Friday, July 24, 2009

Eddie Enters A Copper Mine Friday

Today we picked up a load at a copper mine in Arizona. The first thing you do when you arrive is pull onto the scale and go into the guard shack to check in. I always stay in the truck while Ed checks in, but a few minutes after he was in the building, I see a woman in a hard hat waving at me, motioning for me to come in also.

So I get myself together and get out of the truck to see what they want. I hate getting out of the truck for shit like this. Once we were inside, the first thing they did was weigh the truck. A savvy driver will already know what the weight of their truck is empty, with 1/4 tank of fuel and with the two drivers in it. Shippers, especially copper and steel manufacturers, are notorious for trying to overload your truck, so you must pay attention.

But this facility was weighing our truck without the drivers in it. Um, the truck going to drive itself?? Depending on what the two people weigh, you can easily add over 500 pounds to your weight just by getting in the truck to drive away. This is why you need to pay attention, because if you drive off that property and you are overweight, it's your fault.

We tried to explain to them that the weight would be different with both of us in the truck but were told it was their "Standard Operating Procedure". Big surprise. It didn't really matter though, since Ed knows what he's doing and won't let the forklift operator load any more than we can handle. FYI copper mine: we won't be one of the trucks leaving your facility overloaded.

After they weighed us, we found out we had to watch a safety video. I said, "But I won't be getting out of the truck." Ed has had to watch videos like this before at other locatons, but I've never been required to since I don't leave the truck. Didn't matter. I still had to watch the video. A fifteen minute video. I was told that everyone entering the property does; even the food delivery guys.

They had all sorts of rules and safety procedures to follow, the first one being our mode of dress. No flip-flops, no shorts, no hair blowing in the breeze. When Ed first walked into the office, the guard said to him "You look like you're going to the beach." Ed was wearing his signature button down shirt, shorts and flip-flops; I take full credit for the flip flops. But here at the copper mine, shorts and flippies are not suitable, so we had to change.

For me, this was a horror of all horrors. I had to put on long pants and closed-toe shoes in the summertime???? God help us all. I don't even know where my long pants are. Ed knows the drill because he does this all the time, so he just whipped out his coveralls, slipped into his neon yellow safety vest, threw on his steel-toed boots and fished out his hard hat. If they thought I was going to mess up my hair with a hard hat, they had another thing coming. Good Lord. I reluctantly put on jeans and sneakers, got myself a beverage and a snack for the show and Eddie and I made our way back to the guard shack.

We watched the movie and chuckled all the way through. It was obviously made for people with no common sense. In it, they mentioned some of the following:

1. "Don't enter an area while blasting is in progress." Really? Ya think?
2. "Yield to
large vehicles as they have many blind spots and don't always see you." Well, I think if you saw something like this barreling in your direction, you'd be inclined to stop and let it pass.
3. "Report any snakes or vermin you see in the area you're working in." Again, really?? You're in the desert. Should I report every snake, scorpion, kangaroo rat and lizard I see? Do you think they're going to stay at that location so you can come back and catch them? Help me out here; I don't understand the significance of reporting indiginous desert creatures.
4. "Do not enter areas marked Do Not Enter or Restricted Area." Um, if you can read, wouldn't you already know that "do not enter" means not to enter?

After the video, I had to get a loaner hard hat since I didn't have one. It was actually kind of nice, being bright white and brand new and all; not that I was planning on wearing it or anything, because as I already noted, I won't be getting out of the truck. And if perchance, I am in the truck and a gigantic crane crushes it, I don't think a hard hat is going to do me much good. So yeah, I don't think I'll be wearing it.

We left the office and headed into the mine area to get loaded. The forklift operator was new and initially loaded us with too much weight. Ed explained we absolutely could not take all of it and because she couldn't figure out how to work out the weight and couldn't split the copper bundles, had to take an entire stack off. This worked in our favor, causing us be considerably under gross. I guess that's what happens when math isn't your strong point.

All in all, we got in and out of there in a fairly reasonable amount of time. We even left with a gift. Ed mentioned that he liked their hard hat so much and inquired as to whether he could buy it. The woman in the guard shack made a phone call and got permission to give it to us.

Eddie was so happy, he agreed to let me take a picture of him modeling his new PPE (personal protective equipment). Isn't he so safe looking?

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Oshkosh B’Gosh
Queen Of The 21st Century
A Queen’s Life


Ed's mom said...


Gil said...

Kind of shaped like an English Bobbie's (sp?) hat.

Hedon said...


That sounds like the same joint we were at that time with the safety video from hell and the hard hat and the overloading the truck.

Was it also 2,594,394 degrees? I bet we've been there. :)

Anonymous said...

And what a giant smile there is on my face! NOT!


Unknown said...

I think James and I may have loaded at that place when he was training me, blech.

About the flip-flops--I had a driver tell me once when I was fueling that I was wearing illegal footwear (my oh so perfect flat black sandals by Naughty Monkey, btw!). Never mind that I could fuel, check the oil, clean the windshield, and bump the tires quicker than most of the other drivers around me in said sandals ;-). Sigh, plantar fasciitis sucks, I miss my cute shoes.