Landscaping mis-haps with (and without) equipment

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by D Felix, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    I think Peach mentioned in a different thread that we should all share our mis-haps with equipment. I'll be glad to start!:D No one has been hurt with anything I've been around or involved with, though it's been close a time or two.:eek: I'm trying to think of at least one incident at each place I've worked in the last 10 years or so (though I may not be too successful), so this list could get kinda long.:)

    Worked on the new golf course (under construction) at Purdue between high school and college. Watched a guy roll a skidsteer down the hill on #10 green. Entire time I'm screaming at him to drop the bucket, it was about 3 feet in the air. Hmmmm, I was 18 at the time, the guy running the skidsteer was a "city" kid that thought he was a farm boy. He was probably 22 or older at the time too... Some how or another all of the crews heard about the incident and "just happened" to drive by in the next 15 minutes.:D

    Not really involving equipment, but was using "T"fence posts to stake a tree one day at the company I worked at through college. We were using sisal rope. I think my foreman was pushing on the tree, I was standing behind the post "pushing" the rope around the post. Rope broke and I got a chest full of T post. Ouch.

    Job I had one summer in Indy. Walking backwards carrying one end of an 18' 6x6, fell into the 18" wide hole for the timber. Same job, came within 3" of augering through the home's gas line with the Dingo. This was after my boss had already hit it on the other side of the deck. It was his house too!

    Same job, same house. Had an aluminum speed square "shot" at me. About took off my head... Nail gun shot a nail through the 2x4, missed the 1x4 and hit the speed square. Two boards later, Jim did it again!

    First full time job, we were putting in a stepping stone path through a wooded ravine. Had two access points, one was straight down a hill that would probably have been a black diamond on a ski resort, it was that steep. The other we had a smaller hill, but had a lot of boggy area to cross. Took the stones down the steep hill using a custom built skid on pipe rollers and a winch to lower it. Used a tracked skidsteer to move the stones around. Well, we needed to get a small Lull Skytrack down into the ravine to set some "bridge" stones into place (2+ tons each). Tried taking it through the boggy area, nothing doing. Decided that the only way to get it down into the bottoms was to lower it down the hill using the winch.... Ran the winch cable and hook through a hook point on the machine, hooked the hook back on the cable. OOOPS, big mistake. 3/4 of the way down the hill, the winch cable broke! Fortunately, 30 seconds prior to that, I had just moved to where I was holding the remote for the winch at it's full extension, about 12'. When the cable broke, it shot back up the hill and slammed into the back doors (metal) of the truck. I'm sure I wouldn't look the same now if I hadn't moved to the side when I did.

    Same job, got the Lull stuck in the creek. That was a fun 20 minutes til I figured out how to get it out.:D

    Was on a job once where someone from the LA firm came out to lay out the beds for us (still haven't figured out why though...). He was kinda anal about it, used radius points and everything. Well, he drove in a 12" oak hub stake into the ground. Right into the private gas line that fed the pool heater! The grade had been reduced so much that it was only about 6" below the surface at that point!

    I'm sure there's more, but I can't think of any right now.:D

    Let's hear somebody else jabber a while! Bring it on!

  2. hollywood

    hollywood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    Several years ago on an old Case 1840 a guy I was working with did not secure the auger attachment fully. Raised the arms to full height, the 24" auger fell off taking the hydraulic connections with it. Sprayed hydraulic fluid as the auger rolled into the bottom of a 8 foot swale. We all had a good laugh until we realized we were going to be hand digging 4" pin oaks until the hydraulic connections could be repaired. We pulled the auger out of the swale using the skid and some chain. The guy that was operating the machine was really embarrassed. He was no stranger to the machine and was lucky no one standing near the skid was hurt.
  3. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    My nearest miss so far was with an old Case 680 backhoe. Was driving laterally across a slope that wasn't tooooo bad, until the low side of the machine drove over a buried stump pile.

    It took about 2 seconds to remember I buried those stumps there about 5 years prior! I reached behind me, and dropped the stabilizer, filled rear tire ruts with crushed stone, and pulled myself out ever so slowly with the backhoe.

    God, those big backhoes sure feel tippy! I think my a__ was puckered for 2 days later.

    It's one thing when you know you're going into a hairy situation, another thing to be surprised.
  4. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    Did I mention this is a community machine for the road association I live in? My neighbors would have been real happy with me if it went on it's side:eek:
  5. steve in Pa.

    steve in Pa. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    we were installing a chain link fence and was ending by the house where the electic meter was. needless to say on the very last pound with a post pounder it drove right through the electric wires buried underground. I know should of had a one call done. we worked at the same prop. last year installing a paver patio and vinyl fence around patio. We called in for a one call and they did mark it. The electric was no where near where the guy marked it the year prior. but thank god no one was hurt. It took the steel post and just fried it into two pieces. Definitley learned our lesson.:blob2:
  6. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    That almost sounds like an accident I had, only the pin broke.
    Last job of the year...trying to auger holes so we could plant in frozen ground. The customer ( a very good and long standing customer... a developer until he retired a couple years back) was shoveling the soil away from the auger as it was drilling. The attachment came off and caught him on the top of the head..... long story short... ambulance, stitches and a sore neck but was otherwise alright. I thought I killed him.... scared the heck out of me.
    Don't usually let customers work around us but we had a really tight relationship and he liked to get in there and help. Live and learn eh.
  7. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    I live right on Lake Erie i was cutting my customers house. Another landscaper was cutting next door guy lost control of the wb down the hill and in to Lake Erie. Funny thing he just left and went home.

    Siting at a stop light watching same company as up top cutting a tree lawn. Guy lost it off the curb and kept cutting sparks flying.
  8. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    I was sitting in traffic by the local radio station one day a few summers ago.I look over to the right to see the lowballer crew (we lost our bid to these guys for half the price!) cutting the property in front of the main building.Long story short, there's a creek in front that's about 200' frontage , and about 1-2' deep.The top line of the leading edge of the creek beds are always soft, and I watched a guy lose a left tire over the lip and ride a new looking 48" Husky all the way down. I saw he was ok,less his pride, then I laughed my azz off after the light turned green and I moved on.<a href='' target='_blank'><img src='' border=0></a>
  9. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,938

    What's a tree lawn? :confused:
  10. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    Its the part of the lawn between the sidewalk and the street.

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