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Working the National 1300A

Welder Dave

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I'd guess they didn't want to pi$$ you off if they needed you again. Kind of a good faith gesture for you since you took the crane there.
 

Natman

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Dec 19, 2016
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It just was a heck of a coincidence that I got my two biggest "tips" in 23 years, a couple days apart, a day after my birthday no less! When they call me back to final set them where they go, I will tell them they were too hard to work with and to get somebody else, as they disrupted my usual routine of billing for a job, and then waiting weeks or months!
 

Natman

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Checked out Wednesday's upcoming job on the way back from a fly-in across the desert, it's right on the bluff above the Snake River. Looks like a pretty simple set, judging from what I could see, and that I'll be looking into the sun. This info will be helpful if I get a call for other work that day, this one will probably just be a half day. A lot of times a contractor will want to tie me up all day, for what turns out to be a few hours actual work, so I like to take a sneak peak ahead of time and draw my own conclusions.

Just a couple miles away, a big expansion at a big spud packing plant, with some real big iron.
 

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Natman

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The townhouses crew has called me back several times, after their first overly ambitous roof pick (out of balance, not built right to be picked, not cost effective, etc.), and they now have it dialed in. ONE roof, not with a out of balance portion, nice and balanced. built leaving me room to get exactly where I, should be, and a reasonable weight, about 500 pounds. In and done in a hour, no drama, only thing they need to work on, from my perspective, is to NOT tell me to let off on the load, while they try and move it into it's final position. And then take it back up..... Better, the way I do it if no one is telling me how to do it, is to set it down just enough so it's not moving, but still light enough enough to fine tune it by hand. Seems obvious but I try and make them think they are in charge, while I also try and do it the way I think it should be done, as an old carpenter. Like today, on another job, I watched the guy on the man lift grab ONE stabilizer, crawl up on the truss, nail it, then crawl back onto the lift to grab another stabilizer, back up on the truss, to nail the second one (we were setting two at a time), if he was working for me I would have told him to grab two, make one trip, but I kept my mouth shut.

Got my river job done, another barndominimun, my third this year: huge garage with a house, all one structure, more "spud money," at least they are locals. Lot's of iron in this one, all engineered I was told. The big iron across the river didn't move all day on the plant job, 3 big rigs just sitting there, doesn't seem right, then again they can't pack up and hit the road to the next job like me in 10 minutes.
 

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Natman

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I got a bit of a scare today in the crane shed! Not a rattler, no rattles anyway, but a very agressive 6' long bull snake, or so I'm told. While wrestling it out with a couple sticks, it kept getting away from me but I finally corraled it and dropped it over the fence. I DID NOT want it dissappearing somewhere under the Mack chassis and surprising me again.
 

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Welder Dave

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That would freak the $hit out of me. I hate snakes. About a year ago there was a snake found in a Ferrari dealer's showroom. Apparently it crawled up in the undercarriage of a car on a company road trip. It had a ring marking on it and the people that came to get it were able to locate it back to exactly where it came from. I'd bet it really freaked out the women working there.
 

dirty4fun

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Dec 29, 2010
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N. IL
It seems I go a long tie without seeing a snake then this week I saw two. One over 3' long crossing a gravel road. A small on yesterday in the wood pile as I was cutting up some for firewood. I don't like them, but yet they don't bother me, usually.
 

Natman

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I forgot to mention, the first time I managed to get it out of the shed (built like a house, full foundation, tight sealing man doors etc.) I got it about 15' away and thought "problem solved, it'll wander off," closing the man door behind me of course. 15 minutes later, it was back in the same corner! My big roll up door was open, but it was around the corner from the man door, so it had to really want back in that corner, which I have checked every time I'm there since then.....
 

Natman

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A rare "twofer," two homes with a single setup. With trusses scattered on both sides of me, some 100' away, but I was able to snag the stacks and pull them closer. Yet another job right on the edge of a still active farm field, when I told the carpenter I didn't want to leave tracks in the field, they told me not to worry, the farmer was also the developer. The "starter" homes (only 250 K or so...) were only about 10-15' apart, and I live on 70 acres, almost makes me feel guilty.
 

