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Sloppy Work Endangering Others

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#1 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

Reverend Blair


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Posted August 23, 2014 - 07:34 AM

This drives me nuts, and I see it all of the time.  


In my case, usually it's poorly prepared skids.  Had a perfect example yesterday.


Had a 6x8 foot skid with eight tractor radiators in two stacks. I've been hauling these all week, whenever I had room on my truck. They are from a model we don't make anymore, and I guess the rads are better than we thought because they haven't been used up.  They've apparently been sitting around for "a couple of years" (that usually means under a decade) at our service department, and they needed them hauled across the city to go into storage.


I noticed the skid was banded improperly...a single steel band around each stack of rads, but no strap going the other way.  I told the guy loading me and he said, "That's how they come."  That's not exactly right, some are banded like this, some are done properly.  Anyway, the service guys have no way of banding anything that big since they're set up to take skids apart and use one rad a time. 


I figured, "Okay, once it's strapped to the truck, it'll be okay."  That's always the big thing for me, my responsibility, and things don't fall off my truck.


I knew it was going to be wobbly at the other end, but I generally unload myself there with the Sellick, so the forks can be spread out wide and large skids handled properly.  If anything does fall, I'm up high and there's nobody on the ground.


Except my boss phoned and said Nelson would meet me at the storage building and unload me.  


Okay, Nelson is pretty good.  He's got a few years experience and tends to do things properly.  So I unstrapped and said, "Careful, it's a bad skid.  We can put another band on if you want."  He slid his forks in and lifted it just a bit to see if he wanted to band it, and the skid snapped in half, which caused the rads to slide, which caused the bands to break, which allowed the rads to fall completely.


I had stepped back...I always do when somebody is loading or unloading me...and Nelson was protected by his machine, but this could have turned out very badly.  I know a lot of drivers who don't step back, and there are a lot of forklifts out there without as much protection as that one.


This whole thing happened because several years ago somebody at a supplier somewhere took a shortcut and skipped a steel band.  Obviously somebody there knew better because some of the skids were done properly.  If either Nelson or I was less careful, or if Nelson had been on an older machine that day, somebody could have been seriously hurt.

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#2 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2014 - 08:41 AM

The "common sense" now days is to go for the lowest up front cost. Its even worse on bridges and buildings. I've been a Civil Engineer for 39 years. The last 4 working years I was a construction inspector. When I reported substandard materials and/or workmanship, I was usually ignored. At the end of the job, I would be laid off, but I was not rehired for the next construction season. Cutting corners now and saving a little is the common way things are done. These short cuts will lead to big problems in the future but most bosses seem to think that they will have moved to a different job before anything happens.


The rebuilt Oakland Bay Bridge is a shining example. It was damaged in 1989 in the World Series Earthquake. An inexperienced foreign contractor came in !/2 a billion lower than other bidders so they were given the contract. It went over time and now it turns out that the foreign steel is substandard and that they will have to do a bunch more work on it. Tax dollars at waste.


We see this in our hobby.  50 year old GTs still working while new stuff is worn out in a few years. All we can do is not believe nor get caught up in the modern insanity. I am very glad to be retired and not involved in construction anymore. Good Luck, Rick

Edited by boyscout862, August 23, 2014 - 08:42 AM.

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