Relocation Time

Relocation Time

Today I moved for the seventh time in my career. It is the first time on my tab though so I am probably paying more attention to the process than in prior moves. Previously, my wonderful wife took the point on the packing and loading because I was already working at my new assignment.

But the toughest move was not a residential one. Back before the 2007 recession I was part of a team that moved 114 machine tools across Cicero Illinois, installed them in a warehouse building, and figured out a way to put cranes over them. Did I mention that the move had to be done in sixty days without interrupting production?

We had no budget for riggers, special trucks — or even consultants — so there were many new skills to learn and decisions to make. It was very slow going at first but by the end of the process we could leave a workpiece in a machine and have the operation resume before the end of the original operator’s shift.

This was a classic case of not knowing what you are capable of until you push yourself into previously uncharted territory. I credit our senior management for refusing to listen to any naysayers and insisting that we figure out what was needed to accomplish the task. “You are engineers; you can learn how things work, develop a good plan, and then execute it.”

Previous postings here have touted the importance of leadership in the ranks; we had lead men with English skills limited to “Yes Boss” and “Soon Boss.” To this day I do not know the Polish word for “no” because these guys always wanted to please the bosses. A word of encouragement from the company president would make them smile like school kids on the eve of a summer break.

I am not quite so positive on this current move. Too many aches and pains from loading the truck with a few younger and fitter friends are threatening to return with our worldly goods. Maybe it is the prospect of finding new friends in a strange place, developing a new routine, and remodeling yet another house that is tiring me out. There will be no interruption in service to my clients or missed postings here on the website. I owe that much to my old plant relocation squad.



Categories: Gear Talk With Chuck

About Author

Charles D. Schultz

Charles D. Schultz is President of Beyta Gear Service and one of Gear Technology's technical editors.

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