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Working the National 1300A

Discussion in 'Cranes' started by Natman, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Thing is, even without the front outrigger, with the 1400 pound counterweight I'm told by a guy who runs 5 of the same rigs I still have a full 360 chart. I've never maxxed it out over the front but have worked enough without it down to semi believe him.
     
  2. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    You love them heavy attic trusses too, got them big bottom chords. Did they have to nail a couple together for a girder by the stairwell too? That's the best- especially if its in the far corner.
     
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  3. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Yup, tripled no less.

    Today I get a call, and it seemed wonky enough for me to go get a look see before driving up to the job. Homeowner builder, don't know who he got for the first part, he mentioned something about "big cranes to set the beams". I got done early enough in town to get home and fly out and do some snooping. I've done pole barn picks before, with all the purlins in btween the girder trusses, this would appear to be a bit different from what I could see.
    Looks like all the bottoms are framed out, but not the top, weird. He didn't mention anything about needing a spreader bar, good thing I saw this, now I will bring it with me. Just unloaded it yesterday. 45 minute drive 1 way, 20 minute flight, going in a straight line makes the difference, plane only flies 75-80 mph. Landed a few ridgetops on the way, on the skis now. I really do use the plane a lot for crane work, no fun at all. IMG_20221121_154656720~2.jpg
     
  4. boaterri

    boaterri Well-Known Member

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    Makes it tax deductible...
     
  5. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Yeah, but it's a "red flag" raiser. Next thing ya know, you're filling out paperwork to justify every flight claimed as business, having to keep a separate logbook, etc. I went thru that decades ago, never again! Like trying to get back the road tax I pay for the car gas I burn in the plane, just too much hassle.
     
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  6. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I was just running the outriggers out after an hour drive to the jobsite, and just as I stepped around the front I smelled something, expensive. Then the smoke started pouring out from under the Mack's hood, that really got my attention, figuring the smell and the smoke were related. I jumped in the truck cab and shut the key off, and when the engine kept running my first thought was the wiring was burned up and I had a runaway diesel, though still at idle. Then I remembered I had started it from the op cab, which meant that was where I also had to shut it down (I knew that, guess I got a little excited.)

    That was the worst part, from then on it got nothing but better, once i realized my truck wasn't going to burn to the ground. A broken serpentine belt jammed up and was the cause of the smoke. Plus, it didn't happen on the interstate but parked a secure rural site. I pulled the remnants out best as I could, with the hood only partially open as the boom was still in travel mode, started it back up and real quick ran enough boom out to fully open the hood and shut it down again, no overheating took place, not even close. In a couple minutes it was clear that the alternator, water pump, and idler were all fine, spun freely, but the air conditioning compressor was locked up tight and the cause of the Monday morning snafu. 10 minutes later a new belt and compressor were located, in a town 150 miles away, and since I all of a sudden had nothing better to do the rest of the day, once back in town (the contractor gave me a ride back, as he also had the time....) I jumped in the Prius (I actually can drive it cheaper then fly the plane, besides I had a headwind and would have been making about 70 flying, 85 driving, it's a great parts runner) and by late afternoon was at my mechanic's shop dropping off the parts and man am I glad I took him flying last fall, I'll be back in business by 10 tomorrow. I feel like a sissy everytime I use him but luckily he's so damn good and quick I also always feel like its money well spent, as in it was his advice over the phone that had me check to see what was froze up, not mine. The compressor was "only" $396.00, 110 K total miles seems like a bit early to fail but what do I know.
     
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  7. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    I used to have a bunch of Mack's from the mid '90s, I only 100,000 miles out of each A/C compressor, used to drive me crazy. I should have just replaced them all each March instead of letting them go out at the worst time each summer. You would have thought I was asking the drivers to cut their own throats to tell them to finish the day so the customer wouldn't be left hanging.
     
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  8. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    On the way to a truss set job in a few days that I wanted to eyeball first (steep access road) I saw this on the interstate that runs a few miles away and 1200' lower from my place: 70 mph gusts, at a direct cross wind direction, plus a slick road was the cause. I couldn't have timed it better, the two rotaters were right at the point where the trailer was either going to flop over center, or not, if they were doing it correctly (I watch those TV shows, Heavy Rescue, Highway to Hell, etc., so I'm an expert now). I could not have timed it better, and the moment of tip over was right when the shows usually cut to a commercial, but not watching it for real. Not much stick on those things, and I'm not sure where the line is on a boom truck like mine and a "rotater." Their dual winches on the boom of course is what makes them more appropiate for that work, plus it seems like their operators are not shy about sideloading their booms, I assume they are built for that. IMG_20221222_113617080.jpg
     
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  9. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    They usually 40-75 ton rated, and much heavier boom than the same size crane
     
  10. terex herder

    terex herder Senior Member

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    And when they get done setting the first guy back up, they just move 1/4 mile down the road to the next guy. Must have been quite a wind gust.
     
