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Working the National 1300A

Natman

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Dec 19, 2016
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The long handled spoon is a critical piece of my onboard equipment. Past experience has shown that it's needed for properly stirring up the Starbucks instant coffee in my cab's travel mug. Nodding off after lunch on some jobs is not good. I always carry plenty of coffee, a JetBoil stove, and some really Costco good trail mix. Not a joke or anything, it makes me a safer operator if I'm not hungry or sleepy.

Another swimming pool, for a competing company to the first pool company I did a lot of work for in the past. It seems one of his employees quit and started his own business, and I think there was some bad blood involved. All I know for sure is the first pool company dropped my services immediately after I did the first pool for the new guy, I somehow got caught up in their rivalry. I guess I was supposed to not work for the new guy, or something, it kind of hurt my feelings, but I'll get over it. The new guy pays the same day, the other outfit took 6 weeks or more.IMG_20231005_125136586.jpg
 

Natman

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Dec 19, 2016
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I've had a rash of big lifts (for me anyway) all coming in within a few hundred pounds of 11 K, the last one being (no pics) a good sized broke down CAT skid steer that needed to be loaded onto a trailer. The others were a 10,000 gallon fuel tank, 2 big chillers, and a cement tank (made out of steel) for a new precast business. They had a big loader, which I had them use to control the tip over as I stood it up, it went perfect, super smooth. I was working with a bunch of farmers and those boys know heavy equipment and have common sense. The one big chiller I was told HAD to be lifted in 6 places, making the rigging a bit more complicated, but I used my chain fall as a load balancer and what the heck, I charge by the hour anyway. The old one we picked in 4 places, 6 was overkill I thought.

Then I got an emergency call, a 2000 pound computer for a new data center had fallen off a truck, and needed to be set back upright. There was a bunch of serious looking guys standing around when I got there, no joking around on this job, someone had potentially screwed up bad obviously. It had big casters so I rigged to a fence post to keep the bottom where it was while I lifted the top end, not wanting to drop it again. When I left they were just booting it up to see if it would work, still no joking around, I was glad to get out of there!
 

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Natman

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Dec 19, 2016
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Inside the data center, no one would tell me what it was all about, some kind of secret, I was just the dummy who knew how to pick the fallen computer back up, so probably wouldn't have understood even if they had told me.
 

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Natman

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Dec 19, 2016
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This camera system has me and my steady customers spoiled. This example shows my view from the op cab, and then the view from the monitor. Minimal help on site, for sure no one handy OR qualified rto give me signals, with the camera I'm able to not only set it where it goes, but watch them nail the stabilizers on, and then when they reach for the rigging I cable down like magic!

I had what may be the best sandwich in my life on a job recently, thanks to my customer's wife. Homemade bread for starters, and then lots of other stuff going on, it was a taste extravaganza and I made real sure to compliment the chef later. I had the dog onboard that day, and he managed to get fed also. Maybe it's something about getting paid to eat (I was swinging trusses the entire time) but like my other job with the real good pizza I was given, it works for me.IMG_20231122_114702492.jpgIMG_20231122_114716747.jpg
 

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Natman

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Dec 19, 2016
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953
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A first taste of winter, it made me think that when I'm finally ready to hang it up, it will be during the winter. This road was so icy it was very tricky to walk on, most of the crew fell that day at least once, and it was dumb luck I first pulled up to the jobsite where I did, after driving by it a fair bit. After I got out I realized I had one shot on backing in and getting to work, if I missed the narrow area left to me I would not be able to re-position, I'd be spinning my wheels, plus I'd be blocking the entire road. I nailed it luckily, got the job done, and with the usual delays by this crew (good guys but not real sharp carpenters) by the time I was done it had melted off just enough to make it outa there.IMG_20231120_093027907.jpg
 

Natman

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This happened the other day, 2 days after I drove that same stretch of interstate at the same time, but right at the start of a high pressure system, so the inversion hadn't settled in yet.

Tough to know what to do....., other than slow or stop, but than you get rear ended, maybe pull way off the road, but you still may be rear ended. I'll get the full story when I hear back from the guy I was working for on that job when I go back there.

https://www.eastidahonews.com/2023/...e-say-caused-the-crash-involving-30-vehicles/ .
 

boaterri

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
229
Location
Florida, USA
Occupation
Retired Television Engineer
This camera system has me and my steady customers spoiled. This example shows my view from the op cab, and then the view from the monitor. Minimal help on site, for sure no one handy OR qualified rto give me signals, with the camera I'm able to not only set it where it goes, but watch them nail the stabilizers on, and then when they reach for the rigging I cable down like magic!

