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Working the National 1300A

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

  1. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I spotted this old rig over the 4 th while near the Frank Church Wilderness Area (largest in the lower 48). It had been repaired numerous times, but the welder sure laid down a pretty bead......but eventually it somehow ended up like this, wow! Mining related, it had a drag bucket (dragline not a crane I guess?) nearby, also patches over the patches over the years. The operator cab sure didn't look like anything I'd want to sit in all day, that seat doesn't look very comfortable at all. Looking at the worn steel foot pedals and the polished hand controls, I think this thing had a few hours on it. IMG_20170702_143749453.jpg IMG_20170702_144108653_HDR.jpg

    I got the above HVAC done, and while on the jobsite the aerial view came in real handy, as expected. 3 setups, 95' the furthest.
     
  2. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    At the tail end of a 12 hour work day, not including the 2 hour travel time to get back to the crane shed, I had a rear blowout Saturday. I pulled over and got to check things out, and saw that the remnants of the tire were wrapped around the rear drive axle, and it was a good thing I stopped when I did. Of course......I just engaged the PTO and lifted the rear up a bit and got under there and with the help of a small pry bar I always carry got it cleared up and was outa there, before any Highway Patrol stopped to "help",( this was on I-15), I like law enforcement and feel bad when they needlessly spend time checking me out is all! What worked out perfect was that I was only 1 mile from an exit, and another mile to my tire shop, this after 3 different jobs in the last few days involving 2 hour each way travel times in remote areas. I had this problem comparatively almost in front of my tire shop, though I can drive with one tire missing I don't want to do it very far in super hot weather, I lucked out.
     
  3. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    CRANES AND PLANES: I was lifting the roof of the spud cellar that collapsed this winter, so the carpenters could get the walls underneath, when I accidentally timed this picture just right. We were working right near the Pocatello airport, in the pattern, so the plane was just going about it's business. IMG_20170530_113858437_HDR.jpg
     
  4. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    This rig has been sitting out in the high desert for about 10 years now. It appears the operator planned to make some easy money by picking up these boulders and selling them for landscaping to the gullible. It reminds me of the movie "Mad Max."http://i.imgur.com/dV0JfSt.jpg
     
  5. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Working right close to one of our wind farms in the area, setting girder trusses for the post and beam guys. I whined a bit to the contractor, about me having a minimum charge just for little jobs like this, how they are almost more trouble then they are worth, killed half a day for 40 minutes work, blah blah. I guess I did it just right as he added 40 bucks onto the bill! Man that really made my day.....not the money so but the guys attitude, that he "got it." I flew back the next day and texted him an aerial pic of his jobsite, and he will get service with a smile next time, no more whining.

    I was in a pissy mood because my brand new front tires, were so far out of balance or out of round, or both, that this first freeway drive to get there made me drive 45 mph. Plus the tire shop (first time using them, very well may be last) left the aluminum wheels filthy dirty with some kind of black goo I think is used for lube while mounting them. I can't see any balance weights, they charged me 74 bucks for a spin balance, and it rides like I'm driving on the rumble strip. I hate it when people don't so their jobs right, the dirty wheels told me a lot about the guys attitude (screw it....) IMG_20170728_094142846_HDR.jpg I almost hesitate going back there for a re do, shoulda been done right the first time!
     
  6. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    Yeah, ya gotta take it back though, if it's anything more than a one man show, the owner/manager needs to know what kind of work his employees are putting out.
     
  7. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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  8. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    Most big truck tires never get balanced. They do have a balancer stuff, like little beads, they can put in them if they are terrible out of balance. I think they call it equal. The idea is that the centrifugal force pushes the beads to the outside, leveling out the tires. I've heard both ways, it works and doesn't work, I personally don't use it. I find that better quality tires tend not to have as much balance problems as the cheap chinese stuff that most tire shops like to sell. They're profit margins are better on the cheap tires, so they tend to push those. I don't mind them on drives, but I like a better tire for a steer.

    I'm not sure why you would have been charged for a spin balance.
     
  9. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    It's what was described as an "entry level" tire, cheap in other words. Dayton is the brand, a real American sounding name, so probably Chinese. I didn't want to know at the time, never asked, just went for the pricing, $1242 for both, plus install and "balancing." I've been regretting it since, my fear it IS balanced correct but just crap, and/or out of round also. My backup plan if so, if they can't get it to run right, upgrade, throw some money at it. I want to eyeball it on the spin balancer (the shop liability insurance be damned), I know better to buy the cheapest anything and almost never do, I screwed up here maybe but a good reminder NOT to be too big a tightwad.

    I had the rig home today (that term nicely sidesteps that whole crane/boom truck thing, OK?!) so pressure washed it and sort of detailed it. Everywhere except the front wheels, all the better to make my point when I get into the tire shop. It's a large national chain, not a mom and pop, so I won't feel too bad demanding (in a positive way, "if you care about my future business...") some help.
     
  10. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I got my tire situation squared away, turns out the new fronts WERE out of balance, I was able to stand right over the balance guy (in a non obtrusive way, didn't want to make an enemy but a friend....) and as I got educated as to how the spin balancer machine worked (pretty cool), it was evident they were out, 4 oz.s one and 6 the other. Long story short, during these few days of messing with this, I got educated on Centramatic wheel balancers, and then spent some time on the web reading reviews on them. I now have them on all three axles, figuring a smooth ride and longer tire life life is worth the expense for what seems to be lifetime product, about 180 bucks a set, but come tax time they will be a welcome write off. I like the feeling I've done ALL I can to ensure a proper setup on the wheels/tires, and the resulting smoother ride is paying off already.

