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Working the National 1300A

Natman

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Dec 19, 2016
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It depends...., going 80 mph, the Prius burns less gas per hr, I have fuel flow meters on both. If the plane was racing the Prius on a straight road, into a head wind, the Prius is twice as cheap to get somewhere. I burn E-0 premium mogas in the plane, about .50 more per gallon than the regular E-10 gas for the car. Going straight across mountain ranges the car has to go around, maybe with a tailwind, the plane wins. Just yesterday I flew a 1.5 hr drive I had made in the boom truck the day before, low level, and the next time I drive it I'll be remembering the flight, once I drive and low fly the same route, I really know it, it makes the drive more fun for some reason.
 

Natman

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This job, after a little tree trimming went better than I would have thought. The attic trusses at least were real solid to fly and there was no wind. I picked them from under the tree, with the load hook in the clear and a little dragging by the rigger as they came off the stack. Had to short jack one side due to the narrow drive. This guy (gable shot) was a "grabber", as I was booming down/cabling up as it's nearing the building edge, he walks out on the plate 10 or 15' to meet it, so now I'm babysitting him as he walks backwards. Every truss after, he walked out, and "helped," rather than staying back at the last truss, one hand on it (solid) and then reaching out to grab the truss when it's 30" or so away. I'd had had a little talk with him but it didn't seem worth the hassle, as I won't be working with this crew again. It interrupted the smooth flow of the truss moving out while descending, and was not needed at all.
Since I had the camera, the first truss was dead nuts on the building edge, 76' away, no signaling required, sighting down the load line and lining up the bottom and top chord to the "plumb line" is easy. Then, since I was sitting square to the building, I just knocked off 24" every set, except when the girder truss went in, on 44" O.C., and every set was perfect, no "tip it out, or bring it in, again using the camera to check that it was all lined up. It was one of the smoothest/no motion wasted jobs I've ever done, the kind when I get done, I get, usually or often anyway, complimented. This guy were no fun at all, when he handed me the check, he just walked away, and if you don't think a personality conflict on a job site doesn't matter to me, you'd be wrong, he's on "my list", with NOOO!!! after his name in my contacts list. He took pains to mention that their usual guy was broke down, so they called me, that right there can be a deal breaker with me, ha ha. If their usual guy could have done that job better or quicker, or even nearly as good, (no camera, and he'd been out of his chart setting that sheeted gable, by 15') I'd kiss his A**, and if he doesn't realize that, he'll stay on my list. I can afford to be picky. My list, in 23 years, is nearing 8 or 10 contractors, who know never to call me, works for me.
A 8,000 pound asphalt tank being unloaded, during the same time the crane op was scouting around for an asphalt chip seal outfit, a perfect match for both of us, I had him come up to my place the next week.
 

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Welder Dave

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Oct 11, 2014
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There must be times where you have to shut the job down because it either isn't safe or someone is doing something very dangerous? I guess you have the final say on safety during your lifts?
 

Natman

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For sure, if it's a job of longer duration, this one was short enough, and the danger was minor enough, to just put up with it. A few times I have shut the rig down for a little safety talk, that gets everyone's attention real quick!
 

Natman

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Yup, if he tripped while walking backwards, I'd be to blame most likely, good thing it pays pretty good and is easy work, and I of course have insurance, or I wouldn't do it at all! It actually offends my old carpenter common sense more than my modern legal sensibilities and fear of liability, there's just no need for it.
 

Natman

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Another all in one piece roof set, then a steel beam set 20 miles away up a mountain, then a truss job on the same mountain a few miles away, plus an HVAC job back in town all in one day. The next day a big custom house set an hour and a half drive one way, with 8 hrs of work once there, in 98 degree heat. I thought I was supposed to be retired by now, almost all of my contemporaries are, but my customers have different ideas.IMG_20230817_111647682.jpgIMG_20230817_132115145.jpgIMG_20230816_111737226.jpg
 

Natman

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Dec 19, 2016
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Diesel fuel has gone up $1.00 per gallon in my area the last few weeks, (paid $4.47 today) so just because I could, I filled both tanks, drove 54 miles round trip, and picked a container, just straight up while a trailer puller underneath, maybe 30 minutes, 45 at most, with the engine running/PTO engaged. Stopped by the same station, pulled up to the same pumps, used the same re-filling method (one click on the pump handle, inserted in the fuel tanks the exact same way, real slow, to keep any foaming to a min., and just let the auto shutoff do it's thing). I was all set to get upset, but.... 5.9 gallons, divided by 54 miles = 9.15 MPG INCLUDING the PTO engaged/operating time! Even throwing in a 20% error rate, that's still much better than I thought it'd be. I'm at a loss to account for it, I know for a fact the mileage is correct +- 1 or miles. After the auto shut off stopped I eyeballed the fuel level distance from the filler and it looked the same both times. I know from my ferry trip from when I bought it in Wisconsin, 5-6 mpg was the norm for highway travel, but I'm not complaining. I have two jobs this upcoming week involving 2 hour one way travel times, and now will enjoy the drive more, knowing I'm still more than breaking even. 62 MPH is my travel speed, makes it easy to do the math, 60 MPH/mile a minute is what I bill for. I must have been pushing 70 on my ferry trip, remember I'm a Prius driver so am used to being picky about my mileage. Did NOT expect this, it's like free money.
 

