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Working the National 1300A

Discussion in 'Cranes' started by Natman, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. dirty4fun

    dirty4fun Senior Member

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    Well add them up 6.7 on the road and 5 in town so that makes 11.7 MPG my cousin used to say that was how he figured the mileage on his Catty. Makes you feel better, and makes lots of people scratch their head wondering if you are real!
     
    CM1995 likes this.
  2. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    A shed move, 14' wide and 20' long, weighed 3200 pounds and I had a tight setup, with one out rigger in all the way but the truck angled to compensate. We (the customer is in construction and a sharp kid) were kicking around various ways to rig it, when I noticed it had a metal roof. So he pulled the tin off before I got there, and we rigged to a 2x8 lagged to the studs about 8" down from the top plate, and the rest of the (fully sheeted, under the siding) building went along for the ride. I couldn't set it where it went, due to that short rigged outrigger, but got it there after one move, fun job. IMG_20210506_134754052_HDR.jpg
     
  3. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I got a call Saturday at lunchtime, a cell tower installer had his own crane issues and needed to scare up another quick. Working Sunday morning was discussed, at a town about 75 miles away. But we bagged it after kicking around my 30 ton's load chart versus his 60 ton's, he felt I might be marginal for reaching the already assembled sections. No biggie, I kinda planned on going flying this morning anyway.

    So I'm cruising along the Star Valley in Wyoming (a 40 minute breakfast flight I've been making for 30 some years) after a breakfast stop in Afton, and a boom catches my eye. I circle and take a picture or two and continue on. As the town the guy had mentioned the day before was no where near this jobsite, I assumed the crane in this pic was a local Star Valley guy I know, so I sent him the pic. He texted me it wasn't him, but some out of towner who just a day earlier was looking for help as his rig had broke down. So than I texted the pic to the guy who called earlier, asking if it was him, though 85 miles away from the job we talked about, and he said yeah it was! Today's job was where it was, the next day in the town we discussed, it was a heck of a coincidence I just happened to be flying over this job. I told him I would have gotten closer but didn't want to scare the tower monkeys, as my experience has been they scare real easy on the cell tower jobs I've done. And I made sure he knew that was a joke, those guys don't scare easy at all. IMG_20210516_092802965_HDR~2.jpg
     
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  4. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Now this LOOKS wild, but wasn't, I just had some tight quarters and with the wind we had I had good reason not get the 3800 pound pool any higher than needed to clear the roof. The wind angle was not the best for the guys (3 of them, on 3 lines) on the tag line also. The pool was level, though it looks like it's hanging crooked. I couldn't swing the other direction, away from the house, as that side was compromised by the slope and some fresh fill and I sure didn't trust it. No one in the home, I checked. IMG_20210519_174800070_HDR.jpg IMG_20210519_170147161.jpg
     
  5. mwelding

    mwelding Member

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    How do you rig to the chains in the pool 5/16” shackles?
     
  6. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    We use the largest size shackle that will fit the chain that comes glassed into the pool, which is too small to work with my 2" slings, than the larger 7/16 shackle, with it's bolt going thru the smaller shackle, ups the size just right to work with the 2" slings. I've done about 15 of these pools in the last 3 years, plus a lot of loading them onto trailers etc., and no surprises yet. A good crew, and the same ones every time, helps it go pretty quick also.
     
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  7. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I dodged a (hydraulic) bullet today; leaving at 6, driving 2 hrs., and after working 4 hours then another 2 hours to get back to town to lift a deck roof on the back of a house I'd set trusses on a few days before. Then right before my third job of the day, another 1 hr drive, one way, away, while hooking up my ball to the front bumper sling, I notice the ground was wet......Turns out I had rubbed through (road vibration, 110,000 miles, with original lousy routing of the hoses) one of the lines to my rarely used/needed front stabilizer. It could have happened on setup on my 2 hr drive in the morning, (making the drive a total waste of time and diesel) or before the porch job, but it happened at what was the most convenient time, and only 5 minutes from my crane yard. Once the PTO was disengaged, the leak stopped of course, and I was able to pull the lines and make it to the local hydraulic hose shop 5 minutes before closing, and the guys stayed 10 minutes late to get me back on my way. I got every green light across town, there and back. I will make my 7:00 job tomorrow morning as scheduled, then my pushed back grain mill job later, pretty good day for a Monday.

    I failed to note which line went where to the front stab, and though only one line had a hole, I am replacing both, and I have a 50/50 chance of getting it right. My guess is no harm will be done if I get it wrong, that right?
     
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  8. skyking1

    skyking1 Senior Member

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    just operate it briefly and go check.
     
  9. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Got it right, so I still won't know what happens when hooked up backwards, next time.
     
  10. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    It should just go the opposite direction. There's only two hoses, and its coil operated with a directional. So the flow just goes each way depending on retract or extend.
     
