If you have been reading these things you know I started at my new place of employment last Monday. Now it's time for a report card of how well I'm doing.
OK most of Monday was spent filing out paper work, safety training and meeting some of the folks that I am working with so I'll kinda skip most of that day because not much happened other than I got excited about the companies benefits. }:8>
Tuesday I spent most of the day just learning where stuff is at, where to get tools, how production moves around in the area I work and so on. Now although I'm not going to tell you the name of the company, (it's not hard to figure out) I have decided to tell you what I make.
I help make utility trucks. Yes, the kind that the power company uses.
I work in the part of the plant that makes the custom huge monster models that can take a pair or workers up to around 150 feet in the air. (That's more than 15 stories folks!) The trucks themselves come from various companies and range in size from giant "douly" diesel trucks to absolute monster semi's. (Peter-built, International, Mac and so on.)
The smaller 'standard' models that you see running around rural areas are made up in the front of the plant. I work in the custom department in which, a little like "CMT's Trick My Truck
", we take a brand new extended bed semi (with nothing behind the cab except the frame and axel(s) and with a lot of welding, work, and ingenuity build a custom made super boom truck, a digger derrick (The truck/machine that digs the holes and installs telephone / electrical poles) or whatever the heck the customer wants.
An example is a truck we sent to California this week. It can take two men up to about 120' in the air.. has hand made custom tool boxes, an industrial generator with built in 500 watt halogen flood lamps and 110/220 outlets, drop down / fold away steps, remote control spotlights, a bathroom AND a break room on the back. (That's pretty flipping kewl eah?)
On Wednesday I had one of the managers stop by and ask me how it was going. He told me that he had heard that I was going great, already way ahead of the curve. That made me feel good of course. Later on in the morning the folks that were in charge of electrical systems were busy so I dove in and helped out a guy that's been at the company for a couple of months wiring the main battery box.
I was training this other guy on my third day when I had never even seen the inside of a battery box!
Latter on when the guy in charge of electrical had some time to check up on us and he was rather stunned that I had wired it correctly with out any training the very first time.
Dragons are good.. hehehe };8>
Now considering that second shift (which I'm destined to be the electrical systems guru for) and most of the other folks I work with have little knowledge of electronics or electrical systems, I decide to play it safe and disconnect the main battery from the electrical box. (So that the circuits are basically dead and no one can short anything out while their wiring stuff.)
Flash to this morning. I'm at work, asking the electrical systems guy if it is OK that second shift wired the rear junction boxes backwards to the diagram (not kidding they did) and I start wiring up the trailer connectors, tail lights and all that jazz by, you guessed it.. with just the schematic. (I spent most of my time making sure the other shift had the thing wired correctly albeit backwards!)
Once again Dragon did it right the first time... thou I did have to ask a couple of questions because the junction box had several of the same colored wires in it! (Unmarked of course)
So after that I'm about to start on some other wiring and the electrical systems guy calls me over to another station and shows me how to upload the programming on a certain kind of rig. (Modern semi's are computer controlled. If you know how, you can reprogram the windshield wiper button to turn on the head lights if you want.) My trainer specifically chose the most difficult model to show me on. (I think to see if I would understand.) The whole process of training (after I fixed the laptop =) took about a half hour.
When he was done he asked me if I thought I understood. I summarized the process in about two minutes verbally while he stood there and grinned. (In truth semi's are nothing more than glorified PLC's =) Out of four hundred folks at the plant where I work, four (1%) have the knowledge to program a rigs computer. The software / system engineer, the electrical systems guy on my shift and two line managers. I was told today that it looks like I'm going to take over some of the software / system engineer's job and start designing and building the software & circuits on the custom line.
OK, so the day is going great and I'm about to wrap up my shift and head home. Second shift comes in and the guy that wired the rear junction box comes in and fumbles about trying to see if he had wired one of the lines correctly. I of course let him sweat the fact that he can't get any voltage back at the rear box. In a panic the guy is trying to figured out what he did wrong. I grin, walk up and temporarily reconnect the battery to the battery box. Low and behold he's got juice! *ROTFL* Show's ya how much he tested last night eah?
Anyway.. not too bad I would have to say after day four on the job...