to own.
     
    Shimmy1 likes this.
  10. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    Yeah, I guess I haven't used it long enough or hard enough to have all those problems, but I agree it's definitely not designed to be used and moved several times per day. I was kind of in the same situation you were when I got it. Was still using laser for scraping, and had a customer with pretty much flat land, no hills to set the laser on. Paid almost $500 for it 6 years ago, since that fall I think I've used it maybe a dozen times. It's invaluable when you need it, that's why I've been careful and it's still usable, but if I had guys throwing it around it would be dead in a week.
     
  11. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    IMGA0181.jpg Lets see if this photo comes through
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
  12. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    another photo IMGA0180.jpg
     
    bill fold likes this.
  13. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    I got tired of all the tripods I've bought and threw most of them away, had a few rainy days to work on something else instead, so I built one, this photo was taken before it was completely done, but since its been doing nothing but rain out, I wanted some paint on it before I used it....................so I used up a partial can of spray paint that was laying around, turned out to be pink for breast cancer awareness, which is fine with me, makes it more visible in the field.

    So far in on a very windy day, almost 35 mph it kept my heavy laser up and working just fine.

    It still needs some more tweaking to get it the way I want, but I'm happy with it for now, far better than anything I've seen or bought in the past, might be on the heavy side for weight, but at least it stays put in the wind.

    Just wanted to give an update as to what I finally ended up doing.
     
    Shimmy1 likes this.
  14. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    Looks like you could use it as a jackstand in a pinch. Nice work.