Friday, February 19, 2010

laws of physics, heavy objects, big toys, lots of men...

Last week we (finally) loaded several tons of donated materials into a container destined for Romania.  There were pallets full of stuffed animals, clothing, diapers, cake mixes, and books, as well as band instruments, kayaks, tools, and a very big pile of construction materials.  This stack of plywood, drywall, and wooden trusses will be used by a construction team led this summer by my parent's in law.  They will be building an addition on to the H2H Team House in two short weeks.  Building materials in Europe are about three times the price as they are in the US- so it was very important to get these things onto the container.  The problem- the truck driver with the container is only allowed to stay for 2 hours for loading... or else we would incur serious charges.  So my dad rented a giant forklift to load the container quickly.

This worked well for all the pallets and random items, but it was a challenge with the building materials.  I was on site to supervise with my Nikon!

Here's the massive, 40 foot container, nearly loaded:

Its big- almost half the length of the driveway!

And here's the very heavy pile of materials to be loaded (note- all the guys surveying things):

And a view of the forklift/giant toy:

The first strategy was to attempt to scoop up this pile from one end- with a few tie downs:

But then clearly the laws of physics prevent this strategy from working:

So then the guys decided to tie more knots and try to hoist the pile higher onto the forklift:

And this almost works- look the pile is off the ground!

They approach the container... and the forklift can't lift the load!

Can anyone guess what the guys are doing here?

Its not a free ride- they're trying to 'weigh-down' the forklift to keep the back wheels on the ground...

But its still not working... so after dropping the load and making a 19-point turn, they are able to maneuver the forklift into a better position and lift the building materials up to the height of the container:

And it worked!  A long time later...

I asked why they didn't just haul the pieces of wood and drywall into the container one at a time and they promptly booed me away.  Moral of the story- don't mess with boys and their toys.... or if you have a forklift, use it for every possible thing!


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