Sunday, March 27, 2011

Power Problem #2

I've been cleaning around the service pole and removing some small trees that are growing close to the power lines. One tree's branches were actually tangled with the telephone lines that run under the power lines. Since the tree was leaning towards the lines anyway, I figured I had better cut it down before it caused any more trouble.
With #1 son's help, I got a rope anchored up in the tree and tied the rope to a strap so I could put some pressure on the tree, making it drop at an angle to the direction it was leaning. With time getting short for #1 son, he took the chainsaw and headed home, promising a tune-up and sharpen on the saw. After a bit, #4 son showed up with a well-used axe. That was good enough for me, so I proceeded to hack away at the offending tree while #4 put some added pressure on the anchor line.
As the tree started coming down, the anchor line started slacking. Apparently I had gotten the forgotten to take into account that the angle of descent needed to be more acute than the angle provided for by the attachment point.

What that all actually means is that the damned tree slid along the wires and landed on the transformer.

It could've been a lot worse than it actually was. Some small sparks and some glowing, smoking branches were the only visible signs of how badly I had screwed up. Oh, and me jumping around and cussing, too.
So, after making sure that we weren't going to die by touching the tree, #4 and I started trying to use the straps to pull the tree off of the transformer. We moved it a couple of feet, but didn't make any real progress.
With light fading and visions of starting a forest fire by lighting off the transformer like a torch, I sent #4 to the neighbors house for help. Help arrived by 4-wheeler with his chainsaw, cut off a couple chunks of said errant tree, and the rest slid to the ground without any explosions or wildfires to contend with.
Ain't I lucky.

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