Forklift Training Day 2

Today was much more fun, and cold!
We were in the yard for practically the whole day.

First we took the reach truck back down the bottom end of the yard and went around the same course that we went around the previous day.

We were then going to do something different, but the truck wouldn’t start. Please note that this is the new reach truck, it is electric, and had only just been taken off charge.
So it was reported.

That meant that we had to use the other reach truck, also electric, but this one is older, about six years (ish).

There is not much difference between the two trucks, apart from on the older one, all of the controls are on the right, so all your left hand has to do is steer.

It has two wheels that steer, compared to one on the other truck. Not only that but it has a little lever, with a neutral, so that you can select which direction to go in. The other truck has the direction selector on the control lever to raise the forks.

At one point I thought I had stalled the truck. I was pressing the accelerator, and the thing wasn’t moving. What I had done was slightly knock the direction lever into neutral. Oops! It was electric, so how the hell I thought it had stalled is beyond me!

And the brakes on it! It was almost like a hand brake. You put your foot on it, and it wouldn’t slow down. It wasn’t until the pedal had reached the floor did the brakes actually begin to work!

Other than that, there isn’t much difference between the two.

While we were messing about with the old truck an engineer from Jungheinrich turned up. Only about an hour after the truck broke down.
The engineer was there for less than an hour. So after lunch time we were back in the new truck.

The first course was going in a circle around two drums, then a figure of eight around the same two drums. Pallets were then stood up on end around the two drums so we had to manoeuvre around the drums while staying within the confines of the pallets.

The next course that we had to complete was the chicane.
Two rows of pallets were stood up on end parallel to each other. Three other pallets were then stood up on end within the “walls”, so we had to weave around them.

We started off going in with the fork leading (backwards on a reach). Then when we reached the end, we had to stop, and then go forwards (forks trailing) back through the course.

Then we had to pick up a stack of four pallets, and drive through the course both ways. When returning to the start we had to drop the load in the entrance for the next driver.

Then in the evening we started 90 degree turns to face a row of pallets.
Conveniently a row of pallets (with boxes on them) was lined up alongside a wall. So a row of pallets was stood up parallel to the stacks of pallets. The space between the two rows of pallets was as wide as the reach truck is long.

Tomorrow we will be doing the same course, but this time we will have a pallet on the front, and will have to drop it, and pick it up again.

The courses that we had to drive around were built from pallets standing on their side, and because it was windy, there was another pallet resting inside the one standing up to stop it from blowing over.

At about half five we went back inside to the little room we were in yesterday and watched a short recording of “safe” fork lift driving. It was recorded at four in the morning from channel 4, and the program was in German (it had sub-titles).

It was gory, but funny! It portrayed some of the possible hazards of forklift driving in a very humorous, tongue-in-cheek way.

For example, it showed people being cut in half by a sheet of metal. And other people being impaled on the forks of a fork lift. Then the people stuck on the front having their arms cut off.
One of them was holding a chainsaw at the time which slid across the floor towards the person cut in half by the sheet of metal (he was still alive). The chainsaw then proceeded to cut him in half.

The forklift driver driving the forklift with the two people impaled on the forks gets his head cut off (some how! I remember something slicing his head off, and then it rolling on the floor)

The forklift then makes its way out of the building with its headless driver and impaled passengers down the street and into the sunset.

And that was just in the last five minutes!
Before that it had a knife fall off a pallet into someone’s head, who then broke the blade off. And someone else who went inside the engine compartment to fix the forklift, only to have his hands chopped off when the driver started the engine.

The course is being run by Mentor, paid for by ASDA. And we have all forgotten our instructors name!

Before I finish, this post is a great idea for trick-or-treaters next Halloween (seeing as its too late for this year). Thanks Scott for pointing that out.
My special Halloween header has been up for nearly 24 hours, and will be replaced by the old banner in half-an-hour.

Quick report on my drinking habit: seven cups of tea today!


8 cups of tea!!!

I’ve had eight cups of tea today!
I’ll be looking like a tea bag before this week is out if I continue to consume the amount of tea I drank today!

I’m sure you *really* wanted to know about that!

Anyway, I’m sure you want to know all about my day of forklift training.
Boring! Apart from the last hour

There are two other people (colleagues?) training up on the forklift alongside me, and we are all novices.

The training runs from 8am to 6pm Monday to Thursday, and 8am to 4pm on Friday.
Monday to Wednesday is training up on the reach truck, with Thursday being the big test day.
Then on Friday we do the conversion test to get our counterbalance licence.

Today (Monday) was theory for most of the day.
We covered H&S laws on using the forklift trucks, and also a bit about the major components of a forklift and the maintenance of the vehicle.
Only after that were we taken downstairs to look at a reach truck.

Then it was back upstairs for more slides.
This time it was all about the limits of the forklift, and the (in)stability of it, and its load.
We were then shown a video of how unstable a forklift is with, and without a load.

All of this took us up until about 5pm

Back downstairs, and we go to the end of the yard where the lorries turn around, and we actually get to drive a reach truck. πŸ™‚

First we just went back and forwards in a straight line.
Then we had to drive forwards and turn left, then stop and reverse and turn left again, so that we ended up back where we started.
Four pallets were then stood up on end, and we had to drive anti-clockwise around them (turning left)

It was all great fun, and cold!
Lets just hope the weather holds out.

Edit: Look out for a special Halloween header which will be doing the rounds for tomorrow (Tuesday) only.

Past & Future

Well, a week has gone by since my last post.
The only thing that really stands out from last week is the fact that I have brought myself a new mobile.
It is nothing special, seeing as I only need a phone to make and receive calls and texts. I don’t need any of the fancy gadgets and battery sucking add ons that you can find on phones nowadays.

Ok, I admit it, Bluetooth would of been nice, but it does have an inbuilt modem, and you can connect it to a computer with a USB cable.

The phone that I am getting is the Siemens AX72. Its just a simple phone, that is all I need.
Firefox 2 was released.
Guess who’s installed it πŸ˜€
And then promptly installed the British Dictionary for the spell checker πŸ˜‰
No more spelling mistakes for me!

The new feature that I am interested in is the “restore pages after a crash” feature. Even though I very rarely suffer from total system shut downs, the last version of Firefox crashed at least once a day (it was something to do with flash)
Lets see if I will need it!

Another cool new feature is the updated tab bar, each tab has its own close button, and if you open a ton of them they scroll off the side of the tab bar. They can then be easily viewed by scrolling through them, or looking in the list of open tabs.
That is about it for last week. Next week I will be trained up on driving a forklift.

More then, bye.

Some Small Changes

I have been going through the website, and I have made a few small changes here and there.

The first change is renaming the Me… section to About. I have also written something in this new section!

The next change is with the display of the download statistics graph. Now if any of the downloads don’t have any downloads, then they are not displayed.
The last change is also in the Programs section. I have updated the content to include RSSread.

On a side note, I have fixed the downloads page. And I have added a couple more links to the links section.

Feel free to leave comments about the changes made, or if there is any changes you have found that need sorting.

No, don’t click. No! Naughty!

I’ve been stumbling around the web and I came across

The aim of the website is in the title, don’t click.
The sites creator, Alex Frank, has created an interesting interface that takes the click out of web browsing!

I’ve visited the site before, and the urge to click is still there.
This time I didn’t click!

Check it out, and see how long it takes before you click!