Flying Conduit

Flying Conduit

One shop that I worked for used a box van truck.  The box was tall enough that we could walk in and stand upright in it.  Today we call those types of vehicles cube vans or maybe cube trucks.

Tall ladders or conduit were carried on the roof of the cube.  They needed to be strapped down so that they wouldn’t fall off.  One morning another guy and I were strapping down the ladders.  While working together on the roof of the van I was talking to him about something or other and I turned my back for a moment.  When I looked back, he had disappeared.

I looked to the left.  I looked to the right.  I looked up.  Where did he go?!  I stepped to the side of the roof and looked down.  There he was, standing upright on the ground looking up.  He said: “I fell off.”  He had fallen off of the roof, landed on his feet, and never made a sound.  He must have been very agile.

On another occasion the boss told me to; “Take the truck (meaning the cube van) and some conduit and follow me.”  I put some conduit on the roof between the ladders figuring it was safe there.  I did not notice that it was a frosty morning and the streets were somewhat icy.

I was about ½ of a block behind him when someone pulled out of an alley in front of me and turned left.  I hit the brakes.  That conduit came off the roof of the van as slick as a whistle and started doing fancy dances.  They flew up ahead of me and landed underneath the boss’ pickup as he was stopped at a stop sign.

He had watched the whole thing unfold before his eyes, while he was looking in the rear view mirror.  I sat in horror and watched as that conduit headed for his pick up.  When everything stopped moving I pulled ahead so that I was right behind him, got out, and began picking up the conduit.

He said to me; “You gotta keep this stuff tied down.”

I said; “Yes sir.  I’m sorry sir.”

I was relieved that I had been ½ of a block behind him.  Otherwise the conduit could have gone through his rear window …… and he would have had more to say.