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UER Forum > Rookie Forum > Tips for climbing cranes? (Viewed 1183 times)
That_Dude 


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Tips for climbing cranes?
< on 9/27/2017 12:37 AM >
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Has anybody attempted to climb a crane before? Is it any different from climbing a radio tower? And, what precautions do you take to not be caught? I am very much a noob at this, I have just done my first climb of a radio tower today and I really want to relive the experience.

Any tips are appreciated, thanks.




Aran 


Location: Madison, WI
Gender: Male
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Even when unnecessary, it just looks cool.

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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 1 on 9/27/2017 1:11 AM >
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I've never climbed a radio tower, but I've climbed a couple of cranes.

First off, stay on the platforms. I cannot emphasize this enough. Do not climb things that aren't ladders. Do not crawl out onto the boom. Do not take "one handed hanging" shots from any part of the crane, no matter how cool it looks when climbers from Dubai do it. These are all excellent ways to get yourself killed.

Wear dull (not black) clothes- my favorite is grey or dull blue. Also, bring gloves. Cranes are often have oil and concrete dust on them, and you don't want to lose your grip. Wear closed toe shoes that fit well, like hiking boots or tennis shoes- no sandals.

When you climb, take frequent breaks. Most cranes are meant to be safely scaled by workers every day, so they have certain features to allow that- such as platforms every floor or so. A seven story crane will have roughly seven platforms to rest on. Take your time.

Most cranes have a two story plywood wall around the base, to keep out climbers. However, the cranes are anchored in the basement of the building they are constructing, so once the ground floor exists, it often isn't hard to access them.

Finally, don't draw attention to yourself. People don't often look up without a cause- bright lights and loud noises are causes. Strive to create neither- the ambient light of the city has always been enough to see by, in my experience.



[last edit 9/27/2017 1:12 AM by Aran - edited 1 times]

I was born too late to explore the world, but too early to explore the stars. So instead I'll explore the city, and see what I can see.

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blackhawk 


Location: High Plains Drifter
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manes lupus

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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 2 on 9/27/2017 1:56 AM >
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Climbing structural steel is a lot of fun.

●Avoid climbing on wet steel, in high or gusting wind, fog or if lighting is present within 20 miles.
●High top laced up boots with a sole suitable for climbing are best.
Avoid shoes with soft soles ie running shoes. When climbing on rungs they don't distribute the load across the foot. Repetition injuries to the arch are possible and debilitating.
●Long legged pants. As mentioned by Aran bring a good pair of leather climbing gloves.

●3 points of contact always when climbing.
Leg or arm lock to something when resting or not moving.
●Be aware of any pivoting points or pinch points; avoid them.
Stay close to the steel when not moving; reduce your visible profile.
●Never try to climb on or slide down, etc wire rope cables.
Be careful to stay out of grease; bring a bush towel (a small dark colored towel) with you.
●Make sure you are well hydrated the hours before the climb, and feeling 100%; never climb when sick.
Secure all items on your person so they can't fall. Lol, don't leave your wallet there.
●If you have any serious problems; bug out.

Never play on steel; it is completely unforgiving




[last edit 9/27/2017 2:52 AM by blackhawk - edited 2 times]

Non ducor, duco
Fleeting 


Location: Toronto
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Join us

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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 3 on 9/27/2017 3:08 AM >
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Don't be this woman:





One day I got a good camera.
blackhawk 


Location: High Plains Drifter
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manes lupus

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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 4 on 9/27/2017 3:30 AM >
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Posted by Fleeting
Don't be this woman:

https://i2.wp.com/...ality=70&strip=all


Bah-ha-ha-ha-ha, ha-ha-ha-ha...
I was thinking of her.
In high heels too.
It's incredible she didn't kill herself sliding down those greased cables. TFF.
She's been voted most likely to succumb




Non ducor, duco
Big Poppa 


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I LOVE IT WHEN YOU CALL ME BIG POPPA

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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 5 on 9/27/2017 4:24 AM >
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Get a crane operator's ticket and get paid to do it.




That_Dude 


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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 6 on 9/27/2017 1:41 PM >
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The only thing that I don't fully understand from the responses above is why Aran suggested that I not wear black but some dull color. Does black stand out that much against a crane's structure?




blackhawk 


Location: High Plains Drifter
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manes lupus

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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 7 on 9/27/2017 3:10 PM >
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Posted by That_Dude
The only thing that I don't fully understand from the responses above is why Aran suggested that I not wear black but some dull color. Does black stand out that much against a crane's structure?


