Before being a tower engineer, I worked as a tunnel engineer and saw firsthand what lack of maintenance can do to tunnels through a tunnel collapse.
The company I worked for had forewarned the railroad company several years prior that this particular tunnel needed to have maintenance and needed severe repairs, but it took chunks of concrete falling on trains to wake them up to the possibility that there was a real problem.
While these intermittent concrete falls were being fixed, the tunnel totally collapsed, as predicted by the contractor, and seconded by the engineer.
Had a little maintenance been provided earlier in the life of the tunnel, then there would have been less disruption to the train line.
Towers have similar problems. If they are not taken care of, they deteriorate. Routine inspection and maintenance, which allows problems to be found before they become severe, can help extend the life of a tower.
Regular maintenance should include: Inspections, tower cleaning and painting, removal of appurtenances that no longer are in use, checking feedline connections to the tower, and replacing lighting.
Importance of Inspections
- Inspection of guy towers
- Guy line tensioning
- Maintaining ability to tension – make sure the bolts do not get locked.
- Importance of cleaning and painting
- Importance of removal of appurtenances and feedlines no longer in use
- Checking feedline and other connections
- Maintaining platforms in good condition
- Replacing lighting