Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another slow day in the bulk plant

As the title implies, I had ample time today to practice my new found skill of falling asleep while sitting on pallets of additives. I'm totally grateful that we didn't have a day like Nick had where we were stuck until 11 hauling sacks. Just don't think I'd like it much.

Today we loaded one cement job and then we spend the rest of the day doing cleaning and maintenance. We pressure washed the tanks outside and then helped them change out and clean "fluffers" on the tanks of raw materials. Fluffers are the parts through which compressed air is put into the tanks to help move the product out. I don't know if that's the main means of pressuring up the tanks because these things have rubber sleeves over the ends and Andy said when air goes through they "vibrate" to help the dry dust (cement and such) move better. These things get clogged up with cement and need to be rotated out for cleaning. There are several parts that have to be unscrewed (usually with the aid of a pipe wrench) and then have the cement cake chiseled out of them. This was where we were most helpful. We helped clean them and I helped put one back in too. Big day.
video
Here's Anjelica helping will get that rubber part off the end of the fluffer. Some of them are wedged on there pretty good. :)

To wash the tanks we got to climb on top of them. They're maybe three stories tall so that was kinda fun I suppose.
These are the tanks in question...
This is Justin, doing the very important job of holding the hose so it doesn't get tangled up. It's hard...
This is Mike doing work while Justin, Anjelica and I supervise. Get it, Mike!
And here I am supervising. Note the size of the truck in the background...we're up high. :) This is also my standard look--"one-sie" blues (not dirty yet), hard hat, prescription safety glasses (so I'm the only one who has to wear them 100% of the time...), and pigtail braids (they fit nicely under the hard hat...no muss, no fuss). Not attractive but whatev...
And...my custom tailoring of my PPE...they are a little big but duct-tape works just great for shortening them...

At one point today Mario was showing off with feats of strength... Justin didn't do an adequate job of tightening the wings and so Mario called him out. This was the result of the show of manliness:

Holding the sledge hammer with one hand... you have to touch your nose...without breaking it.
Of course, Mario can do it.
And then he was hot and sweaty so he had to go stand in front of the fan with his nomex open. He did a little dance for me when he saw I took out my camera. I love this guy...


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