Black can make you stand out.
Avoid blues; it is an unnatural color the human eye keys onto easily. Not an issue in low light... but you never know when things will get brighter.
Grey is best near the same shade level as the crane.

I like wide tiger camo patterns generally.




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4Valhal 


Location: Kansas City, KS
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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 8 on 9/27/2017 4:45 PM >
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Posted by That_Dude
The only thing that I don't fully understand from the responses above is why Aran suggested that I not wear black but some dull color. Does black stand out that much against a crane's structure?


If you look at nature black scales do exist, but a true black does not. Most shadows are a grayish color, leaves and wood are rarely true black, etc. When something that is black moves it's quite obvious.

It also makes your outline very distinct.

Personally I'd scout the crane and find out what color it is first. Don't wear something that is going to stand out against the crane.

Also remember that getting to the top is only half of the work involved. If you're getting exhausted from the climb don't think getting to the top will fix it. You still have to climb down.




Never climb after somebody with ulcerative colitis. -Steed
Steed 


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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 9 on 9/27/2017 7:56 PM >
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I've climbed many cranes in Korea, and scouted a handful of them in Canada this summer. So hopefully my advice isn't too culturally off.

Beyond what everyone else says, I also vote for grey clothes, but another great colour is beige, especially if the crane is yellow. You'd be surprised how easily people ignore you when you're dressed in dull colours. And I haven't experimented with it but would assume a blue or any colour close to the ambient sky colour would not be so bad (blue only in day of course).

It is very important to pack light. Last time I climbed a crane, I shaved several minutes off (from about 12 down to 7, going by gopro files) my time by not packing a tripod (which I didn't even use much the previous trip up). Also, if the crane has a ladder cage, a backpack is a very bad idea, as is anything on your front that restricts your knee movement.

I have not found gloves to be very useful, as you can't get as good a grip as you can with bare hands. My favourite climbing gloves are these Korean workman's gloves that are white cloth with sticky red palms that look like you just killed a guy.

I've also found climbing down to be considerably easier than going up, and have never had a single problem on fast-paced descents.

Never climb after somebody with ulcerative colitis.

Most of the cranes I climb in Korea are part of some massive construction site, and once you get onto the property the crane won't be so heavily protected. In that case I like to walk around the site thoroughly and confirm nobody is there; if I'm caught before ascending, I'm just a lost drunk looking for a dark corner to take a piss.

In Canada it seemed different, with many of the cranes I saw being in very open areas, but with the base itself being secured with plywood or something. Looked easy to climb over.

Once you're on a crane, you have to be careful of sections where people could see you. But I once climbed a crane next to a university building, and discovered there were people coming out to the roof to smoke and looking right in my direction without really seeing I was there, despite the facts it was dark, I was of a different race, and I clearly wasn't supposed to be there.

Now, if you are caught, there's nowhere to go unless you're up for a crazy idea. I'm not sure if a security guard would climb the crane to get you or just wait for you to come down. Either way, ideally you would have detected it well in advance, which gives you a few minutes to take some measures. You're probably best off cooperating and getting down to earth without trying to evade capture.

First thing if you're spotted and know you won't get away clean, save your data. Many DSLRs come with two memory card slots, so you can hide the backup one. If you only have one slot but two cards, swap out cards and take a couple mediocre pictures so it doesn't look like you're hiding something. Some fancier getups even have internet access so you could upload your data to cloud storage as well.

I don't like climbing cranes but I keep going back to them eventually. Always remember they are built for an operator to climb daily, so if you are sensible, you'll most likely be safe.




4Valhal 


Location: Kansas City, KS
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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 10 on 9/27/2017 9:23 PM >
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Posted by Steed
Never climb after somebody with ulcerative colitis.


Absolute advice to live by. May I quote you in the future?




Never climb after somebody with ulcerative colitis. -Steed
Dee Ashley 


Location: DFW, Texas
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Write something and wait expectantly.

