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.



About Charles D. Schultz 678 Articles
Charles D. Schultz is President of Beyta Gear Service and one of Gear Technology's technical editors.