Author Topic: Freeing a seized bearing.  (Read 50 times)

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Offline castle261

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Freeing a seized bearing.
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 10:44:43 AM »
It was one of the most severe winter`s in the H.M.Dockyard & deep snow. I was engaged
another driver, on No 429 crane on the north wall of basin No 1. there were two electrical
fitter`s on `stand by`- as two men from Stothard & Pitt were here. It had been reported
that the bearing on top of the cab had seized & the men were here to free it. One of them
was a fitter, he went on top with a grease gun. to see if he  could free it. No, he could not.
This grease nipple, with another, controlled the movement of the jib. He came down off the
roof, frozen. He discussed it with his mate, & us. `Needs a more drastic approach`he said.

Discussion over he said to his mate - `we need the burning gear, we cant use the crane, as
its right under the jib. With mobile crane, they got the oxygen bottle & acetylene bottles up
140 feet to the landing area. they came in the cab, for a warm up, then the fitter put on this
pair of insulated trousers, then the fitter went outside, climbed on top of the cab, then start
to burn the bearing `shoe`out. After what seemed a long time, They seemed to have bought
a spare bearing with them, the fitter came down, into the cab.  He said `we have another job,
to do today, the bridge, Kingsferry Bridge that is jammed, we have to free it today, with some
new lifting gear.-- Does anyone know what year that was, my memory cant recall -- that date.

We, as crane drivers were not allowed to climb higher than the crane cab, as men from the
fitters workshop, got paid extra, for `going up aloft`so it was not our fault, they not greased.

I dont think it was 1963, as I was on 429, when the Medway froze right over at Upnor Castle.

The Cantilever Crane 429 -- has three hooks --- can lift 250 tons -- two man crew.