holy SHIT !!!


Well-Known Member
Stephen...I agree...sorta. Have you ever hung a line in a tree that had a WLL stamped on it? If not then you are guessing. It is about making educated GOOD guesses, but we work in nature and to preserve natural settings. Not everything can be a perfect known. By no means is this an excuse to half-ass safety inspections (if anything it is a call to more diligent)! We have to work with contingency plans in place when we are guessing. Often times it is the lack of Plan B as much as a bad Plan A that will cause trouble.

Stephen Moore

Well-Known Member
Stephen...I agree...sorta. Have you ever hung a line in a tree that had a WLL stamped on it? If not then you are guessing. It is about making educated GOOD guesses, but we work in nature and to preserve natural settings. Not everything can be a perfect known. By no means is this an excuse to half-ass safety inspections (if anything it is a call to more diligent)! We have to work with contingency plans in place when we are guessing. Often times it is the lack of Plan B as much as a bad Plan A that will cause trouble.
I agree and I double down on that, if a complicated situation arises the client needs to be aware it will need more scrutiny to be safe, the cost is theirs to bear. I do not sacrifice my safety or anyone else’s for their garden or house! Period! No amount of money is worth my kids growing up without a father.


Well-Known Member
We live in a house that was built previously to 1890. Last spring after heavy rains a 5ft. diameter X 5ft. deep hole opened up. It was perfectly round. Looks like an old abandoned hand dug well, no lining. We have photos from the 1950's and the well was filled and not showing even then.

We also have an operational hand dug well with no lining out front, 5ft. by 48ft. You can still see where foot holds were dug into the walls as I imagine the digger assisted as he was pulled up on some type of rope winch.

Finding all of this old stuff is going to be really difficult. If the yard is marked for underground utilities then maybe an outrigger with no cribbing could do a test push. The smaller diameter just may break through without a load on the crane Vs. finding the hole with a large load on the boom.


Well-Known Member
You could also just use oversized outrigger pads. The company I work for does a bunch of work in cemetaries, and while they know where most of the graves are, there are a bunch of unknown and unmarked ones. (we've found them with bobcats and a bucket truck before). Any time the crane is heading to one, we bring along some 1 inch thick steel road plates for outrigger "pads" setup the crane on the road, set the plates where they need to be, then setup the crane in place
I use the same plates in cemeteries bout I put 16'6x6,s over top of the plates


Well-Known Member
Paul, Great job on reacting to the situation. I would also take care of the hole as it is good customer relations. As far as trying to place the liability/blame on the homeowner they probably didn't know either or they would have told you. The house might have been sold multiple times since the tank was abandoned. I ask every customer about underground tanks as we have a lot of septic systems here. Too often they don't know where theirs is or if they do they are unaware of any abandoned tanks/drywells etc.

As that was a trunk pick had you taken other picks with similar weight while doing that tree? even with lighter picks with more reach there might have been the same force applied to the outrigger pad.

Glad everything worked out for you. Thanks for posting. It is an invaluable tool for the rest of us. Id much rather be learning from a close call


Well-Known Member
Always hard with random events. I went through septic lid driving truck mount ewp, after using a septic map to identify where the tanks and pipes were. LOL there was a third septic tank that wasn't on the map that was hooked up to the others.

Just swallowed the rectification time and rental, and client paid for materials. Disclaimer was there but the incident was caused by plumbers not doing paperwork years ago and hard to prove. Didnt want to leave client in the mess, and word of mouth is my primary form advertising.


