The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for August 3rd, 2010

mother of invention

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another recent bit of serendipity experienced during a random walk, this time a bit further down Northern Blvd. and directly across the street from the Standard Motor Products building on 39th street, it seems that the good fellows who operate this largish delivery truck had experienced an unlucky turn when its engine suddenly stranded them. Luckily, they seemed to have a tiny red forklift on board, of a sort which I’ve always heard referred to as a “Bobcat”.

from wikipedia

Forklifts are rated for loads at a specified maximum weight and a specified forward centre of gravity. This information is located on a nameplate provided by the manufacturer, and loads must not exceed these specifications. In many jurisdictions it is illegal to remove or tamper with the nameplate without the permission of the forklift manufacturer.

An important aspect of forklift operation is that most have rear-wheel steering. While this increases maneuverability in tight cornering situations, it differs from a driver’s traditional experience with other wheeled vehicles. While steering, as there is no caster action, it is unnecessary to apply steering force to maintain a constant rate of turn.

Another critical characteristic of the forklift is its instability. The forklift and load must be considered a unit with a continually varying centre of gravity with every movement of the load. A forklift must never negotiate a turn at speed with a raised load, where centrifugal and gravitational forces may combine to cause a disastrous tip-over accident. The forklift are designed with a load limit for the forks which is decreased with fork elevation and undercutting of the load (i.e. load does not butt against the fork “L”). A loading plate for loading reference is usually located on the forklift. A forklift should not be used as a personnel lift without the fitting of specific safety equipment, such as a “cherry picker” or “cage”.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The inert truck was borrowing its motive power from the smaller and self propelled tool. Its driver clearly seemed embarrassed by all the attention he garnered. Several of us stood on the corners, males all, sporting broad smiles and cheering him on while he waited for a red light to turn. This sort of situation appeals to we men, I don’t know why, but it does.

I was betting on either the inadequate chain just sundering into constituents, or the forklift burning out its transmission before it moved the giant blue vehicle more than a couple of feet.

from wikipedia

A high-tensile chain, also referred to as a transport chain, is a link chain with a high tensile strength used for drawing or securing loads. This type of chain usually consist of broad (thick/heavy) metal, oblong torus-shaped links for high strength. All the links of the chain are usually identical, and on the ends are usually two hooks of the appropriate size and strength to slide easily over one chain link but small enough not let the links slip by. When the ability to grasp the load is required, a slip hook is used.

The chain used for tire chains on tractors and some automobiles for better traction is very similar; usually consisting of the same type of link, especially so for snow chains; however, instead of being a single chain, it is more of a network of interconnected chains with no hooked ends; the size and design of the network depending on the tire it was intended for.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The signal turned, and that tiny forklift and its driver wouldn’t let anything like the laws of Physics or the limits of engineering stop them from getting the truck moving.

Whom, indeed, says that an ant can’t move a rubber tree plant? Whom?

from wikipedia

They usually range in size 4 to 7 m in length, with smaller or larger sizes existing but being rare in North America. They usually have a garage door-like rear door that rolls up. On some box trucks, the cargo area is accessible from the cab through a small door.

Box trucks are usually used by companies that need to haul appliances or furniture. They are also used as moving trucks which can be rented from companies such as U-Haul or Ryder.

In North America, Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet/GMC have historically been the most common manufacturers of conventional cab/chassis to which various producers (called body builders or upfitters) attach the box that holds cargo. Isuzu, Mitsubishi Fuso and UD/Nissan Diesel have been the most common marketers of cabover-type medium duty cab/chassis used as platforms for box trucks. In North America, these trucks can range from Class 3 to Class 7 (12,500 lb. to 33,000 lb. gross vehicle weight rating, or GVWR).

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The drivers around these parts- borderland and angle between Sunnyside, Astoria, and Dutch Kills- are not exactly a sagacious or patient lot. Normal practice for them is to hit their horns in the quarter second before the traffic light goes from red to green, and to accelerate precipitously in an effort to “beat the lights”. Queens Plaza is nearby, and their probable destination of Manhattan- unlike Queens- is a heavily regulated and well policed thicket of traffic jams. This is their last chance to see the sky.

Well… not for long.

from wikipedia

A gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the maximum allowable total mass of a road vehicle or trailer when loaded – i.e including the weight of the vehicle itself plus fuel, passengers, cargo, and trailer tongue weight.

The difference between gross weight and curb weight is the total passenger and cargo weight capacity of the vehicle. For example, a pickup truck with a curb weight of 4,500 pounds (2,041 kg) might have a cargo capacity of 2,000 pounds (907 kg), meaning it can have a gross weight of 6,500 pounds (2,948 kg) when fully loaded.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Witness the tenacity and determination of the American workforce- its inchoate improvisations and hazard ridden solutions that keep the machines running no matter what, its complete disregard for official procedure and personal safety -unstoppable, indefatigable, the children of necessity.

from wikipedia

New York State Route 25A (NY 25A) is a New York State highway and the main east–west route for most of the North Shore of Long Island, running from the Queens Midtown Tunnel in the New York City borough of Queens at its western terminus to Calverton in Suffolk County at its eastern end.

Known for its scenic route through decidedly lesser-developed areas such as Brookville, Fort Salonga, Centerport, and the Roslyn Viaduct, 25A begins as 21st Street in Long Island City. As you go farther through 25A, it is then known as Jackson Avenue for a short period and is variously named Northern Boulevard east of Queens Plaza (NY 25), North Hempstead Turnpike, Main Street, Fort Salonga Road, and North Country Road. It merges with NY 25 for approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in Smithtown.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

August 3, 2010 at 1:07 am

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