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Re: [Shop-talk] erratic fuel gauge and a legitimate shop talk

To: Richard Beels <>
Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] erratic fuel gauge and a legitimate shop talk
From: Pat Horne <>
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 19:31:42 -0600
Several years ago I was building my shop building and rented an 
all-terrain platform lift to help out. Working 30' in the air the engine 
quit, actually running out of fuel. There was nobody around to add the 
fuel that was sitting a few feet away from the lift, so I climbed out of 
the lift and spent about 10 minutes working my down through the framing 
to the ground. After filling the fuel tank I was able to drop the lift 
and all was well. Later I was telling a friend about the ordeal and he 
mused that most hydraulic lifts use the engine to raise the platform and 
gravity to bring it down. I promptly fire the lift up, raised it and 
shut the engine off. With the key on I pressed the lever to drop the 
lift and almost miraculously, and silently the lift dropped to the 
ground. I'll remember that for the next time I rent a lift and get stuck 
up in the air!


Thusly spake Richard Beels:
> And just this past summer, I stranded myself 80 feet up.  Have a 
> manlift and sometimes use it as a mobile tree cutting 
> platform.  Topping off a maple one day, the damn deutz diesel died on 
> me right as I got into position.  Hmmm....  Clouds don't look too 
> close.  I'll just finish cutting and it'll fire right back up when 
> I'm done.  When I went to restart it, it wouldn't start.  Battery 
> seems to be turning a bit slow.  Hmmm, call the wife in the house for 
> a jump.  Call her and she doesn't answer the phone because the 
> battery in the cell dies after half a ring. <Grrrrr>.    After about 
> an hour (took a little nap, read a couple catalogs, sore throat from 
> yelling for her, etc...), my wife realizes she doesn't hear anything 
> and comes out to see what's going on.  She drives down the driveway 
> and after cussing me out, goes to get the portable battery jump 
> starter.  Which doesn't work.  Hmmm....  We then decide to have her 
> string out a couple extension cords and plug in the battery charger 
> (it's a Schumacher that can jump start a battery-less diesel by 
> itself).  Still no go.  Hmmm, those clouds are starting to get closer 
> and is that lightning I see way in the distance?  I'm 80 feet up 
> standing on 5 tons of steel.  CRAP!  I then ell instructions down on 
> how to lower the boom - there are some relief valves that will lower 
> the box to the ground.  She can get the first two open but not the 
> third.  By this time, I'm feeling rain and starting to get a bit, 
> ummm, anxious.  All of a sudden, Deb calls out that there's this 
> "circuit breaker  thingie" that's red.  I tell her to push it 
> in.  The engine starts right up and I lower myself to the ground in 
> the beginning of the thunderstorm.  The fuel pump circuit breaker had 
> tripped...  :-O
> Make sure the cell is charged before you go out.  I have one of those 
> 9V battery adapter thingies that I keep in a pocket now.  Backup for 
> the backup....
> At 2/24/2008 at 18:07, Shakespearean monkeys danced on old 
> dirtbeard's keyboard and said:
>> Any ideas? What would you do if you found yourself immobilized while under a
>> car in your shop? What precautions do you take while working alone in the
>> shop?
> Cheers!
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Pat Horne, Owner, Horne Systems 
(512) 797-7501 Voice            5026 FM 2001  Lockhart, TX 78644-4443
-- We support Habitat for Humanity - a hand UP, not a hand OUT --
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