Well-Known Member
I’ve been thinking of this thread with my water meter mishap.
I was hired to do cleanup on a very large Bigleaf maple. The tree crown failed into the powerlines the line clearance crew came and shit piles the tree into the yard before reconnecting and left the 6’ diameter stob standing. My contract is just to chip the brush, and haul the wood that’s on the ground. Brush and 24” logs shit piled 4’ deep in any available space.
Brought the mini in and started picking the mess apart, making great time. Got 70% of the way through the mess. My GUESS is that a end of a scaffold limb impacted the water meter, and I grabbed the butt end levering the meter right out of the ground.
While I dont specifically state damage to water meters on my contract, I do mention other underground utilities, septics, sprinkler systems, and other incententals.
Now the kicker is that this propert is a rental, in a development with a community well. The client was away on vacation, and the renter was not home away on a overnight. I was entirely on my own to make decisions. I called a good electrician friend for a plumber recommendation and couldn’t get through.
Called a random local plumber, they came out within an hour. His tweaker white boy wannabe homie, kept mentioning how screwed I am, how it’s the cities issue, and they couldn’t help me. The jobsite is nearly 20 miles outside city limits, and this yahoo clearly has no idea of the island.
Finally got the community well management company out to shut the damn thing off. Dude pulls up, parks (we shut down the chipper), he comes around my truck and screams at the top of his lungs “Aww FUCK!.” Then he turns around gets into his truck, and tires screeching literally floors it speeding out of the neighborhood!?!
Then comes neighborhood association elected dude. He just marches right in all pissed off, and starts kicking brush around muttering. I ask him what he is doing, and he says he is looking for the box. I responded “it’s right behind you” he turns around three time flapping his arms kicking brush. I had to ask him to stop many times, and once he does I show him where the box is placed just 10’ away. He then mutters about not knowing if he has a shut off key, and doesn’t know where the neighborhood shut off is. Gets in his car and drives off without saying anything else.
About 20 minuets later, the water just stops flowing, then “Aww F..” dude comes back. Never once makes eye contact, and doesn’t respond to me at all. He grabs a shovel and starts flinging mud all over the place. We rake... He then pulls some glue out of his truck then starts cursing, again. I walk over to see if I can lend a hand, the glue is bad and he has to go get more. I catch a whiff of booze on his breath. He leaves, we finish chipping. He comes back still not saying anything throwing a hissy fit stomping around. We finish cleanup, and I tell my guy to head out. I text the client explaining what happened, and that I think it’s taken care of. Then I walk back over to the plumber, his mood slightly improved. He asks how it happens, and I explain. He mutters, and I ask if he needs anything from me. He says no, so I get the he’ll outta there before shit gets any weirder, and I wind up murdered.


Well-Known Member
Last one I broke wasn’t entirely my fault. OUPS was called and they had over 48 hours. The water wasn’t marked. Flopped a log right in top of the shut off riser. Got the phone number for the city water dept. I was on the phone with them when they pulled up to mark it. That guy was pissed. I gave home my OUPS ticket number and he kept yelling about how I shouldn’t have started work till all utilities were marked. His superiors were on the phone and with in seconds he apologized and was hand digging for the shut off. I’ve learned how to cover my ass.


Had similar incident but was only backing a chipper into yard when half of it fell into old tank. Had to get my crane to pull it out and cost me extra time that I ate on the job. I wasn't told it was there and had owners permission to place chipper in yard. It was turned into my insurance and home owner turned it in. What ended up happening was the 2 insurance companies split the cost of damages. After that I put in the hold harmless clause. They are still my customer.


Well-Known Member
Hey big guy, always great to read you..

Did you finally get some storm damage down there for your crane and Brutus to feast on??


Well-Known Member

Still a storm famine here, lots of rain this year but no storms.

Last weekend I bought 3 new saws and hired another full time groundy ready for the imenent hurricane. Nothing


Well-Known Member
Ground penetrating radar???

A probe (3-4' long rebar?) driven in...might have sounded like a rock, might have sounded hollow???? Seems excessive to do that for every outrigger - until one sinks in, them seems foolish to not test every spot.

Be sure & use the Fiberglass version.

In a residential setting, there’s bound to be additionally added minerals like copper & aluminum in the ground: great conductors those two.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro


Well-Known Member
Sounds expensive...until you are watching another crane pick your crane off of the neighbors house and the log off of the client's house.

Does anybody do that before setting outriggers? Even larger construction cranes? It would seem to be a very quick thing as I assume you'd just check a 4 or 5' x 4 or 5' area under each planned pad Relatively 'cheap' insurance in that you only have to buy once.
We do GPR Surveys before breaking ground on a new project: the trouble is, they are only so accurate.

For instance, sometimes the system identifies something is there, but it’s not always clear, & that’s provided there is metallic components present.

I know personally of an instance GPRS didn’t pick up 2 & 1/4” diameter buried Medium Voltage Cable because the Cable was incorrectly buried previously, & no tracer tape was put into the ditch, much less concrete or conduit around the Cable.

A Big Boom, a completely ruined 30t excavator, but Thank God no injuries.

I don’t share that as something to ridicule but as something to always remember: everything man-made has the potential to be fallible.

I can’t help but believe Due-Diligence would matter in a Court Room however.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Last edited: