Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bob Goes Golfing

I went golfing yesterday and I didn't like it.Golfing for me entailed repairing two guy wires on an 80 foot tall wooden pole that supports netting at an outdoor golf driving range in Alexandria,Va. Sounds simple,doesn't it? I thought so, until I learned more about the job. The poles supporting the netting are on a hill, which eliminates the use of an aerial lift to access the top of the pole because you need a relatively flat surface to operate from. Each pole supporting the netting  has two sets of guy wires: 2 on the inside(driving range) and 2 on the outside.Our two wires that needed replacing were on the inside and needed to be repaired without shutting down the range. Our solution was an rough terrain crane with a  man basket.
The crane will get us to where we need to be,but there is no access for the crane. Solution: build a road through the treeline from the adjoining property! A few trees and a couple of dump trucks later, we have a road!

After the crane is in place and I resolve some safety issues, we load up the man basket with a test weight and perform some trial lifts.
Only now it is getting dark - an added bonus!
After getting some headlamps and tools together my co-worker Steve and I hop into the basket and finally get to work.
The hundred or so drunk golfers trying to hit us!
Success! Two new guy wires in place, only took us 15 hours!
Steve (on the right) and Phil, the Top Golf manager, pose beside our mobile barrier from flying golf balls. Notice the lacrosse helmet for protection! I just wore my hardhat and was fortunate enough not to get hit. Another day, another dollar.

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