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Marian Blair and Cassie McQuade are hauling their lunch trailer from Los Angeles to a new construction site for a high octane gas-cracking plant near San Francisco, when they stop to pick up hitchhiker Tim Scott, who is headed to a job as a grape-picker. When Tim takes over the wheel and hits a rock, the trailer is dislodged and travels backward downhill and sideswipes a car driven by the local sheriff, who arrests Tim and the furious women for reckless driving. Tim's cellmate, Spike Kenny, a boilermaker at the plant now under construction for the Army, is freed by his boss, Rod Farrell, who recognizes Tim as a former construction "high man" from back East. Knowing that Tim no longer works at heights, Rod offers him a job as a "chipper," or metal worker, at the new plant, but Tim refuses him. After Rod bails Tim and the women out of jail, however, Tim changes his mind to impress Marian, who has accused Tim of being incapable of "real man's work." Spike is immediately smitten by Cassie, who reminds him of his ex-wife. Tim is assigned to work for welder boss Jeff Hines, and is dismayed to meet fellow chipper Bill Madden, who blames Tim for his brother's accidental death years earlier. Rod privately explains to Jeff that Bill's brother fell from a construction site and unintentionally pulled Tim down with him, and Tim survived only because he landed on top of Bill's brother. As construction progresses, Marian and Cassie's lunch truck becomes the hit of the construction site, and Cassie happily accepts Spike's invitation to the Boilermaker's Ball, while Marian accepts Rod's. Later, Marian humiliates Tim into climbing one of the plant's towers, and he becomes dizzy and panicked and has to be led down by Rod. Marian becomes more sympathetic to Tim after Rod explains the reason behind his fear of heights. Shortly after, a leak sprouts in a spheroid containing pentane gas, and although Tim saves Jeff from burning to death after his car motor sparks an explosion because of the gas leak, he is suspected of shoddy workmanship. Hoping to boost Tim's confidence, Marian goes out on a date with him and enjoys herself so much that she agrees to go to the ball with him. At the ball, Bill overhears Marian telling Rod that she is only dating Tim out of sympathy, and he maliciously tells Tim what he heard. Tim, who has sincerely fallen in love with Marian, strikes Bill, inciting a brawl among the boilermakers and the pipefitters, who have discovered that the boilermakers are cheating them in a contest. The sheriff arrests everyone involved, and Rod is left with few workmen to finish the tanks, but refuses to bail the others out of jail. When Rod learns that Bill was responsible for the leaky spheroid, he plans to have Tim released, but Tim and Spike have already escaped from jail, and are planning to leave for good. At the construction site, meanwhile, a cable breaks when a giant cap is lifted onto one of the towers, and the cap threatens to crash. Rod climbs up to the tower to cut the cable loose, so they can lower the cap and start again, but becomes trapped by another snapped cable. Tim overcomes his fear of heights and rescues Rod, saving months of work in the process. Later, after Rod pays everyone's bail, Tim and Marian go on a honeymoon.