Monthly Archives: February 2013

Remember These?

So, this week marks the tenth anniversary of my entry into the world of working on construction equipment. I had no idea what I really wanted to do with my life after high school. A good friend of the family had been a mechanic at a local construction equipment rental place for years, and he had faith in me. He knew me well enough to know that I would do everything in my power to do the best job I could.

Well, after two retail jobs I finally decided to take Matt up on the offer to try my hand at turning wrenches. I didn’t have to have a degree, I didn’t need much experience. Everything I needed to learn, I could learn from him. Having tinkered on cars since I was around fifteen years old, I had an idea of what to expect, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

See, cars have small parts; cars weigh around three thousand pounds. The pieces of equipment I work on weigh anywhere from six thousand pounds, like a small skid steer, to fifty thousand pound excavators and boom lifts. Needless to say, when you work on something twenty times the size, you need tools twenty times the size as well. The tools I had were appropriate for a mid-sized sedan, but there are hydraulic cylinders on some of these pieces of equipment that weigh half as much as a compact car.

I think after ten years I finally have the tools I need to fix pretty much anything, but believe me, in a shop where you have to buy your own tools (like most shops), the big ones get pricey. In fact, one of the priciest tools in my toolbox was by far one of those 1000lb torque wrenches. This thing probably cost as much as every tool I had combined before I started this job, but it’s something I had to have. The wrench itself weighs almost thirty pounds, it has a one inch drive, and it’s a beast. But, to be completely honest, what else could I use on a four inch bolt that supports twenty thousand pounds of structural steel?

Looking back on ten years in this industry, I’ll say I love my work. It’s definitely hard, it’s grueling, it’s dangerous, but I wouldn’t change it. I have experience working on some of the largest pieces of equipment in the construction field and I’ve loved every minute of it. To be honest, when we’re kids, we love playing with our big Tonka trucks and fake bulldozers. Not everyone gets to actually do that for a living, but I do and love it.

A Cleaning Secret

My sister called me a packrat this morning.  Can you believe that?  My sister.  The woman who uses her 3rd bedroom as a big closet!  She told me I have too much stuff and it’s affecting the “flow” of my home.  What does that even mean?  My house flows just fine!

In all seriousness, she may have a point.  I’ve been meaning to go through my stuff for a long time and get rid of a lot of the stuff that I’m not using anymore.  I have clothes from a few years ago that I don’t really wear anymore.  I’ve also got a bunch of other random stuff: computer stuff, books, mp3 players.  Ok, maybe I am kind of a packrat.  Anyway, I think I’m going to use one of those sites where you can sell your stuff that you’re not using anymore.  I thought about taking some of it to a local pawn shop but I don’t know how I feel about that, and I was going to try and list some of it on eBay but I don’t want to pay a bunch of listing fees and end up not having anything sell.  Another idea was giving it to my sister, but, uh, I think she already has enough stuff in that bedroom.

I really don’t clean enough, either.  I think that’s part of the reason I have so much stuff.  You know, I always make a note to myself to try and be more proactive with my cleaning.  I know a little bit here and there adds up and you don’t even have to have those big cleaning days if you do it that way, but I just don’t.  It’s always “oh, I’ll do that next time.”  Except I don’t.  And then every few months I have to set a day aside and just clean my entire place.  The floors, the furniture, all my stuff, the kitchen, the bathroom, everything.  I even have an old toothbrush that I use to clean the grout in the shower (which works brilliantly, btw; use your old toothbrushes for this!).  And then when I finish I’m like yeah, that looks nice.  And then it slowly starts getting all dirty again, things being left out, mail piling up on my table, clothes on the floor next to the hamper in my bedroom.  Yeah.  It’s too late to do it as my new year’s resolution this yeah, so, I don’t know, maybe I should just do a little cleaning every Saturday or something when I first wake up instead.