Lifting heavy rack-mount gear (was Re: PDP-8/e rack questions)
mcguire at neurotica.com
Tue Jan 6 23:39:23 CST 2009
On Jan 7, 2009, at 12:03 AM, Ethan Dicks wrote:
> IIRC, Sridar has a story or two that, fortunately, I can't top.
Yeah, but most of Sridhar's stories involve his gear nearly
crushing ME! ;)
This is rather severely off-topic, as most of the machines
described are pretty new, but I recently offloaded some very heavy
gear from a truck onto my driveway by myself. I had no one upon whom
to call for assistance, and I was under great time pressure. Here's
the saga. (This is mostly a cut-and-paste from an email I sent to
Pat Finnegan about a month ago, as this stuff came from his facility.)
First came the StorageTek Timberwolf tape juke, being very large
and weighing about 700lbs. That's pretty light, compared to the rest
of the stuff. I wanted to unload it using the ramp, but the weight
coming down the ramp was far more than I could handle myself. I used
a ratchet strap hooked to the sides of the truck to lower it a notch
at a time. In the end, I ran out of strap and it started rolling on
its own, but it only went about eight inches before it was off the
ramp...so all was well. I removed all the tape carriers beforehand
in an effort to reduce the weight somewhat. I used pieces of wood as
safety catches behind the wheels.
Next came the Sun Fire 6800s, about 1200lbs/ea...and fragile,
expensive, and belonging to someone else. That's pressure. They
were laying down on their backs...I pushed, with great difficulty,
the rightmost machine off the end of the truck, "catching" it with a
ratchet strap configured in a loop of a reasonable length secured to
the top frame of the truck.
I lowered it a ratchet notch at a time until the rear/bottom
corner was on the driveway, then adjusted the angles a bit, then
lowered it onto its wheels.
The left machine was sitting across two pallets, and was far more
difficult due to wood-on-wood friction with the truck's floor. I
jacked the machine up one side at a time in order to remove all
remaining rear rack protrusions, then tied the rearmost pallet to one
of the between-the-garage-doors columns on my house. I then drove
the truck forward, an inch or so at a time, running back every time
to check on things, until the rearmost pallet was nearly off the truck.
I then lifted the bottom/rear of the rack up using a loop of
ratchet strap in order to remove the pallet.
After that, I lowered it to the ground with a ratchet strap in the
same manner as the first machine.
The E10K was the last to come off the truck. It was still
unbelievably heavy even after the removal of all hot-swappable
components...about 900lbs empty. It came down the ramp a ratchet
notch at a time in the same manner as the Timberwolf, but this time
my friend Ed came by to help, despite being sick. Here he is
striking a camped-up pose with the machine midway down the ramp:
So that was that, what a relief. That was a stressful few days,
with the bill for the extra truck rental time climbing ever
skyward...I was very worried that my new employer (it's their gear)
would be pissed about the extra expense, but he was cool with it,
seeing that I risked great bodily harm to move gear for the company
on short notice.
But it was fun. :)
Port Charlotte, FL
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