  11. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I wised up after this first pick at a local grain mill, pulling misc. out of a smallish hole, and rigged a longer sling to keep the headache ball clear of the steel beam sticking out that was complicating things. IMG_20210609_110846671.jpg
     
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  12. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Working for the FAA, on a VOR navigation site in Pocatello. The crew said they rigged the tapered covers IMG_20210617_103211545_HDR.jpg like this all the time, so I just supplied them with what they needed and let them do it, and be responsible for it. Also a 30 K container, that I'm told will weight 17K when I load it back on the trailer
     
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  13. skyking1

    skyking1 Senior Member

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    very cool setting the witch's hat on a VOR!!
     
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  14. Sberry

    Sberry Senior Member

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    I set up a rental crane. I was surprised how many didnt have rigging and even advised not to have it,,,, bullshit. Having it all got it a lot of work. I even had a torch on the truck.
     
    DMiller likes this.
  15. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I just completed the 4 day course to get my NCCCO card, (hopefully, results not in yet). It was much more work then I had ever imagined, I have not studied like that since.....maybe never! Not for my pilot's license, not in high school. I got up at 3 AM 3 days in a row to study, and the days were 8-10 hours long in the classroom, then home and more studying.

    The last day practical test, using a Grove RT which I have never operated, and which had some controls in the "wrong" position was easy in comparison. I was taking the test with others who also had many years experience as operators, and we all agreed, it was much tougher then we imagined. I have not concentrated so hard ever, not even while making remote area mountain top off airport landings, but I think it paid off as I only tipped one tennis ball off the pipe, and that just barely, non of the stands got moved, or the barrels. Or crushed. One ball got tipped out of the pipe stand a bit, wobbled, and then dropped back into place, and I about had a heart attack. But....I did at least as well as the test crane's long time operator, and definitely passed the operator/practical portion, the written test results take up to three weeks to get back I'm told. The picture shows the pipe stands before the tennis balls were put on them, whoever came up with the ball on top the pipe idea is a sadistic SOB but it was an excellent test for highlighting smooth operation. All I can say, for anyone thinking that because they have years of practical experience and the course will be a breeze, guess again. I'm talking mostly about the book learning part, but also the practical test.

    IMG_20210811_115745162_HDR.jpg
     
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  16. skyking1

    skyking1 Senior Member

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    congrats!
     
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  17. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Got an emergency call for transporting a broke down tracked skid steer, 14 K with the flail mower attachment. After the first 10 minutes of working with it's owner to get the right adjustment on the front rigging (using grade 100 chain rigging, shackles, and a sling) when we finally lifted it it looked real pretty. I told him if he had another one to lift we could now do it a lot quicker, but he only had the one. But the first thing I had told him when I got there was I was charging him my minimum no matter what, so no need to hurry, let's do it it right, as long as it didn't take over 2 hours, it took 45 minutes including setup etc.

    That reminds me, I had to call a heavy wrecker the other day, I was stuck in a high school's lawn, where for some reason it was 10 times softer then all the other lawn I had been driving on the previous 2 days, even though it was a high spot, real surprising. By the time he got there, I had already rigged an old (unused for my regular rigging) 4 ply 3" strap around my rear axle, trying to save him some time. He took one look at it and said "that ain't gonna work", asked what kind of axles I had, I told him they had wheels on the ends, that was all I knew. He looked and said "walking beam types, don't want to pull on that rear one". Then he went to a fair of trouble to rig two of his slings up on the frame (I don't have rear pull points I'd trust), and while he was doing this I thought to myself, he was just making more work so he could charge more. He got it out, and the bill was the previously quoted min charge, which just happened to be exactly what my min charge is dollar wise. I decided he knew more about heavy vehicle recovery then I did, and appreciated his expertise enough to give the company a glowing review on their web page. But I still wonder: anything about walking beam type axles that would preclude using the rear one to pull out a stuck vehicle? IMG_20210803_172427471.jpg
     
  18. skyking1

    skyking1 Senior Member

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    It is breathtakingly easy to break a rig as heavy as yours, towing it out. As a big equipment operator we did everything we could to keep from hooking onto a stuck truck. Sure a D7 can pull a lot, but hooked to the wrong place I can tear it up bad. I imagine the mechanics of how the walking beam works is the downfall there. Glad you got a good guy to help.
     
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  19. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    A 3 hour drive, one way, to pick 5 logs, but coincidentally enough I had another totally unrelated job 3 miles away, for a fellow pilot on a large hangar home combo, setting a few glue lam beams made into trusses. both customers were happy as I split my travel time half and half.

    IMG_20210818_102546119_HDR.jpg
     
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  20. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    A 3 hour drive to pick 5 logs, but coincidentally enough I had another totally unrelated job 3 miles away, for a fellow pilot on a large hangar home combo, setting a few glu lam beams made into trusses. both customers were happy as I split my travel time half and half.

    A few days earlier, due to a breakdown in communications, I flew into this pole barn job to confirm when they needed me, saving me showing up at the week earlier appointed time, and only then finding out THEY WEREN'T READY! That would of course really teed me off, and I was still teed off that the out of town contractor had dropped the b
     
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