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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 11 on 9/28/2017 2:29 AM >
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A couple things that might have not been said yet, or at least, my spin on them:

1. Wear clothes you don't mind getting ruined. The grease will never fully come out of your clothes and I don't think I've ever climbed a crane without getting at least a little bit on me somewhere.
2. Wear gloves! Not only do they protect your hands, but if it's even just slightly cold outside, that metal will be a lot colder than the ambient temperature. I did this once on about a 50°(F) night and my fingers were frozen by the second level.
3. Climb at night, or maybe on a holiday. Assuming the site is an active one, you obviously don't want to be trapped at the top of a crane with no way to escape! You will also be less visible at night and less people will be down below you. Keep in mind that commercial construction workers typically start earlier than the residential ones - at least that's been my experience. I've seen them get to a site as early as 4 AM more than once. I suggest going after midnight when people are asleep, but be done by 3:30am at the latest.
4. Go sober. This should go without saying, but... Yeah. Just go sober.

Steed mentioned the cultural thing and I'm not sure where you're from, but here in Dallas, we often have cranes that are basically set up and then the structure being built is actually built around the crane. These are definitely my favorites for a few reasons, but the main ones are; a) you don't have to complete the entire ascent via crane ladder, which is kind of a pain in the ass, especially when your loaded down with camera gear like me. You can knock out the first few stories via stairwell or whatever; and b) the larger/taller cranes around Dallas/Fort Worth are going to probably be secured via makeshift wood partitions or something similar (not usually something easy to climb over) or they sometimes even have cameras posted in "sensitive" areas of a construction site - like near the expensive equipment and the crane (but always keep an eye out because those damn things can be anywhere)!

And lastly, whatever you do, don't do this:
http://www.uer.ca/...urrpage=1&pp#post4




I wandered till the stars went dim.
That_Dude 


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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 12 on 9/28/2017 11:34 AM >
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There is no hope for me getting to climb at midnight. I wanted to start my climb around 8:30-9 and I must be down by 9:45-ish. I am from Ottawa and from my experience, it gets dark at 7:45 so I think I'll be fine although I plan to scope a site tomorrow.




blackhawk 


Location: High Plains Drifter
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manes lupus

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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 13 on 9/28/2017 3:47 PM >
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Posted by That_Dude
There is no hope for me getting to climb at midnight. I wanted to start my climb around 8:30-9 and I must be down by 9:45-ish. I am from Ottawa and from my experience, it gets dark at 7:45 so I think I'll be fine although I plan to scope a site tomorrow.


Later means less people, less trouble.
By midnight most are asleep.
Better to adapt to the mission requirements than get busted.




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Steed 


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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 14 on 9/29/2017 3:59 AM >
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Why the strange timing?

PS) I'm planning to climb a crane in broad daylight in a busy part of the city sometime this weekend.




Steed 


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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 15 on 9/29/2017 5:12 AM >
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Posted by 4Valhal


Absolute advice to live by. May I quote you in the future?


Consider it the "when it rains no drains" of craning.




Dee Ashley 


Location: DFW, Texas
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Write something and wait expectantly.

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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 16 on 10/2/2017 8:04 AM >
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Posted by Steed
Why the strange timing?

PS) I'm planning to climb a crane in broad daylight in a busy part of the city sometime this weekend.


The biggest reason I can think of is the construction site is in use during normal hours.
The second biggest reason is the greater chances of being noticed during the often highly visible part of the process where you have to traverse the site to get to the crane, and of course, the crane itself.

I do think that you're quite a bit less visible than you sometimes might feel when you're actually on the crane, but around here, getting caught almost guarantees arrest, so you can be damn sure I'm hedging that bet as much as possible.




I wandered till the stars went dim.
That_Dude 


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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 17 on 10/2/2017 3:00 PM >
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Posted by Steed
Why the strange timing?

PS) I'm planning to climb a crane in broad daylight in a busy part of the city sometime this weekend.


My parents won't let me out past dark at all really, so my only option is to climb on a day with a good excuse of to be out until 10PM. Things will change in University...




blackhawk 


Location: High Plains Drifter
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manes lupus

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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 18 on 10/2/2017 4:10 PM >
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Posted by That_Dude


My parents won't let me out past dark at all really, so my only option is to climb on a day with a good excuse of to be out until 10PM. Things will change in University...



Meh, timing is everything.
Maybe best to wait... college is the time.




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xNat 


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Re: Tips for climbing cranes?
< Reply # 19 on 10/3/2017 3:22 AM >
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-Be sober
-stay hydrated
-only bring what you need
-neutral clothes
-stay quiet
-if there's been arrests at that crane in the past, the security is higher and may also have cameras pointed at it if people climbing up's been an issue for them
-take breaks/take your time

-don't get caught




"That sounds like a horrible idea! Let's do it!"
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