Changing the light bulb


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24 Responses to Changing the light bulb

  1. Bob M says:

    Needs to have a parachute and just base jump off the top.

    • John h says:

      I had a salesman try to sell me five of them for Crew when we were painting a 1500 footer He said they had no complaints and no reported failures. Yeah no reported failures ??
      John h

  2. bogsidebunny says:

    Long as you’re belted-in 15 or 1,500 no big deal.

    • Wirecutter says:

      You’re not even considering the climb up there, are you? That’s where the biggest danger of falling is.

      • WoodBurner says:

        Do guy’s actually climb 1500 any more?

        • Wirecutter says:

          I doubt it. I’ve seen a lot of videos where they’re helicoptered up. Fucking cheaters.
          I know even a 200′ climb straight up will wear a man out.

          • fairplayjeepguy says:

            Kenny, helo ops are generally prohibitively expensive for stuff as small as replacing a lamp. They are usually a method of last resort or in areas where getting a crew truck or materials in for the build to near impossible. So for relamps and audits 1500′ does not mean anything to the tech, especially if they work for a shady mom and pop shop that does thing like pay a buck a foot, make techs buy their own harnesses and only pay the drive time one way. The more they can knock out in any given day the better. Hell, I’m pushing 50 and climbed 850’s until last year. It sucks, but we do it all the time.

            • Wirecutter says:

              The tallest tower I ever worked on was right at 800 feet, most of my work was done at the 200 foot level.

            • Rick says:

              What’s so bad about a buck per foot? A 1,500′ antenna would make a pretty good week. Throw in a couple of 200s and that’s a great day.

              I must be missing something. Who pays for the hotel?

              • fairplayjeepguy says:

                Buck a foot sounds good, but it’s all you get outside of using the shop’s truck, and even then it’s not a given. Insurance? All you, no group. Hotel? Food? Probably reimbursed rather than per diem, and I’ve watched lots of green hands come on in shady shops get screwed out of their reimbursements. Lots of these shops require hands to purchase their own harnesses and other safety gear, or hand out used gear in direct violation of law and good sense. Then they are sent up with absolutely zero industry accepted training like CommTrain or GravTech. As a certified climb trainer, I makes my blood boil when I think about how little these shops think of their employees to treat them this way. When your work is based on how many towers you can climb in a day, the quality of the work done is pure warm dog cramp.

          • Rick says:

            Back when I was young and buff, I worked at a tank farm. Every day I would climb up each tank to drop a plumb bob in the tank to measure how far from the top was the oil. The tallest tank was about 90′ and there were 27 tanks altogether. The ladders went straight up the side. I could get em all in about one hour. Being in shape as I was didn’t spare me from being winded after that hour.

            My suggestion that they add a catwalk at the top between the tanks finally was approved but after I had moved on to other duties.

          • WestcoastDeplorable says:

            I climbed up a 200 footer of the little AM station I worked at to replace a collision light bulb. So long as you have a belt it’s not too scary. But what does get to you it the tower will sway a bit…I don’t recommend it if it’s windy.

          • John h says:

            Kenny we still do it every day for the last 35 years used a helicopter on one job in downtown Cleveland Ohio 20 years ago
            John h

  3. D25 says:

    All of us stupid fucks in helicopters really really appreciate dudes like that!

  4. Arc says:

    I would take the job if I had my wings… Since I don’t.. yet… fuck that job. I’ll keep growing cactus.

    -a furdragon

  5. Craig says:

    Climbed the towers near Locke. Jumping off definitely made the climb worthwhile.

  6. millerized says:

    Took me best part of 3hrs to climb something that tall. Worked for Mills Communications in 1988, climbed WBFF Fox 45’s tower in baltimore to change a bulb and antenna leader. It was only 1200′ something tall. From the waveguide to the antenna, the leader, a short section with a PL259 plug on both sides. Those blew out frequently due to lighting strikes. Also, the bulb needed replaced. The climb isn’t that bad, and after 75′ I didn’t care. I unhooked from the ascender and went for it, only clipping in long enough to take a break. Hardest part of the whole climb is pulling the bucket up with all the tools if you didn’t take them with you. At over 1000′, you took the minimum on your belt, and the rest in a canvas Klein bucket about 10′ behind you. Could see DC clearly from the top of that one. Of course, you could see DC from the top of the 320′ one north of Hanover too, so it wasn’t a big deal.
    $15hr on top of the $6.10 I was making. Good money, and I didn’t have to hurry.

    • John h says:

      We weighed out basic belt w/ the required 2 lanyards last wk. it was 26 lbs then add the canvas tool bags and hand tools and we were up to 41 lbs just for a basic job. No special tools or repair parts. A transformer for a hi intensity strobe can weigh 30-50 lbs alone. For one. And thank God they usually fail in one azimuth per level!!
      John h

  7. Duke says:

    There is not fucking way I would even consider climbing that tower for any reason … even for a ton of money. I am acrophobic. I freeze at the 20 foot level. I don’t like small confined spaces either. That is claustrophobia. I have both of those phobias. I don’t like people who are very different than me such as muslims… that is xenophobia … or .. also known as, common sense.

  8. Gryphon says:

    Last Helo Operator I worked for as the Mechanic/Ground Support did some stuff like this, I would put a piece of Scaffold Decking across the Struts of the Hughes 500 (Loach follow-on) and the Antenna Guy would Step Off to the Tower, I would Unhook Him from the Bird, and we would circle back while He Worked. Sometimes I would lower a Bucket with Parts or Tools, and when finished we would move in and let Him Step Back on the Platform. Had to be a Still-Air Day to make it Work, and Hover-out-of-Ground Effect is the Most Dangerous part of the ‘Envelope’ Flying a Helo. Engine is at Full Power, the Slightest Hesitation and You’re Done For.
    We didn’t do Powerline Work, but Knew guys who do, Look Up Haverfield Helicopters, they regularly put Electricians onto Live, 750-Kilovolt Lines, to Inspect and Tighten the Hardware holding the Wires to the Insulators.

Play nice.