Friday, February 26, 2010
Nicknames are funny things
Here at Watson Ball and Chain we have a large crew of highly trained personnel covering a large range of trades and helped by several trades assistants, (TA’s) our trade assistants are better known as TA’s, Gophers (Go for’s) or Shit kickers.
This week one of our longest serving TA’s was given a new nickname after what turned out to be a very expensive week…
Now this fellow is none to bright, but a nice enough chap in his mid 40’s. If given a task and left alone he does a first class job…but our 2IC (2nd in charge) rides him constantly because he enjoys freaking him out. He doesn’t handle stress very well…
We also have rules..
#73. The bloke that takes something apart is the bloke that puts it back together again.
Now lets call our trade assistant Brian, partly because it’s easier to write than ‘trade assistant’ and partly because it’s his name.
One of our trucks reached the ripe old age of 8yrs..Yahoo, whoopee… we get to strip it down and rebuild most of it. Off comes the tray and a new custom made tray is fabricated and fitted complete with new huge toolboxes, water tanks, hose reels, generator, compressor and lots more boring industrial stuff besides.
The chassis is grit blasted and repainted as is everything else…about here I notice a small rust hole in the air intake so I send Brian to remove the intake, air cleaner box and all the air hoses for cleaning, inspection, repair and repainting.
…rebuilding an entire truck is a long job and falling right on Christmas makes it take a lot longer. Last week the final things were finished and the now new looking truck went for the electrics to be done.
The worker that delivered the truck reported big problems..
The motor was running very rough, refused to go faster than 50km/hr (30 mph) and sounded decidedly sick. Despite it’s age this truck does very little work and spends its days idling around a huge industrial complex on permanent lease, very easy work for a big diesel. Records suggest that it’s done somewhat less that 200,000km…. Barely run in!
Our 2IC sent it to one of the towns best diesel mechanics who did expensive/extensive testing and decided that it showed all the hallmarks of broken rings…it was stuffed and needed a complete rebuild running to over ten thousand Aussie dollars.
Brian got the blame…after all, a motor simply does not break rings all by itself and our 2IC decided that he must have dropped something into the motor while taking the critical air cleaner parts off the manifolds.
It came back to our workshop to have the motor removed and my team was put in charge of taking the motor out.
Before we started in earnest we took the offending air cleaner and associated bits and pieces off to see if there were any parts missing that may have dropped into the motor.
The 2IC was not happy…wasting time we were!
He was just giving me the lecture about how much had already been spent on the truck when one of my guys came up and presented us with a piece of charred cloth as big as a hand…and the news that there seemed to be more inside the manifolds.
I clicked straight away…I’ve seen this before in a car motor.
With a strong light and various bits of bent wire we managed to pull most of an old shirt from inside the motor manifolds…
Brian had done exactly what he should have by stuffing the shirt into the open engine to stop dust, rust or water getting in and ruining the motor while the repairs were being done.
But he should have removed it as he refitted the air pipes, filter and snorkel. In fact he must have fitted the air hoses right over the manifold with the shirt still hanging out…
As soon as the motor started it sucked the shirt into the motor where it restricted and choked the motor as it slowly carbonized and would have eventually burned away.
One of the workers chided “Good one Einstein” …and a new nickname was forever branded.
..and the motor, is fine!