Monday, June 22, 2009

June 22, 2009

Graz, Austria Today's story does have a point, but it's more about the shenanigans of drunk students. In Austria this weekend a student walking home from the bar drunk decided that the tower crane was closer than his bed. He climbed the 150 of ladder and caught some sleep in the cab. As you can imagine it's not a healthy idea to climb ladders 150 feet up while drunk. So drunk that you don't even remember it. But all's well that ends well. The crane operator found him sleeping in the cab the next morning. I'm sure that a good laugh was had by all.

In Seattle there is an unnamed operator whom years ago went out drinking with the Ironworkers on the jobsite. (First lesson, don't go drinking with Ironworkers.) Rather than driving home just to have to come back, he decided to climb up to sleep in his crane. Someone noticed him in the cab and called the police. He awoke to his phone ringing and laser pointers on his chest from the SWAT team which is a whole other political topic. Virtually all of us who know give him a bad time about it everytime we see him. His phone was ringing because the contractor wanted to know something about getting up there. "Uh... It's me up here. I'll be down in a minute."

I had a crane in the University of Washington area. The first week of school I came in on a Monday to find the crane hook in the middle of the tree near street level. It's likely that on Friday or Saturday night someone got into the crane and was playing around. Leaving the hook down, dangerous for everyone, but the person had trolleyed out far enough that the hook was hung up in a tree preventing it from swinging into the street.

The lesson is that we should secure our cranes. Many cranes have locks on the hatch or door. If they are utilized you are less likely to have protestors reach the top of your crane and turn it into a billboard. We put a lock on my crane. It was a small tower crane so if it had gotten onto the street, a passing bus could have easily pulled it over. Just make sure that you don't add windloading to the tower with your method of blocking access to the tower if that's the route that you go. Oh, and don't turn your crane into a drunken motel. Sleep in your car if you have to.

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