Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The iT House arrives







This week started out slow and is quickly got crazy. We are still trenching on the site (plumbing trenches now) and so the only thing really going on was the arrival of the Bosch structural system and the Epic roof decking but 40' truck. For most contractors this wouldn't be any big deal, but since this is an "owner-builder" project we are relegated to figuring out how to do this ourselves. Most contractors would have ready labor but since we have no permanent crew I had to go to the local job center and "recruit" so guys for the day. As I was about to leave to pickup the guys the trucker who was carrying the Epic roof system called to say he was on his way which I was expecting. However, as I sped down the freeway to the job center in the adjacent city of Orange, I got a call from the second hauler. "I am about and hour away" he said. "Are you ready with a fork lift?" he added. "Um, yeah." I replied "we're ready for you, but did you say something about a fork lift?". "You're going to need one, my palletes weigh over 3,500 lbs." he laughed. "No worries, we'lll deal with it, I'll see you soon" I replied.

We of course had no fork lift, but I went to Home Depot and grabed a pry bar and some bolt cutters in order to disassemble the crates. I blew into the job center, secured some guys, u-turned and sped back up the freeway to Villa Park. We reached the site and the first truck was still not there. Villa Park has a distinct rule about "no trucks" and I was worried that and nosy neighbor was going to call the police. The only thing worse than one illegal truck is two parked right next to each other. Rather than worry about it too much, I put the guys to work cleaning up the site while we waited for the first truck.

The Epic roofing system showed up at around 1:30pm. The trucker and his wife hopped out of their rig and helped me and the "temporary TK construction crew" release the bindings that held the roofing system. With two guys on the bed of the trailer and two guys on the ground we slowly unloaded the steel roofing. Things were going pretty well, but slowly. The Epic roof is really strong, but can get "dinged" pretty easily. The guys did a great job considering that they had to unload 35 pieces of steel decking one by one.

About the time I had finally begun to relax, the second truck roared down the street and parked itself in front of a neighbors house. "Oh great" I thought, "here we go". I approached the delivery guy and explained that we were only half-way done with the first truck and that we hadn't expected him until 5:00 pm. He laughed "Well, I could use a nap. Wake me up when you guys are done". It took another 45 minutes to unload the Epic from the first truck. In the meantime I chatted with the trucker who had come all the way from Epics factory in Pennsylvania. He had driven over 1000 miles in one day, just to get the load here before Thanksgiving, and now he was turning around and heading to Arizona. What a life! The best quote he shot my way was "If you don't get a spot at the truck stop early, you don't get a spot".

Food for thought.

Anyway, after unloading the Epic steel the trucker backed his whole rig all the way back down the street and headed off for Arizona. Now it was time for the Bosch to get unloaded. We had made space for it in the garage and had the driver from USF back his rig (a shorter, local haul rig) into the driveway so that the guys could unload it faster. We opened the trailer to find the Bosch neatly stacked and bound into 6 palettes- so no pry bar needed. After breaking the pallet straps with the bolt cutters the team unloaded the Bosch (lighter than the Epic, but easier to scratch) and stacked it in the garage. Some of units were easy to move as a group and were not that heavy, but the 20' beams proved to be a challenge and had to get broken down into single pieces. The crew did a great job and did not drop a single piece.

After an hour we were done and after some clean up and re-hydraition I took the guys back to the job center, did another u-turn and hit the now jammed freeway back to Los Angeles.

Whew!

5 Comments:

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Blogger Tom said...

Wow! Busy day! I didn't realize that truck drivers drive that much in one day! It's crazy! In my house (not quite a house yet, though) we just finished with the new garage construction and it's looking great!

2:01 PM  

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