Many thanks Paul at least I'll have a better idea what I'm looking at!
Posted 30 September 2018 - 02:41
A couple of shots from my transmission line building days a few decades back:
500Kv quad conductor line between Mt Piper and Black Springs, near Oberon, in the blue Mountains of New South Wales
Helicopter stringing of draw wires on a 330Kv line between Coffs Harbour and Grafton, in New South Wales
The view from the top. 75-110m up on these ones. No harness, and no ladder for the first 50m - not even climbing pins on the corners for the first 20m - you hauled yourself bodily up the angles... It was a cowboy industry even in 1990 when I was a young engineer.
Posted 30 September 2018 - 09:02
Those look really good, it’s nice to see some other types from around the world. Was there any injuries while stringing these as what you said looks very dangerous and cowboyish?
Best regards, Matthew
There were horrific injuries in that industry.
I had to take coroner into the forest to the remote tower site where 1 man had fallen 45m to his death - and help carry the body bag to the hearse - an incredibly sobering task for an engineer 6 months out of university - the man was a Spanish gentle giant, who was always friendly to me; a year or so later, on a project I wasn't on, but same company, a tir-for let go and the free end of a conductor wrapped around the leg of a rigger, and dragged him out of a man cage to his death; that helicopter in the photo above crash landed in fog in Queensland a few years later on a third job and the pilot was killed.
On top of that, there were the non fatal, but life changing injuries - a truck driver crushed his own leg with a 2T concrete block when trying to load it using a hiab truck. A rigger fell from the top cross arm, and landed across the middle one, saving his life, but giving himself spinal injuries. Then there were the severed thumbs etc...
OH&S was just a joke in 1991. The crews - mainly Italians, Spaniards, and Portuguese, were some of the nicest blokes you could ever meet - and as a green civil engineer, I had the time of my life straight out of university. Back then, they were allowed to buy two cans of beer each every morning, and drink it for 9am smoko... then climb back up the towers.
I hadn't been higher the the 2nd-to-top step of a ladder when I started that job. Was never asked if I was afraid of heights when I was hired. Never told I had to go out and climb. They just let you find your own level of comfort. One day, after about six months, I went out to where there was a crew working tightening bolts up the top of the tower, and began to climb... took me an hour, and I left fingerprints in the steel, but I made it to the top on my first go. (Henrique, the man who died in the fall, was there, and I trusted him to look out for me) That night at the construction camp mess, word was quickly passed around, the grappa was flowing freely congratulating the young "engineero" for making his first climb.
Later on - at Oberon - I was climbing up and down towers a dozen times a day to set the sag markers and check using a rifle scope of theodolite head. It became second nature. I had a waist belt and lanyard that I could use to hold myself and lean out, but the workers never bothered. I've shots somewhere of them sitting out on the insulators of the tensions towers, straddling the wires, installing the dog bone dampers... that took nerves.
It was good fun for a young buck, and I've never been afraid of heights since!
Posted 04 November 2018 - 18:13
Nice atmospheric pic. Pylons, factory, pub and bus. And what a great pub name - the Hydraulic Crane.
The Pub is so called as it is next to Armstrong's works - Armstrong of course being one of the earliest users of hydraulic power. His house, Cragside (National Trust) in Northumberland is worth a visit. It has a hydraulic powered roasting spit! The pub in later years became very popular with office workers in the new buildings along the bank of the Tyne - my wife included before we moved away from Tyneside.