The Ravages of Time

Today found us up in Clemmons, NC, where the business of the day was to take down a Mosley PRO-57 for N4VE, who obtained the beam (along with the supporting tower) from a local Silent Key.

The “trick” to this was that the beam had been up there for over 20 years, on 50-feet of unguyed 20G and 25G tower, a mixture of the two sizes. With no apparent thought to surroundings, nor the actual installation possibly requiring maintenance, ever!  So, the first order of business was to install some temporary guys (3/16-inch EHS), which went easily enough, including a long reach up and over the roof of the house, to the street, where the anchor was my truck. (I don’t like or recommend this, but there was no other choice.) The tower had the usual taper top, but the mast (undersized, naturally) ended literally a couple inches above that top. All of which contributed to making tramming the beam down not only awkward, but dangerous. But we persevered, and it came down perfectly between the temp guys, without a scratch of a bent tip or any other mishap.

Although he’d not mentioned it, Jim also wanted our help in taking down the tower. Of course, the SK owner had rigged up some sort of tiltover mechanism, but this has to have been the smallest winch I’ve ever seen used in tower work. The reel was only 3-inches in diameter! And the cable was rusted & had been kinked a few times. Jim really wanted it on the ground, so I agreed to give it the old college try. We were all a tad surprised when, once the base bolts were loosened, to find the entire tower tilting toward the house. Apparently, the hinge pin had rusted away over the years. Thank God for heavy duty slings and steel carabiners, which I used to secure the base to the I-beam post holding the winch. We eased the tower down slowly, until it came to rest in the branches that had grown up and out over the years–so much so that it wouldn’t come down. So, we actually pulled it down and out of the tree. In a word, whew….~!

Next up: more local work already in the queue.

stay tuned…

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