Dismantling a Windmill, From the Top Down

Loren Lockman dismantles windmills the old fashioned way: from the top down

| March 1999

Loren Lockman is at the top of his field: literally. Self-employed in the business of buying, selling and refurbishing windmills, Loren accomplishes in two hours time what most people would never attempt. 

"I totally disassemble the windmill, from the top down, piece by piece," he says. "I'll average two hours a piece to disassemble an eight-foot head on a 40-foot tower and load it onto my truck. Some of them have taken as long as six hours, but I have taken down seven, complete, in one day."

His is a decidedly traditional approach.

"It's the old fashioned way. There's just a handful of people in the country who do it my way," he says. "The more modern way is to bring in a boom truck, use a crane and hoist it sideways."

Loren never goes up without a utility lineman's belt, and he's nothing if not cautious. Still, he has had some, uh, interesting experiences.

"On the wooden platforms, you always stand on the bolts," he says. "But I have stepped through the wood when I wasn't on the bolts. That's why I have the belt. And more than once, I've pulled the helmet off the motor, and there was a nest of bees in there that came out in a swarm." Gulp.

3/31/2014 10:49:57 AM

What tool do you use to hold the slot head bolts with to loosen the nuts? Thanks! Bob