Everyone went home safe

Crimsonking

Carpal tunnel level member
Today I was scheduled to remove a large, spreading willow oak that had grown into two guy wires, over bare wires and whose trunk was pushing against the house drop. We had the house drop disconnected, but the bare wire under the tree and beside the drop zone was still active. The crane was set up in a parking lot, and had to boom all picks over the bare wire to the dz.

It would have been a tough job on a good day.

Today had 30mph gusts.

We picked about a third of the brush before I decided to call it off. I should have done so much earlier. There were 3 close calls-

-On the last pick, the operator was concerned that his boom might fold if a gust caught the load before he could get it down.

-Also on the last pick, the limb brushed the bare wire while being landed: no sparks or shock to anyone, but not good.

-A throwline was blown into the wires when someone on the ground crew was trying to get something around the butt of a pick to keep the wind from blowing the tips into the wires. It was new, on purpose, but not a good situation.

I am glad we all walked away without injury, but as I reflected I realized that we should have called the job off well before we did. Too many things happened that could have been catastrophic. Just because nothing bad happened doesn’t mean we did a good job.

So there were three instances that could have ended badly, but what led us to be in those situations? Personally, I wanted to call it as soon as the wind started, but the crane was set up and I trust the operator, so we decided to do a test pick. After that, we saw that it would be slow going, but it was hard to stop after starting. I again wanted to call it a little later, but my main hesitation was the cost. Terrible reason, but it’s the pressure we all feel at times. Stopping the job would cost the tree company a lot of money. I would be fine, as would the crane company. I really like the company I was contracting for- they’re like brothers.

Eventually, sense won out, and I decided that it would cost less to walk away than it would to wait till someone couldn’t walk away.

I like production, but production cannot trump safety. We dodged three bullets today- NOT. WORTH. IT.

Gals and guys, please don’t let production drive you as far as I let it drive me today.
 

Dan Cobb

Branched out member
Location
Hoover
There’s a wind restriction by OSHA for a reason. Good call
Some people seem to have the mindset that OSHA has a gazillion burdensome regulations. When I was in regulatory compliance and dealing with supervisors and managers who were "less than enthusiastic" about compliance, I liked to say the OSHA requirements are the bare minimum you can do for Safety and Health to not be in violation of federal law.
 

Crimsonking

Carpal tunnel level member
There’s a wind restriction by OSHA for a reason. Good call
Forgive my ignorance, Steve. What is the wind restriction?

When we were setting up there was a breeze, but the gusts started when we were getting started in the air. I never checked wind predictions for the day. This was the first crane job out of countless that wind has been a big enough factor to cancel. I’ll have my eye on the wind speed projections from now on.
 

Chris Schultz

Participating member
Location
Minturn
Forgive my ignorance, Steve. What is the wind restriction?

When we were setting up there was a breeze, but the gusts started when we were getting started in the air. I never checked wind predictions for the day. This was the first crane job out of countless that wind has been a big enough factor to cancel. I’ll have my eye on the wind speed projections from now on.
I am also curious?…. Is that at ground level? 20’, 50’, 150’? It’s crazy how dramatic winds change when you gain altitude.
 

Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
I believe 28 mph winds is very sketchy to work in
we usually call it at 25 mph with any really critical rigging
We usually call it lower than that if we are getting up in the air at any real height. Today will be one of those questionable days for us here, we have a crane coming to pick some tall, thin trees. They’re in the woods though on the side of a hill, so it may not be as windy as the forecast (15-25mph). We will find out soon if we can work, for sure!
 

Crimsonking

Carpal tunnel level member
My best catch from google fishing-


This article says 22mph.

Steve, thank you for mentioning this restriction. It’s empowering for making the right call at the right time.

The company wants to try again Friday, but a weather system will be blowing out that day with gusts around 26. Unless the forecast changes, I’m going to push him to wait until our later reschedule date.
 

VenasNursery

Carpal tunnel level member
Location
Michigan
My best catch from google fishing-


This article says 22mph.

Steve, thank you for mentioning this restriction. It’s empowering for making the right call at the right time.

The company wants to try again Friday, but a weather system will be blowing out that day with gusts around 26. Unless the forecast changes, I’m going to push him to wait until our later reschedule date.
I’m not sure about cranes but lifts are 28mph
 

Steve Connally

Been here a while
What I found was wording that says not to exceed the manufacturers recommendations. My owners manual says 30 mph sustained. Gusts are calculated as a force of 4. If a wind gust is 2 miles and hour the force on the boom is 8. 22mph as stated above for work at height. Each aerial device has it's own general rating per type of lift and for scaffolding.
 

Crimsonking

Carpal tunnel level member
What I found was wording that says not to exceed the manufacturers recommendations. My owners manual says 30 mph sustained. Gusts are calculated as a force of 4. If a wind gust is 2 miles and hour the force on the boom is 8. 22mph as stated above for work at height. Each aerial device has it's own general rating per type of lift and for scaffolding.
Thanks for the info!
 

New threads New posts

Kask Stihl NORTHEASTERN Arborists Wesspur TreeStuff.com Kask Teufelberger Westminster X-Rigging Teufelberger Tracked Lifts Arbor Expo BayLeafDigital
Top Bottom