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Working the National 1300A

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

  1. Natman

    Natman Well-Known Member

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    Some tight quarters working at another grain elevator. It took a combination of me lifting and them using a comalong to pull this pipe out of the silo, we'd pull a few feet and then re-rig. A good crew, it went well.

    A few days later I was back, looking to lift the man basket out while a larger crane did the lift on a bad auger over this pile of grain. I was short, by a fair bit, and couldn't figure it out as I been asked to look at it a few days earlier and I eyeballed it as doable. Then I realized, the pile had grown a fair bit since I had last looked, they were hauling more in as fast as they can, may bad I guess. I had already done several thousand dollars of work at this facility, so I didn't feel too bad for telling them "no charge, sorry I couldn't do it," though I did point out the grain pile had gotten a lot bigger! IMG_20170804_111505191_HDR.jpg IMG_20170807_082216789_HDR.jpg
     
  2. Natman

    Natman Well-Known Member

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    Yet another job near the largest mountain range in Idaho, and another 2 hour one drive to get there. On these bonus room trusses, if there's no wind and I can see, I use my little spreader bar and 2 J hooks to pick them. They don't have a spring loaded latch gate, and if I continue to winch down another 8" ( the depth of the J hook) after I set it on the top plate, I will lose the truss, but "as a qualified rigger, I deem it to be a lesser hazard then having a carpenter crawl out on the unbraced truss." That's my interpretation anyway of the OSHA regs. I can self unrig in other words, and have never lost one in the last 10 years or so since I've been using it. Wind or can't see, it stays o IMG_20170629_092327930_HDR.jpg n the truck bed. Also, another job where I got done and then went mountain biking nearby, so close that once I reached the trail summit I could look down and what do you know, I could still see the jobsite.
     
  3. Natman

    Natman Well-Known Member

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    I got a call for the man basket, lifting a "lighting technician" up to "service" the bulbs that light the big Union Pacific switch yard, which of course runs 24/7. This tech was flying in from the mid west, as this was specialized work. We first had to get a look out UP employee that baby sat us while we were in the yard, and that was a good thing as while we were working out of no where (not actually, but it was spooky how quick these rail cars could appear and make almost zero noise) would come a loaded freight car going 10 or 15 mph. Just the car, this yard is where they make up trains, and the switch engine will give the car a push from maybe 1/4 mile away, and then it coasts until it smashes into the the car it's intended to connect with. This loud bang is not what you want to hear when you have a guy in a basket up 100', but I got used to it.

    Turns out, the skilled and trained tech, only took about 2 minutes to service the 4 lights on each tower. Near as I can tell his task consisted of turning the old light counter clockwise until it was free, and then inserting a new one (the old one was still good, but nearing it's pre engineered lifespan) and turning it clockwise. I can see why they had to fly a guy in for this work, no one around here could handle it, talk about a specialized job description!

    All rails were active, except for the one I had to actually set up on, I was assured it was dead, but still it was a a pretty strange job, and in two years, now that I'm in with this outfit, I get to do it again.

    The same day I pulled a well pump at a ranch, 80' was all, so no need to take the drop pipe sections apart to replace the pump.
    IMG_20171011_122620264_HDR.jpg IMG_20171011_122620264_HDR.jpg
     

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  4. Natman

    Natman Well-Known Member

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    After their lousy framing skills resulted in the garage blowing down the day after I set it, I was back on site to pick up the pieces and re erect it. At one point I watched for 10 minutes as the crew fruitlessly tried to tweak a sheeted and nailed off wall section, that was no doubt out of whack when they first framed it and sheeted it. Most framers plumb their walls BEFORE sheeting them! When seeing work like this, I've learned to just keep my mouth shut, these guys don't know or care I was framing when they were in diapers (well before actually), but it is really hard not to correct them sometimes, so I am unloading here. On this entire project, a good sized home, I'll be billing about 12 hours, a good competent crew would have had me in and outa there in 3 to wall.jpg 4 hours. I'll cringe when I hand in my bill to the head contractor, then again HE should also know better then to hire these bozos.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  5. Tradesman

    Tradesman Senior Member

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    IMG_2047.JPG IMG_2164.JPG
    We sheath or strap our walls laying down, but we string line the bottom plate, secure it in place, then square the wall by measuring corner to corner. We will sometimes build 50 ft at a time and stand with the crane, but just like building truss sets on the ground you need to think it out and you need to know where the pit falls are, because like your friends are finding out it's hard to fix if you f... it up.the pictures are of a small commercial building we did the wall was 50' long and 15' high, it picked up like a dream and set down square and plumb,
     
    RangerJake72 likes this.
  6. Natman

    Natman Well-Known Member

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    Around here, most plumb the wall sections after framing and standing them up, then sheet. Pulling a tape works great also. Actually, these days, I rarely see how walls are framed, as they are finished when I get a call.

    Another thing I've seen that bugs me, is a guy standing on the bottom chord of a girder or a hip truss, pushing it out of column,/putting a bow in that bottom chord, while he holds a level on it to plumb it!

    I like your "equalizers" on the spreader bar, I've seen the big boys setting precast use them in a similar fashion.
     
  7. Natman

    Natman Well-Known Member

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    I set a 10,000 gallon underground tank (for the firefighters) today on a new mountain side subdivision. The tank was about 35' below where I was set up, that and looking down into the valley made for an odd view. Most of my work is looking UP a bit not that far DOWN. What really made my day is we got it done before the gravel road is ice packed, the next time I'll drive it a few weeks, to set trusses on a house they just finished the concrete work on, I'll no doubt need to chain up. I seem to have a lock with the owner on doing all of truss work on the 7 or 8 high dollar homes in this sub, so I cut him a deal on the tank work. A lot less wear and tear on the rig to do one tank pick then setting trusses. Note the overloaded trailer they used to haul the thing up the hill, after I unloaded it off a semi. IMG_20171213_121635606~2.jpg
     
  8. Natman

    Natman Well-Known Member

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    About 3 last Friday afternoon, I get a call from an outfit I lift hot tubs and swimming pools for. They said it would be a quick and easy job, just getting them off the trailer and setting them on the ground. Here's what I saw when I pulled up!
     

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  9. davo727

    davo727 Well-Known Member

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    Im shocked! :)
     
  10. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    But you really don't know how lucky you are, usually they ship those pools upside down, and then you get to try to flip them without damaging them too.

    At least they parked them under the power lines for you.
     
  11. Natman

    Natman Well-Known Member

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    • I've set 5 or 6 of these things for the same company, usually lifting them directly over the homeowners house, while set up in the driveway. They have dandy rigging points built in, short sections of chains glassed right in. The local pool company picks them up where they are built, California, and transports them himself with a triple axle low boy and a 2 1/2 ton truck, not much weight but a lot of surface area. 12 or 14' wide. These two were brought up over the Donner Summit/Tahoe pass, in the winter, that could get really spooky, he must have had dry roads. He keeps them right side up, I'd bet it'd be tricky to flip one.
     
  12. Natman

    Natman Well-Known Member

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    I flew 80 miles one way yesterday to check out one of the swimming pool sites. I wanted to see, not having heard from the company doing the install for a few days past the project install date, whether they had used another crane service (one closer to the job site, so less travel time charge then me), but I see I am still in the running. the hole is dug, and they have the pool still on the trailer. This is a sneaky way I have of keeping track of my jobs, without anyone being the wiser, an eye in the sky. Still having the skis on the plane, I also landed the mountain in the background, at 8200', this is how I IMG_20180319_112827657~2.jpg IMG_20180319_112906748~2.jpg mix business with fun.
     

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  13. Natman

    Natman Well-Known Member

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    I had a short notice job yesterday, one of the ones that keep things interesting, as opposed to setting trusses on a house, I get sick of that. This 40' by 16' ( or so) metal arch building needed to be moved, the type with no framing, all it's strength is in the metal corrogates. It was sitting on a rec tube steel frame, with lifting eyes on the ends. I let the owner make the decision to use those, and when he got around to saying "if it folds up when we pick it, no big deal, I have to get it out of here," we got to work.