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dirty4fun

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Should make you appreciate what you have all the more, not being squeezed together. Having your plane right there where you can jump in for a quick flight, has to be close to perfect.
Years ago we were building a new office at the airport. I was finishing my airmen's certificate, just needed a cross country trip. The boss stopped by at 9:30 said he had bought a new Piper in Florida go home grab a few clothes, as I was flying one to pick it up. I had soloed in a helicopter so took that home landed in the field near my place. Grabbed a few clothes and that night was in Vero Beach, and flew home the next day. Of course the fellow I flew down with got to fly the new plane but, it was still a great change of pace and what a cross country, to finish my pilot's license.
 
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Natman

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I think I'll jump in the plane this morning, no work today yet, and fly into town to check on a 60x100 warehouse job I got a call about a few days ago. I do that a lot, much better I've found than believing what I'm told, "we'll be ready Friday," and I see the walls aren't even up yet! I fly with binoculors and the plane is real quiet, so I can play spy plane with no one being the wiser, all part of the job.
 

Natman

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Did the above, once over the site it was obvious why there was a delay, NO trusses on the ground yet. 10 minutes after I landed back home, I get a call, trusses were delivered just minutes after I was overhead, setting them Tuesday. Supposedly.
 

Natman

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A day off, after a very busy week, including one 14 hr day, counting the driving. Then I had to be at a job the next morning at 6, and it was 2 hrs away. So, for a break I set some iron with the Kubota at home, using a jury rigged stinger lashed to the forks.
A LONG RV storage build, we finally got to the truss we were all waiting for, the gable. 5 trips out for me, the carpenters sheeted it in sections as we went, smart.
 

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Natman

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Then clear out in the desert, working for the National Weather Service, where the guy with the new HVAC unit showed up 2.5 hrs. late, no explanation, and I had 3 other jobs that day. I didn't say a word, no use, I'll get even when I bill them.
Then a hour drive to set a single beam, that the carpenters had built the addition around, laying on the floor under the beam pockets, it took a half hour to finagle it out of there and into place. I could have asked them, why not leave it outside the building, a crane is coming anyway? But I didn't.
Then another 1hr+ drive to a truss job I was told would take 3-4 hrs., it took 7, 73' span scissor trusses, and me with no spreader bar, as I was not forewarned and had to go thru the port of entry. The bar puts me right at my 40 K rear axle limit so I don't carry it unless I know it'll be needed. I told the carps we needed to make a stiffback up, and clamp it on each truss, it was the only way to handle those trusses, we did, and it went slick after that prep work.
I saw two of these big ladder trucks next to my beam set job, they are owned by an outfit that does cell tower work, and are perfect for that application. Plus they still had the sirens and flashing lights on them.
 

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Natman

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Lifted this 16,500 lb. generator off a semi, then straight down, last time they used a 80 ton truck crane with no spreader bar, and had some issues with the turbo I was told. The weight was verified, and at my steep boom angle and a 3 part line, my LMI was telling me it weighed 19,500. Better it reads heavy then light, but that for sure it what it does, displays heavy. I blame the 1400 lb counterweight, installed after the LMI and crane were put together/certified. Or maybe it's just screwed up, I've reset the tare weight and it seems more accurate at lesser weights with lower boom angles.

The gen set was emergency power for when the grid goes down, on a 50,000 head feedlot operation (750,000 GPD of water neededIMG_20230728_101048582.jpgIMG_20230729_092522757.jpg, at least) one building was over 1/2 mile long, such a huge operation I flew back today (no washboarded gravel dusty roads, like yesterday) and took a few pictures.
 
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Natman

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Spotted this modest little vacation cabin under construction on the shore of Idaho's Bear Lake this morning, that little tower crane looks perfect for the job, plenty of reach it appears. IMG_20230730_080836862~2.jpg
 

Camshawn

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Jan 25, 2017
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We saw lots of those small tower cranes in Switzerland when we went there in the late 90’s. Now we see them here around Vancouver BC on large house projects and small multi family projects. Cam
 

Natman

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I drove the Prius up to a jobsite I got a call about today (a bit better mileage than the boom truck, a better sound system also), and saw the trusses stacked on the street directly under a big tree, plus a power line (secondary, insulated at least) over the building. Told the guy I could do it, and he could move the trusses first or I could, or we could cut down the tree. We can work around the powerline. Over 100' reach from the street, I'll get in his driveway, short jack my non working side (narrow driveway) and knock that down to 60' or so. The camera will earn it's cost, again, as most of the building will be invisible to me. Pictures tomorrow.
 
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