  11. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Yeah, when I was flying back they were on to the second one. The thing I really would not like about that type of work, would be dealing with the traffic hazards
     
  12. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    I've looked at the wrecker game, I kind of chuckle at their "ratings" because they will rate a rig at what the winches all added together will pull, not what it will lift, and act like they are huge machines.

    I have pulled back every time from the wrecker game, simply because I don't want a 2 am phone call, when I have a crane job the next day. And I'm not real fond of crawling under hooking up and dropping drivelines.

    I've helped with some accident recoveries, and I enjoy the figuring out of how we're going to recover something, but I don't think I want to do it everyday.
     
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  13. f311fr1

    f311fr1 Senior Member

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    My Mack MP8 ate the alternator belt on a job site. Mack dealer did not have a belt but NAPA around the corner did. Put the new belt on and drove it home. The next morning at startup it ate the belt again. Had to go the 2 NAPA stores to get 1 belt, idler, and tensioner. Mack had the fan belt. Put it all on over the weekend and it looks like all is well. Double check your fan belt, it will be next.
     
  14. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Will do!
     
  15. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    This is somewhat of a trend in my rural area, "shouses." Combo of a house and a shop. I think the rancher/farmers have discovered maybe some kind of property tax loophole, where an ag building is way cheaper asessed than a residence, just a guess there and maybe indicative of the way I think ! This one was 120' by 60', out in the high desert and liable to get high winds, so the very experienced builder had me set half the first day, and he sheeted it and a few days later I came back and set the rest. Two days of dead clam weather, we lucked out for this time of year here.

    2x6 top and bottom chord, 4/12 pitch, no spreader bar needed just extra long rigging to fool the trusses into thinking we were using one, that's the theory anyway and I've had good luck with it IMG_20230117_140818349.jpg . I noticed the 2x6 framing was 12" OC, and they had 4 top plates, not the usual two, as it was engineered building I was told, interesting to this old framer.
     
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  16. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Working across the valley from my property, which is centered in the attic truss opening. I'm 1200' above the valley floor, which explains why I don't keep my rig at home but have have a yard in town, and also why I can take off in the plane with quite a bit less then full throttle. That ridge is a bit over 9 K, the Grand Tetons are 80 miles away and visible on a clear day, heady stuff for a Detroit native! This truss was not rigged for setting, we were just moving it off the stack. IMG_20230114_101402895.jpg
     
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  17. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I hadn't billed for this job yet, I was waiting to see if they were going to drag the top trusses doublers up by hand once they sheeted it, or call me again. After texting this pic to the builder, we got up to speed, I'm going back Tuesday, this is where the plane comes in real handy, if I had seen it was all wrapped up I'd just have sent the bill, now I'll wait.
     

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  18. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I got a call to unload two 25 K containers in a town an hours drive away, yesterday I met up with the truckers, one who had already spun out pulling the hill, no terrain features were given on the jobsite, the rest of the area is flat, and it had snowed the night before. We all quickly determined that due to the terrain, the ice and snow, the confined space, and the overhead power lines it wasn't going to happen. The guy who set this all up was in Fort Meyers Florida, where it was 78 and felt like 82 degrees. It was 20 and felt like 18 where we were.

    The homeowners wife handed me the phone to talk to her still in California husband, who started in on me, justifiably so somewhat so I let him vent for a bit. After the third or fourth time he used the phrase "if you don't feel it's safe" I had to correct him. I told him if it just wasn't safe, we'd still carefully try, but it was IMPOSSIBLE, a big difference. That got his attention and he chilled out. Getting the truckers back on the road was, as always, job one, so I suggested we unload at the airport, 3 miles away, knowing as I did there was plenty of room, with flat and leveled plowed asphalt, no one would care, and they'd be secure. So our convoy started out for the short drive, the fog got worse and worse, and that's when I realized I, the convoy leader, had never driven to this strip, just flown into it. The fog was so bad I missed the turnoff, though I was looking in the right area, I couldn't see parked airplanes 150' away, and when we looped back to the highway I realized we (I) had screwed up, so I had to break the news to the truckers, now faced with a hairpin turn on icy banks, on a busy slippery highway with real poor visibility. I had to call a pilot friend who lives in the town to give me nav directions, the fog was by far worse, exactly where the turnoff was.

    Once they were unloaded, I ended up as the hero somewhat for coming up with the airport idea, everybody calmed down, and no one got stuck or hurt. Meanwhile, the guy in Florida was calling and texting me thoughout, he just couldn't IMG_20230125_101043362.jpg understand what the problem was. This pic was after the fog largely lifted, earlier it was so bad I wouldn't have been able to see the crane, just barely the semi hood maybe, so bad it was vetigo inducing.
     
  19. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    25k is a pretty good load for your national. Helps with that turntable right on the rear, to get close.
     
  20. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Indeed, not to make light of it! I only do a few pics that size a year, or else I'd get something bigger. I think my radius was 14'. They told me the crane in California that loaded them, was $300.00 an hour more than me. One was 21 K, one 26, and I should have rigged for a 4 part line instead of 3, for the heavier one, but was told they were both around 21.
     
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