Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cranes, cranes and more cranes

It was way back at my Grandfathers birthday i asked if there were any jobs going in the drilling business and that's where my passion for cranes truely started. Almost 20 years on now my passion is stronger than ever. It's a unique job allowing you to play with a big toy all day long and gives you the chance to travel and see alot most would not. I don't drive the tall tower cranes but i drive the heavy lifting crawler cranes, why called a crawler because they're on tracks and crawl around the place...simple. The smallest being the 15Ton Smith in the above photo, my very first crane. Since then thou i have driven cranes up to 180Ton. Picking something up and swinging it around like a feather with the ease of a couple of leavers is great fun, there has been a couple of hairy moments but you need them to know your limits and the cranes!! There was one day the ground i was working on which the digger driver assured me was compacted properly gave way on me while i had a 6Ton load on at full stretch heading for a bridge deck 40m above me, the crane started tipping over fast, i applied a method i had been taught by my mad mate Doobie to get the load to the ground and i just got it down in time, the boys reckon at one stage the back track was that far off the ground you could've walked under it! Instances like this are very similar to tow surfing and getting a serious hold down, my legs were shaking so bad afterwards i could hardly stand but you have to get back on the wagon and straight back into it otherwise you'll lose your wits and confidence. It definatley made me a better crane driver. Here's a few pics of some of the cranes i've driven. The big splash is where i took a boulder the size of a mini and dropped it from 150ft just to see what would happen, there's a big kid in all of us. Also there have been some real magic places to work like the New Brighton beach pier in Christchurch, NZ pictured just below a long period swell cruizing in, what a view. What's next for me, well my dream is to drive the crane pictured at the botton. It's a 3,000Ton crane which will lift it's on weight and more...dreamtime...

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