Friday, June 6, 2014

The Donkey

 At work I have been helping out as best I can with our delivery pods. No part of it is a strong suit for me (I'm not mechanical, I am an average driver, and I am quite handy compared to my old peer group-- I can lay carpet or find a fuse box-- and totally useless compared to my coworkers. Is the alternator important-important? What is weight distribution? Yes, I see that the jack is going back down, that is why I have changed direction.) but that's what makes it so exotic and fun.
This is the awesome gear shift for the Donkey-- the ridealong forklift that fits on the back of the delivery truck. The gear shift (black plastic on the left) is just welded to that little red indicator, so they move together. A regular forklift has a 10k lb+ counterweight (ours is 13k) but the Donkey has to ride on gravel roads and people's driveways, so it has no added counterweight. We use the Donkey to pull 5'x8'x7.5' plywood boxes off the delivery truck and position them on people's driveways, but if the road is too narrow for the delivery truck we park nearby and deliver the box via forklift. I was very nervous to use the forklift to travel the last 1/3 mile to a farmhouse because I am very used to using the counterweighted, solid-tired forklift, which responds terribly to patchy pavement and has even caved in the cement on the lot at my storage center (not while I was driving). But the Donkey has air tires, and I could even take it off the gravel road into the dirt when I was positioning the box. I had to drive backward, of course, because the plywood box on my forks took up my whole field of view. But on the way back to the truck, I got to drive downhill, unencumbered, and I got it up to third gear, which was super fun even though I was riding the brake so much that my supervisor let me know afterwards that it might have been a good time to take it out of 1st.

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