One of the more interesting (okay, more difficult) jobs undertaken by Tower Works recently, was AD8J’s install, up in Weaverville, NC.
The scope of work included putting up 70 feet of 45G. Nothing too hard about that, right? Of course not, but when we got to the location, and found ourselves literally on the edge of a farmer’s field, with a slope running down and away from the truck, the difficulties began to creep in. John had pre-assembled his DB-36 on the mast on this hillside, concreted in the ground. This is a remote site (he lives in Asheville, about 20 minutes away), and he has a small shed housing the equipment. The tower would be located literally within inches of the shed’s rear. None of the elevated guy posts were the same distance away, so the usual idea of pre-making the guys went out the window, as well. Surrounding the beam were a variety of garden vegetables, including some tomato stakes! As the beam weighs 160 lbs, I knew simply moving it on the slope was going to be tricky, to say nothing of moving it up and ON TO the tower. Indeed, just walking around was awkward on that slope. After considerable thought, I decided we’d tram it horizontally over to the tower, then worry about getting it hauled up. So we stacked 30 feet of tower, then rigged a line over to a far away tree, and very carefully got the beam on to that line. Tensions (not only my own, but those on the line itself) were high, as I didn’t want elements to touch the ground, and that severe slope had me worried. Luckily, pre-visualizing paid off (along with some experience level, I suppose) and we got the beam over to the tower without incident. (Thanks to the My-Te 300A winch once again…)
This gives you some idea of the locale, not conducive to a typical tramming operation!
Once the beam was ON the tower, it was relatively easy to continue stacking tower sections, simply being mindful of the elements as we hauled up sections through them. Once we were high enough, we hauled up the beam, such that the guy bracket was below, and installed the first set of guys. Hot, sweaty, labor-intensive stuff with temperature hovering in the high 90s. We simply repeated the process as we built the tower higher, until we had the beam above the final guy station. Then the only hard part was lifting the beam out and away from the top plate, to get it up and over and on the mast. But we prevailed, and I see John has made a bunch of QSOs already in this weekend’s IARU contest.
From Weaverville, we headed to KY, where the job was the takedown and removal of a US Tower TX-455 crankup, which will replace W2ZI’s broken tower down in Daytona Beach. The tower itself came down easily enough (right on the trailer, actually, again as planned), but the final clean up and securing it to the trailer took some time. And a tad slower going home with the extra weight behind us.
Next up, some local NC/SC jobs.