Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sailor escapes a ride to the top of the boiler (mostly)

Another day, another dollar, another tube leak. I got the day shift this time, which was nice, but thought I was going to have to ride the xxxxxxxxxx (note: x's replacing a brandname ) up to the leak to take pictures, and acess the situation and to put in my two cents as to what would be the best way to repair the boiler.

The xxxxxxxxxx is a platform with an air motor on each end that climbs a steel cable. Two guys ride it, one running each motor. Mostly, I don't mind heights, but this thing gives me the willies. Not only are you up high, but the whole thing swings back and forth some. If the operators aren't watching, one motor will run a little faster the the other one, and one end will rise or fall faster than the other. It is noisy in the boiler, and hard to communicate, and if you walk towards the middle to yell at each other, it wobbles all around. When they got it ready, Jake the Welder and I went into the boiler, down at the bottom with safety harness' on. We climbed onto the platform and started up for a test run.

As you start up, the platform bangs against the sloped bottom of the boiler, throwing you off balance. The platform begins to climb the slope, and we each stick a foot out between the handrails to brace us back to vertical. My motor didn't seem to be working as well as Jake's motor, and when we got to the top of the slope, up the the side wall we stopped to assess the situation. Jake wanted to look at my motor, but the handrails are really narrow, and neither Jake or I am very wispy. So Jake climbed up onto the handrails, and I crawled between his legs and went to the other side, amid a lot of rocking and wobbling. We determined that my motor just wasn't up to the trip and we went down again. It was quitting time, and I went home before the motor was replaced. Whew.


AnnieOfBlueGables said...

That just gives me the willies! I am glad your motor was not replaced and you escaped having to ride it. Whew!


Andrew said...

How about you don't fall a million feet to your death.

Bad way to end a day, that death business.

Boo said...

yikes! I'm glad you're safe... :D