It could have been catastrophic. We were lucky that it wasn't. Tim got the bright idea that we could shove the heavy 40 foot main beam onto the sill by using two truck ramps to get it across the trench between the basement wall and the hole that was dug for the basement to be poured into.
See how the basement stands alone. The excavator is coming back with a skid steer tomorrow, and he will push dirt back into the hole around the outside of the basement walls. The ramps cross that chasm like little bridges. Tim's idea was to drag the beam into place, and then ever so slowly slide it along the sill and drop it into the notches made to hold it.
I was pretty nervous about this. I mean, 40 feet. That is a heavy, heavy beam., but Tim was so sure that we could do it. So he drilled two heavy screws into the side of it, and we pulled the beam over to the ramps. It went much better than I thought it would. Tim had screwed 2x4s in place at the end of the ramps so that the beam would not have to be raised over the bolts. The beam did slide across the sill a lot easier than I would have expected.
Where the problem came was when we tried to drop it into the notches in the concrete. Tim was on one end, and I was on the other, and it was heavy, and I was struggling to slip it into position and I dropped my end of it. I managed to keep it on the sill, but the sudden jerk caused Tim to lose his end all together. His end fell off the sill wall and into the basement.
It scared me. Really. It could have knocked him off the ladder He could have been seriously injured, he could have been killed. We also now had to figure out how to raise that end of the beam out of the basement and back on the sill.
I was a wreck. It was just the two of us, and all I could think of was what could have happened. It made me sick. If the beam had fallen on top of him, I could have never moved it on my own.
"We're done!" I said, getting down from the scaffolding. Unfortunately, in my haste, I got my bad knee tangled up in the cross brace, and didn't have the range of motion to get untangled without adding a few tears to the mix.
Tim said something, I don't even know. I yelled at that point. "We're done! It is too heavy! We need extra hands! It's not safe, and I'm not doing it!" and I hobbled myself over to my phone and then straight to the truck.
It was a quiet ride home.