Today was much more fun, and cold!
We were in the yard for practically the whole day.
First we took the reach truck back down the bottom end of the yard and went around the same course that we went around the previous day.
We were then going to do something different, but the truck wouldn’t start. Please note that this is the new reach truck, it is electric, and had only just been taken off charge.
So it was reported.
That meant that we had to use the other reach truck, also electric, but this one is older, about six years (ish).
There is not much difference between the two trucks, apart from on the older one, all of the controls are on the right, so all your left hand has to do is steer.
It has two wheels that steer, compared to one on the other truck. Not only that but it has a little lever, with a neutral, so that you can select which direction to go in. The other truck has the direction selector on the control lever to raise the forks.
At one point I thought I had stalled the truck. I was pressing the accelerator, and the thing wasn’t moving. What I had done was slightly knock the direction lever into neutral. Oops! It was electric, so how the hell I thought it had stalled is beyond me!
And the brakes on it! It was almost like a hand brake. You put your foot on it, and it wouldn’t slow down. It wasn’t until the pedal had reached the floor did the brakes actually begin to work!
Other than that, there isn’t much difference between the two.
While we were messing about with the old truck an engineer from Jungheinrich turned up. Only about an hour after the truck broke down.
The engineer was there for less than an hour. So after lunch time we were back in the new truck.
The first course was going in a circle around two drums, then a figure of eight around the same two drums. Pallets were then stood up on end around the two drums so we had to manoeuvre around the drums while staying within the confines of the pallets.
The next course that we had to complete was the chicane.
Two rows of pallets were stood up on end parallel to each other. Three other pallets were then stood up on end within the “walls”, so we had to weave around them.
We started off going in with the fork leading (backwards on a reach). Then when we reached the end, we had to stop, and then go forwards (forks trailing) back through the course.
Then we had to pick up a stack of four pallets, and drive through the course both ways. When returning to the start we had to drop the load in the entrance for the next driver.
Then in the evening we started 90 degree turns to face a row of pallets.
Conveniently a row of pallets (with boxes on them) was lined up alongside a wall. So a row of pallets was stood up parallel to the stacks of pallets. The space between the two rows of pallets was as wide as the reach truck is long.
Tomorrow we will be doing the same course, but this time we will have a pallet on the front, and will have to drop it, and pick it up again.
The courses that we had to drive around were built from pallets standing on their side, and because it was windy, there was another pallet resting inside the one standing up to stop it from blowing over.
At about half five we went back inside to the little room we were in yesterday and watched a short recording of “safe” fork lift driving. It was recorded at four in the morning from channel 4, and the program was in German (it had sub-titles).
It was gory, but funny! It portrayed some of the possible hazards of forklift driving in a very humorous, tongue-in-cheek way.
For example, it showed people being cut in half by a sheet of metal. And other people being impaled on the forks of a fork lift. Then the people stuck on the front having their arms cut off.
One of them was holding a chainsaw at the time which slid across the floor towards the person cut in half by the sheet of metal (he was still alive). The chainsaw then proceeded to cut him in half.
The forklift driver driving the forklift with the two people impaled on the forks gets his head cut off (some how! I remember something slicing his head off, and then it rolling on the floor)
The forklift then makes its way out of the building with its headless driver and impaled passengers down the street and into the sunset.
And that was just in the last five minutes!
Before that it had a knife fall off a pallet into someone’s head, who then broke the blade off. And someone else who went inside the engine compartment to fix the forklift, only to have his hands chopped off when the driver started the engine.
The course is being run by Mentor, paid for by ASDA. And we have all forgotten our instructors name!
Before I finish, this post is a great idea for trick-or-treaters next Halloween (seeing as its too late for this year). Thanks Scott for pointing that out.
My special Halloween header has been up for nearly 24 hours, and will be replaced by the old banner in half-an-hour.
Quick report on my drinking habit: seven cups of tea today!