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Working the National 1300A

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

  1. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    On the other hand...as I figured I was on a roll, getting caught up on some way past due invoices, I went ahead and after 2+ months (and a guy I didn't know really) after I billed him with no response, texted and called (had to leave a message, he didn't pick up, always a bad sign, maybe anyway) and real nicely asked we "get caught up" in a few days.

    I had just finished up a quick HVAC job at a Wendy's, and drove across the street (busiest in town) as the big grocery store I prefer was there, and a guy pulled up along me as I parked. He had his head down, doing something, turns out he was writing a check out, and HE was the guy I had texted a few days earlier about getting paid. I didn't know him from Adam, he called me blind, I only met the carpenters on the jobsite. I thanked him profusely, all but saying I was sorry for pushing him a bit on payment. And that is the main reason I hate the all out crooks, they make me supicious of the guys who maybe are just a bit slow but still trustworthy, but just need a little prod to pay up. It is just so much simpler, for everyone involved, to get paid, either on the job site or within a month at most, 45 days is cool also, but 3 months plus and I get wiggy.
     
  2. Impact

    Impact Senior Member

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    Wait. I thought we weren’t talking about bad debt? LOL
     
  3. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I had this job last week, a 100' long by 60' wide addition to a private school. VERY tight quarters, but we managed, and really entertained the kids during their recess. Of course, no trusses were swung over the little buggers, and we had plenty of nuns keeping on eye on them, and us.
    The wind came up towards the end, and as I was also told to make sure to NOT swing them over the existing building (occupied) it made the last dozen or so fairly tricky. I was working with residential type carpenters, with no official signal person, and at one point the job super, who told me he had "lot's of experience with tower cranes" (not operating them, being around them), decided he'd signal me. That was a disaster, I had 104' of stick out, needed to pick them off the pile, and also needed to reach to set them. Rather then have me boom up and cable down while snaking them around my rig (like I had been doing, and always do) he had me retract the boom, and it went downhill from there. The thing was, I didn't need his signals for picking them off the stack anyway, we were doing fine at that, but towards the end with my viz getting worse and worse, I set one down and after the nail benders braced it off, my ball was about 2' off the peak. Safe enough, in the clear, just not dead over the layout, big whoop, in those conditions. The carps just pull the top over and move on, they knew what I was dealing with. Of course when he pointed this out, we were standing with perfect side vision of the truss, he had no frigging clue of what I was dealing with viz wise, combined with the wind, and it again went downhill..... if the framer had not been a friend of mine, I would have walked off the job due to the super's ignorant attitude, and also by the fact my friend by rights should have had a "qualified signal person." The only thing worse the no signaller is one who doesn't know what he's doing of course. The one attempt made by one of the carpenters was hilarious, he didn't understand I needed to rotate, boom down, and cable up all at the same time as the radius changed, plus it took about 10 minutes to set one truss. Then the super tried to change my rigging setup.... with 3 trusses to go, that's when I shut it down, climbed out, and we had a heart to heart. The framers later told me the guy had been a total pain to work with, and were on my side thoughout, as I came very close to just packing it up and going home, something I have never even been close to doing before. It almost got physical, no kidding, the guy was not listening to the words coming out of my mouth, and finally walked off and sat in his truck. In 20 minutes we were done, interesting job, I've had a couple days to think about it and would not do anything different. I kept my cool, he didn't he acted like one of the little kids on the other side of the fence.
     

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  4. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Then there are dream jobs like this one last week: 2 hour travel time each way, at my usual hourly rate, through the best scenary in Idaho. Once on site, I was working right next to the main Salmon River, the "River of no Return", as it's known. A great crew, and a simple roof to set, I even had a level site to set up on, and great viz the entire job. And zero wind!

    To cap it off, the two lane road for the last 85 miles had just been resurfaced and was smooth as glass, and the rig (also thanks to two new tires on the rear axle, replaced due to being worn out, I think one also had a flat spot as the rig is much smoother now) had never driven so smooth. I had brought my electric fat bike and topped off the day by riding a couple thousand feet up the trail to Borah Peak, the highest in Idaho. Just a perfect day, now all I need is to get paid, ha ha. IMG_20180925_153719918_HDR.jpg IMG_20180925_163608476.jpg IMG_20180925_101342935.jpg
     
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  5. Hank R

    Hank R Senior Member

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    How do you like your Electric Fat bike and which make is it? Thinking of a E- bike for general riding have a Mountain bike now but the hills are getting much harder to ride now at 68.
     
