Friday, March 20, 2009

Guide to Heavy Equipment

In my role as a leasing broker, I get to finance a fair bit of what is called “heavy equipment.” We define “heavy” equipment as big things that will squish your pickup truck if said big thing is dropped upon said pickup.

We call heavy equipment “Yellow Iron”, because it is a rugged and masculine term, and also because our wives think it has something to do with helping with the laundry.

Ironically, yellow iron is not just yellow. It is also available in green, red, orange, blue, taupe, peuce and a fabulous mushroomy brown.

Equipment makers include such well known names as Caterwauler, Moose, Cash, Komacho, Gesundheit, Honeydew, Evinrude and others.

So sit back and let me back fill the hole in your foundation of knowledge. That was equipment talk right there by the way...

The Excavator. This is the toy (sorry – tool) of choice for men of all ages, including itinerant leasing brokers who sometimes get to play in them while customers sign documents. I deliberately create mountains of paperwork for these lease transactions, even though only one page is required. I get more play time that way. Please don’t say anything.

Now your excavator can do a lot of different things. You mainly dig holes and trenches with it for sewers, pipes, converts, gutters, drains, knuckles, fibs and sprouts.

The machine makes it easy since you have a variety of tools at your disposal like scoops, buckets, slicers, packers, rams, raiders, eagles and jets.

Most excavators have a thumb too. This is an attachment that is useful for picking up rocks or culverts, and also to hitch hike to the next job site. Excavators have no loyalty whatsoever and will extend their thumb and hit the road without a moments notice, the dirty hoes.

Next you have your dozer, which is a large machine on tracks which has a big blade out front, used for pushing aside construction worker’s vehicles that were parked in the wrong place. Popularized by the movie “Cheaper by the Dozer”, the dozer is the backbone of most construction sites except maybe bathroom renovations.

Dozers often get parked at job sites overnight, which was a source of amusement to me when I was a child. A small dozer was left in our primary school yard, and playing on it one day, we kids (well – me) discovered that if you pressed the “Start” button it would jump forward a bit. Thus we proceeded to scare the bejabbers out of ourselves as a bunch of us lurched around the schoolyard in a bit of harmless motorized vandalism.

No wonder us kids (excuse me – men) get such a kick out of driving these things.

Another piece of equipment you see on road building sites is your steam roller. I think they are called packers officially, but we know the truth. They are steam rollers, and they are used to run people over and flatten them like pancakes, just like in cartoons.

Further, you can’t tell me that the people operating them aren’t thinking this very thing. There they’ll be as you drive slowly past, perched under their little umbrella, peering over the side of their steam roller, trying to look intense and focused like there is a skill involved here, when you know they are really thinking that they could just flatten that foreman who annoyed them earlier and then peel him off the road like Wile E Coyote.

I know these things, because that is exactly what I would do if I was stuck driving one of them, out of my mind with boredom, lazing in the hot summer sun, thrilled a little at being the first person to drive on the new roadway, but really just thinking steam roller thoughts about flattening people and objects.

I seem to have drifted off topic a little here so to wrap up I’ll just say if you find your equipment’s starter motor is burned out one morning, it wasn’t me. You can’t prove anything. You have no evidence and dozers are notorious liars.

Join me next time when I show you how to brand a herd of skid steers.

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