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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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    We had a record amount of snow here, 28' total at the ski area above my place! Down in the valley, it collapsed an office roof and the demo/remodel guys called me in to hoist a CAT 305 mini excavator up and over. I was first told it was a 5 ton pick, but to my surprise (sarcasm) it was 13 K on my hook. I managed to put it within 3' of where I told them I would put it, back when it weighed 5 tons, so they were happy. Don't ask how they are going to use it, not my problem, but i think to rip off the 4" thick multiple layers of hot tar roofing. I'll go back in a few days to lift it out again, these kind of jobs beat the heck out of residential truss setting. I'd rather pick one big load once then 50 small ones.

    I had a problem with my LMI (Hirschmann) last Friday, it would boot up normal when I turned the key in the op cab, which I often do just to listen to the radio, during down times, but when I started the engine and it re-booted, it would show an error. This had occurred before but it went from rare to more often, to almost all the time by late Friday. Thanks to modern communications, while setting trusses (72' long ones) I was able to contact my problem solver guy in Boise and he got back to me with "it's a low voltage problem." Long story short: the Mack's dual batteries had weakened enough over time to still crank it instantly (the heated building helps) but the voltage was dropping below the LMI's preferred threshold, causing it to not boot up correctly.

    Still on the job I contacted my local battery wholesaler, who had 2 in stock, and as luck would have it, his shop was IMG_20190318_110140229_HDR~2.jpg IMG_20190318_094500299.jpg right on my way back to the yard after my truss job wrapped. I didn't even bother to load test the old batteries, they came with the rig, and LOOKED old, kinda swelled up on the sides, not a good sign. The at rest voltage was high, but put a cranking load on them and the volts plummeted. The LMI worked perfect today, for this mini X pick, the problem was for sure the tired batteries. So instead of maybe days of being broke down searching for the problem, and maybe thousands of dollars, I was fully back in business for $290.00. I sent my mechanic on the other side of the state a 50 dollar bill today, and he didn't even have to get his hands dirty! Not his bill, my idea. IMG_20190318_094500299.jpg
     
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  2. Tradesman

    Tradesman Senior Member

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    I bet it’s 5 metric tonn plus the cab and attachments.
     
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  3. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Yeah, plus full fuel etc. I suggested they try and rent one without a cab but none were available. For what they intended to do with it a cab would just be a liability. I just assume it's going to be heavier, usually is, and my LMI is calibrated and accurate.

    Today: lifting a 12,500 lb. arm off one of those excavator type machines with a grappler they work at a scrap metal yard, at a heavy equipment shop a couple miles from my yard, so handy anyway. After we rigged it, I pulled about what they thought it weighed, then they used a small excavator to pull the final pin (which was about 5" dia), and it popped out like a champagne cork, no sweat, and it banged off the super structure making a fair bit of racket. Me and the guy on the tag line both yelled to the guy in the excavator, at the same exact time, "it's out", and then laughed, like he didn't know it. I had it then, but pulling straight up couldn't get it out of the side brackets as there were other weldments in the way. They wanted me to swing/rotate it out but I told them I just pick things up, not pull then sideways and they got the hint (ain't side loading my boom....) and they used the same excavator to gently pull it sideways until clear of the brackets while I kept my foot off the swing brake and out it came, smooth as silk with no side loading.

    Then across town to a new city water pump station to set four 2800 lb. gantry crane steel beams in a new cinder block building. I'll go back in a few days to set the roof trusses.

    Then across town again to stand up a big (14' high x 40', tall homeowners I guess) framed wall in a large custom home, another job where I'll be back in a few days to set the trusses. This framing crew works with me a lot, and as I drive up they are already putting my pads on and throwing dunnage out, and they know what rigging to use and where I keep it, so it's a real easy job for me, I just get to do the fun part so I cut them a good deal.


    IMG_20190319_084249981~2.jpg
     
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  4. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    What surprised me pretty often with people requesting crane to swing a load that big and awkward sideways was they had no clue of pendulum effect, getting it moving is pretty easy but getting the load to stop once started not so good!
     
  5. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Yeah, and later that day when swinging those steel beams, blind, the guy signalling me never seemed to pick up on the fact then when I was rotating as per his signal, and then he'd have me stop, the load would always end up past where he wanted it! Like I could slam on the brake and have the beam stop dead instantly, without the load swings even though I had 80' of cable out? He never got the idea that maybe he should signal me a tad earlier.
     
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  6. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Totally not crane related, but we have talked flying here a bit. The guy who shot this video is a pro drone operator friend of mine, and also a pilot, and the old guy in the ski plane is me! All the scenery is within 3 miles of my rural home FWIW.
     
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  7. Hank R

    Hank R Senior Member

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    Some guys have way to much fun after work... Wish I was there..
     
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  8. Tradesman

    Tradesman Senior Member

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    Awesome just awesome
     
  9. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I've put over 2000 trouble free booming hours on the National since I bought it used, the engine hour meter shows 6060 hours, so probably around 4-5000 hours total boom time.

    In the past when I go long stretches with no problems at all, while keeping real busy/making easy money, I start wanting to throw some money at it, kind of a mechanical good karma thing. With 1 rig only, I am 100% out of biz when and if it goes down. Always in the back of my mind, even after 20+ years of doing this, is if I screw up this hoisting thing, I may have to go back to really working, like I did before, and I may have forgotten how. So, while at my National dealer the other day in SLC, I got a parts quote on doing what amounts to an almost total rebuild of my 4 section boom, everything except the hyd cylinder. As many of the parts have to be ordered, and even National may not have them immediately on hand, it occurred to me to buy them BEFORE I need them, and maybe cut a week or two off my wait time if and when it does. My thinking is, if I do this, I WON"T need them, if I don't, I WILL need them and while waiting miss a lot of good jobs!

    In the past, when I start thinking like this, I have ended up buying a new/newer rig, one way around the long term maintenance issue, just own low time equipment. But I really like the stainless bed on this rig, and the Mack carrier, and the crane part also, so am for the first time thinking down the road a bit and not just buying a newer rig. For about $2000.00 I can rathole away everything needed, A spare ATB internal line also. Not knowing what's going on inside the boom is whats bugging me, not like you can eyeball things in there. Then, once you take it all apart, doing a total rebuild makes sense. Ordering Monday, dropped ship direct to me.
     
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  10. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    $2000 is cheap insurance to have everything up to snuff.
     
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  11. Knepptune

    Knepptune Senior Member

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    As long as you don’t get stupid that hydraulic cylinder is gonna be the first thing that’ll go. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen the cables just go bad. Keep everything adjusted right and keep your power scoping down to only when you need to and I doubt you ever have a problem until your hydraulic cylinder starts leaking. I’ve rebuilt and reinstalled many a telescope cylinder without changing any wear pads or boom cables. It’s rare you have any problems with those things.

    Keep an eye on your top inner wear pads. The ones on the back of sections 2,3,and 4. I have seen those sheer off from scoping in with a load at a low boom angle. But that’s abuse. And abuse causes uncommon failures.
     
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  12. kenh

    kenh Well-Known Member

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    "if I have the part, I will not need it If I don't I will is Spot on!"
     
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  13. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I got a call from a big farmer that had something needed to be picked up, once I determined the weight and how close I could get, I hit the road, a 1 hour drive. I've worked for them before, so didn't think they would be foolish enough to call me if they didn't need me, or had something I couldn't pick. Turns out it was a drill, a seed drill, with dual fold outs that makes it 60' wide, and someone wasn't paying attention (no one wanted to talk about it, I didn't ask twice....)and buggered up one side. I had to rig and hold the damaged section while they put new hinges in so we could then fold it down and the rest of the repairs could be made. 14K, and the power lines weren't really an issue, just looks bad. Asymmetric load, with the folding down part further skewing things, but it all came together and we got it done in 3 hours. A lot of high dollar equipment just sitting there, at planting time, glad I have another line of work then farming! IMG_20190430_141209385.jpg
     

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  14. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Awfully new appearing machine to need hinges, did they freeze up or fail to cause the cylinders to shear like that?
     
  15. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    Probably has transport locks or something, and someone didn't take them out before folding.
     
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  16. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Had not considered that thanks.
     
  17. terex herder

    terex herder Well-Known Member

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    No transport locks, the wings overcenter. Visibility is very bad for these rigs. Its difficult to see in the picture, but there are a couple of big yellow tanks between the tractor and the drill (the part with the broken cylinders). The tanks carry the seed and/or fertilizer. When you turn around at the end of the field, you absolutely can't see the outside of the drill. Pretty easy to whack a tree or other things. This whole rig is probably 80' long, and weighs over 100,000#. When it meets an obstruction, there is destruction.
     
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  18. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    You got it TH, perfect summation, and there were miles of hydraulic and air lines running all over the entire setup, I got the run through on how it all worked, which really makes one appreciate what it takes to get our food on the table. Pulling it all with that big CAT, probably with the stereo on, I could see where things could happen....., I do remember something about "not being able to see" being part of the reason.
     
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  19. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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  20. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Scary!!