Machinery – Sometimes it’s Complicated

Of all the many jobs I’ve been on, and all of the different equipment and machinery I’ve hooked up, I’ve only ever hooked up truck scales once.  That job was truly unique.

It was necessary to dig a ditch from the site of the office, past the diesel pumps (a low explosion potential), to the area that had been set aside for the scales.  To get that far, we had to cut a chunk of concrete out of the sidewalk next to the office wall, in order to get power from the office to the scales.

We rented a backhoe to get the digging done.  Incidentally, the backhoe accidently damaged the housing for the scale mechanism.  (It was all the backhoe’s fault.  There was no operator error involved.  Really.  But the incident is the source of our since established policy of “All Digging By Others.”)

We ran conduit from the office to the scale area and then from one end to another to get all the wiring in all the right locations.  It was very involved.  The company supplying the scales sent a representative to teach us how to wire it correctly.  It seems a shame that after all that work and learning and correcting first time errors, that I never wired another scale.

I found it interesting to see how the scale functioned.  The scale was actually a very stiff piece of steel.  Very thick, and difficult to bend.  In fact it was designed to bend no more than ¼ of an inch to calculate the weight of a truck.

Eventually that scale was abandoned.

Comparatively I’ve done quite a number of X-ray machine hook-ups.  Once we learned how to wire up an X-ray machine, we not only wired quite a few, but we also moved many and hooked them up on their new location.

For the first one the machine supplier also sent an expert so that we could learn correctly, but after that we could do others without the experts.

One other machine that has become ubiquitous is the trash compactor.  Those machines did not require any expert guidance.

A trash compactor seems like a very useful piece of machinery.  We have wired smaller, residential sized compactors for some home kitchens.