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Lifts or Bucket Trucks for Antenna Work




 
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Author Topic: Lifts or Bucket Trucks for Antenna Work  (Read 7317 times)
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W9GT
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« on: June 11, 2010, 05:25:35 PM »

Hi guys,

I'm anticipating a re-do of the antennas here and some work at the 80' level.
It looks like I might be able to enlist the assistance of a guy who has a bucket truck that will get me up there.  That is a whole lot better than trying to climb the tower.  (don't do that so well anymore).  Anyway, just exploring options, if this particular rig doesn't pan-out.  Anyone have experience with renting one of those self-contained bucket-lifts?  Wonder what they rent for for one big enough to get me to the 80' working level?  I have made a few local inquiries, but nothing concrete yet.  The big bucket trucks that go that high seem rather scarce.  This seems like a really great alternative to climbing and working on the tower.  Anyone have experience doing this?

73,  Jack, W9GT
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2010, 06:13:50 PM »

Jack,  might be some useful information here:

http://lists.contesting.com/archives//cgi-bin/namazu.cgi?query=man+lifts&submit=Search!&idxname=Towertalk&max=100&result=normal&sort=score

sorry about the broken link; I hope I fixed it.

Rob
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flintstone mop
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2010, 08:18:42 PM »

My sperience has been that a bucket truck won't get to 80 feet. A crane was used to service my 70 foot utility pole. Pick a dry day or week so the truck doesn't sink in the mud.
The rate was $500 for 4 hrs. We ran over coz of complications re-measuring the Yagi. There was more wrong than I thought.

Fred
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Fred KC4MOP
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2010, 08:50:07 PM »

Out here (Nor Cal, above the Monterey Bay in the mountains) you can find guys that have bucket trucks for tree trimming:....  They have BIG ones because of the physical length of the redwoods.

It works, and nicely.  It's a PITA to find one that will hit 80 feet, I bet, in most locals.


--Shane
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KB5MD
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2010, 10:44:36 PM »

Try contacting a sign company!
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W9GT
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2010, 09:51:58 AM »

Yes, the bucket trucks that go to  80' or more are around, but much more scarce than the common 50-60 footers.  The power company has some really big rigs that go over 100', but those aren't available for private use. 
Fred, did you use a bucket or cage pulled up by the crane?  I used a crane originally to erect the tower, but always climbed up there to do antenna work.  I have seen several of the man-lift self-contained units at contruction sites, but I don't know how much it would cost to rent one for a few hours...and...they probably would charge quite a bit to haul it to your location.  I remember the crane rental was portal to portal...including the operator...something like $100 an hour, probably more now.

73,  Jack, W9GT
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2010, 03:54:28 PM »


Oddly enough one of the larger True Value hardware stores has a rental center and sitting out front are two very large
self contained 4wd two man lift thingies with big booms. One goes about 80' and the other goes >100ft.

I thought I'd like one for my antenna tower Cheesy

dunno the cost per day, and you have to be able to haul them on a big industrial strength trailer...

...all just FYI...

Looking at them, I'd want a very very solid hard surface under them and a very non windy day to go up that high...
although they seem to leave them most of the way up in the air most of the time... afaik.

                                 _-_-
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2010, 06:30:45 PM »

Bear,

When I moved back to California, I worked for a tow company that had the contract to move all that garbage for Home Cheapo.

You might want to see if you can get a flatbed tow truck in the area to move it for ya.  We charged 75.00 flat rate, but would only go about 20 miles.

Still, it was WAY cheaper than my portal to portal hour, which was 175.00..... 

I think that's still cheaper than I charged you, though, Clark Smiley  Computer time = spensive!



--Shane


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KM1H
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2010, 07:55:41 PM »

When the big ice storm hit here in 12/08 there were several tree companies with big bucket trucks and long booms working the area for the power company. I paid a crew to do extra work on the 100+ year old big oaks and maples along the street and it went up and over the tallest as he worked on the back side. It wasnt a simple up and down boom like the utility companies use.

Unfortunately they are too small for my 2 tallest towers and the storm wiped out all yagis from 15M to UHF.

Carl
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W3SLK
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2010, 12:39:42 PM »

Jack,
I use a 'High Reach' at work on a regular basis. Every once in a while I'll help the electricians out in their 'bucket truck.' To get to 80' you will probably need something along the lines of 100'. For best stability, you would approach your antenna on an angle. Going straight up subjects you to too much sway. Just to be safe, have on a full body harness and lanyard to the working platform. There were 2 guys killed in Phila. this year because they were not 'tied in' to the platform and got thrown out ala catapault style as a result of moving. Generally lifts that go higher than 100' require outriggers so check your ground for stability. Using 4X4's or 6X6's will help support the outriggers in semi-softground but err on the side of safety. Do a walk around the work area and check for all hazzards, (power lines, your coax and rotator control lines). Having a plan in place prior to execution will go a longway in preventing impromtu surprises, (beleive me, I've been there and done that). Also, don't rent the cheapest lift. Older or 'well used' lifts and reaches are prone to have a lot of slop in the hydraulics. This gets magnified significantly at at higher levels. If you think bouncing about a foot at ground level is ok, go up about 100' feet and that turns into about 10' of bounce. Remember that catapault effect I mentioned? If you aren't sure about the job, then save yourself the hassel, (and possibly life) and let an expert do it. Any questions, don't be afraid to ask. Good luck.
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w5dud
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2010, 02:24:40 PM »