    I set a new personal record of some sort, a 2 1/2 hour one way drive for what turned out to be a 45 minute job, 12 trusses! Plus, they wanted me there at 7, so as it was near a part of Idaho I play around in a lot anyway, I left the day before, after that days work, and crane camped. I found a secluded spot just 10 minutes from the job site, and it turns out my usual airplane camping gearing all easily fits in one of my rigging boxes, and I took the plane's folding mountain ebike and went for a great canyon ride late in the day. That is the Lemhi Range, Idaho's highest, in the background. I ended up doing the truss setting for free, (my idea, I made a joke out of it) but charged my full hourly rate for 5 hours of travel, and the builder was happy with that. For my more normal 20 or 30 minutes of travel for a 3 to 8 hour job, I only charge travel one way.

    I just noticed, in the couple hours between the first shot, right after I parked right after a thunder/snow storm up high, by the time I went for a bike ride and set camp up, it had melted off. Winter is coming, I also found a old cabin that i may fly into this winter, when I have the skis on the plane. IMG_20170809_170554225_HDR.jpg IMG_20170809_204500433_HDR~3.jpg
     
    RangerJake72 likes this.
  11. Knepptune

    Knepptune Senior Member

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    Darn natman. Im green with jealousy right now. Thats some beautiful country out there.
     
  12. Tradesman

    Tradesman Senior Member

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    NICE! really nice!
     
  13. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    eclipse 004.jpg I flew back to almost the same area I camped out at last week to watch the eclipse, FULL totality. What a difference though, that deserted dead end dirt road I camped near was almost full of RV's etc.,. I landed just far enough away plus high enough, 8,000' to be secluded, it was a great day to be a pilot, plus I beat the traffic jam of all the out of staters, about 300,000 of them, all gone now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
  14. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Not the picture I wanted IMG_20170821_113058155~2.jpg ....here it is.
     
    RangerJake72 likes this.
  15. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    A nice level place to set up on, with the trusses to the front of me of course....this contractor usually uses a guy with a regular boom truck, who I guess works cheaper then me. This time he used me and it worked out good, he was happy enough to pay me at the completion of the job anyway. IMG_20170815_094152259_HDR.jpg
     
  16. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I did a new lighting system at a local high school the other day, the tapered steel poles slip onto a tapered concrete pier, and are held there by friction only, and gravity I guess. The thing was, if I let down too far, the crew couldn't rotate the pole to it's proper aiming point (set by a sensor in the middle of the field and a laser, this was a totally engineered system and impressively almost idiot proof to install correctly). The system came with a big pole with a winch strap, so it could be sucked up tight to the pole base and a couple guys could reef on it to aim it correctly, unless it was jammed up tight by being too low. We figured this out after the first one, after a scary few minutes of the light fixture being about 90 degrees off where it was supposed to be, and me being unable to pick it back up because it was bound up on the tapered base. At least the nearby parking lot would have lit up real well! Once I got it loose (cable down, boomed up, then cable up, wasn't pulling straight up and couldn't tell from my angle and the "crew" didn't know enough to tell me I was over center) they got it aimed right and then had to hold that postion while I lowered it the last couple feet.

    That's where it got tricky, I couldn't just winch down, unless I wanted to take out the LED light fixtures with the tip of the boom, as we were rigged (by design) below the pole top. So I had to retract, boom down,cable up, and so on, all while not binding up the pole base and keeping the aim right. Despite my repeated pleas to "hey guys lets not all get focused on what's going on at the base, and let my boom tip take out a fixture," that is of course exactly what happened. Several times I and every one else lost track of the boom tip position and I looked up at only the last second and saw I had almost bought a fixture, never did though, one of those jobs where I felt like I had for once really IMG_20170814_084752662_HDR.jpg IMG_20170814_104223419_HDR.jpg earned my pay.
     
  17. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Mountain biking up a 9,000' pass this weekend, I get up there and who do I run into but the head guy of the biggest and best equipped hydraulic repair shop in my state, who was up there spotting elk. I don't recall how we found out we had a mutual interest, but we did, hydraulics. We both had business cards on us, (yeah I carry some even when in a remote area, you just never know) and exchanged info, plus when next in Boise I get a guided tour of their facility. I can't recall the term for it, but the machine tool that unscrews the big threaded cap on a hyd. cylinder? They have the biggest, even bigger then the local CAT facility. While yakking away, the view we had was national park worthy, fun stuff.
     
  18. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    A simple truss setting job, a 2 hr drive away in my favorite part of Idaho, I went for a quick ebike ride after getting down and before heading back. IMG_20170721_111859468.jpg
     
  19. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Using the crane dingy ebike on the way home IMG_20170914_101447677_HDR~2.jpg . It takes about 30 seconds to get it out and ride off at 20+ mph, climbs well also.
     
  20. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK

    They broke ground today locally on a new 100 million dollar data center for the FBI in town, to compliment the already big data center we've had for years. There are only 3 or 4 of these in the U.S., and to work there you have to pass major security checks, the last time the guard was running a mirror under my rig, I made sure to ask him to look for any leaks, he didn't laugh. Also, rumor has it, the NSA is also going build a data center here. They like are Mormon work force and the big natural gas pipeline that runs through town, their back up generators run directly off it I hear. This weekend I will fly over and get some aerial pics to give to the general contractor, my way of getting my foot in the door for work.