The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

donkeys outlined

with one comment

Maritime Sunday returns,

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recently, whilst out and moving about the great human hive, a luckless individual found their way into my company and posited the query to me “that you always show the tugboats with these enormous structures on the dock, but never explain what they are. Do you not know what they are?”. People like to accuse me of ignorance, continually, presuming that they may have punctured some perceptual bubble in which they presume me to live.

Blow my mind, as it were. Fools.

from wikipedia

Container cranes consist of a supporting framework that can traverse the length of a quay or yard, and a moving platform called a “spreader”. The spreader can be lowered down on top of a container and locks onto the container’s four locking points (“cornercastings”), using a twistlock mechanism. Cranes normally transport a single container at once, however some newer cranes have the capability to pick up two to four 20-foot containers at once.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The neat thing about all the equipment used in ports, especially the big old container cranes, is that its all mobile and self actuating. Everything is built on wheels. The bits of kit which I’m continually drawn to are actually the straddle carriers, which buzz around in their multitudes like worker bees handling and stacking the containers which their larger counterparts are unloading from the ships.

from wikipedia

A straddle carrier is a non road going vehicle for use in port terminals and intermodal yards used for stacking and moving ISO standard containers. Straddles pick and carry containers while straddling their load and connecting to the top lifting points via a container spreader. These machines have the ability to stack containers up to 4 high. These are capable of relatively low speeds (up to 30 km/h or 18.6 mph) with a laden container. The workers that use this machinery sit at the very top seated facing the middle as they can see behind them and in front of them. Straddle carriers can lift up to 60 t (59 long tons; 66 short tons) which equals up to 2 full containers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The psychology of the folks who challenge me thusly is unknown. Sometimes it’s an expert on the subject who is attempting to “out” someone they perceive as an amateur. Others times, one gets the feeling that it brings the petitioner some sort of joy to see a humble narrator hoisted upon his own petard as his ignorance is exposed. Here’s the deal lords and ladies, and it’s been this way since the day I started this endless series of postings- If I’m wrong about something, please correct it. I’m the first one to admit when I screw up, and strive to learn something new at every turn.

Comments and corrections are always welcome here, and if I don’t know anything about a particular subject the first person to publicly proclaim ignorance is myself. On the other hand, if you just want to bust my balls for the sake of it…

Anyway, Maritime Sunday.

from wikipedia

Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal is a major component of the Port of New York and New Jersey. Located on the Newark Bay it serves as the principal container ship facility for goods entering and leaving New York-Newark metropolitan area, and the northeastern quadrant of North America. It consists of two components – Port Newark and the Elizabeth Marine Terminal (sometimes called “Port Newark” and “Port Elizabeth” respectively) – which exist side-by-side and are run conjointly by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Upcoming Tours

Saturday – October 19, 2013
The Insalubrious Valley of the Newtown Creek with Atlas Obscura- tickets on sale now.

Sunday- October 20th, 2013
The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek with Brooklyn Brainery- tickets on sale now.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

One Response

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  1. I’ve heard container cranes referred to as “giraffes,” for the fancied resemblance from the side view, when the booms are upright and not engaged in the un/loading of cargo.

    therealguyfaux

    October 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm


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