Do or Die! Are you in over your head?

Qualifications, do you think that just because you climb towers you are qualified to do anything on the tower? What does your company bid on? Does your crew install dishes or LTE arrays or broadcast antennas or stack towers or strengthen towers? Do you know if you are qualified to do this work on the tower? Did your boss assign your crew a job that you know you are not qualified to do? Did you read the paperwork before you started? Are you in over your head? Is it do or die? No, it isn’t! Because if you are not prepared to pull that load up the tower then maybe you should say something to whoever is running the show. Either get the right crew with the right tools or get another company in there to do it!

You company should not be bidding on anything with a dollar sign. Like Clint Eastwood said as Harry Callahan in “Magnum Force”, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” It was much cooler when Clint said it, but you get the idea! Do you know your limitations? Did you plan on lifting such a heavy and large load? Do you know the ratings on your ropes, blocks, shackles, straps, and all associate hardware? Do you? Do you know how to mount to the tower? How about what to mount to on the tower? Do you mount to a small cross member for a large load? Can you tag the load out with the people you have? Ask yourself, can I do this with the people I am working with? Answer honestly!

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Listen, some companies bid on work because they need the work, not always because they can do the work.Reputation is big in this industry so that is why when something happens they need to correct it immediately. Accidents happen and most people can forgive, but you need to work extra hard to earn forgiveness and avoid a repeat in the future. If you are good at what you do, then the word of mouth should help you out. 

There is a lot of speculation about how prepared a crew was recently and if they should have been doing this work because of an accident. Could it have been prevented or was it a faulty piece of hardware? If you read this then you can probably guess what accident I am talking about. If you don’t know then go here.

So if you are the one bidding on the work you had better know what your crews can handle. Do they fly dishes or cell mounts? Do they erect towers? If so what kind and how big? Do you think you can do it all? Think again. How experienced is the crew that will be doing the work? How confident are they? How smart are they? How smart are you? All questions that should be asked prior to the responding to the offer.

You see, the thing here is if you are wrong, it may not be a bad day but a funeral. It may cost someone more than a damaged reputation! Think about it. That is why I am in favor of not only experience and learning, but understanding your limitations. If you have worked on something similar than you will understand what is involved and the risks! If you are getting into something new, then it would be a good idea to hire someone who knows what they are doing and get the equipment to handle the job. Plan it out. Read the SOW, look at the BOM, understand you equipment’s ratings. Know what you have and what you will be doing by making a plan.

If something goes wrong, OSHA will look at the people doing the work and that company who is doing the work, but I am thinking they should go beyond that, end to end. Tower owners to the end customer so they know all the factors involved. I am pretty sure that someone at OSHA is looking at this rolling their eyes because they are overworked, but I think once they get the system in place then it will benefit everyone. Once the standards and requirements are set then they will roll it out to the industry. For the tower crews it will probably mean more paperwork to qualify everyone and that will mean more costs for the customer because it will not be free. We all know that paperwork means more money. We also know that it may weed out some of the crews that should not be out there in the first place. It may get ugly before it gets pretty again.

Did someone ask how to use a Capstan properly?

Hey, great resource for Capstan winches from GME Supply, and no, I do not get any type of kickback! I just think this is an excellent resource for someone using a capstan. Kudos to GME Supply for putting this out! I can’t believe I didn’t see it earlier! Presented by Keith Willey of Hubbell Power Systems. Great job Keith! It’s all about the drag!

More on the capstan from GME.

Hey, what about tower light fines? Remember this?

Also, I got a message from Richard Evans that the tower lighting is enforced so harshly because if a helicopter or small plane crash into it then people will die! They will not survive a crash. So that is why the fines for the tower lighting are so severe and they need to notify the FAA immediately. I really didn’t think about the helicopter traffic, so that is something that needs to be taken into consideration when looking at the fines. I should have thought about that and the towers on the mountain tops. They are all factors for the tower lights causing planes and helicopters to be safe.

A man has got to know his limitations!

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Keep the near miss stories coming. Email me at or message me on Facebook or leave the information below. Or call and leave a message at my Google voice mail at 510-516-4283. Remember it here.

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