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Old 10-08-2010, 10:42 AM   #1
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Re: How'd you like to have this job........

Tower climbing is like going into battle, stepping out the door of a perfectly good airplane, or rushing into a burning building with an SCBA tank on your back. You can read and talk about the experiences all you want to, but with some experiences either you've been there or you haven't. Fortunately, I've only been up towers.

I never worked above 180 feet. Where you have hills and mountains, there is less need for the monsters that are often erected in the prairies. I started in the days of just a "Scare Strap" around the waist to free up your hands when you worked, and continued into the early days of fall arrest. I used to free climb, and like the man in the video used the fall arrest only when resting or when passing dishes, etc. But I have had both feet slip off of an icy tower in January at 100 feet up, and it wasn't fun. Fortunately, I had both hands hanging on at the time.

The thing that scared me most about the video was that the two climbers were free climbing a quarter mile in the air, and when the cameraman did toss the fall arrest hook on a peg, it wasn't very securely. Maybe the wind doesn't suddenly gust like it does on hilltops here. When I would stop for a breather, I used to attach the waist strap, too.

A little-known OSHA rule is that you must wear fall arrest when your feet are 6 feet above the next lower surface. You see the videos of solar installers wearing harnesses on one-story homes with shallow slopes to the roofs. That means that walking on the the roof of a skoolie (for pay) is an OSHA violation.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:47 PM   #2
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Re: How'd you like to have this job........

OMG!! I got vertigo just watching this. Had to stop after a couple minutes.

...Guess I won't be doing any technical mountain climbing anytime soon.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:02 AM   #3
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Re: How'd you like to have this job........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr LuLu
Wow!! I hope those guys get paid a lOT of $$... crazy for sure. How'd they build it??
They usually get paid a lot less than you would think . . .

Towers are built in 20- to 50-foot sections bolted together. On "smaller" towers the sections can be lifted by crane. Some can be built on the ground and have the crane stand them up. Another way is to hoist each section by a cable running through a pulley atop a 'gin pole' attached to the last section built. The gin pole is moved up each time a section is added.

The third method, probably used in this case, is to have a helicopter lower each new section on a long line to the climbers who will bolt it down. Imagine a ton of steel swinging in the wind while you and your partner(s)try and catch it and line up the bolt holes, without being knocked off or knocked out!
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:48 AM   #4
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Re: How'd you like to have this job........

.. man .. when I was a younger man that might have been fun .. never been afraid of heights, just keep a healthy respect ..

.. "back in the day" I did a few rescue exercises off some 300ft + buildings and smoke stacks at the old Gannon Power plant if Tampa, FL .. but nothing that dramatic .. and I had a building or smoke stack under me most of the time (except on the stacks, first 50-100' on rappel are "free") .. I think they have dropped the old towers now, but the the buildings are still there in downtown Tampa .. lol .. ahh, those were the days .. lol .. thanks for sharing that and leading me back down "Memory Lane" .. fun stuff ..
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