Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

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Fran3
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Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by Fran3 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:42 pm

Cows:
Someone offered us a few cows to keep the grass down on our ground antenna ground-radial field but as I understand it we would have to fence the support anchor points to keep them from rubbing on the guy wires.

Goats:
What about goats? I've heard they will eat anything so the question comes up will they dig up and chomp on the ground radials... or the underground cables?

Short of all that I think we will be forced to buy a tractor and bushog or sub it out... which hasn't worked all that good for us.

Thanks for any help.

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Shane
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Re: Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by Shane » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:03 pm

Fran3 wrote:Cows:
Someone offered us a few cows to keep the grass down on our ground antenna ground-radial field but as I understand it we would have to fence the support anchor points to keep them from rubbing on the guy wires.
Guy anchors should be fenced anyway but definitely so if you are acquiring bovine tenants!
Goats:
What about goats? I've heard they will eat anything so the question comes up will they dig up and chomp on the ground radials... or the underground cables?
Don't know if they would be inclined to dig unless the grass runs out. If you make the anchor fences out of wood they'll eat those.
Short of all that I think we will be forced to buy a tractor and bushog or sub it out... which hasn't worked all that good for us.
Yeah, some of those folks can be harder to deal with than goats.
Thanks for any help.
Good luck! No charge for bad advice and dumb looks are still free, too.
Mike Shane, CBRE
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ChuckG
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Re: Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by ChuckG » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:35 pm

I can attest to cows rubbing on the guy wires! But they're generally pretty gentle animals and they do keep the grass down. Watch where you step heading back to the truck.

We had a guy that would come out yearly with what appeared to be a Thiokol Sno-Cat with a mower deck that swung a 6' or so chain instead of a blade. That thing would cut down small trees and could be driven right out into the swamp. I've never seen another mower rig like it. Or like the guy running it for that matter. Must've been close to 7' tall and 400 lbs. Named "Tiny". :lol:
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kcbooboo
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Re: Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by kcbooboo » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:45 am

Depending on how "environmentally conscious" you are, there are sprays that will kill almost anything green. They may take two or three weeks to have an effect, but they do work for at least the rest of the calendar year. I know of one station that's in a swampy area that gets flooded with a couple inches of water for part of the summer and the greenery gets to be almost eight feet tall. Even a hovercraft would sink in this mud. The spray does a very nice job. Now, the entire area is fenced in and away from humans and pets, but there is wildlife in the area. I've been startled by deer lying in the grass under the walkway going out to one tower. Of course there are lots of smaller creatures: geese, ducks, pigeons, etc.

An agricultural supply house might have concentrated liquid you can buy, then you'll need a portable sprayer and a long hose so you can spray it over the entire area. Except for the tall towers, a helicopter would be perfect for distributing the stuff, but there would be too much wind and chances for disaster. I can get the name of the product that's used around here. I think it came from a business that's now "siteone.com" which is a landscaping supply house and they're all over the US.

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TPT
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Re: Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by TPT » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:57 am

Bambi in the bushes...we have a small heard around one of our studios. In the city, not the country (we do have 3 acres around the house).

Weed killer will work fine on flat ground--but not in hill country. I-heart religiously sprayed around the guy anchors and tower base of a tower that also held the antenna for a station we bought back in late 2009. The result was that the ground began to wash out around the concrete--for a while you could see UNDER the concrete for one guy anchor.

One of a number of reasons I moved off that tower shortly after I found out the adjacent ridge top was for sale.

sallen
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Re: Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by sallen » Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:36 am

I have three 50KW sites with 2 towers at one and three at the other two. I use Ortho ground clear for the tower guy anchors that are fenced and tower bases for all.

The two tower site once had cows in the field and originally they guy anchors were not fenced and the cows would rub on the guy wires. Eventually they fenced they guy wires. All the cows were great except for a bull that would chase you out of the field. Right now this is the only field that gets a regular mow because there are no grazing animals on that field except for dear.

The three tower site down the road has sheep and a lama. They are great don't do any damage but do some times poop in front of the tower base door. With the sheep I have wool lined tower base fences. The guy wires at this site are not fenced so I also have wool lines guy wires where they rub. The Lama likes it when I share peanuts or apples with him and the sheep really like the apples. The field at this site might get mowed once a year, to keep the grass down you need at least 10-15 sheep. Wild dogs/wolves have attacked and killed some of the sheep in the past. The Lama is supposed to help fend off attacks. Bob the Lama is fun company when working at the tower bases.

The third site more in the center of Vashon has three towers and they use goats. The goats at this site are rented out on a regular basis so the heard size varies. They have also been features on TV and in a Banks TV commercial. The goats are great and don't dig or cause damage. The goats can put a group of cowboys eating beans around a campfire to shame. I was up on the ladder one day replacing an outdoor light bulb and thought I was at home with my two dogs, but it was just the goats with gas.

I use sprays with care and caution because of bee colony issues. Also when applying the chemicals you need to watch your outdoor temperature for the best effect. I have sprayed when it was bellow 65 and not had much affect. I even sometimes let the sprayer sit in a worm room for an hour if the temperature is close to 65 or below. I get the best results at 68 or above.