I had what may be the best sandwich in my life on a job recently, thanks to my customer's wife. Homemade bread for starters, and then lots of other stuff going on, it was a taste extravaganza and I made real sure to compliment the chef later. I had the dog onboard that day, and he managed to get fed also. Maybe it's something about getting paid to eat (I was swinging trusses the entire time) but like my other job with the real good pizza I was given, it works for me.View attachment 299383View attachment 299384
Your pup would probably be better on the tag line than most carpenters.
 

Natman

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Dec 19, 2016
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Your pup would probably be better on the tag line than most carpenters.

One of the "skills" I've learned is how to deal with a ignoramus on the tag line. Depending on the job, time of day, whether or not the job site is in view of others or not, and my mood that day, I'll either shut down, get out, walk over, and give them a quick run down on how I want it done, or else not say anything at all and just deal with it. I'm pickier when the job, like yesterdays, is in view of two other large homes under construction, because I don't want the tag line guy to make me look bad! My favorite complaint is when the tagger races me to the next layout, while I'm still 30' from getting there, swinging the truss tail over to the carpenter standing on the plate line, he grabs it, so he has while the truss is still at a 45 degree angle to where it's going, and while I'm still booming down/cabling up to get at the anticipated final radius while also still swinging, and now the carpenter holds on to it tight...., screwing up my perception of where I'm at until he finally eases up on it. Some crews may do this a few times, I give them time to figure it out themselves, if it looks like it's going to continue and I'm looking at a few hours of dealing with it, it's time to have a little talk. If I was smart, at this point (getting old and grouchy, but also not financially needing every job that comes down the line), I should just pass on work with unknown crews, I have enough long time regulars to keep me busy enough. But old habits die hard, never passing up work!
 

Natman

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Dec 19, 2016
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A 2 hour drive to some of the best scenary in Idaho, by it's highest mountain range, and I got paid for it! Working on a dam's outlet gates, they were replacing the machinery that raises and lowers the gates and controls the lake behind. Pretty interesting to see how it all worked, all I did was place a few new shafts and the brackets that hold them in place.

If there was ever a case for wearing a harness while in the manbasket, this was it. They were 40' high, and anything or anybody dropped from the basket would have instantly been sucked out of sight and under the dam's outlet, kinda spooky, especially when the one guy needed a bit more reach and stood up on the handrail. IMG_20231128_120728726.jpgIMG_20231128_125320531.jpgIMG_20231128_125536593.jpg
 

Oxbow

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Joined
Nov 22, 2012
Messages
1,179
Location
Idaho
A 2 hour drive to some of the best scenary in Idaho, by it's highest mountain range, and I got paid for it! Working on a dam's outlet gates, they were replacing the machinery that raises and lowers the gates and controls the lake behind. Pretty interesting to see how it all worked, all I did was place a few new shafts and the brackets that hold them in place.

If there was ever a case for wearing a harness while in the manbasket, this was it. They were 40' high, and anything or anybody dropped from the basket would have instantly been sucked out of sight and under the dam's outlet, kinda spooky, especially when the one guy needed a bit more reach and stood up on the handrail. View attachment 300240View attachment 300239View attachment 300238
Mackay Reservoir! The farmers will be happy next year. In the meantime I guess the fishing is really good below the dam!
 

Natman

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Dec 19, 2016
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Working at the UP railroad switching yard, standing up 100' light towers, for an outfit that does only that. They travel all over the country, and told me every time they call a local crane outfit up they have to work thru resistance to how they will lifted. No drama at all, most important no banging at all against my boom, or interference with the boom tip on the top light fixtures. The trickest part was sliding the rigging down the pole, because it had brackets for cameras sticking out, but it was also kinda fun.IMG_20231213_110244845.jpg
 

Natman

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Dec 19, 2016
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A bit over 6000 hours in the 13110, just operating it, plus all the driving time, my second home, so seems only right to take the dog along sometimes to show him what I'm doing when I leave. That sticker on the cab door bottom window is now gone, when I realized it was blocking his view from his usual lay down place. Wonder what OSHA would say about this?
 
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