The way we were

Discuss equipment which does not fit in in the other forums here, like cable cranes, material handlers, drilling, piling and screen equipment
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FOWLER MAN
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Re: The way we were

Post #431 by FOWLER MAN » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:02 pm

Hi All,
Back last year Brian posted that this thread reads like a book. So perhaps I'd better write another chapter.
Call it "A day in the life of a plant fitter."

It was Easter Monday 1970 and I was working for Cardiff Plant Group who then ran 480 machines.Andy Burns, the yard foreman and I were
in work to cover any problems with the several machines which were working that holiday weekend.

No sooner had I arived in the yard when I was called to go to The Imperial Smelting Co. works at Avonmouth to do a welding repair on a hydraulic pipe on an Allis Chalmers TL20 shovel. (For those who don't know, the TL20 was a 2 cu.m. wheel loader with an AEC engine).

I had completed the job and was just getting back into Cardiff when Andy called me on the "AirCall." " Quick as you can Fred," he said we have to go to Bath, I've had the Bath Police on. We'll go in my van he said , insisting that his Morris 1000 was faster than my Bedford CA.

The company was then carrying out flood prevention works on the Bath Avon , reconstructing the Putney Wier together with other works up and down stream of the Historic Putney Bridge.

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When we arrived we discovered that an NCK 305 on a float upstream of the historic bridge had come away from its moorings and floated out from the riverbank. It was in mid stream tethered by one remaining rope and threatening the bridge.

I used a rowing boat to take a rope out to the float where I found the NCK, which was rigged as a crane, still had a drag rope on the second drum. I started and turned the crane to face the wharf and tied the rope to the drag rope socket. Andy tied the other end to a spinghanger on the Morris 1000. He pulled the drag rope out with the van and secured it to a convenient bollard on the quayside. I was then able to winch the machine and float to the quay under its own power and lock it there with the drag brake.
Below is a pic. of that machine safely moored to the opposite bank and another pic. I have found from that job.
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I don't know how we would have managed these days perhaps we would just have to let the disaster happen. I had no formal training in the use of a rowing boat, no life jacket or PPE nor did I have a ticket to drive the NCK. In those days experience and common sense was all we required.

Fred
Last edited by FOWLER MAN on Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: The way we were

Post #432 by Jeremy Rowland » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:19 pm

Thanks Fred brilliant :claphands: yes I'm sad to say gone are the days of common sense and experience no wonder the skilled people are no longer around they are wrapped in cotton wool instead.
There are inevitably risks in every job but a bit of common sense goes a long way! In my own way I have taken endless risks when I worked on the trucks but that was the way that the job used to be done.

Jeremy

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Re: The way we were

Post #433 by FOWLER MAN » Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:09 pm

Hi,
A couple more pics. from the Bath Avon job.
Fred
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Re: The way we were

Post #434 by modelman093 » Thu May 02, 2019 7:26 pm

Wonderful story Fred. I thought for a moment that the Morris 1000.....! Ah well.


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Re: The way we were

Post #435 by essexpete » Thu May 02, 2019 10:14 pm

Great story Captain Fred!


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