Dismantling a 120ft VersaTower
I have been after a tower for some time now, and although I was only really looking for a smallish one (say 60ft), I could not really turn this one down.
This mast is the Strumech Versatower 3XHD 120ft 3 Section telescopic tower, and although quite an old tower, it has been very well maintained and looked after over the years, it has no rust on it so to speak off and the only slight discolouration is on the very top section where the elements have tried to work their way through the galvanizing, but as already stated it has been very well looked after and will only require a minor clean up and maybe a small spray of zinc here and there to help it through the next 20 years.
Nearly all of the mast has been coated with ‘Wax Oil’ and there are no signs of wear from the cables cutting into any of the struts.
There is a small cross member at the bottom of the base section that has been slightly pushed in by the previous owner to Douglas Dodd (GD3RFK) reversing into it with his car, but thankfully this does not degrade the tower in its strength or function in any way and it has been standing quite happily for over 20 years now.
The only problem with this tower is that it’s a three section monster! And I am not joking, even lowered the mast stands at a healthy 42ft, which really means that with a location like the one it will be moving to, it will not really need to be raised by much at all, meaning that it will be even better at withstanding the winter gales that we have here, though that said my home location is very sheltered thanks to all the tall trees around the property.
But as stated, if this was just a small run of the mill three section 60-80ft tower with a standard ground post, it would make dismantling and moving it a doddle with very little hassles at all, but this I am afraid is built for big beams and rough weather, and no shortcuts have been taken with the construction at all, she has been built with safety in mind.I was thinking that if I was to build two 20ft scaffold towers under each end of the mast I could jack up the tower with either a 2 ton jack or even a block and tackle and then remove the pivot pin, then the mast could be quite easily slide to the side of the mast atop of the scaffold towers and then very laboriously lowered to the ground a few feet at a time through the scaffolding with the use of block and tackle and removing cross sections of scaffolding, but this would be VERY time consuming and really a lot of hard work.
It was originally moved from its previous location on a 30ft flat-bed wagon with a crane and to be honest, although this is going to be very costly, it really is the only way as the supporting mast section is 20ft of very thick and reinforced steel and thus very heavy and it would not be too easy to take off the concrete base and lay flat without a crane.So the first part of the job is to make her ready for craning out which means de-rigging and stripping it down to its bare essentials so to speak.
So to anyone that is interested, here is what we got up to on one very hot Sunny day on the Isle of Man ‘Dismantling a 120ft Versatower’