    Only 5400 lbs, including the OSB floor, an impressive amount of floor space for not much weight at all, the thing picked great and didn't even flinch much less look like a crushed beer can when we got done. The only hitch was right after I set it on the lowboy, out of 5 people helping, only one noticed that it didn't look like the semi could make the turn to get out of the fenced yard! IMG_20180405_150030308~2.jpg No one had thought of this, including me, (not my job, I just lift what I'm told, but I still felt stupid) after we all regrouped, he gave it a go and had a foot to spare. A drive across town, and I set it down at it's new location. One of those jobs that remind me why I carry as much rigging etc. as I do, every now and then I really need it.
     
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  14. Natman

    Natman Well-Known Member

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    IMG_20180513_142157302~3.jpg I got a new tool for the business (and for my own personal use of course, the thing is fun to operate and I have 40 acres to always be doing something on) and since I had the rig in the home shop for an oil change, took it flying. It also gave me a chance to see how it balanced out, and to see what I need next time to keep the rigging simpler then this time. I can put the little Kubota about 50' away, into someplace with no other access, and I am putting the word out to my construction buddies to keep it in mind as it sure beats using a shovel.
     
  15. Tradesman

    Tradesman Senior Member

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    3E7322D4-B445-44EA-8579-211C92B5A729.jpeg
    Been there done that. Those little machines are awesome, not great at anything but handy as heck for almost everything. Ours has been in many basements, we usually put it in with the excavator when we are back filling. I have a few pictures but can’t find them know I’ll look later. Good luck with the new toy no sorry new tool.
     
  16. Tugger2

    Tugger2 Well-Known Member

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    Heres a roof i did for a friend of mines 24 X 60 shop. We lifted it in 2 sections,hes very meticulous so everthing fit nicely. P3230448.JPG
     
  17. Natman

    Natman Well-Known Member

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    The Kubota handbook even calls out where and how they want to you to rig to, so I guess these things get flown around a fair bit. I keep it in the hangar right next to my plane, and that shot is right above one end of my runway, so using the term flying fits for me. The first fe
     
  18. Natman

    Natman Well-Known Member

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    I'll be putting up some kind of a new structure this year on my home property, whether it's post and beam or full foundation, I'll lift the roof complete, as in fully tinned, all except the ridge cap. I did it that way last time and it was a hoot, worked great and was just plain fun for this old carpenter to do it the lazy way now that I have the means to hoist it. It will only be 18' w by 20 or 30'long, so the extra weight won't be an issue. Right now the mini is in the hangar, but that's only temporary. IMG_20180501_102718843~2.jpg
     
  19. Natman

    Natman Well-Known Member

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    I got a new inverter installed, 750 watt continuous,1500 watt surge, to run my electric kettle. I keep it and the Starbucks instant coffee (I don't go to Starbucks, but their instant is really good) in the tool box up on top the deck, right behind the hydraulic tank. At the same height as the tank so I lose no rear vision when backing up, and also leaving 20" or so under it for open storage of other stuff on the truck bed. I consider this coffee making setup an important part of my safety equipment, getting revved and up and staying alert on a boring job (instead of dozing off, and no I'm not kidding) makes all the difference.

    Last week I showed up at 11:00 AM at a grain elevator job, just as requested. While enroute (a one hour drive) they had a snafu, so after I got set up and ran the boom out, I sat there, and sat there......until 2:45. I only use this onboard coffee setup in cases like this, not routinely, but as an emergency backup. Especially like this job, with no nearby convinence store I could ride the carried onboard electric bike over to (another part of my crucial equipment), and I don't feel it is frivilous at all. That on deck tool box is where I also keep emergency food rations, and my rain gear, still carried as a habit even though I've had a cab for years now. If I ever get even a hint of kidding on the jobsite about the way I am setup, I respond with "you want me falling asleep," and that shuts them up. Sitting there staring at a grain bin for almost 3 hours IS hard work, harder then actually working. I also put in a foot rest recently, thanks to Tradesman for that idea, brake formed aluminum bolted to my aluminum panel that covers the area where my lower window used to be. After getting it broken, parked overnight at a truck stop (vandals or accident, don't know) I decided it was worthless as i never pick up stuff 5' away anyway. IMG_20180514_125452259_HDR.jpg