Friday, November 06, 2009

That hemmed in feeling.

Do you ever get that David and Goliath feeling? I went to a construction related meeting yesterday morning in Lebanon. My first impression was of being Gulliver amongst the Brobdingnagians. What? Do you think all I do is ride motorcycles? Gulliver's Travels is more than just a fanciful story, by the way. The book is actually a clever satire by Jonathan Swift aimed at the English aristocracy.

There's a large project breaking ground across from Lebanon Hospital. It will be a teaching facility that should encompass 24 buildings if the Master Plan actually comes to fruition.
A pre-bid meeting for general contractors and sub contractors was being conducted. There were over a hundred people at this meeting. I swear every one of them drove either a pickup or big SUV.

I'd watched a driver in one of those trucks with four doors and a full size bed try to parallel park in the space I am in. Of course, that was BEFORE I took the space, fortunately. As you can see, the driver didn't have any success. Big surprise. Kind of like trying to park a Greyhound in a doghouse. Greyhound bus, that is.

After getting settled and upon entering the conference room, I was also the only one in Hi Viz and packing a helmet. Yeah, I stuck out like, well, someone wearing Hi Viz and packing a helmet.


I decided that the David and Goliath picture was more accurate. No matter how big you are, never underestimate small, fast, and powerful!

With all this talk of LEEDS ( recycled content ) and "green" buildings, maybe they should start with the contractors' vehicles.

There is more than one group that uses their vehicles to be profilers, it seems. Granted, some trucks actually get used like a truck, but most seem to be showy pavement queens. I think there should be environmental bonus points awarded in proportion to the number of motorcycles on a job site. Just my humble opinion. Ok, not so humble, but you get the point!

Miles and smiles,

Dan


11 comments:

Richard Machida said...

I got one of them. Between the bike and the bus the truck now puts on maybe a couple of thousand miles per year and the majority of that is on trips. I now put way more miles on my shoes than on the truck. Originally, we got the truck to pull our trailer on road trips and it doesn't make sense to get rid of it. We still need it once and a while.

Balisada said...

Yes, they actually do park wherever they please, and I have yet to find one that doesn't see a problem with that.

They park in no parking zones, along narrow heavily traveled streets and on sidewalks "claiming" to be unloading, or that they need to be close to their tools blissfully ignorant of the traffic jam they create or certain that the safety rules put in place somehow do not apply to them.

Been dealing with it for the past year.


Balisada

irondad said...

Richard,
Like I alluded to, if you're actually using one as a truck, go for it. It's utility, not show.

I have a small Chevy pickup. It hauls dirt and barkdust to my mother's house off and on!

Balisada,

I can imagine it's especially vexing to you at the college. Perhaps one small consolation is that you all can issue citations. Which, of course, does nothing for their attitudes but make them worse. How can you not see it their way, after all?

I read in Sweet Home that the log truck drivers are parking in front of a cafe with the wheels of one side of the truck up on the sidewalks. The weight is breaking the cement. Jeez, whatever happened to walking a bit?

Take care,

Dan

Mike said...

They all came in pickups and SUV's but I'll bet they didn't have the fun you had getting there!

cpa3485 said...

I don't mind people using trucks and big SUV's If they are used for their intended purposes. I have had pickups myself in the past. But how many times do you see a large number of these vehicles with just one person in them and it's obvious there has never been any dirt or lumber in the back end.
IMHO, they are a very inefficient way of getting from one place to another. A lot of people that have them, don't need them.

Dave said...

Well I hate to point this out but there are a lot of garage queen two wheels out there
As there are more people who ride motorcycles than riders
I was out riding the other day an the only two wheelers out there were scooters what gives?
AKA old F

Conchscooter said...

I hope the drivers of these ridiculous machines are reading this, ready to explain themselves. I call them Saudi Arabian economic stimulus machines.

Arizona Harley Dude said...

I had to drive my 4 door truck to school one day this week to help a fellow teacher move her things to a storage facility. After agreeing to help her I realized I had ridden to school every day so far this year up to that point. The kids noticed also when they said, "Oh, you're here? We thought we had a sub because your motorcycle isn't out there."

Jack Riepe said...

Dear IronDad (Dan):

I learned to drive in a 1968 Plymouth Fury station wagon, with no power steering and plain hydraulic brakes, in the second largest city in New Jersey, where parking was at a premium. To this day, the love of my life is amazed when I parallel park the Suburban and end up with two-feet of clear space on each side of it.

My last five personal vehicles have been Suburbans. When you go through wives like I do, it's always good to have a place to live so close at hand.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twiste Roads

Lance said...

Dan, well said. As they say, "horses for courses" and I think that if a truck is being used for its intended purpose that is great, but there are a lot of them out there where the bed has not seen anything.

kz1000st said...

The one thing you have to consider with contractors is that big companies buy fleets of trucks, You're seeing the clean ones belonging to owners or foremen. Somewhere are the grimey, dented rest of the bunch the laborers use that carry shovels and saws.
In a few years the whole fleet is traded in and a new one takes the place of that shiney truck you saw. Or sometimes a foreman is rewarded with a special ride. I watched one switch from a Blazer to a Mercedes ML 350 on a job I worked on. His co-workers grumbled about that for days.