  6. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I have a conversion, a $1000.00 fatbike I bought online from bikesdirect, then I bought the motor and the battery from Lunacycle. Luna is the best supplier, best prices, least amount of hype and BS, and it's owners are actual riders. They have recently started offering ready to ride bikes, they are a great deal and I'd probably go that route is starting over.

    It's mid drive, as opposed to a hub motor. In general if you want to trail ride, mid drive is the way to go. Better balanced, most important, the motor drives the wheel through the cassette, the hub drives are one speed. Fine for flat around town riding but any decent trail bike will be mid drive. Mine is real capable, 15 to 20 mile trail rides, steep and rocky, no problem. Moderate pedaling by me makes that possible. These things make you feel like you're 20 again, maybe even better then that, but I can't remember what that felt like anymore. They are so much fun you get into top shape without realizing it, waybetter then going to a gym. I have three total, one that folds for the plane, one that lives in the boom truck, and the fatbike I occasionally carry on the boom truck but mostly use locally on mountain trails.
     
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  7. Hank R

    Hank R Senior Member

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    I have 3 also a Knoa for in town, Brodie full suspension mountain , and was given a Schwinn Invida E bike which is to small for me but a blast.
     
  8. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    The ebike I carry all the time in the National came in handy again the other day. I had just set trusses on a garage for one contractor, and then as luck would have it had a unrelated twin home set also just a couple blocks away (that never happens, that convinent). On a roll, my third job of the morning was at our big mall just another few blocks further, lifting some roofing material. That took me up to noon, and the joint I wanted to eat lunch at before heading to my fourth job of the day, setting some timbers on a landscaping project, was clear on the other side of the mall, over several speed bumps, across a couple busy streets, with several traffic lights. Parking at best would be super tight for the National, and then I'd have to backtrack through all that again to the freeway on ramp.

    So, I kept it parked right where it was, got the ebike out, and 45 seconds later I was catching air over the speed bumps, running the stop signs and most of the traffic lights, (things you can get away with on a bicycle, but are frowned upon if driving a large commercial vehicle) and rode right up to the front door of the restuarant. Fun and quick, after lunch and back in the rig, I was on the freeway and made my last job of the day right on time. Having that bike onboard at all times is the best piece of equipment I've added since the backup camera, or maybe the air conditioner/genset combo, or maybe the Sirius sat radio in the operator cab, right up there with those mods. I have right at $1,000.00 in that bike, my least expensive one of the three I ride, but I called it a "piece of equipment for the business" and as such it's tax deductable.
     
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  9. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I was setting trusses on a 40x60 shop, one carpenter (ONE) up on the 14' high walls running back and forth, and one older guy running the tag line. The tag line guy annoyed me about as much as most do, (also the rigger,) and I had to show him 3 or 4 times how to sling the truss so that when I cabled down the rigging would NOT between the trusses but on the free side, I hate it when the rigging ends up between) but that is normal except for the crews I work with all the time, and I've grown to expect it, no biggie.

    He had just climbed the ladder to hand some more stabilizers to the carpenter, moving slowly, and he had walked about 10' away once back on the slab, when he slapped his hand to the left side of his chest, and then keeled backwards like a tree falling, and that was all she wrote. He smacked his head on the concrete, but that was the least of his problems, a massive heart attack took him out, he never moved again. The carpenter got to him before I did, and that's when I learned the old boy was his father, oh man. Late 60's or so, not overweight, looked OK to me earlier. I called 911 and while they made it official I climbed up and secured the last truss we had just set and called it a day. Yesterday we got together an emergency crew of guys and we went back and finished things up, so the kid didn't have to worry about the building falling down in addition to everything else, I never did see him again.
     
  10. Wes J

    Wes J Senior Member

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    Wow. That's crazy. Just shows how fragile we are. Any day could be the last.
     
  11. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    IMG_20181016_094522383~2.jpg They are changing out all the blades on a wind farm that was right on my flight path the other day. That is some impressive work, besides high and heavy, the blades would seem tricky to rig, but of course they have that all figured out by now.
     
