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Old 02-09-2019, 08:28 AM   #29
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I enjoyed your write-up. You are at my hometown. lived and worked the oilfield there all my life, (third generation). Rattle snake season coming up soon, Round-up in early April. Get a snake catcher, can sell snakes for about 20$ each, depending on size. Another good way to spend the day, is hunting arrowheads. Used to pick up by the bucket-fulls, with a sharp eye. Enjoy the cool weather, It will get pretty hot as summer approaches.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:57 AM   #30
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UPDATE

Just as miraculously as they appeared my two Porta Potty's disappeared. Just like that.


I only had them two days. But another materialized overnight the next day.


I can stop clenching now.


In the last few days there has been a lot of activity in my sector and at my gate. The other day I opened the gate 73 times.



What's happening is very interesting. The Trenchers came along and dug the trench for the pipe. Three trenching machines dig in unison and they covered about a mile in the one day they were around my gate.


Right behind them came the Padding crew which puts down a nice soft blanket of filtered dirt for the pipe to lay in. The coating inspectors came next and for a day they kept me pretty busy at the gate. But the best was yet to come.


Laying the pipe in the ground is a very interesting thing to witness. The pipeline is built on wood pylons made up of 4X4, 3ft long oak beams stacked in a 3 ft. square. So for every 80 feet of pipe there are two stacks of these. This makes it easy and accessible for the welders.


To get the pipe down in the trench they have 5 huge bull-dozer type vehicles that have a crane and winch system with an elaborate system of slings with rollers on them.


5 of these line up all facing down the pipeline with their slings deployed out over the pipe. The first dozer/crane lowers it's slings over the open end of the pipe at the end of a section and gently lifts and starts moving forward. The rollers on the slings allow the dozer to move along the pipe while lifting and or lowering at the same time. After about the space of half a pipe length the next crane does the same. And so it goes until all 5 have the pipe cradled in their slings. Then in order moving from the rear toward the first dozer/crane they move their cranes and lower their booms gently so the pipe moves up and off it's pylons bends gently and is carefully lowered into the trench as the cranes move at the speed of a brisk walk.


Imagine holding a huge snake cradled in your arms and gently lowering it to the ground and you get an idea of what this is like.


This process ended about 20 feet from my gate when this section of pipeline was lowered in to the trench. So I opened both gates so that the big dozers could pass through allowing the ones following to drop the pipe and do the same.


This is one of those things that makes all the boredom worth it. To witness a process that you wouldn't normally ever get to see.


Now as an engineer by training I understand the elasticity of steel and it didn't surprise me to see how the pipe could bend. For me it was this incredible Ballet that the 5 dozers performed all in perfect synchronicity in lifting, moving and ever so gently laying the pipe on it's nice soft bed of fresh dirt.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:47 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by BTFT View Post
Just as miraculously as they appeared my two Porta Potty's disappeared. Just like that.


I only had them two days. But another materialized overnight the next day.


I can stop clenching now.


In the last few days there has been a lot of activity in my sector and at my gate. The other day I opened the gate 73 times.



What's happening is very interesting. The Trenchers came along and dug the trench for the pipe. Three trenching machines dig in unison and they covered about a mile in the one day they were around my gate.


Right behind them came the Padding crew which puts down a nice soft blanket of filtered dirt for the pipe to lay in. The coating inspectors came next and for a day they kept me pretty busy at the gate. But the best was yet to come.


Laying the pipe in the ground is a very interesting thing to witness. The pipeline is built on wood pylons made up of 4X4, 3ft long oak beams stacked in a 3 ft. square. So for every 80 feet of pipe there are two stacks of these. This makes it easy and accessible for the welders.


To get the pipe down in the trench they have 5 huge bull-dozer type vehicles that have a crane and winch system with an elaborate system of slings with rollers on them.


5 of these line up all facing down the pipeline with their slings deployed out over the pipe. The first dozer/crane lowers it's slings over the open end of the pipe at the end of a section and gently lifts and starts moving forward. The rollers on the slings allow the dozer to move along the pipe while lifting and or lowering at the same time. After about the space of half a pipe length the next crane does the same. And so it goes until all 5 have the pipe cradled in their slings. Then in order moving from the rear toward the first dozer/crane they move their cranes and lower their booms gently so the pipe moves up and off it's pylons bends gently and is carefully lowered into the trench as the cranes move at the speed of a brisk walk.


Imagine holding a huge snake cradled in your arms and gently lowering it to the ground and you get an idea of what this is like.


This process ended about 20 feet from my gate when this section of pipeline was lowered in to the trench. So I opened both gates so that the big dozers could pass through allowing the ones following to drop the pipe and do the same.


This is one of those things that makes all the boredom worth it. To witness a process that you wouldn't normally ever get to see.


Now as an engineer by training I understand the elasticity of steel and it didn't surprise me to see how the pipe could bend. For me it was this incredible Ballet that the 5 dozers performed all in perfect synchronicity in lifting, moving and ever so gently laying the pipe on it's nice soft bed of fresh dirt.
Interesting perspective on all of this. I have done most of all the above jobs as an equipment operator. I was an Operating Engineer. Those dozer/cranes you mention are called "Side Booms". I operated them, as well as excavators, dozers, and loaders. The different crews that pass through, all have names. like Right of Way, Stringing, Ditch, Padding, Laying, Taping, Lowering-In, Tie-In, Cleanup, and a few others. It is very fast paced and exciting work. I can remember working for a company in SE NM, where we once installed 1-1/2 mi of 6" welded steel pipe in one day (turn key) I met my wife while on a big pipe line job in Kansas. That put and end to my pipeline career.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:05 PM   #32
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Following for the entertainment. Thanks to OP for making his boredom amusing to us :-).

