Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Rained Out, But Now It Doesn’t Matter

So it looks like for now the boom-lift idea is a bust. The weather is not cooperating, but that’s not even the half of it. It’s a little convoluted, and I’m only going to go over this once, so please pay attention.

A few weeks back I went down to the rental place and asked about a hydraulic boom-lift that would allow me to easily paint the attic gables and other high points on the house. The guy was very knowledgeable about the equipment and we even walked out in to the yard to look at what was available. They had 2 of the smaller units that would suit my needs.

The first one was an older model that had a single arm that went up and swiveled around. Imagine if you had your elbow, hand, and wrist flat on the table. If you keep your elbow on the table and lift your hand and swivel your wrist that is pretty much what this thing would do. The other one, a newer model, was a “3 knuckle” lift. This is kind of like if you added the shoulder in to the operation. This is good for tight spots because it can go up and then move over low objects that are close to the base.

We talked about the pros and cons of both models. The simpler, single arm lift actually had better distance from the base at it’s highest point. I decided this would be best because I could park it on the street for the side of the house and still reach the gables. With the other one I might have to move on to the sidewalk or in the yard. The yard on that side of the house has a grade and that may cause complications.

I then asked about towing with my truck. I have a ’73 Ford F100 (aka The Beast). I guess it’s a half ton pick up, but I’m not really sure. I know it’s loud and guzzles gas, but beyond that I’m not sure of it’s capabilities. They assured me that these smaller lifts could be pulled with just about anything. The rental place is about 15 blocks from my house anyway.

A few weeks went by and I called to reserve the lift for this week. However, I changed my mind and decided the 3-knuckle lift would be better. The backyard is very tight and I would need to have the lift parked close to the house and still get over the porch. I called and reserved the newer 3-knuckle lift. Of course, the weather turned nasty and I had to call up twice to reschedule. The second time I called was yesterday. For some reason in that conversation the discussion of towing came up again. I told them what truck I had and they said I couldn’t tow the 3-knuckle lift with my truck. I needed to have a ¾ ton truck with a frame mount hitch. Mine is a bumper mount hitch.

It turns out only the single arm lift is small enough to tow with my truck. During the initial discussion we talked about the pros and cons of both and I must have misunderstood him when we talked about towing. I was under the impression that either of the lifts could be towed with my truck. Well, we were on the phone yesterday and I was rescheduling for Friday when the revelation came up that I couldn’t tow the 3-knuckle lift with my truck. I said fine, I’ll just use the single arm lift instead, pencil me in for Friday. He said, “We can’t do that because we sold the single arm lift.” “What!?!”, I cried, “What do you mean you sold it?” He went on to explain that the new 3-knuckle lift was replacing the single arm lift and they didn’t have a need for both, so they sold the older, single arm lift.

Just great. I couldn’t believe it. Had I done this a few weeks ago I could have used the single arm lift and towed it myself. Now the single arm lift is gone and I don’t have a truck that can tow the 3-knuckle lift. Maybe I could borrow a truck, but I would have to borrow it for 24 hours and I don’t really feel good about that. They could deliver the 3-knuckle lift but I wouldn’t be able to move it around, so that’s no good.

At this point I’m a little bummed about the whole thing. I’ve decided to just put the attic gables on the back burner for now. I have a lot of house to paint so it’s not like it’s a pressing issue. Also, I have proven I can paint the gables by hanging out the windows, so there is that. It’s all just a little irritating, you know what I mean?

1 comment:

merideth said...

dammit! that sucks pal.

On the upside, you did a great job of explaining how the lifts work and i could totally visualize with my arm.

Also, you talked about your truck which made me think about mine. :)