Hello if you can get near to the tower, a 80 to 100 ft manlift would be the safest way to go, the Manlifts you rent from a home store usually do not go over 40 to 50 Ft, If you cannot find anyone in your area give me a call I own a Crane rental Buss in Houston,Tx and have so for 30 yrs and have alot of contacts nationwide, I have a friend who works for Trico Lift out Of NJ, look at their web site and check they have locations all over, also try H&E Equipment they are the largest in the nation,and also try All Erection,also a large rental house, Hope this helps, with the manlift you can control it yourself, not having to relie on someone else, W5DUD, Dudley Parkin,kdud1@hughes.net
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W9GT
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« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2010, 11:04:22 AM »

Thanks Dudley and others!  I certainly appreciate the input.  I have been told by my friend that the bucket truck that he has access to is high enough to do the job, but I am skeptical and trying to look for alternatives.  There is a United Rental outfit in Fort Wayne and on their website it looks like they have 100' and 120' lifts available.  That would probably be overkill and corresponding high prices for rental, but I will have to check them out.  I observed a 60 footer being picked-up at a construction site.  They use a big semi with a flat bed trailer to haul the beast.  That is most-likely very expensive.  I was trying to control costs for this job....would sure rather spend the money on antennas!

Mike...yes, I have climbing belts and also an over the shoulders climbing harness and I planned on "strapping in".  My tower is very large...38" cross-section...it is a piece of a former microwave tower.  I climb-up the inside of it to work on stuff, but just getting too old, I guess to do that much anymore.

Now I understand why people spend all those bucks on crank-up and tilt over towers.

73,  Jack, W9GT
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WBear2GCR
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« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2010, 11:34:39 AM »


Wow - 38" cross section!!

<envy>

I want one!

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ke7trp
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« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2010, 02:11:00 PM »

Another option..  Call your local Tree service company. I found a guy that comes out cheap. I have to wait until he has a job on this side of town.  Sometimes a week. I normaly hand him a $100 bill and he is happy.  His Truck goes 65ft but you can reach out alot farther. Its enough for my tower work.  I need to have him back out soon. The left side of my Zep's mounting pole is bent over in an L shape. The antenna is still up but its much lower on that leg now.

C
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W9GT
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« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2010, 02:21:24 PM »

That is a good idea Clark, however, those tree guys charge a lot of money around here for even relatively small tree trimming jobs.  Probably has a lot to do with their liability insurance costs.  Also, this is a bad time of year because they are very busy.  They get hungry around Thanksgiving time and start going door to door for business.  Man, if you could find one with a big 80'-100' boom that would be great!

73,  Jack, W9GT
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« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2010, 02:23:13 PM »

Its all about finding the right guy Jack.  I am sure there is a guy around that is willing to help out for an hour.  Lots of guys around here use old Electric company Trucks that they buy at auctions. I doubt they have much in the order of insurance Sad 

We have alot of palms around.. So some of these trucks go way way up.

C
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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2010, 10:18:29 PM »

       another idea


klc                                                 


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WA2TTP Steve
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« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2010, 02:08:24 AM »

I can't tell you where to find a lift truck out there but if you do it can be fun way to do antenna work.

Back in 1980 I was living on Long Island and working for the then Long Island Lighting co. The company radio club operated some repeaters and I was adding a 440 mhz one to our site. It took a little doing but I managed to get a line crew out to site with a Condor 150' platform truck, the work area of the platform is about 3' x 6'. I told the foreman what was to be done and he asked if I wanted to go up make my own connections. I jumped at the chance and enjoyed the whole job. The antenna we had to mount was at 150' level of 175' monopole. Nothing you would ever want to climb.

Once the truck was set up with its outriggers which bear all the weight of truck, wheels are off the ground, the job only took about 3 hours. Even at 150' extenion of the boom the platform was pretty stable. Unlike most shorter bucket trucks that have fiberglass boom sections the Condor is all metal construction not designed to work near live lines. They used them, they had 4 at the time, mostly for new line construction.

The pictures show me at the 150' level, a long shot of monopole and view from that level looking south east over the 138kv transmission lines that run by the radio site.

Steve
WA2TTP


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w1vtp
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« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2010, 01:46:42 PM »

Another option..  Call your local Tree service company. I found a guy that comes out cheap. I have to wait until he has a job on this side of town.  Sometimes a week. I normaly hand him a $100 bill and he is happy.  His Truck goes 65ft but you can reach out alot farther. Its enough for my tower work.  I need to have him back out soon. The left side of my Zep's mounting pole is bent over in an L shape. The antenna is still up but its much lower on that leg now.

C

This idea has worked for me several times.  My tree guy has to come out every other year and trim the rain forest on my property.  While he is there I have him do a job or two - he does it for free.  Never tried to get him out just for an antenna job.  One's due soon.  I have to replace some rope on my north sky hook.

Al
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