Quick mention about fencing. The site that uses goats use a movable electric fence. The plastic fence post are a push in with your foot, type and don't reach the ground radials. The overall fencing does not affect the pattern of either station (this site has two 50KW station on the towers). They pull up the post and move the fencing around the field to cover the whole field. So in this case there is no permanent fence. Just a movable electric fence. I let the electric fence charger connect directly to a copper strap connected to the ground system at the tower bases. It helps with making sure the fence has a good zap at the far ends and you are not having to pound in two or three ground rods per move. RF does get on the fence itself. So if the zap does not get you the RF burn will. They have solar versions of the fence charger but since there is power at the tower bases they just plug in. I do have ferrite cores on the fence charger. They might lose one charger a year due to lightning or just the high RF enviroment but over all the electric fence has worked well. I'm not sure the electric fence would work for cows or horses. Lightning does spook sheep and lamas so if you do use the moveable fence make sure they have a little room to run, 400' of fence minimum.

If your field produces good hay sometimes you can get someone to cut/bail it and sell or use the hay for live stock. It's usually easier to have some one cut the field versus buying a tracker and the upkeep on it. Don't let trees start to grow cut them down or pull them up when they sprout or you notice them.

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Shane
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Re: Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by Shane » Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:54 pm

We use a professional weed control company for areas we want scorched. Puts any environmental issues on to someone who deals with it every day.

We have them do the driveways, too, when weeds start coming up thru the gravel.

You don't want any vegetation near tx bldgs and dog houses so as to discourage rodents. The exception being what TPT said about hilly spots. I would have them kill the weeds and trees and leave the grass to hold the soil in place.
Mike Shane, CBRE
---Omaha---

COMMENG
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Re: Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by COMMENG » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:49 am

If your field produces good hay sometimes you can get someone to cut/bail it and sell or use the hay for live stock. It's usually easier to have some one cut the field versus buying a tracker and the upkeep on it. Don't let trees start to grow cut them down or pull them up when they sprout or you notice them.
This what we did. This one rural station we had just contracted to had a lot of brush and grass growing on the property and the antenna field.

I spoke to a local farmer and convinced him that he wanted to bail free grass for hay. I also mentioned some brushy trees and he said no problem, he and his sons would chainsaw those and grind up the rest.

We went to the site and I instructed him on what to avoid and gave him a safety "talk."

Three days later our site looked like a park.

COMMENG

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kkiddkkidd
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Re: Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by kkiddkkidd » Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:06 pm

ChuckG wrote:I can attest to cows rubbing on the guy wires! But they're generally pretty gentle animals and they do keep the grass down. Watch where you step heading back to the truck.
I had a 160ft tower almost taken down by cattle. They managed to break a (1ea) poorly made turn buckle AND damage the other 2 bottom guy wires. Cows are serious about their scratching...

A simple single line of fencing ran along and out to the point that a cow (or tractor) can't hit the bottom wire is effective and reasonably cheap. You don't necessarily have to fence the entire guy point UNLESS you are trying to keep the 2 legged kind of varmint away...

And you can bet that if I pull up at a pasture mounted tower site, the cows line up to drop a deuce right outside my truck door.
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kkiddkkidd
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Re: Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by kkiddkkidd » Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:15 pm

Fran3 wrote:Goats:
What about goats? I've heard they will eat anything so the question comes up will they dig up and chomp on the ground radials... or the underground cables?
I doubt that they would eat anything buried but if a coax is exposed they WILL chew on it. So will deer.

I had a couple hundred feet of messenger carried feed line ruined by deer. I had my ham tower up on the hill behind my creekside home and noticed one day that I had a puddle of water in my shack floor. Upon investigating, it was dripping out of the 1/2in heliax running up to my tower mounted antenna switch. Walking the low messenger cable revealed that there were several dozen areas of missing jacket and one where the copper had been mashed almost flat by the white tailed devils...

Hope it gave 'em indigestion.
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amguy
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Re: Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by amguy » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:04 am

we had a very bad weed/brush issue at our site and we could never find anyone that would be willing to cut it as they were always concerned about the guy wires. finally a local bobcat dealer started renting out bobcats with the brush hog attachement. worked great! here is a video of the cutter in action. https://www.facebook.com/wrdn1430/video ... 013898979/
13528749_1227689800604367_969694645468251445_n.jpg

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Deep Thought
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Re: Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by Deep Thought » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:15 am

kkiddkkidd wrote:And you can bet that if I pull up at a pasture mounted tower site, the cows line up to drop a deuce right outside my truck door.
This is what I usually get about 20 feet inside the gate...mom not terribly happy about an unannounced visitor
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and not about to let me go a foot closer to the calf behind her.
123-2312_IMG.JPG
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RGORJANCE
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Re: Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by RGORJANCE » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:34 am

Talk about "mad cow"! No bull! :lol:

(what? no big foot sightings?????)

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Re: Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by KPJL FM » Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:04 am

When deer and black bear line up outside the building fence during the night, wondering what is that sweet smelling stuff you're getting out of those drums, then you know you're staying there until daylight.
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Re: Tower site grass control - will goats eat ground radials ?

Post by PID_Stop » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:33 pm

Something like fifty years ago, a local AM station leased its tower field to a dairy farmer, and cows roamed at will. One day a station janitor was tasked with killing weeds that were growing up around the towers... and he used Agent Orange. Bad mistake: several cows were killed, others were sickened, and recriminations ensued.

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