HG-52SS Tower Safety Stand

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I saw a nice but pricey design for a work stand that attaches to a tower top so I decided to copy it, adding a few necessary mods to suit my needs.  With the tower cranked down and nested I can now safely get to the boom top as well as the rotator.  I debated on where to attach the stand on the tower, opting for the lowest of the three sections to keep the design simpler and reduce wind loading.   The stand is well below the tree line, so there is little additional wind load in storms.  The floor is easily removed to avoid ice and snow accumulation in the winter.

I put on some additional guide rails for the 32 foot extension ladder I ladder use to climb.  Crank-up towers are unsafe to climb directly so another means of getting up to the top is the only way to go.   The main supports for the stand are two j-pole type rails that have vertical pins which insert into the tower section tubing. Four stainless hose clamps hold the frame securely to the tower and provide redundancy.

The guide rails hold the ladder in place for the first ascent, during which I tie the ladder top around the  tower to make it even more secure and less wobbly.  I also run a  retaining strap between the rails to stiffen things up. I used steel bed frame angle pieces for the frame of the stand, bolted together and also welded for extra security.  The removable  wood floor is made of 2×4 pieces held together with a bottom angle piece.

I use a mountain climbing harness with an ascender and caribiners to attach the harness to the climbing rope.   I’ve used this rig for climbing sailboat masts and it is simple and secure.    Once on top I pull the slack out of the ascender line and snap in another line to the tower.   Something is always attached so falling risk is pretty low   The tower sections are always blocked as a backup to the winch brake.

My first project was to put a self-stowing cable system on so that the coax and rotator control lines don’t touch the ground when the tower is down and nested.  This makes cranking the tower down much simpler and avoids the problem of the cables getting frozen to the ground  in the wet snow we get in the late winter.  It also distributes the hanging load over the length of the lines.  Two garden hose brackets did the trick and were easy to attach using stainless hose clamps. I had to be careful anything that I added did not interfere with the tower sections and possibly cause them to bind.