Camshawn

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Jan 25, 2017
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574
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Langley BC
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retired
I am always surprised at how much my mileage varies on the hwy with speed. My pickup and camper will get 19 to 21 mpg (Canadian gallon) at 60 mph and much closer to 17/ 18 at 70 mph. Cam
 

Welder Dave

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Oct 11, 2014
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I think most vehicles are designed to get the best mileage in the 55-60 MPH range. Maybe even at 50 MPH. Some vehicles have a sensor or display that tells you when your getting the best mileage. My F150 does and it's around 55 MPH/90 KMH. Unfortunately I usually drive 100-110 KMH on the highway.
 
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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.
I built my water tank roof in the shop, including putting the tin on, then I thought, why not the ridge cap too? Some slits for 3 lifting tabs to stick up thru, a little leak won't matter as it's just to keep the sun off. Rolled it outside, used a chain fall to get the right length on the center rigging point, and after finding my helper was out of town was able to set it into place with just 3 or 4 jump offs. Got the walls all closed in now, using oil field pipe again for that, and salvaged tin siding, and have been pumping 4000 + GPD of water using solar, from a spring 1/2 mile away and about 270' higher, then all gravity flow from the tank.IMG_20230717_184201504.jpgIMG_20230716_161726981.jpg
 

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Natman

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Set some glu lams on a ranch house an hour and a half away, the cut hayfield came right up to the house, so I flew in the next day to drop off an invoice, which they were fine with.

No one there, texted the young lady who set the job up and seemed to be in charge, told her where to find the invoice, and as I was cruising along flying back home she said she was at work at the scrap yard that day. ! This was fortuitous as I had been looking hard for some 6" pipe in my area with no luck and was a day away from buying new, and didn't even know about this yard. She checked, had 27' of it, so I drove back the next day with the Prius and the utility trailer, cut it down to 20', and charged it against my bill. A win/win for both of us. She was also in charge of the scrap yard, I had figured her in the office behind a desk, but it was an old school yard and she was in greasy overalls, with her long blonde hair tied up, cute as heck, about 5'3", but no doubt who was the boss there, quite the character! One of my most enjoyable jobs of the year.IMG_20230905_120333111.jpgIMG_20230912_080839720.jpg
 

Natman

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Where's the pics. of her? The plane looks pretty neat but nobody cares about the house. We want to see the cute girl who keeps the guys inline at the scrap yard. She'd probably kick all of our a$$es.

I was there to work...., not to take pictures of a cute lady,(!) but IF I had had the opportunity I would have. Didn't happen, in the course of the job anyway. Same at the scrap yard, she's a fast mover and I had to keep up with her and didn't have a chance, maybe she's camera shy too.
 

Natman

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Yet another aerial delivery of the invoice for work done (don't ask why I don't fill an invoice out while still onsite, the answer is obvious)IMG_20230927_090628764.jpg setting the trusses, 2 hrs "work" and 1.5 hrs of driving, each way. I flew back the next morning, after a 8 AM HVAC job called me at the last minute and apologized for pushing the job back to noon, giving me time to go fly, perfect! Nothing better than flying a route (at low level) I've just driven in the boom truck, to say it's more fun is an understatement, maybe safer too.

That reminds me:https://www.rexburgstandardjournal....cle_c63c72a8-5952-11ee-9c23-1332b69c2b1f.html A bad deal for the Equinox driver (but his fault) but the boom truck driver came out OK. I have not been able to find any other info on it, it's near my area but not really local to me.View attachment 295559View attachment 295560

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Natman

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On a commercial building job yesterday, swinging flat trusses in 20 + mph winds, 10 hours pretty much not stop. This crew is very hard core, working "overtime" on their jobs is expected, as is not really stopping for lunch. BUT...., they also provide lunch, and pay promptly! Easy enough to eat while still swinging trusses, if the carpenters can do it while still IMG_20231011_145532169.jpgIMG_20231011_114619438.jpgworking I can do it. Note the bundle of trusses behind the forklift, they got broken before I got there while they were moving them around with the lift, the truss company came out and tsked tsked over them, (he looked disgusted, don't blame him) and then told them how to repair them on site and still pass inspection.
When my lower window got broken out at a truck stop, I replaced it with 1/8" aluminum deck plate, and a foot rest, which has worked out great for a shelf also, in this case a pizza shelf.
 
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