Friday, October 28, 2011

Bloody race cars again?


For a long time part of my work for the race team has been to make the bar work for the cars. Chassis, roll cages and bumpers, this includes Nerf Bars for the Formula 500’s. Nerf Bars are the small side bars that prevent cars getting locked together when they collide, what with all the bumping and jostling for place these bars get replaced every few meetings at least.
Up until now I made these bars out of my head, this does not mean I scull a pint of Scotch and go make them*; it means I remember the shrink and expansion rates as well as the lengths to cut and bend the pipes without ever writing them down.
Apparently this is no longer good enough! Now the team has delusions of grandeur everything has to be written down so every man can do every job. YeahRight!
So it was that I committed every length and bend to paper, labeled every sheet and made it as clear as I could.
Two of our team members decided to test the procedure by making a few Nerf Bars all by themselves…
They rang me at home to say:

A: Something’s not right, we seem to have done something wrong, please come and help us work it out.

B: Something’s not right, we’re not sure what’s wrong, please come help us work it out.

C: Something’s not right, your measurements are wrong! We need to change your plans.

If you guessed ‘C’ then you're more right that they were…
They, who had between them made just two bends in their life were sure I, who has made countless bars (ok, sometimes wrong) had got the numbers wrong and they wanted to change and alter my plans.
I went in to save my precious work.
After some time listening to them moan about how I had got it completely wrong I consulted the plans they were using to find they were using the measurements for one car and the bend rates for the other car… An almost understandable mistake as the pages followed each other in the book side by side. EXCEPT that one page had KAWASAKI RACE CAR printed across the top and the other had YAMAHA RACE CAR across the top.
Now and again I do make mistakes, but these bars are made from seamless stainless steel tubing which is very expensive, I triple checked my measurements…I knew they were right. There's only two of us that know how to use the hydraulic bender and I taught the other guy a few weeks ago; no one else can weld the thin stainless tubing but me so I don’t see the point in anyone else doing my work. It only adds to my work load by me having to fix other peoples mistakes. (grumble, mutter)

*though these’s an idea…



Spiral said...

Do you get paid for this work? Is there anything you can't fix???

I don't know much about racing or cars. Today my friend showed me how to change my oil (by doing it for me)... although first he got confused and emptied out the automatic transmission fluid... so that's changed too! My car had been losing water (I do check my fluid levels regularly and was watching it get worse) and he found the leak where the clamp had eaten into the radiator hose, cut it off and reclamped it. Saved me a trip to the mechanic! He won't accept payment but I'm plotting ways to help him out :)

Spiral said...

Must be annoying though that you have to write down work that only you can do anyway but there's probably some legislation about it now. Hope the season picks up!

Pearl said...

:-) I'm not sure where we got the idea that anyone can do a job. Sometimes you need the expert.


The Jules said...

I've bent a few cars in my time.

Never on purpose mind . . .

Windsmoke. said...

Multi-skilling or multi-tasking which ever one you wish to call it really leaves a lot to be desired sometimes :-).

Tempo said...

Hi Spiral, as usual working on race cars is either unpaid or very lowly paid. None of our team is paid for their work, but we do get trips away and food and drink etc paid for.
I'm glad your leak was such a slight thing this time, they can sometimes be very you know.
Hi Pearl, some idiot sitting in an office somewhere who has no idea what the work entails I suspect. Personally I think it's foolish and possibly dangerous to put a novice in place of an expert.
Hi it's YOU that's been denting all those cars.. I've bent a few as well, but never on the race track...for some reason they wont let me drive the cars..I don't know, I didn't do anything wrong! (that's my story and I'm sticking to it)

magsx2 said...

Hi Tempo,
I would of been furious, some people are just so .......

Did they at least apologize to you?

You are very forgiving, regardless how many trips you may or may not get out of doing this work, I would of told them to stick it.
Too severe?

Tempo said...

I was pissed off but enjoyed taking the piss out of them for their mistake Mags.
No apology or even an acknowledgement that I was right. Almost all motor sport work is free and gratis, we do it for the love of the sport and to learn new skills. I've learned a lot about making bent things straight and fixing things fast! Maybe one day I'll be able to use them to some advantage..though thats not likely.