BTFT, you write well. Please carry on.



Thanks for your kind words of appreciation.
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:04 PM   #33
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Thank you for your entertaining stories of "Gate Guard Duty' I second Indy-Glenn's suggestion - write a book </:-)
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:52 PM   #34
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Great stories from the gate.

If I were younger and seeking employment, I would follow you to West Tex.

But then, I'm the guy that crossed the oceans 5 times all alone. There is nothing I enjoy as much as my own company. Spending months with a stack of books waiting for some guy with a map to drive up to my gate sounds like a nice slice of heaven.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:56 PM   #35
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Great stories from the "gate".

If I were younger and seeking employment, I would follow you to West Tex.

But then, I'm the guy that crossed the oceans 5 times all alone. There is nothing I enjoy as much as my own company. Spending months with a stack of books waiting for some guy with a map to drive up to my gate sounds like a nice slice of heaven.

Please keep the stories coming.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:51 PM   #36
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Great reading here!
Boring? OK
You could ignite ants with a magnifying glass-
You could use a rake and make a Zen garden in the dirt-
You could learn to shoot marbles in the dirt-
You could build and fly kites (its west Texas ain't it?, the wind always blows:-)
You could practice Yoga and reach a state of peace within ones self-
You could get a drone and add video to your write ups here!
Now there's an idea!
Keep up the good stories.
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Old 02-15-2019, 02:33 AM   #37
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Enjoy your observations.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:12 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post
Great reading here!
Boring? OK
You could ignite ants with a magnifying glass-
You could use a rake and make a Zen garden in the dirt-
You could learn to shoot marbles in the dirt-
You could build and fly kites (its west Texas ain't it?, the wind always blows:-)
You could practice Yoga and reach a state of peace within ones self-
You could get a drone and add video to your write ups here!
Now there's an idea!
Keep up the good stories.

LOL! Yes you are right...


But Ants are such amazing creatures I cannot bear to kill one.


I learned to shoot marbles in the dirt in 4th and 5th grades and was quite good and won many steelies.


Sadly photography is strictly prohibited...although I have some great shots of the reflected sunrise on Pipe.


Enjoyed your response....
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Old 02-15-2019, 10:18 AM   #39
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"Sadly photography is strictly prohibited."


Why is that?
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:36 AM   #40
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Because of those that might want to cause damage to the pipeline.....
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:34 PM   #41
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Because of those that might want to cause damage to the pipeline.....

I am not sure that is the reason...this pipeline will be 100% underground.


The trans Alaska Oil Pipeline is about 50% ABOVE ground virtually unguarded it's entire length and has never been a target. (one drunk decided to shoot at it once but that is about all)


It is photographed by millions of tourists and no one cares...in fact it is encouraged....
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:39 PM   #42
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Next Installment Pipeline Blues

The pipeline in my area is in the ground now, mostly covered over except at itís section ends, the big crews have moved on and I am once again in solitude with birds, cattle, bunnies, coyotes and the occasional deer for company.

The birdsong and afternoon cries of the coyotes is punctuated by the wind whistling through the vents of my Porta-Potty creating an odd symphony.

This is a nice background soundtrack to my reading. I have just finished AT DAWN WE SLEPT the definitive history of the attack on Pearl Harbor (my second reading of this book) and now am into Steven Collís DIRECTORATE S. Coll won a Pulitzer Prize for his previous book titled GHOST WARS. In addition I have read two novels concurrent with the two non fiction books above. This is to say nothing of the 6 car magazines I have devoured every word of along the way. The big problem is there is no real bookstore for 90 miles...

The next crew due in my area is the Tie-In Crew. They connect the sections of pipeline where it goes under roads, fences and just along itís way. The pipeline is built in sections with gaps left for roads and cattle crossing and other reasons no doubt. Then a separate and special crew comes along and sticks a long piece of connector pipe in there to finish it off.

I just had my first SUNNY day since I have been here. This part of Texas near the gulf is cloudy and grey much of the time this time of year as I remember well from being stationed at Lackland AFB in 1971. My gate is only about 90 miles from Corpus Christi so the Gulf weather pattern is strong here. I have to confess I miss the sunny skies of Tucson.

Since this company has not lived up to itís statements to me about a 24 hour gate for my RV I am considering changing to a different company and a well gate. The pay is less on a per day basis but you are paid for 7 days and you are not paying for your RV. So that puts another $100/week in my pocket plus the $175/$200 per day for the gate. My friend and I will have to split this but that is ok.

I am one of those rare male creatures of my generation that can actually have close women friends and my best friend and traveling companion is a woman. And we are just friends...no benefits here other than companionship and friendship and I feel free to answer that question about how those pants make her look honestly. So for her this is not working out well as she is at the trailer all day making no money while I am out here making some. Since I am the cook she doesnít even have the chore of fixing dinner to distract or keep her busy. So come March we may change this all and go somewhere else. We are both due in Alaska in April to work once again for Holland America/Princess in Fairbanks so we have to leave for that about the first week of that month.

Itís odd that while neither of us really need the money, once we start work and get into the thing it rears itís ugly head again and becomes a factor in our decisions. One of the great things is that at least we can stop if we are irritated too much. But due to our natures we hang in there if we have made a specific time commitment. Thankfully we did not on this job.

Quiet! Wait....I hear something odd... Oh yes itís my book whispering my name wanting to be picked up opened and read some more..
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