  12. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Moving boulders, about 60' or so uphill. One of my areas biggest developers/mover and shaker doing the rigging. It's for a artificial waterfall and stream behind his new home. I told him and his helper that just because it stayed in the rigging when I first picked it clear, didn't mean it would STAY in the rigging while I was moving it, and to NOT get anywhere near it! As expected, about the 20 th rock, for no apparent reason it decided to slip out and fall about 20'. No big deal, just over the hillside, and it proved my point that it could happen so they continued to stay well clear. The first one we picked, I told them to guess the weight, they both guessed 550 or 650 lbs., I guess 850-900, it weighed 1400..... I'm usually not so blase about loads slipping out of the rigging, but the CG of these things is always in question and we had a lot to move so dropping one or two was expected, at least to me. IMG_20181026_112541570_HDR.jpg IMG_20181026_094500086_HDR.jpg

    Trickest part so far is setting them down as he wants them to sit, with no vision or signaller, just using our cell phones on speaker. They, the boulders, of course have their own idea as how to set down in their new home, usually the opposite of the way the head honcho wants them, and the language has gotten colorful.
     
  13. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    If you drop a load like this, does the crane buck like a bronco?

     
  14. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Good point, the one that dropped was only 800 lbs., and only about 30' radius so the reverse shock loading was real minor. But yeah a bigger one further away, I'd prefer not to drop it for that reason. The bigger/further loads we made sure as possible they were secure. The more numerous and smaller ones we did the best we could but didn't worry about it too much as we had to get them MOVED. I'm getting paid a bit extra for this work, and this customer is someone I want to please, so I was willing to push it a bit on the small ones.
     
  15. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Winter is here: a 2 hour drive to a jobsite near the Wyoming border, setting trusses on a vacation. The first storm of the season, always a wakeup call for everyone, right before this picture I had to descend a 6% grade on a mountain pass, interesting.... I noticed the cars behind me didn't bother to pass like usual, just hung back there. Heated operator cabs, best invention ever!

    A few weeks earlier, I went right from a job setting a spiral staircase (unlike most steel staircases, especially those with landings, this thing was easy as heck to rig, to find the CG, the center pipe) in our area's most high dollar neighborhood, across town to set some HVAC at our local Womens Correctional Center. Both areas with killer views of the high desert, both so exclusive they are gated, but only one has concertina wire.
     

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  16. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    An icy and cold Monday morning, what could go wrong? I kept my speed up pulling the hill to the jobsite, and only when I was backing into the drive and noticed the front end was sliding sideways, did I realize how slick it was. I aborted that approach, and in slowly backing down the slope to an area where i could get turned around and try a different approach, everything locked up. I slowly slid backwards, in reverse, for about 100 yards, never faster then a walking speed, mostly slower, but moving.

    I purposely got her cockeyed a bit so I could use the curb to stop it, leaving just enough room for other rigs to get by. While I was getting chained, one of the carpenters started yelling at me to get out from under the truck as another truck was sliding backwards! Same deal, same path as me, I thought sure he was going to get me but he stopped where you can see in this pic. The house with no trusses is where we both started sliding. Once chained up, I got up there and got the job done in the usual fashion, no problem.

    Then for something entirely different, after lunch, I got to take this AWD, 150 MPH, 310 mile range, 75 K, IMG_20181203_094824264.jpg IMG_20181203_144341787_HDR.jpg brand new Tesla for a drive. 0-60 in a bit over 3 seconds, owned by guy I've done work for. I had a better horn though.
     
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  17. hosspuller

    hosspuller Senior Member

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    Natman … Did you trade rides with the Tesla owner ? I'd say he got the better trade since your rig is more $$$ than $75K ;)
     
  18. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    What procedures do you take for putting down outriggers on snowy surfaces?
     
  19. Tradesman

    Tradesman Senior Member

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    A good client of mine has a Tesla as well it’s crazy it will pin you back in your seat.
    His iPhone is his key.
     
  20. Tradesman

    Tradesman Senior Member

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    I scrape the snow off as good as I can, an inch or so I don’t worry too much about, it will compress pretty tight as long as there is good ground under it. Ice bothers me more because there can be voids under it unless it’s just a skim of ice I like to bust it out ( by that I mean have my customer bust it out ) and get down to solid footing
     
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