This week we were due to do some Bird Proofing and Bird Exclusion work for one of our clients. The work is quite tricky as the building shape does not lend itself easily for bird netting, but this is really the only option on this particular site, so we needed some specialist equipment for this work.
The client decided that he would source the equipment we needed as he had other work to do as well, so keeping an eye on his hard fought budget is crucial. Now on this job, its not too high to the roof, about 12 meters, but the problem is the reach we need. There are some very odd structures we need to get to, so a 14 meter reach was required beyond the gutters – this calls for a Haulotte HA20 PX Articulated boom MEWP – or in layman’s terms – a big old monster of a cherry picker!
When specifying any type of machine like this, you must be completely happy of all circumstances and take into account all the conditions and issues you may face – this is why a full site survey is done. Firstly, you must assess that you can actually get the machine into the area you need to work in – sounds common sense but you would be surprised how often a machine is delivered only to find out that it would go through a gap…red faces all round!
Anyway, our client is very experienced in performing site surveys so we trusted him to ensure the machine would fit.
When we arrived on site and pulled into the working area, we were greeted by a big shiny cherry picker…but something looked wrong…it was leaning to one side. It was then we realised that it was stuck fast in the mud!
The guys were using it the day before without issue, but over night the rain was very heavy, causing some localised flooding around the site. To save time for us, one of the guys decided to take the machine around to the working area for us, not walking the route properly before driving it and missed that the soak away channels were waterlogged.
What a shock he had when the machine slowly sank down to the axles! Unfortunately, once these things go, they go and there is no stopping them. One thing most people forget with a machine like this is the shear weight – this beast weighs 12,000Kg so will sink into wet ground easily.
After about an hour of trying to drive it out, the decision was made to call in a recovery vehicle to lift/pull it out and cancel the work for that day. Luckily we had a full day’s work to do on other parts of the site, so our time was not wasted. The last thing I saw was this poor guy getting a major dressing down – I think this is a lesson learnt for him. I am told he had been IPAF qualified for a number of years and should have known better.
So the moral of this story is if you are getting in machines of this size, make sure you cover all the bases – it will save time and money just to get it right – most providers normally do a survey for a small charge and it is well worth it if you are not sure.
Anyway, the work has been scheduled for 2 weeks time, hopefully the weather is good and also they have placed down some loading boards to help spread this weight. I will keep you posted on the job – its a bit of an odd one but hopefully will be interesting…one feature is nothing can be drilled, so fixings are either clamps, clips or glued….an interesting challenge to say the least!