Sunday, March 11, 2012

Stupid Rock

Have you seen this? The 340 ton rock that was recently delivered to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art? What I love is how the article didn't mention the guy who drove the truck. Not once.

They told us how they planned to do it: "The rock has already been raised off the ground by hydraulic lifts and put in a cradle; steel trusses were built around the cradle, all part of a modular tractor with 22 axles, each with its own set of brakes, and 196 wheels. It will weigh 1,210,900 pounds, including the rock." The guy who owns the company who is doing the moving of the rock said that the weight per axle would only be about 349,950 pounds. "That's not so bad." he
said. "The rig will be about 295 feet long and 27 feet wide and require a crew of 12 people to operate it."

They told us how much it would cost. The entire project will cost close to $10 million. Just what the broke state of California needs right now - a ten million dollar rock. What assholes. Michael Govan, the executive director of the museum, said "We're putting more people to work here in L.A. then Obama." Really? So $10 million worth of unemployed people in California are helping move and install this rock? It's just stupid. Of course, if I'm anywhere near
LACMA I'll be sure to stop in to see it, so I can blog about it. That'll be $30 they can add to the kitty - unless of course I go on Second Tuesdays or a Federal Holiday - admission is free on those days.

They told us where it would be traveling. They even provided a detailed map and wrote blog posts about where you can see it. The ironic thing about them transporting this rock through four counties and twenty-two cities, at six miles per hour, is the fact that this entire area (and state) is so UN-friendly to trucks. This is the actual route they took. Ask any trucker and they'll tell you that the parking in these areas is very limited, with the exception of the two truckstops in Ontario.

What they didn't tell us was who exactly drove that behemoth through the streets of Los Angeles. They didn't tell us about the person who possessed the talent to make those corners, to safely transport an "art exhibit", to make sure no onlookers were harmed while gawking (and likely touching) the equipment while the truck with the rock was parked. I'm sure at some point, one of the trucking publications I read will do a feature on it, but so far the articles I've read haven't mentioned it.

California is not nice to trucks. The fuel is sky high. The regulations restricting us are many. The parking is non-existent. We can't find a decent place to park anywhere in almost all of Los Angeles, but the stupid rock gets to spend the day in Bixby Knolls - a neighborhood adjacent to Long Beach which we've visited many times (and which has no truck parking). In addition, less than ten miles from there is the Port of Long Beach - ranked among the world's busiest container ports, where they handled 6,061,085 containers in 2011 - where vehicles in excess of 6,000 pounds can't even drive on the streets, let alone park on them. Yet, they've found the time to make accomodations to move a rock.

Overall, I suppose it's kind of cool. When do you really get to see that kind of thing? But it doesn't change how much i dislike California. I'm still mad at them from the last time they screwed with us.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Crab Rangoon Makes Me Swoon
Bonnie And Clyde Meet Toni And Frank
Finally…A Bib That Is Both Functional And Accurate
Trickling Down
Anonymously Yours,
Over 7,000 Feet Of Pristine Beauty


The man I hope to be............ said...

The only time I like California is when its in my rear view mirrors!

all things bradbury said...

brad and i both really enjoyed this post and all the links you included...for us, it's not about the frugality of the costs or the logic of the expenditures, we just love the art of oversized transports....we had heard about this on the radio but hadn't seen any pictures or info till your blog......great job!!

Marlaina said...

I am so glad that you did this post. Eloquent as always.

First, the Museum director should be fired for his Obama comment. Even in the highly unlikely situation that this rock did create the most jobs in the state of California in recent memory, it is not a museum director's job to be publicly political. He is representing the museum, museums are education, and museums have a mandate to be open and welcoming to all comers. this comment indicates that only people who agree with him are welcome.

Second, you're right, the Mainstream Media, which has been co-opted by their corporate masters, continues to perpetuate the overriding opinion of truck drivers, that we are bunch of idiots and that there is no skill to the job and that's why they didn't interview the driver. What he did was absolutely amazing. I don't think I could have done it, slow manoeuvering is the most difficult driving.

And third, Southern California from exit 176 south on I-5 and Milliken exit west on I-10 is the second worst, after New York City, place to drive, meaning park, a big truck. Their life does not exist without big trucks, even the cars come by big truck. No trucks, no food, no clothing, no cars, no jobs. The conditions are third world at best in the way that truck drivers are treated. My personal favorite is the number of distribution centers put into areas where no trucks are allowed, there is no place to park, to turn around, nothing.

Once again the system has been designed to default to the entity least able to fend for themselves, a driver pulling a 53 foot trailer.

Love the weather in Southern California, but thinking twice about taking any more loads there.

The Daily Rant said...

MAN: I have come to feel the same way. I was never a big fan, but with all the problems we have trucking there, I’m happiest when leaving the state.

BRADBURYS: I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Did you see all the pictures in the slideshow? The other article even showed how they got it on the trailer – if you didn’t find the links, let me know and I’ll send them to you. Yes, it’s definitely a wonderful oversized transport. And I agree about that – I love when I see huge things being hauled – even the windmill blades make me perk up – I still don’t know how they turn corners with those things! Thanks again.
MARLAINA: I thought the same thing about the museum director – not necessarily that he should be fired (not that I don’t agree) – but that it’s really not his place to make a comment like that to a newspaper. What kind of facts is he using to back up his statement? I’d guess none.

We all know how truckers are portrayed – from movies to books to newspapers – Ed and I were just watching something on TV last week where they were hunting down a “truck driver” who committed some kind of traffic offense. Turns out, the “truck” was one of those work trucks, like the electric companies use. The Department of Labor doesn’t consider truck drivers a skilled profession – even though they federally mandate us to get a particular license and have certain certifications, along with having to follow federally mandated rules and laws.
The distribution center thing is the same as the port thing – they need to get these containers moved, yet there is no staging area for trucks to be. It’s an industrial area, but I guess it’s the residents off the freeway crying about the air quality that have the biggest say. The weather isn’t enough to get the bad taste out of our mouths – we’ll be doing everything we can not to do any business there.

Gil said...

I posted something when there were no there comments and it looks like it never showed up! It was probably Comcast's fault, slow internet! I wonder if that truck and trailer hauling the rock is the same kind that they use to haul those gigantic windmills around?