December 04, 2005

What are you gonna do?

Wednesday... My first day of being a "Lead Man" on this job. I get up at 4:45 AM, and proceed to carry my ass northwest across the county that I live in (Knox), through the next county (Union), and halfway into the next county up (Claiborne). Most of the drive is on two-lane roads with low speed limits, and since I've got the company logo on my van, and have plates from a strange county... I watch my P's and Q's. Within five MPH of the limit at all times, and it's really taken my drive time into the stratosphere. Sixty-seven miles takes me about an hour and a half to traverse. It's Sucky, at best. We get to the job and finish piping up the hydraulics, and go ahead and build the sling. We are ready to run now.

I had my helper find an electrician, and see if he could get our disconnect powered up. "No problem" they said, and it wa just a few minutes until they had us "hotted up". We'd previously pumped all the oil into the tank, and were ready to go, but when I flipped the switch to "on", I got some errors from my starter. Research, troubleshoot, Troubleshoot, research, and I'm frustrated that I don't have an answer. It's late in the day, so we decide to knock off, and regroup in the morning. We load up the oil transfer pump (the one we use to pump it from the drums it's shipped in into the tank) and the pipe machine (that we use to cut our oil pipes to the proper length, and groove them to accept a fitting between two pipes) as they needed them on another job the next day.

My helper had left his truck in Ed's driveway, and ridden with me to the site, so we had to haul all of this in my van to where he was parked. When we got to Ed's house, I backed my van into the driveway, and let it idle while we unloaded the equipment into his truck. Shortly after that was done, we heard a "Pop" sound and a sharp hissing noise shortly after. Steam is boiling from under the hood of my vehicle! Not good, as I'm still an hour away from my house.

After checking in my shop book, and feeling around inside the engine bay, I determined the the problem was with a small tube that takes coolant from the water pump to the intake manifold. After removing the alternator, I realize that the hose is not the problem, but the fitting that the hose attatches to has rusted through and come away from the manifold. A quick run to the nearest Advance Auto determined that my only solution was to get some "Perm-Epoxy" stuff, and hope that I can reseal the fitting into the manifold. Three hours worth of fixing that, and I'm back on the road.

Get to the job on Thursday, and we still don't have a resolution for our power issue's. Talk to "Field Engineering", and they can send me another transformer to make my starter run, but the office has to make that determination. I wasted half a day sitting out in the truck waiting on return phone calls from all over. Finally got something done in the latter part of the day, but just some wiring trough and such.

I lost another half a day on Friday due to a huge car crash that happenned on the way out to the job. One fatality, and two other people taken to the hospital via helicopter. All that equated to me sitting there in traffic for just under three hours. I'm glad that I filled up with gas first thing in the morning, or I would have been screwed. When we finally arrived, the eletrician's had come up with another transformer for us, so we I went ahead and got it in place, and got myself into a running sling. Now we're getting somewhere! We got the platform in place, and got it situated pretty close to where it needs to be... then we ran out of day.

All in all, it was not as productive as I'd have liked, but I think I did okay for my first time as a Lead Man. Now all I need to do is get a little more practice at it, and I'll be rockin' in no time. Lot's of challenges arose, but what are you gonna do? I just kept powering on, and advanced the job as much as I could. I'm happy enough with that.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at December 4, 2005 03:50 PM | TrackBack

Being the lead is all about finding the solutions when problems creep up. It sounds like you did that!

Posted by: Bou at December 4, 2005 11:02 PM

Sounds like you did just fine. You should be VERY happy with that.

I'm very proud. ;-)

Posted by: Tammi at December 5, 2005 08:46 PM

So when aliens land and say "take me to your leader", I should bring them to your house? :-)

Posted by: Harvey at December 7, 2005 08:05 AM

I have an Escort Radar Detector I could part with for a small fee to you. Summer is over and I don't need it for my race car. It will be a few years before I can get back to running that beast.

What I found most valuable was for those times when the speed limit changes and you don't realize it. Or when you need to pass someone and wanna little reassurance that it's ok.

Lemme know.

Posted by: _Jon at December 7, 2005 10:19 PM
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